Updated kitchen cabinets may create a feeling of lift from the moment you walk into your kitchen. No amount of wiping, no strategic organizing of countertops, no bowl of colorful fruit or bouquet of flowers will compensate for a tired set of kitchen cabinets.
You can create a charming space at the heart of your home by transforming a set of unappealing cabinets into something fresh. Updating your kitchen cabinets, and doing it yourself, offers the same reward as an entire kitchen remodel, at a fraction of the cost.
In the Seattle area, updating a kitchen is a great way to increase the value of your home. Replacing your kitchen cabinets completely is the most straightforward option, but also the most expensive, and not without its own set of complications.
You can refinish, paint, or stain your cabinets to create a beautiful new look, sparing yourself the expense of new cabinets. In addition to pulling out a paintbrush, there are other ways to update your cabinets that don’t involve any brushes, paints, or stains. We’ll start with the paintbrush-options first, and then dive into updating options that don’t involve a paintbrush at all.
Paint your own cabinets
Are your existing cabinets in good shape? Adding a fresh coat of paint instead of replacing them entirely might be the most satisfying option. With the right paint, you might even be able to skip the time-consuming tasks of priming and sanding.
What color of paint? Any color will seem like a fresh change, energizing your kitchen space, but white is a popular choice. White paint can brighten a space, making it appear larger and cleaner. Shaker style, country style, eclectic style, and even contemporary style are often grounded in white or light cabinetry.
A resurgence of gray in kitchen and bath decor makes it an option worth considering. Shades of gray are a stylish way to add warmth, a sense of casual relaxation, and contrast, while maintaining a neutral space. Shades of gray can also add some definition and contrast when set against either lighter or darker countertops, flooring, or hardware.
“Tide-Line” Two-Toned Cabinets
The “tide-line” two-toned cabinet takes an old idea and gives it a chic twist. The older two-toned style of painting cabinets refers to painting the lower cabinets a dark color and upper cabinets a light color. British Standard’s design includes painting the walls and the bottom six inches of wall cabinets in the darker color, as well as all the lower cabinets. An image search on your favorite online search engine will spark your imagination for the “tide-line” possibilities.
Replace your hardware
Because you use them every day, you might be underestimating the visual impact of your cabinet hardware (handles and hinges). The cabinetry hardware will date your kitchen faster than the style or shape of the cabinets themselves. Combining new hardware with a fresh coat of paint will give you a completely new look for your kitchen without extensive and costly renovations. For example, the contrast of white cabinets with black, country-style hardware exudes an immediate sense of rustic charm. Or, may I suggest looking at satin brass? Brass, after being discounted for years, is back in style and better than ever.
Install DIY LED lighting
Lighting is most effective along the tops of cabinetry (between the cabinets and the ceiling) and on the underside of cabinets that hang over the countertop. Instead of collecting shadows, these spaces can become illuminating and bright. You may also consider installing lighting at the top of any open cupboards, whether these cupboards are being used for decorative items or stacking dishes or pans.
You don’t need to call an electrician to install LED lighting. You can now buy light-weight LED lights in adhesive rolls. All you need to do is plug them in (no electrician required) and you can connect them along the tops of all of your high cabinets or along the bottoms of overhanging cabinets.
Other DIY LED lighting options are battery-operated and can be purchased one light at a time. These lights also come with adhesive backing for easy installation in places that are far from an outlet or in places where wiring would be unsightly. Lighted kitchen cabinets offer a lot of bang for the buck when it comes to DIY kitchen renovation.
Add molding or trim
Crown molding – its very name speaks of elegance and panache. Adding crown molding to your home adds value because it adds a touch of class, elevating an inexpensive, practical look to something with more style. If there is dead space between your cabinets and your ceiling, you can add crown molding to the top of the cabinets to visually elevate your cabinet height. Add crown molding by creating a wooden framework the same size as the top of your cabinet and then attaching the molding to the frame. Then attach the frame to the top of the cabinets.
Trim – another descriptive name that bespeaks fitness and style. Adding a flat, one-inch trim around the edges of all your cabinets and drawers and then covering everything with a fresh coat of paint can transport kitchen cabinets from “college-dorm” to “custom-made.” Trim adds dimension and style to bare cabinet and drawer faces.
DIY projects can provide a sense of accomplishment and make a house really feel like home. I hope these DIY kitchen cabinet ideas give you a sense of the possibilities that are yours as you seek to invigorate your kitchen to a space that reflects more of your own character and style.
If you find that you want to do more than just update your cabinets or if you don’t have the time or resources to tackle a DIY project right now, contact our kitchen remodel team in the greater Seattle area.