Kitchen Ideas: Update Your Kitchen for Under $500

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Your kitchen is the room in your home where the real “magic” happens — it’s the place where home-cooked meals are made with love. Here are some easy kitchen ideas that you can do yourself for under $500.

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Your kitchen is the room in your home where the real “magic” happens — it’s the place where home-cooked meals are made with love. It’s the place that beckons you with the smell of hot coffee and bacon frying in the morning. Some Philadelphia homes were made in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and while they are solidly constructed, they sometimes come with an old-style kitchen. Here are some easy kitchen ideas that you can do yourself for under $500.

Restore Your Linoleum Floor

Linoleum is a common flooring choice for kitchens because it’s tough, durable, and easy to clean when you have those accidental spills and splatters from cooking. But over time, the dirt and grime can change the color of the floor, making it look very old and worn. Spray a bleach mixture (one part bleach, two parts water) on the floor liberally, let it sit for about a half an hour, then mop it up thoroughly. Spic and Span also does a good job of restoring the look of a linoleum or vinyl floor. If you have a small kitchen and some room in your budget, you might decide to redo the floor with new linoleum or vinyl tiles. Expect to spend about $3 per square foot if you choose to buy and install a new floor for your kitchen.

Fresh Paint Job

The easiest way to brighten up a room is to give it a fresh paint job. If you have an older kitchen, chances are it has dated wall paper—you can paint right over the paper instead of removing it to save time and money. Just give it a good wipe down with a bleach-based cleaning solution first. Choose a bright and sunny color for your updated kitchen, like canary yellow, lime green, or lilac. Painting your kitchen walls will cost about $50.

Fix Up Existing Cabinetry

If you have old wood cabinetry, remove each of the doors from the hinges, sand and paint them with a stained lacquer. Some older homes have dated metallic kitchen cabinets that are worn down and rusty. Remove them from the wall (they’re usually held up by a few screws) and use an electric sander to smooth out the surface. Coat it with a can of spray paint that’s close in color to your major appliances (black, white, or silver). Expect to spend $50 to $100 to update your cabinets.

Three New Shiny Appliances

One simple way to update the look of your kitchen is to add a few new matching appliances to your countertops. Stainless steel appliances are preferred for aesthetic reasons because they’re shiny and polished. Pick up a new stainless steel toaster or toaster oven, coffee maker, and knife holder. You can get all three for under $150.

Once you get started updating your old kitchen, you may get inspired with more kitchen ideas. Ask a friend to help you out and set aside a long weekend to tackle this do-it-yourself project.

Image Source: Flickr/Dave Haygarth

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