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7 Ways You Can Refresh Your Kitchen Without Major Remodeling

Want to refresh your kitchen but don't have the funds for a major renovation?

The kitchen below is for a client that wanted a kitchen update without ripping out the cabinets or remodeling the flow. It wasn't their forever home but they still wanted the space to reflect their personalities. So we were able to come up with a more affordable update that didn't include major renovations.

Today we're going to share some of these budget-friendly ways to give your space a facelift too. From refacing cabinet doors to adding a few decorative accents, these seven budget-friendly ideas can give your kitchen a new look without breaking the bank.

Sea foam kitchen cabinets with brass hardware

01. | Reface cabinet doors.

Nothing dates a kitchen more than old cabinet door fronts. Whether they have scalloping details or are made of a cheap ply wood, these details will quickly age your kitchen. Instead of concluding that all the cabinets need to be ripped out, assess the state of the cabinet bases. If they are in good condition, then refacing only the doors could save you thousands.

The process of refacing the doors is relatively simple. Measurements of each door can be submitted to a cabinetry manufacturer and a new style can be specified (we used shaker for this specific client). Then the old doors can be removed and new ones are put in their place. This is also the time to upgrade hinges if you want them to have a soft close or be moved to the cabinet interior.

Depending on the style and where you source your doors, each one costs anywhere from $35-$60 a piece. Refacing the doors will require a new paint job to match the base but the impact is huge!

Light blue cabinets with wooden floating shelves

02. | Refresh Cabinets with Paint.

An easy and cost-effective way to transform the look of your kitchen is by adding a fresh coat of paint to the cabinets. For a step up from a traditional paint tone (white or gray), try a green or blue for an unexpected pop of color — it’s a modern complement to any cooking space.

We have a whole article on the steps to paint your cabinets yourself if you want to DIY this project. If you are looking for a quick update, a painting crew can finish most kitchens in 3-4 days for the price of $2,500-$5,000 depending on the size of the kitchen.

Small galley kitchen with green cabinets

03. | Update the backsplash.

Backsplash tiles have become such an integral design element of the kitchen as of recent. You will often see backsplashes that go up to the ceiling or in bold patterns to add interest in the space. At Hope Miriam Designs, we love all the natural looking options currently on the market like Zellige, cement, and marble.

There are a wide range of prices for backsplash tiles but this update is typically more affordable than refacing the cabinet doors or painting. Also, don't be afraid to mix up the tile layout — whether you use a herringbone design or accent tiles behind the stove range.

04. | Change Your Window Treatment.

Make your kitchen look bigger and brighter by replacing heavy curtains or blinds with light and airy fabric panels. Sheer options will let natural light pour in while still providing you with privacy. Our favorite detail to update in a kitchen is the window treatment above the sink. This window gets a lot of focal time and nothing updates a space more than getting rid of dusty blinds in exchange for soft, Roman shades.

Neutral kitchen with gray cabinets and quartz countertops

05. | Switch Up the Lighting.

Nothing can bring a dull kitchen to life faster than updating your lighting. This could mean replacing flush mounts near the sink or adding decorative lighting in place of an old ceiling fan. We like to think of lighting as the jewelry of the room so don't shy away from a decorative reflection of what you like to wear for your kitchen update.

Also make sure to use brighter LED or white bulbs for task lighting around the sink and stove, and consider softer warm whites for accent lights and over hanging bars. This can help create a more inviting atmosphere perfect for spending time with family and friends.

Contemporary kitchen with gray cabinets and gold fan light

06. | Update Hardware and Faucets.

Changing out the hardware on your cabinets, drawers, and doors is one of the easiest ways to update the look of your kitchen without major remodeling. Choose a style that matches your existing decor or opt for something more modern and contemporary to really freshen things up. Our biggest tip is to start by ordering a few hardware samples so you can verify you like the tone and utility of the hardware before committing. You can also get an affordable facelift by swapping out tired faucets — just make sure they fit with your existing sink and countertop holes.

If you're wanting more direction for selecting a good brass hardware, check out our comparison at major retailers.

Green cabinets with marble accents

07. | Add New Decor Pieces and Accessories.

If you’re looking for a way to refresh your kitchen without spending a lot of money, try revamping the decor and accessories. This can include anything from a new runner, display plates or drink ware, wall art pieces and more. You can even add floating shelves to display some fun colorful accents like bowls, trays or cutting boards. All of these little details together can create a big impact in your kitchen’s style.

Galley kitchen with turkish runner accent

Each of these budget-friendly kitchen refresh ideas can be implemented on their own or paired with one another. Where do you plan to start with your kitchen update?




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