By Shannon Walter
Kitchen upgrades get expensive fast. A complete overhaul costs about $21,800 on average! That’s a big price to pay for a temporary home. Thankfully, there are ways to update a kitchen without breaking your budget or the terms of your lease. Here are 10 kitchen upgrades you can finish for less than $50.
1. Spruce up the inside of the cabinets with subtle, decorative paper.
Cabinet doors with glass windows are perfect for this update. By using removable contact paper or heavy-duty wrapping paper and 3M strips, the back wall of your cabinets will pop with personality.
2. Add more storage space with wall shelves.
Extra shelves are incredibly versatile. They can be put over the sink to keep clutter out of the way or under the cabinet to store coffee mugs. Local hardware stores sell wood shelfing by the foot and various brackets to hold them. If the color scheme allows, opt for a copper tone shelf and copper brackets for a lovely autumn look. Pick up a small can of metallic paint if the color you want isn’t available near you.
3. Lay an eye-catching rug on the floor.
Adding an area rug to the kitchen breaks up the monotony. A change in color and texture gives the room depth. Finding an area rug for less than $50 means not shopping in the specialty rug store. Try browsing the selection at IKEA, TJMaxx or Marshalls, H&M or the clearance section of your favorite home goods store.
4. Spruce up your backsplash with decals.
Single-color, square tiles are simple to upgrade by cutting patterned decals to fit inside a square. Try spacing the pattern out randomly along the backsplash for an interesting visual effect.
5. Replace the old kitchen faucet.
A new faucet makes cleaning the dishes feel more rewarding. Not only do they look nicer, but they usually function better too. Even faucets in the less than $50 range can be great upgrade options. If you’ve never shopped for fixtures on Amazon, give it a try, making sure you double check that the dimensions fit your current sink.
Check out HomeAdvisor’s video tutorial on replacing a kitchen faucet if you need help.
6. Turn laminated countertops into faux marble, quarts or granite.
A little ingenuity and work will give the illusion of beautiful and expensive counters. Rolls of removable vinyl stickers are available in different colors and patterns on Amazon and Houzz for about $10 to $15 per roll. Simply peal and stick for a fabulous new look.
7. Give the drawers a clean look with new drawer pulls.
Outdated handles are sure to cramp the style of a well decorated kitchen. When shopping at the hardware store, look for the styles that fit the personality of the room. Large and overly-decorative designs often overpower the rest of the cabinetry. Aim for a style that complements the other kitchen features and upgrades.
If you fall in love with the design and don’t want to buy them again, keep the old handles in a baggy and swap them again before you move.
8. Add a chalkboard to the refrigerator.
Simply buying a small magnetic chalkboard won’t give the fridge a fresh new look. Opt for a bolder look with paint or decals. If painting the refrigerator is an option, buy a can of chalkboard paint and some brushes from the hardware store and start upgrading. Peel and stick decals are a great alternative if painting the appliances is not allowed. Look for rolls that cover most of the door space. Don’t forget to pick up colorful chalk. A magnetic bin to hold the chalk pieces and eraser is a nice touch.
9. Install extra lighting under the cupboards.
A poorly lit kitchen is of little use. Look for under the cabinet LED lights that mount with 3M strips for maximum convenience. Several lighting sets include a switch to turn the lights on and off just like regular fixtures. You can find temporary units online for about $40.
10. Give it a fresh coat of paint.
Painting the walls or cabinet doors gives them a whole new life. Choosing the perfect color to fit your style gives the kitchen a touch of personality. If you’re looking to paint more than one wall and small spaced under cabinets, check out the reduced-price paints at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Just be sure your lease or landlord approve of this upgrade.
Upgrading the kitchen space doesn’t have to cost a fortune. A simple touch-up here and color there are great ways to stay within the budget.