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7 Inexpensive Ways to Update Your Kitchen

Does your For Sale By Owner kitchen look like the set for a 1970's sitcom? If so it may be time to update your kitchen decor. While nothing good ever comes for free it is entirely possible to give your outdated kitchen a much needed facelift without breaking the bank.

Give it a FSBO Fashionable New Coat of Paint

Painting your kitchen's walls a brighter and trendier color is a cheap and easy way to give new life to a tired room. Today's kitchen paint trends lean towards brighter, bolder colors that make the room appear larger. Bright blues and greens are popular for a splash of color while those with more conservative decorating tastes would do well to choose the new neutral color, gray, or a softer buttercup shade.

Make your new paint choices really count by choosing the right wall and ceiling color combinations to suit your kitchen's size and style. Smaller kitchens can quickly seem larger if you use the same light colored paint color on both the ceiling and walls causing the eye to automatically be drawn upward to the ceiling. If your kitchen is roomier or you're choosing a bolder color try painting the ceiling a few shades lighter but within the same color family. This will keep your kitchen from looking "closed in" and give more impact to the bolder wall color.

Give Your Cabinets a Face Lift

Nothing ages the look of a kitchen like outdated cabinetry. While installing new cabinets is an expensive hassle, luckily, painting them is an easy way to improve upon just about any type of cabinet style. Choose lighter colors for a more modern look and keep the bold colors for your kitchen walls.

The trick to great looking cabinets is all in the prep work so be sure to sand the surfaces with 150 grit sandpaper or finer. This allows for better primer or paint adhesion to the cabinet's surface. Chances are you'll need to use a primer if you are painting over varnished or stained wood but those painting over an already painted cabinet surface can likely skip the primer. Oil based enamel paint is probably your best bet in term of durability.

Tile Accents Do Wonders

One of the simplest ways to enrich your kitchen decor is with the addition of tile. Tile and bold wall color is a hot combination and can really turn an ordinary kitchen into an extraordinary space. Use small tiles together to make a patterned backsplash along your countertops for an elegant effect. Your tile's colors should compliment the color scheme of your kitchen, perhaps bringing out any accent colors present. Even if money is tight one or two small rows of tile can make a big difference. Save money by checking for sales or discontinued tile patterns.

Light Up a Room

Modernized lighting is a key factor to an updated decor in any room of the house. Outdated chandeliers or globe lights should be banished from your kitchen in lieu of pendant lights, modern dome-style fixtures or track lighting. Your lighting fixtures should compliment the overall style and feel of your kitchen's decor. Don't be afraid to get bold with your pendant lights in both style and color and use them as attractive task lighting over prep areas, breakfast nooks or islands.

Under cabinet lighting is another popular trend in modern kitchen lighting. Energy efficient fluorescent and LED lighting can help save on your electric bill but they can make food and wall colors look a bit "off" due to their inability to properly show reds, oranges and purples. Halogen lighting is a truer form of lighting but is not as energy efficient and can be hot to the touch. With either choice the addition of under cabinet lighting can help set a more intimate mood in the kitchen and show off a stunning tile backsplash.

Add a Wine Rack

Today's modern kitchen almost always includes a wine storage space of some sort. To pull your kitchen into the 21st century why not try converting an extra cupboard into a built-in wine rack? Simple remove the cupboard door, clean up and finish off any exposed edges, if needed, and insert a section of wine rack lattice to hold your wine bottles. This lattice is available for purchase at home improvement stores or online and is relatively inexpensive.

One word of caution; choose the location of your wine rack wisely. Wine does not do well when exposed to radical fluctuations in temperature so be sure the spot you choose is not in direct sunlight or right next to your fridge or stove.

Create an Island Oasis as a For Sale By Owner

 One of the biggest drawbacks to many older style kitchens is their lack of counter space. An easy way to create an extra work area is by the addition of an island. If your kitchen has ample room for it a large island can easily be created out of two stock cupboards attached together back to back. Use laminate, butcher block or even a small section of granite to top off your new kitchen island. You'll create a new prep area and add extra storage for pots and pans or even the addition of a wine rack as mentioned earlier.

For smaller kitchens a compact, portable island is a perfect alternative. These can be rolled off to the side when not in use but still provide extra storage and that much needed work space when needed.

Dressing up the Windows

When putting the finishing touches on your new modernized kitchen don't forget the window treatments. It's curtains for outdated flowery valances. Instead go for a sleeker look by installing roman shutters or blinds in the wooden or Venetian style. Keep the colors of your window treatments neutral and natural for the best effect.

These kitchen upgrades can happen slowly or in groups with each causing minimal disruption to your kitchen use as compared to an entire renovation. Whether you choose only a couple of these ideas or many you'll be amazed at the transformation your kitchen will undergo in terms of style while still keeping within a reasonable budget.