If you just can’t live with that tired old kitchen anymore, but need some more time to raise the necessary funds for a top-notch remodeling job, a quick fix may be the answer to get you through the waiting period. My good pals Karen & Barry recently aquired a "new-old" condo, a great windfall but a potential money pit considering all the renovation they were looking at. Luckily my friends are nothing if not creative and resourceful. They simply removed the outdated cabinet doors and painted the upper cabinets. This not only open things up but also makes it pretty easy to find everything in a small kitchen.
If you have the space above your cabinets, consider adding molding . Crown molding can bring more pizzazz to your kitchen by adding a finished look to simple, boxy cabinets. You may have pretty good cabinets that you like, but perhaps the builder just didn’t spring the extra bucks to add molding. You can also add molding below the upper cabinets to complete the look, and to conceal under cabinet light fixtures. Typically molding used in this way runs from 1 ½” to 3” thick.
Try painting old wood cabinets like my friends did. Good wood cabinets can even be refinished or painted to look brand new. Using the necessary primer you can even paint over laminate cabinets. A glass door or two can complete this quick fix.
Perhaps you like the look of your cabinets but would probably like them a lot better if your countertop wasn’t so worn and torn. You might upgrade from laminate to tile, or simply install new laminate in a different color, or a pattern that looks like granite. Don’t forget to be creative with the backsplash area between the upper cabinets and countertop. Finish the entire backsplash area with tile or material that looks like granite. Another economical option is faux painting, or trompe l’oeil, which means “fool the eye.” Creating a stone or brick look is a great quick fix. Hiring someone to paint it is cheaper than doing tile, or you can try your hand at painting it yourself. You might even try some stenciling.
Using new and interesting hardware can also update the look of your kitchen. You’d be amazed how much difference new doorknobs and drawer handles can make. Old knobs and pulls look, well, old. Choose something new, modern, colorful, even daring. Just make sure if you’re replacing handles that the screws for the new handles are in the same place
Sometimes builders try to save money by installing fewer cabinets than there is room for. The result can be storage space problems. If you have an empty wall, you can get some style and storage space by utilizing free standing furniture such as a Hoosier hutch, or an antique pie safe. In general, a freestanding piece of furniture will be less expensive than a built-in cabinet, especially if you’re hitting thrift shops and garage sales. Plus, whatever you get is going to be unique.
Lastly don’t forget to check out weekend do it yourself workshops offered by local home centers. You can’t beat the satisfaction of saving money and knowing you did the project yourself! New photos have been posted to our Flickr photo album. Check them out! Just click on the link to the right. Next post: Kiddies in the Kitchen