10 Kitchen Updates You Can Do in a Day

If you're feeling a little stir-crazy in your kitchen, you don't have to take on a complete overhaul to free yourself from its confining style. Instead, try one of these attainable and inexpensive all-in-an-afternoon projects that will make a big change without a steep price tag.

  1. Reimagine Your Cabinets

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    You don't have to live with your ugly cabinets one minute longer! There are plenty of ways to give them a quick refresh without having to purchase replacements. Make a large-scale change by painting your units a bright color, or go for a mix-and-match effect by applying a few coats only to the top cabinets. Consider removing a door or two to create trendy open shelving, or use chalkboard paint on the doors or expanses of wall for a dose of cottage charm.

    Related: 7 Ways to Skimp on a Kitchen Renovation

  2. Wallpaper the Fridge

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    Give your basic fridge a style boost by covering it with removable wallpaper. While the application process depends on your specific fridge setup, this simple DIY takes no longer than an afternoon to complete. And when you're finished, your fridge will be your kitchen's exciting new focal point, shifting the whole dynamic of the space.

    Related: 7 Reasons to Reconsider Wallpaper

  3. Craft Custom Storage

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    A cut-to-size section of rebar or wire mesh and a few coats of epoxy paint come together to create this grid-shaped pot rack that can play host to utensils, pans, and other items that clutter your countertop. Serving as both additional storage and a stylish wall accessory, this quick project provides a big return on a minimal investment of time and money. 

    Related: Buy or DIY—8 Clever Solutions for Storing Pots and Pans

  4. Swap Out Standard Hardware

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    Despite their relatively small size, knobs, pulls, and handles can have a huge impact on the appearance of your cabinetry. If your door and drawer hardware looks like it hails from a bygone era, give your cabinetry a modern update by swapping in fresher models. Opt for something current yet classic to ensure that the pieces will remain stylish for years to come.

    Related: 12 Bite-Size Projects to Rescue Your Tiny Kitchen

  5. Refresh the Backsplash

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    If your kitchen sports a boring or outdated backsplash, consider remedying the problem with a roll of shelf paper or removable wallpaper. A floral or vintage print will add a pop of pattern and charm that will elevate your space from blah to brilliant in an afternoon. For easier cleaning, choose a paper designed to stand up to heat and moisture.

    Related: 12 Inventive Ideas for a Budget Backsplash

  6. Clear the Counters

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    Nothing compromises the appearance of a kitchen quite as much as clutter. Consider taking an afternoon to clear your countertops—you'll be amazed at the difference it can make, both visually and functionally. To prevent future pileups, install a wall-mounted rack or shelf to hold extra mugs, utensils, and accessories so that you can devote your efforts—and counter space—to important kitchen tasks like meal prep.

    Related: 9 Simple DIY Ways to Reinvent Your Kitchen Cabinets

  7. Relocate the Knife Rack

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    If a lack of space is stifling your culinary ambitions, try mounting a magnetic knife rack underneath your cabinets. This will free up precious real estate on your countertops, keep your collection organized, and provide you with easy access to your knives when you’re ready to channel your inner chef.

    Related: Stay Sharp—12 Knife Storage Options to Buy or DIY

  8. Give the Faucet a Facelift

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    Changing out the faucet is a simple way to enhance your entire kitchen and update its appearance. Replace your old-school model with a contemporary style that complements your decor. For the easiest installation, choose a faucet that features the same hole count and mounting style as your current model.

    Related: 7 Ways to Skimp on a Kitchen Renovation

  9. Install Undercabinet Lighting

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    Not only is lighting an attractive kitchen upgrade, it's a practical one as well. Although pendant or overhead fixtures are usually easy to swap, installing a strip of undercabinet lights will probably make a bigger difference in your space, aiding in everyday meal prep while also lending a warm ambience to the room. 

    Related: 10 Extras to DIY for Your Kitchen

  10. Cover Old Countertops

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    Dull laminate countertops can make even a well-appointed kitchen feel bland. Give tired, old countertops a modern makeover with this concrete tutorial from Design, Dining and Diapers. An industrial-style statement in any kitchen, concrete countertops are an attainable project for a determined DIYer, and even better, these kitchen counters cost less than $200 to complete.

    Related: 10 Unusual Tips for Your Cleanest Kitchen Ever

  11. See the House of the Week


    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!