It’s a well-known fact that kitchens and bathrooms sell a house. Remodeling a kitchen can run into thousands of dollars. Upgrading them, however, is a common practice, and doesn’t have to break the bank. We’ve seen homes sell whose kitchens sported trendy hardware, new faucets, and jazzy window treatments. Let’s take a look at three affordable kitchen upgrades for those on a budget.


A New Backsplash

Tiling your own backsplash isn’t difficult. Take one weekend to rip out the present backsplash. Tile your new backsplash the next weekend. You’ll want to choose colors that complement or contrast the cabinetry, countertops, and floor. If the cabinets, counters, and floor are dark, then you’ll want a white backsplash. If you have lighter wood cabinets, light counters, and a light tiled floor, then a darker backsplash will make the kitchen pop.


Subway tile is the most affordable tile available and comes in a variety of colors. If you have a hard time deciding on colors, then white is the all-time classic. Play around with different ways to tile it such as resembling a brick wall, a classic herringbone pattern, horizontal, or a pattern of your own devising. Have fun with it!


If new tile isn’t in the budget, a can of paint is a good kitchen upgrade for those on a budget. As recommended above, choose complementary or contrasting colors and get to work. You can alternate colors in any pattern you wish, or you can paint the whole thing in one color. You might consider painting the grout a contrasting shade to make the backsplash look amazing.


New Cabinet Doors

So many homeowners want new kitchen cabinets but can’t afford them. Here’s an idea for those homeowners: take off the cabinet doors. You’ll have an instant showcase for your prettiest dishes and glassware. You can arrange the dishes and glassware in patterns or just stagger them on the shelves.


Other cabinets can be painted. Colors are trending now, with homeowners painting their cabinets in bold colors like hunter green, turquoise, candy apple red, royal blue, and sunshine yellow. Depending on the amount of light coming in the kitchen, the color you choose to paint the cabinets will be highlighted by the incoming light.


About The Light

If any room in the house needs the brightest of lights, it’s the kitchen. Chopping vegetables, filling pastries, and plating dishes is much easier when you can see better. It highlights personal touches like bright kitchen towels in fall patterns. New lighting can breathe new life into a tired, dated kitchen.


There are four types of lighting: ambient, focus, task, and decorative lighting. Ambient comes from overhead lighting. Focus can be seen in track lighting that highlights a painting or sculpture. Task lighting is best over the island or the portion of your counter tops where you prep. Decorative lighting is an especially interesting or pretty lamp or sconces. Tiffany comes to mind.


In order to get the best lighting possible, it is wise to layer. For example, the kitchen has recessed lighting in cans. That’s good for ambient light, but you need task lighting where you prep on the island. Pendant lights are good there. There are several styles, or you could go with a wide bar type of pendant light.


In addition to ambient and task lighting, you’ll want focus lighting. Many cooks use under cabinet lights for this purpose. Styles include bar lights and pendants, to name a few. Additionally, replacing the present bulbs with eco-friendly LED bulbs. They’re not as expensive as they were when they first came out, and last almost forever.


Chandeliers aren’t just for the foyer anymore. They’re found in bathrooms, living and dining rooms, kitchens and hallways. Give your kitchen upgrade a touch of class with a chandelier. Overstock websites carry crystal chandeliers in interesting shapes and sizes for less than $100.