10 easy kitchen cabinet upgrades

Changing the kitchen cabinets can be your quickest path to creating a whole new room. If you’re looking to breathe new life into your kitchen scenery but don’t have the time or budget to commit to a complete overhaul, your best bet is giving your cabinets a facelift. From the obvious to the obscure, here are 10 ways to upgrade your current cabinets without pulling out the hard hats.

1. Put on Some Paint
If you’re on the fence, there’s always the old standby—paint. A change in colour can have a huge impact on your kitchen and the payoff far exceeds the effort, be sure to keep all the hardware in a safe location well working. Get out the sandpaper, read our blog post on painting cabinets and pick some paint swatches, and you’re halfway there.

2. Wallpaper the Interior
Take the wallpaper off the wall and put some on the inside of your cabinets instead. Doors with glass fronts work best. The application process may be a little tricky, but the peek-a-boo effect will give you a reason to smile every time you reach for a glass.

3. Remove the Doors
Quite possibly the easiest change doesn’t require adding anything at all. Simply removing the doors will give your kitchen an airy feeling, but be forewarned that this look requires more maintenance than you’d think. With everything on display, you’ll want to be sure the contents of your cabinets are in order—all the time.

4. Do a Complete Overhaul
Combining one or more of these suggested changes can give the appearance of a complete overhaul. Insides of the cabinets wallpapered, the shelves painted, and doors removed—leaving behind a kitchen that’s both modern and cozy.

5. Add Knobs or Hardware
If your cabinets lack hardware, you’ll appreciate this fix. The addition not only creates a whole new appearance, but also makes getting things in and out of the cabinets easier than before. Take some precise measurements, spend some quality time with the drill, and bammm a whole new kitchen.

6. Apply Moulding
Adding crown moulding to your cabinets will give them—and the kitchen—an entirely new look. The upgrade will visually add height to the room and give the cabinets a more finished appearance. While it’s always important to measure twice, this one you might want to call the pros in.

7. Get Out the Chalkboard Paint
No room benefits from chalkboard paint quite like the kitchen. You can use the upper cabinets to keep track of needed grocery items and important dates, while your children can go to town on the lower cabinets—and leave your walls alone.

8. Use Paint as an Accent
Use your cabinets’ built-in details to your advantage by emphasizing them with paint. Whether you’re painting the whole cabinet or just the recessed areas, or painting the island a different colour then the cabinets, the contrasting colours will add depth and striking visual drama.

9. Construct a Plate Rack
No longer a common kitchen element, a plate rack makes often-used dishes easily accessible. Replace an existing cabinet or find a rack that will fit below your current cabinets for an upgrade that’s both visually pleasing and functional.

10. Install Task Lighting
Adding task lighting beneath cabinets can dramatically alter the look—and efficiency—of any kitchen. In addition to making countertop chores easier to tackle, the added illumination will showcase tile backsplashes and make dark cabinets appear lighter.

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