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Recession-Approved Kitchen Remodeling

Last Updated on February 24, 2010

These days, most of us are being a bit more careful about how we spend our money.  For some, this may mean packing a lunch for work instead of going out to eat. For others, it may mean  renting movies more often than going to the theatre. Living through a recession is all about learning how to get by on less. That said, you don’t have to give up on the things you would love to do. If you had plans to remodel your kitchen but are now reconsidering your budget, check out the following tips that will help you cut costs and still get stunning results.

1. Cabinets

Cabinets are the face of your kitchen. They set the tone for the entire kitchen and are the first thing your guests notice when they enter the room. So, what can you do if your cabinets are unsightly or outdated? You might have considered replacing them entirely, but this can cost you between $15,000 and $40,000. If these costs don’t work with your budget, don’t worry – you don’t have to continue living in the 1970s. Painting can be an affordable way to update your kitchen without doing extensive construction. It might take a little time to complete the task, but when you’re finished you will find your kitchen completely transformed. White, or a similarly light color, can help add a bright touch to an otherwise dark room. You may also choose to have your cabinets refaced. Cabinet refacing costs about half as much as a full cabinet replacement and the work is completed in 4-5 days by professionals who replace cabinet doors, drawer fronts and hardware.

2. Cabinets…continued!

If you have glass cabinet doors or a system of open shelves, try painting or using wallpaper on the cabinet interiors to make a bold design statement.  Replacing ugly or generic cabinet handles can be another great way to add a little pizazz to a kitchen that may lack that special something. Anthropologie has a beautiful selection of unique drawer pulls that can double as cabinet handles, all around $18. For a cheaper selection, browse, which has literally hundreds of styles starting at as little as $1 each!

Cabinet Hardware from Anthropologie
Cabinet Hardware from Anthropologie

3. Add an island

If you have open space in your kitchen and have always dreamt of having extra storage or seating, you might consider adding an island. Many retailers, including Walmart, Target, JC Penney, and carry freestanding kitchen islands at a range of prices, starting at around $100. With these low prices, an island is an easy, affordable way to add a new centerpiece to your kitchen without breaking the bank. Alternatively, if you like to get your hands dirty, can teach you how to build your own kitchen island.

Kitchen Island from Walmart
Kitchen Island from Walmart

4. Change the Lighting

Lighting has such an important effect on the way a room feels, yet it is often overlooked. Try playing around with different types of lighting in order to create a look you love. Different light fixtures will create varied types of light. It’s completely up to you how muted, bright, warm, or cool you decide you’d like the light to be. No matter what direction you take however, new lighting is bound to shake things up in your kitchen.

Inspired Kitchen Lighting, Photo by tandemracer

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