Next, prioritize what is most important. If it's boring cabinets, an outdated floor, or scratched and stained sink, list these in order of what "bugs" you most.
Now it's time to match the need to the 7 frugal kitchen update ideas. Remember if you can only get to one or two out of your potentially long list of wish list improvements, just going with one of these frugal kitchen decorating ideas will go a long way toward updating the look and feel of the room.
1. Those tired kitchen cabinets don't have to be entirely replaced. You can do 1 of 2 relatively inexpensive improvements. If the budget is super tight, consider painting the cabinets and adding new hardware such as handles, knobs and pulls. This will give those cabinets a brighter, more modern look.
Consider a decorative finish such as a glaze or faux aged look for a more country kitchen. If painting is not your thing, consider re-facing. For this redecorating application I would recommend a contractor. True, this is more expensive than painting but much less costly than tearing out and replacing all the kitchen cabinets.
2. If you have an old, outdated vinyl floor, rather than ripping up the mess, buy some sticky backed floor tiles. Rather than placing them side to side, employ spacers and grout to give those tiles a sophisticated floor look. Though tiles suitable for grouting will cost a pinch more than regular floor tiles, the finished look far surpasses the expense. With the right choice, don't be surprised if people comment on your beautiful new marble tiled floors.
3. New color is always a snappy way to update a room. Don't stick to just one all over the room color; consider an accent wall in the breakfast nook. How about a wall of chalkboard paint, which comes in a variety of colors to keep communication fun and ongoing? Finish up those refreshed walls with new fixture plates and trim.
4. Combine that new paint color with a newly tiled wall backsplash. There is plenty of help online to extend your knowledge of how to do it yourself. It's easy and quick. Tile prices vary from style to manufacturer so you can budget accordingly. You will also need an electric tile cutter to do the job properly, but these can be rented at your local home supply warehouse. Don't feel imprisoned to traditional ceramic or glass tile, they also come in wood, porcelain, stainless steel and even water and grease resistant wallpaper.
5. Yank out that old tarnished faucet and tattered sink and replace them with brand new updated ones. Both sink and faucet price in as low as $50 and as high as $750. I'm certain you will find a price point in your style that fits the frugal budget. Replacing a sink is not as difficult as you may think. Again, it's amazing how much free information is available on the internet.
6. Don't forget the windows. Dusty or outdated window treatments will frump up a kitchen more than any other feature. Maybe its time to replace those cafe curtains with shutters or shades. Shutters will most likely need to be custom ordered but shades are sold in many a hang ready variety that will be cut to size upon purchase.
7. This last idea is not so much about creating a physical update as it is about creating a clean, fresh look by de-cluttering. It's easy for the kitchen to become the catch all for small kitchen appliances, which then sabotages the crisp new updates you want to enjoy.
The golden rule of interior design is less is more. Keep those small appliances to a bare minimum. Keep only the ones you use everyday on top, like a coffee pot or juicer. Store the others in a pantry. Add a bright color combination of 3 items complimentary to the kitchen's color scheme of various heights to add visual interest. It could be brightly colored canisters or bottles. Whatever your choice, avoid clutter at all costs; pick items carefully and guard against perpetual piles habitually.
Who isn't finding themselves on a tight budget these days, but you don't have to freeze all kitchen decorating projects because even just one of these frugally affordable kitchen decorating changes can make a huge difference to the look of your all important food preparation space.
Sue Krippner is a Free Lance Artist, Home Staging and Redesign Professional. She is attracted to "all things beautiful, especially as it relates to interior decorating and design.