Budget Friendly Updates for Your Kitchen: See It In Action!


A few months ago, I wrote about some great budget friendly updates you can make to your kitchen.  Check out the original post here.

Yep, I’m still dreaming of the kitchen I hope to have one day.  We’re heading to KBIS (the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show) in a few weeks, so I’m sure to get even more inspiration.  In the mean time, Ryan and I have spruced up our current kitchen to add some style and appeal.  So here’s a recap of some of the ideas from before and how we used them.

Kitchen Before:

Kitchen Before Update Inside and OutWe have site built cabinets, painted white with a single black knob.  The counter tends to get cluttered, so we wanted to see if we could reassess what we need and where everything lives.  I also wanted to see about opening up some of our closed storage and liven it up with some new paint.

Kitchen Updates Inside Organization PlanningRe-organize and Clean – We started by taking a good hard look at everything (and I mean everything) and narrowing down what we need and how often we use it.  Everything came out and the cabinets got a deep cleaning.  Every item got assigned a home based on where it gets used and how often.  Things that don’t get used much would get relocated to above the refrigerator.  Quite a bit got donated or pitched.

Next, I took off the doors of a section of cabinets I wanted to open up.  I did this as an experiment –  I set up what I wanted to display and see if I was happy with it.  We then lived with it for a few days to see if it was organized how we could function.  If it didn’t work, then I could just put the doors back on.  Happily it worked great!  I took a picture to document the arrangement and then cleared it off again to prep for painting.

NKitchen Update New Hardware Templateew Hardware – Before painting, we drilled for all the new hardware.  That way, we could patch the old and touch up if we had any drilling mishaps.

The process went quickly with the use of a template.  Simply use two scrap pieces of wood to make a T shape.  Shown here, the short side will rest along the edge of the door.  Then drill your template with the desired placement for your hardware.  Mine may look messy, but I used the same board for doors and drawers in hardware of different sizes.  Just make sure you remember or label which holes are for which location.

I changed all the black knobs to linear pulls in a stainless finish for a more contemporary look.  It is also much more comfortable to open large drawers with the long pull compared to the tiny single knob we had before.

Kitchen Updates Painted Open CabinetsPaint – The very old cabinets needed a fresh coat of paint and a new look.  I still love the brightness of white, so we planned to brightened it up since it had yellowed with age.  I also wanted to add more interest to the open shelves by painting the back wall a light grey.

But first, I filled and repaired any flaws and holes from the doors that we removed.  Then we sanded everything!  Sanding is a very important step to make sure that the oils from cooking and your hands are removed so the new paint can adhere properly.  Once again clean all the surface of any dust.

I used paint with a semi-gloss finish because it wipes clean easily in the kitchen.  I also used an angled brush which makes it easy to cut in close to edges and details.

Kitchen Update FinishedHere is the finish product:

  • Cleaner counter space (Hey, some counter accessories are a must – like the Oscar the Grouch Cookie Jar for our doggy treats)
  • Organized zones (I even have a tea zone for the amazing amount of flavored teas I found when we were sorting – organized neatly in an old soda crate with dividers.)
  •  Brighter look with the interior cabinet paint.
  • New look and function with updated hardware.

I am very happy with the results.  I’m still dreaming of the future, but I’m sleeping more soundly with the kitchen I have.

Need more ideas to update your kitchen?  Every space is different, so we’d love the opportunity to come up with solutions for you!


Mary Sherwood Lake Living – working with you to create your lifestyle!


  1. Patsy says:

    Great Job, Autumn.

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