The easiest and cheapest kitchen upgrade is a fresh coat of paint. This goes for walls, moldings, and cabinets, depending on your personal aesthetic. Feel free to get creative if you want a unique look for your kitchen. You can use contrasting but complementary colors to create a faux wainscot, for example.
Choose colors that work well with the colors already present in your floors, countertops, and backsplashes, unless you plan to replace them as well. Kitchens usually work well with light, cheerful colors, though that is hardly a rule. The great thing about paint is that it can always be corrected cheaply if it doesn't work the first time around.
For some people, paint is too messy and time consuming, and for others, paint alone is not sufficient to qualify as a true kitchen upgrade. To complement the new paint job or to simply give your kitchen an interesting facelift, go shopping for new hardware. Drawer knobs, cabinet handles, faucets, light fixtures, and other small pieces of hardware can make a huge difference in the appearance of your kitchen.
You might hang a pendant lamp over your breakfast table, for example, to highlight that area as a gathering place and to create more visual interest. Recessed lighting in the ceiling or under cabinets can work well, and matching knobs and handles for drawers and cabinets can bring together an otherwise chaotic design.
One of the first things buyers look for in new homes is the appliances. If you want to increase your home's value, evaluate the quality and age of your appliances, then replace as necessary. Not only will new appliances update a kitchen and improve functionality, but they can also save money on energy costs because newer models are more energy efficient.
A new sink is another quick kitchen upgrade that can increase resale value and improve the overall look of your kitchen. Sinks take quite a beating over the years, and modern sinks tend to be deeper and more stylish than their older counterparts. Installing a new sink shouldn't take longer than an afternoon, so it's a great weekend project.
Upgrading Your Kitchen
Keep in mind that kitchen upgrades can sometimes get out of hand, so before you head to the hardware store, determine a budget for the project. This will help you keep your expectations and your spending in line, and make the process go much faster.
DIY Life, Kitchen Remodel Ideas for Every Budget
By Steve Thompson | Yahoo! Contributor Network – Tue, Dec 4, 2012 5:09 PM EST