When decorating on a budget, it's important to be creative with your purchases. Set your priorities and stick to them. Ask yourself, "What in this room has to change in order to make it more functional and up-to-date?"
In this kitchen, the color palette, outdated hardware, and cluttered spaces were of primary concern. See how, with less than $400, we completely transformed this kitchen.
To whip this kitchen back into shape, here’s how we spent our budget.*
-Metal spray paint
-Latex wall paint
-White spray paint
-Two 30- x 72-inch
-One 36- x 72-inch
-One 48- x 72-inch
PROJECT TOTAL: $400
*Does not include tools or taxes, which may vary.
Every metallic surface -- from the cabinet hardware to the ceiling fan to the light fixtures -- in this space had a bright brass finish. It dated the kitchen’s style to a time when leg warmers and oversized sweaters were all the rage.
Spray painting the metal pieces gives the kitchen a much sleeker look, plus the paint is surprisingly durable.
Although one light fixture (by the kitchen's entry) was not salvageable, we replaced it with an inexpensive fixture from a home-improvement store that matches the brushed nickel finish of the spray paint.
With two small children in this home, the kitchen was cluttered with knickknacks, small appliances on the countertops, and toys and games in every corner. The chaos made the kitchen seem smaller and darker and did nothing to create the inviting look the homeowners desired.
We started by taking every item off of the countertops, the walls, the outside of the refrigerator, and the space above the upper cabinets. With a clean slate, we then brought only the necessities back into the kitchen, which substantially opened up the room.
It's important to prevent your kitchen from becoming a catchall. When you're clearing the clutter, if there are pieces that you didn't even know you had, get rid of them.
This kitchen had so many colors going on, the first thing we thought was, "Let's go neutral."
The major eyesores were the wallpaper, the paint color below the chair rail, and the ultra-bright chairs at the table. Instead of working together, they actually competed and created an extremely busy backdrop.
We were unsure of the condition of the wall beneath the wallpaper, so we chose to mud over the seams and prime and paint the wallpaper.
The cheery paint color (Martha Stewart Sesame Tahini, available at Lowe's,) and the inexpensive matchstick blinds make the area appear twice its size. We also spray painted the chairs so that they blend right in.
Working with a neutral color palette allows you to use pops of color to accentuate elements in the room. For example, we placed cookbooks and kitchen accessories in the corners of the countertops to add depth to the space.
The homeowners were so happy with the finished project that they bought a new dishwasher and microwave to complete the new look. Mission accomplished!
By Dawn Williams, Associate Editor