10 Ways to Give Your Basic Kitchen Cabinets a Fresh New Look
Use these easy tricks to add style and functionality to your outdated or builder-grade kitchen cabinets — for a fraction of the cost.
1. Make Paint Your New Best Friend
With all of the new color trends this year, free yourself from the all-white kitchen. Embrace color by harnessing the power of paint. Give those old cabinets a new life with a fresh hue that will distract from your out-of-date door styles.
2. Removable Wallpaper for the Win
Looking for the perfect way to inject a pop of pattern or color into your humdrum kitchen? Try removable wallpaper. It has many creative uses, whether you are removing cabinet doors, going with glass-fronts or just want to redo the interior of your cupboards.
3. Crown Molding Glam-Up
Installing crown molding along the top of standard cabinets is a great way to add interest, height and sophistication to your space. You can either hire a professional to do the work, or if you have the skills, it makes for a DIY project with a huge payoff. Either match the molding color to your cabinets or go for a contrasting hue for added visual interest.
4. Add Interesting Hardware
Swap out that boring hardware — old knobs and pulls — for new, trendy options at your local hardware or DIY store. Not only is this one of the least expensive options, it’s also one of the quickest. Tips: Be sure to match the width of any new drawer pulls to your old ones so you can avoid drilling new holes. Also, be prepared to sand and touch up any spots where paint is pulled off by removing old hardware.
5. Install Sliding Shelves
Give your kitchen the custom treatment by adding built-in features — but on a budget. For example, roll-out shelves for your bottom cabinets add loads of functionality and there are easy-to-install options readily available. All you need is a screwdriver or drill.
6. Remove a Few Cabinet Doors
If you love the look of open shelving but aren’t quite ready to commit, consider easing into it by removing some cabinet doors instead. This will not only create an open and airy look in your kitchen, it will allow you to use your dinnerware, glassware and other kitchen items as decor.
7. Beadboard Beauty
Rethink those boring or older cabinets with beadboard. A rather sophisticated paneling, beadboard has proven to be an effective way to add texture and interest to plain surfaces. Adding beadboard before painting is relatively simple, cost effective and will completely transform your kitchen.
8. Install Toe Kick Drawers
Forgo baseboards underneath your kitchen cabinets and opt for toe-kick drawers instead. These unsung storage heroes will enhance your space with spots to stash large, flat items that tend to be awkward, like cutting boards and serving platters.
9. Let There Be Light
Yes, installing undercabinet lighting is practical. But this simple upgrade also improves ambient warmth and makes the entire room glow by combatting the shadows cast by pendant and ceiling lights. Installing lighting under your cabinets actually makes a huge impact on the look of your entire kitchen as a whole.
10. Contrast Upper & Lower Cabinets
Using different colors on your upper and lower cabinets is an easy way to add beauty and contrast to your kitchen. This is especially true when dealing with an all white kitchen. It allows a big change without taking on too much, since you’re only changing the upper or lower cabinets, rather than all of them. Tip: This technique tends to look best with a white or neutral color on top and a dark, moody hue on the bottom.