A complete kitchen renovation may cost thousands of dollars—but you don’t have to clear out your savings account to give this room a fresh look. For a big impact on a small budget (we’re talking under $150!), focus on one area of the room and let it make a statement. Simple ideas like a stick-on backsplash or an eye-catching pot rail are sure to collect compliments. To start, think about where you’d like the focus of the room, or what storage needs you currently have in your kitchen. Then choose a kitchen upgrade that solves an ongoing problem in your cookspace. Not only will these mini makeovers help your kitchen look much better until you decide to splurge on a full remodel, but it will function much better, too.
Install Under-Cabinet Lights
Whether your kitchen counters are too dimly lit or you just want to add some mood lighting to the room, under-cabinet lights are the answer. Choose easy-to-install lights with multiple color temperature options, such as these ($60). Use the brightest setting when you’re chopping vegetables on the kitchen counter, then switch to the softest setting when you want to add an ambient glow at night. Plus, this LED light doesn’t require much power, and lasts for up to 50,000 hours.
Introduce Some Art
Look at the “after” photos of most modern kitchen makeovers and you’ll notice one detail your own kitchen may be lacking: artwork. While the kitchen may be the last place you think to add some art, more and more designers are leaning small pieces of art on the kitchen counter, placing them on top of the cabinets, or setting them on open shelving. Introducing art is an easy way to infuse character and color into a room that can tend to feel a little impersonal.
Before you start shopping, measure where the art will go, such as the space between the counter and the bottom of the cabinets. Then, search for art on a site like , which offers art prints in multiple sizes. This pretty comes in a range of frames and sizes, starting at just 5-by-7 inches ($31).
Hide the Small Appliances
Another tip to steal from designer kitchens: don’t let small appliances clutter up your countertop. To give the room a clean, minimalist appearance (and save your counter space for food prep), relocate appliances like blenders, food processors, and coffee makers either to a cabinet, or if you’re lucky enough to have one, an appliance garage.
Short on cabinet space? Invest in a sleek rolling cart ($149, ) that can hold everything from coffee makers to crock pots.
Stick on a New Backsplash
If you’re dreaming of a brand-new tile backsplash, here’s a clever idea to tide you over until the real remodel: stick-on subway tile from ($55 per roll of 8 panels). Just peel off the backing and apply each adhesive panel. Timeless subway tile works for those with a modern farmhouse or minimalist kitchen, or choose for a more embellished look.
Hang Up a Pot Rail
The easiest way to free up cabinet space, while turning your most prized cookware into home decor? Simply install a pot rail on some underutilized wall space. When paired with S-hooks, the rail can be used to display your favorite cast iron pans and beloved Le Creuset skillets. For a custom size and finish that will truly match your kitchen’s decor, opt for one from Etsy, such as (from $87) that comes in three different sizes.