THE BLOG

7 Savvy Ways to Upgrade Your Kitchen

04/02/2013 11:37 am ET | Updated May 26, 2013

If your kitchen's design makes you feel like you should be grooving to the Village People, it's probably time for an upgrade.

But don't rush to thousand-dollar remodel conclusions! There are plenty of ways to make your kitchen stylish again without calling a contractor and dipping into your savings. Bonus: These small "face-lift" projects will make your home more attractive to prospective buyers!

2013-03-26-UpgradeYourKitchen.jpg

Here are a few ways to upgrade your kitchen without an expensive remodel:

1. Change the dishwasher panel. If your dishwasher's exterior has seen better days, but it still cleans dishes just fine, you'll save a ton of money and brighten the entire kitchen by changing its front panel. Visit your local hardware store or hop online and check out some options - you'll bling out your dishwasher for a fraction of the cost of a full replacement!

2. Update the backsplash. Your backsplash is the panel behind your sink or stove that protects the wall from splashes (hence the name). The beauty of this spot is that it's usually not very big! That means that the tile count for a redesign project will be way lower than if you decided to update your countertop or floor.

3. Switch the lights. Everything looks better in the right lighting! If you've been eating spaghetti dinners under the harsh intensity of fluorescent lighting, switching to a few dimmable pendant lights will open up a whole new world of lighting warmth.

4. Paint the cabinets. A cabinet paint job is basically like a haircut for your kitchen - it makes it look fresh and clean! Tip: If your kitchen is small, paint your cabinets a light color to make them appear larger.

5. Change the hardware. Rusty or old handles in the kitchen definitely makes things look a little dated! For less than the cost of a nice dinner ($30 for 25 handles) you can buy a slew of modern door handles - put 'em on and enjoy the shine next time you grab a fork or spoon.

6. Ditch the doors. "Naked" pantries and cabinets are all the rage these days, so jump on the bandwagon by removing the doors and hardware associated with them. Tip: Add a pop of color by painting the shelves or cabinets inside your pantry. Without the doors, the color will shine through!

7. Upgrade your walls. Nothing dates a kitchen faster than peeling paint or wallpaper. Give your walls a new color or pattern to brighten up the space - just make sure the new color works with your cabinets! Tip: Avoid painting your kitchen blue, because it's a natural appetite suppressant.