Ways to Update Kitchens on a Buck

Kitchens are the center of your home activity. Adding character to your kitchen doesn’t have to put you in the poor house: The secrets in the details. See how fresh paint, new lighting, and smart use of colorful tiles and vintage accents can personalize the hub of your home.

Lighting: Put pendants above a kitchen island. They’re classier than track lighting or recessed cans, and can cost less. The large-scale aluminum ones can echo the shine of the faucet and cabinet hardware, tying the kitchen’s details together. Repro lights can cost more than the real deals. You pay for new wiring and the ease of not having to troll salvage yards. But these days many dealers refurbish their old lights, and the search is half the fun. Find ready-to-install vintage industrial pendants.

Color: Reinvent dark wood or white cabinets by painting them a refreshing pale sage green hue or whitewash. A pale sage green reminiscent of vintage Jadite dishware can balance the intensity of a newly added floor made of an old-school material: linoleum. It’s easy to clean, naturally antimicrobial, and comes in more than a dozen shades, such as this vibrant red. Use premium grade paint like Benjamin Moore.

Hardware: Updating cabinet hardware is an easy way to change the overall appearance of your kitchen without investing much money or time. Plus, there is a wide range of stores and online resources for finding the perfect pulls, knobs and handles to match your style. Pulls seam to be the in-thing. 

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