9 Budget Friendly Ideas to Brighten Up Your Kitchen

Giving your kitchen a sweet upgrade doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

Your kitchen is your place of inspiration and creativity — it’s the space you use to be imaginative, to take risks, to try new things. It’s difficult to feel that adventurous rush to dream up recipes and try out new things if your surroundings are dim and uninspiring. Instead of letting your outdated kitchen get you down, get the light, bright kitchen you actually want to spend time in, with these budget-friendly kitchen improvements that will make all the difference.

1. Give cabinets a white makeover

Image: Christy/Confessions of a Serial DIYer

Refresh dark wooden cabinets with a coat of bright white paint, for an easy fix that will instantly change the tired tone of your kitchen. If you want to take your makeover another step further, update the hardware to match your new light look. (Learn how to do it here)

2. Choose a shocking bright accent color

Image: Tanya/Dans le Lakehouse

You don’t have to shy away from color to go bright — in fact, adding a burst of a vibrant shade like turquoise, hot pink, or orange can spark new life into your gourmet space. Make a statement with matching appliances and pots, to highlight your bold new color scheme. (See the full makeover here)

3. Add a pop of dark color to create contrast 

Image: Sara/Sincerely, Sara D.

So why not just whitewash the whole room? While white paint will certainly give you a bright transformation, going for the full wash can strip your kitchen of any character and depth, leaving it looking plain, or worse, cold. Create contrast to balance out your look and bring out the light tones. (Get directions here)

4. Get rid of heavy shades and let in more natural light

Image: Brooke @Brooklyn Berry Designs

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but take a second to look around your kitchen and notice how many things are blocking natural light from streaming in. Containers on the window sill, shades or curtains at the edges — anything that’s keeping light out is bringing down your space. (See the full makeover here)

5. Fill dark corners with lights

Image: Chicona/Alter Interiors

Brighten those out-of-reach corners with this clever lighting trick: Fill the empty, awkward space above your cabinets with faux kitchen storage that actually holds extra light fixtures! (Check out how it’s done here)

6. Bring in some metallic to add a shimmer

Image: Alicia/Thrifty & Chic

Add a touch of gold, silver, bronze, or copper to the walls, appliances, or even the tiles in your backsplash, to create a reflective surface and bounce the available light around the room. (Get the how-to here)

 7. Use a bright kitchen island to break up a dark floor

Image: Nina/Everyday Enchanting

If you have a dark kitchen floor and no plans to replace it, don’t worry. You can distract the eye from a dark base by setting a light colored kitchen island at center stage, or even by laying down a neutral-toned carpet. (See the full kitchen here)

8. Subway tile or a white backsplash will brighten the space under your cabinets

Image: Christy/11 Magnolia Lane

That space between your cabinets and your countertops can get pretty shadowy, but you don’t need to add extra lighting to solve that issue. Instead, re-tile your backsplash with white tiles, or even coat your existing backsplash in bright paint, to add some light to those dim corners. (See tutorial here)

9. Bring the light off the ceiling with pendant lights

Image: Jessie/Imperfectly Polished

Fill your kitchen with light by bringing fixtures down off the ceiling, with pendant lights or even an upcycled chandelier. Bringing the light closer to your workspace is not only an attractive decor choice, it’s also a practical way to make your food prep space more comfortable. (Get more details here)

For more amazing kitchen ideas, inspirations, and how-to’s, check out the kitchen design page on Hometalk!

Lindsay is the the Director of Media Engagement for Coldwell Banker Real Estate and manages the brand’s media and social media department. She is also a licensed real estate professional. In 2017 & 2018, she was named a top 20 social influencer in the real estate industry in the annual Swanepoel 200 power rankings.

Lindsay lives in Livingston, NJ with her college sweetheart and now husband Joe and rwelcomed another Joe into her life as she became a mom in June 2016.

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1 Comment

  1. Maria Dominic
    August 29, 2015

    A backsplash in a kitchen is both functional and visually attractive. Either way, there is a tile backsplash for all budgets. Using a small square or rectangular patch of tiles in the area behind the stove becomes more budget-friendly project.. nice idea..


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