5 Fast, Easy, Dramatic Kitchen Decor Ideas on a Budget

Feb 19, 2016



You've been staring at the same, plain, off-white kitchen walls for years. For some reason, having the extra money for a kitchen make-over never seems to fall into your hands... but there is something you can do!


This article examines 5 seemingly small, DIY Home Improvement Projects you can likely get done in the course of a day. These small changes can have a huge impact on the look, feel, character and attitude of a room. 


We will start with the obvious and move on from there!

1.) Say Goodbye to Old Cabinet Hardware and Faucets (Cost: ~$140)



      You can go into any big box retail hardware store and find updated, beautiful kitchen faucets, and cabinet hardware for little to nothing. Make sure to keep a special eye out for extra discount sales. Most people would assume that changing something that seems so insignificant wouldn't make much of a difference as far as aesthetics are concerned-but in truth, outdated hardware and kitchen faucets can make even the most stylish kitchens look out of date.

    It’s also important to keep in mind that over time, mineral build-ups can accumulate inside faucets, and that can change the way your tap water tastes. Plus, as the years have continued, energy efficiency has skyrocketed- replacing an outdated faucet could actually save you a couple bucks a year. 


2.) Accent Wall: Paint or Decal (Cost for paint: ~$25/qt | Cost for Decal:~$20)





The use of decals is, very quickly, rising in popularity. This is probably due to how simple, fast, inexpensive, and impermanent vinyl decals are. For about $20,  you can spend half an hour and completely change a room in your house by using a vinyl decal. They are also very easy to come by-  regularly seen on the shelves of places like Target, Home Depot, Lowes, Michaels and many others. 


Vinyl decals are a great solution for those renting an apartment, and may not have as much decorating freedom as a homeowner would. The decals are relatively easy to put on, easy to remove and don't leave any lasting marks on surfaces. However, for just about the same price, you can opt for a more permanent solution by painting an accent wall. One bright, intense:"pop" of color can turn any space from drab, to fab... especially a kitchen. You can pick up a decent quart of paint for about $20-25. This project can be done in an afternoon, which makes it even more appealing!


If you really want to go nuts- you can combine the two! Just make sure to allow the paint to dry completely (in most cases 24 hrs.) before risking damaging a freshly painted service.


3.) Peel-And-Stick Backsplash. No, Really. (Cost Depends on material: ~$12 per Sq. Ft.)


I am in full support of peel and stick. Grouting is such a messy, tedious process, so I am thankful to whoever created this awesome, time saving alternative. Sheets like this come in endless sides, shapes, colors, you can even opt for different materials such as tin, aluminum, natural stone and more. All it takes is a bit of measuring to decide exactly how much to buy, a thorough cleaning of the surface bet to be used is just about all the elbow grease one would need to add this splash of color to their kitchen


4.) Open Shelving (Cost: Varies)


Open shelving can come in so many varieties- some people use old winder shutters, or panels from doors, or just plain planks of wood. We suggest using wooden crates that were originally used to ship wine, because of their  rustic aesthetic. Unlike other types of open shelving- these have side walls. A great way to get these for little to no cost is simply to go to a local grocery or liquor store and ASK  if they have any to give. We stress asking, because taking these crates from a retail store... even from the dumpster, is considered theft. So be safe, and ask!


Open shelving may take you an afternoon to install, but it is so versatile. You can use it for storing spices, use it for decoration, and you can have as much or as little as you'd like without it looking strange, unfinished or out of place. Make sure to use anchors specifically designed for dry wall- although an empty shelf may hold up in a wall with just a screw, weight adds up quickly, and the last thing you want is a beautiful shelf to come crashing down.


5.) Chalk Board (Cost:~$15-40)


Pinterest is to blame (Or thank?)  for the explosion of this clever home improvement idea. This, much like the open shelving, is a project that can be as big or as little as you'd like. I've seen pictures which showed homeowners who had painted every surface in their kitchens with chalkboard paint, and Ive seen pictures of a chalkboard painted into a no more than a few inch square painted on a wall. I believe that to get the most "bang for your buck", finding a way to incorporate chalkboard paint with organization (such as in the photo above) is your best bet. Often times, peopleapply the paint directly on to the wall, and surround the area with a picture frame so as to visually separate it from the wall. One of the most awesome aspects of any  DIY project, especialluy one like this, is that there is no "wrong" answer. The possibilities are endless, and you can make this project work for you.


You can purchase this specialty paint anywhere you can buy interior paint. Lowes, Home Depot, and even Target have chalkboard paint available at a reasonable price. 


If you find yourself feeling bored this weekend: All of these projects are very simple, extremely inexpensive, and will give you an outlet to let out a little creativity while adding style and function to your home.