I’ve always been quite aware that my dishwasher-less, outlet-less, currently-stove-and-oven-less kitchen leaves much to be desired (the ability to cook food, for example). But thanks to Pinterest and its endless array of photos featuring refrigerators that cost more than my life savings, I’ve suddenly developed a serious case of kitchen envy.
For me, being on a budget pretty much rules out any major upgrades. But, as I’ve learned, there are still plenty of smaller (and cheaper) updates that can spark some new life into a blah kitchen like mine and get you re-energized about your space. Here’s a few quick fixes that will update your cooking space—for under $200 total!
$60: Expand Your Prep Space
Make preparing and cooking meals way easier with an easy DIY kitchen island. Just buy a wire cart (like this one from Target) and top it with a cutting board (I’m digging this bamboo one). Voilà: instant additional counter and storage space! If you’re short on floor space too, make sure the cart you purchase has wheels so that you can store it elsewhere in your home and just bring it to the kitchen as needed.
It doesn’t matter if your most expensive bottle of vino only cost $5—a pretty wine rack can instantly add oomph to your kitchen. You can find a great selection of beautiful and reasonably priced wine racks for sale on Etsy. I’m loving this one!
$20: Line Your Cabinets
One of the most inexpensive ways to achieve some major style in your kitchen is to line the insides of your cabinets and drawers with funky wrapping paper. It’s way cheaper than wallpaper (about $8 a roll for the high-end stuff), and easy to install and remove—the only tools you need for applying the paper are scissors, a ruler, and some double-sided tape. The Paper Source has a great selection of wrapping papers, such as this funky floral or this colorful polka dot print.
Take control of the unmanageable mess in your refrigerator and pantry by using clear containers to store food. You’ll be amazed how much more pleasant finding a midnight snack becomes. Added bonus: When you actually know what’s in your fridge, you’re much less likely to overbuy and let things go to waste.
IKEA sells a stellar 17-piece set of plastic food containers for only $4.99—pick up two sets so you always have empty containers on hand.
$0: Digitize Your Recipe Library
This one takes some time to do, but it will be totally worth it once you see just how much unused counter space exists beneath those huge, hardcover cookbooks. Just create a folder for your recipes to live in on your computer, and put it in that magical cloud that allows you to access the files from all your mobile devices. Don’t kill yourself typing in every single recipe—just stick to your favorites and add in more later when you have time.
If you’re feeling extra lazy, search for the recipe online to see if any bloggers have already typed it up! Or visit a site like Tastebook, which has tons of great recipes that you can search through and compile.
$30: Shelve Your Counter Hogs
Invest in a few stylish but inexpensive floating wall shelves (this one from Target is only $10!) and use them to display those items that are too bulky to sit on the counter but too cute or meaningful to stow in a cabinet, such as bowls, vases, or all those displaced cookbooks.
$0-40: Brighten Up Your Accessories
There’s no shortage of chic kitchen accessories out there, so if you’ve got some money left over, why not use it to purchase some fun new odds and ends? ModCloth is a great site for finding unique home items, such as this inspired-by-nature scrub brush ($12.99), this silly lobster oven mitt ($17.99), and these boldly colored mixing bowls ($29.99). Keep an eye out for cool kitchen accessories at yard sales and thrift stores as well—you can’t go wrong with vintage housewares.
Updating your décor on a budget is all about finding cheap solutions, not focusing on the expensive updates. Hey, you may not be able to get copper cookware or granite countertops, but with a few quick fixes, you’ll have a stylish kitchen that you’ll love!