4 DIY Kitchen Upgrades for Under $300

Make the kitchen your home’s new central living space with the right materials and finishes—and these smart, budget-friendly design tips from Kate Flaherty, vice president of LuxeHome, a collection of luxury kitchen and bath boutiques in Chicago.


4 Transformations for Your Budget

1. Paint


(Photo: Thinkstock)

“The easiest way to completely give your kitchen a facelift is to pick out a great color,” says Kate. The process can seem scary to some do-it-yourselfers who fear choosing the wrong color, but most paint companies provide color decks to guide you to the right hue.

Kate recommends Farrow & Ball, which offers some of the finest paints in the world. Their price may seem expensive up front, but a little goes a long way. Rather than offering hundreds of variations of, say, white, Farrow & Ball limits it to a few of the best shades of cream or white, making it easier for you pick your perfect hue. “That helps you not make a mistake,” she adds.

The bang for your buck? 1 gallon of a semi-gloss or low-sheen, water-based paint can cost you as little as $15.


2. Tile


(Photo: Thinkstock)

If your kitchen is in dire need of a quick cosmetic touch-up, tile is a start. “You can totally change the look of your kitchen with tile,” says Kate.

Creating a tile backsplash is one way to add an impactful design element to your kitchen. If you’re handy, you can save yourself on the installment costs. “It’s not as hard [to install] as flooring,” says Kate. “The distance between the countertop and cabinets is only two feet. If you can do it yourself, you can easily do it for $300 or less with beautiful, high-design, high-quality tile.”

Today’s tile selection is endless, which means you get the exact material that works best for your kitchen style. “There are so many beautiful things,” says Kate. “Glasses continue to be popular. We have tiles made out of stingray, semi-precious stones, concrete.” She does, however, advise against 1-inch glass mosaic tiles, which she believes are on their way out of favor. A newer idea: Look for different patterns of glass mosaics.

A hot tile trend that Kate says is catching on among chic interior designers includes applying 12-inch square Moroccan hand-painted concrete tiles with unique, graphic designs to walls as a backsplash. “It’s almost like wallpaper,” she says. “We’ve seen brighter colors, larger prints in fashion—and fashion design influences kitchen and bath design.” If you love certain design motifs and concepts in fashion, they can extend to the kitchen, too.

The bang for your buck? You can purchase 12 x 12 stone wall tile for as little as $12 per square foot.


We’ll continue our list of quick and easy, budget-friendly kitchen transformations in our next post.


by Margie Monin Dombrowski


To learn more about how to makeover your kitchen on your budget, check out our premiere issue of Kitchens & Baths magazine, on newsstands now.

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