Whether you have a small or large kitchen, it tends to be the heart of the home, even if you’re the type of newlyweds who order in take-out every night. While the kitchen rivals the bathroom as most expensive room to renovate, you can still find ways to spruce it up without breaking the bank. In the end, you should have a cozy kitchen fit for you two love birds – and any other family members who should come along. Here is how to improve your kitchen on a budget and in a way that is fit for those becoming a family –
Paint the walls with happiness.
Pick a color that suits the two of you. You could use your wedding registry as inspiration. Your silver and white china pattern or your bright orange Kitchen Aid mixer might give you some ideas on where to start. You can keep the walls neutral and add pops of color through accessories. Or you can put the color on the walls and get wild, whatever you prefer. Yellow recharges your energy, green is for luck, and red is just plain bold. The options are endless. Paint is the cheapest and easiest way to pack a punch in a room. And if you don’t like it, you can easily change it.
Change hardware on the cabinetry.
Cabinets are among the most expensive things to change in a kitchen. You can certainly paint them or punch out the wood center and replace it with transparent and frosted glass for drama. But that requires a lot of sweat equity and know-how. You can make a dramatic change just by replacing the hardware – drawer pulls and cabinet handles. Crystal balls, old-fashioned brass, sleek nickel, or even ones that feature leaves or are in the shape of a carrot or vegetable are among the possibilities. Consider the hardware jewelry for your kitchen.
Create a breakfast nook.
You can find space for a breakfast nook for two even in the tiniest of kitchens. Consider a rolling kitchen island with bar stools, which offer the added bonus of additional work space and storage, or a table that folds into the wall with folding chairs that can be stored elsewhere. The point is to have an area for the two of you to eat and share that is more casual and cozier than a formal dining area.
Add a pot rack.
Hoisting a pot rack to the ceiling or wall is a way to create visual interest and added storage. It makes a statement and is far less expensive than adding other kinds of storage such as cabinetry or closets. Most pot racks are simple to install and just requiring finding the studs. The bonus: Your pots serve as both pots and art.
Let lighting shine.
Changing a light fixture, especially a chandelier at the center of the kitchen or pendants over the island or countertop, can give the room an entirely new look. If you’re the type who likes to cook, improved lighting can also make working in the kitchen easier. There are all sorts of wonderful options that can bring color or even artistic detail to the space. Just consider a colored glass pendant, brass chandelier with crystal accents, or a fixture made with wine bottles.
Use the backsplash for more visual interest.
Changing all the tiles in the kitchen (or installing tiles that were never there) is costly and time consuming. But adding a few decorative or colored tiles behind the sink or stove can add detail, and you can probably do it yourself. Large chain stores, such as Home Depot and Lowe’s, sell affordable tiles with patterns or designs, such as fruits or vegetables, which are perfect for spicing up the tiles in your kitchen.
Items you already have on hand can serve as kitchen accessories. A pretty, old mug can serve as a sponge holder. You can hang a lovely plate or serving platter on the wall as art. Appliances, such as your stainless steel juicer or red teapot can have an impact on the room. A chalkboard or a distinctive hook for dish towels or aprons are as practical as they are lovely. Curtains or tablecloths with graphic patterns make a statement, too, especially if the rest of the décor is simple. Repeating patterns or colors in the space will give the room a professional look.