Luckily, with a few simple (and relatively inexpensive) changes you can transform your dark and dreary kitchen into the heart of the home it’s meant to be.

1.    Replace the hardware

The hardware in your kitchen is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to making it look dated. Replacing it is one of the best and quickest ways to improve the look and feel of your kitchen quickly and without shelling out a fortune. You can choose to add clean and elegant metal handles and pulls to your cabinets, or pick out a bright color that will liven up the room with a minimum effort required.

2.    Add a fresh coat of paint

Fully replacing the cabinets in your kitchen can be a pricey endeavor. However, you can bring the old ones to life by simply changing and updating their color. It’s an easy, fast and fully personalized DIY projects that you can get finished in no time at all and get a kitchen that looks completely different. Pay attention to the colors that are already dominating in your kitchen and choose one that won’t clash but rather create a lovely transitional effect.

If you don’t want to spend the time painting all of your cabinets, you can instead choose to paint an accent wall that will be the focus point of your kitchen.

3.    Replace the cabinet doors

We’ve already mentioned that replacing your full cabinetry comes with a substantial price tag. However, if your shelves have held up pretty well, while the exterior is in shambles, consider replacing only the doors to your cabinets. You can choose a look that is similar to the one you had previously, or go in a completely different direction. You can even remove the doors completely and opt for an open-shelving effect that will have the added benefit of making your space look more open as well as allow you to decorate using your interesting cookware or potted plants.

4.    Light Up The Room

Light fixtures can be one of the first things that will date a room. If your kitchen’s light fixtures haven’t been replaced in decades, it’s high time to do it. The right lighting has the potential to completely transform a room.

5.    Decorate with your appliances

If it’s not your goal to create a wild mish-mash of colors in your kitchen, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use a few statement pieces to add a pop of color that will brighten up your kitchen. A few colorful small appliances can add an interesting touch to the look of the space without being too overwhelming. No one said that toasters and kettles have to be grey, metal and blend into the surroundings. Buy one in your favorite color and let it decorate your countertop.

6.    Dress Up Your Windows

The window is often the focal point in the kitchen, especially during the day. While having a bare window may suit some aesthetics, if you think you window needs a little beauty treatment, chances are that it really does. A light colored drape over the window can actually increase its open feel, while colors that match the rest of your kitchen can help you fully tie the room together. If your window is directly over your sink, make sure that the curtain is not too long as the fabric could get damaged from the water.

7.    Decorate From The Ground Up

It’s easy to overlook the floors when you’re considering the overall look of a room, however you’d be surprised at just how big of a difference they can make. Replacing your floors is both time-consuming and costly, so a simpler and cheaper way to improve both the look and comfort level of your floor is to place a few choice rugs around the room, especially in places that get a lot of traffic, such as in front of the sink and stove. They can also have the added benefit of covering any damaged or especially unsightly patches of flooring.