Updating an old kitchen

Rather than buying all-new cabinets, custom doors and drawer fronts were added to the existing boxes to create an updated look while saving tons of cash.

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(If you rent, just remember to keep track of the changes you make if you'll be responsible for putting things back when you move out.) I once lived in an apartment with these metal cabinets with metal handles that had all been painted over with the same boring paint color, but one day I removed the handles, took the paint off, and had a whole new kitchen look!

(With landlord permission of course.) Never doubt the power of a simple update with new or new-looking hardware.

It's not just a lack of storage that can make living in a kitchen you can't renovate kind of miserable, it's a lack of usable and accessible storage.

So add those magnetic wall-mounted knife blocks and hanging pot holders.

Knocking down a wall and adding a large, arched entryway was a dramatic and cost-effective change for this kitchen, transforming it into an open and inviting space for just $710.

A new peninsula provides extra seating, while a chandelier, a glass-tile backsplash and wall decals add a bit of glitz and glamour.You might be tempted to take a jack hammer to whatever awful flooring your kitchen came with, but you can disguise it to save money and not do anything permanent, while still improving the look underfoot.Use contact paper or vinyl to create designs and patterns on your tired cabinets or make them look like a whole new different solid color with a larger piece of contact paper.Inexpensive stock cabinets were styled with glass inserts and a coat of white paint, while a nature-inspired mural adds a ton of character for only 5.A custom-built walnut and steel tea cart and an exposed brick chimney add even more unique charm.Many times it's not just the look of a kitchen that rubs folks the wrong way when they're unable to do major renovations; it's the fact that it doesn't function that great.

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