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Leviton Home Solutions

HouzzKaren Mills, Houzz
Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish.


If you’d like to update your kitchen but a full renovation isn’t in your budget, a little DIY might be just the thing. Think flea market shopping, a can of paint or two, even a little sewing if you’re up for it. Below are cost-effective ideas for improving your kitchen from My Houzz series. Which one would you like to try in your home?

Sarah Greenman, original photo on Houzz
Sarah Greenman, original photo on Houzz

Showcase a favorite color. Adding a fun accent color can be a great way to bring personality to a kitchen. By painting the door with red chalkboard paint and adding messaging that shows off her sense of humor, this homeowner created a fun farmhouse vibe. Repeating the door color in a tray and some details in the photos created a pleasant color echo. The nearby vintage bar cabinet painted a dark neutral, along with photo frames in the same dark color, adds contrast. The great thing about a charming door like this is that paint is one of the least expensive ways to bring a new look to your space.

Rikki Snyder, original photo on Houzz
Rikki Snyder, original photo on Houzz

Create interest with contrast. Here’s another great example of how paint can really make a space sing. By juxtaposing elements in this room in different finishes and colors, the homeowner created an interesting space. The sink base is painted a dull black with touches of silver for an industrial feel, while vintage signs with red and a smoky gray painted chimney offer a fun contrast.

Sarah Greenman, original photo on Houzz
Sarah Greenman, original photo on Houzz

Sew your linens. This homeowner gave her built-in seating area a finished look by sewing bench covers, pillows and a Roman shade in coordinating colors. To keep the price affordable for something similar in your own home, look for clearance fabrics or fabrics left over from someone else’s project at a vintage shop.

This bench seating was built by the owner. If you already have a seating area but no table, you could incorporate an unexpected item like this antique Singer sewing machine base topped with a scrap piece of marble.

Rikki Snyder, original photo on Houzz
Rikki Snyder, original photo on Houzz

Add an unusual island. This factory cart, painted and updated with a vintage marble top, injects a fun color and an industrial vibe into this kitchen. Look for similar vintage pieces to adapt as kitchen islands at local flea markets, or you might even get lucky at an estate or garage sale. Spray-paint the cart a fun color and contrast it with rugs in complementary colors to add drama and interest.

Mina Brinkey, original photo on Houzz
Mina Brinkey, original photo on Houzz

Warm it up with texture. One way to refresh an all-white kitchen on a budget is to layer in texture. In this kitchen, texture comes in the form of a tree stump wine bucket, a wicker basket, a Scrabble letter holder and live bouquets and plants.

Rikki Snyder, original photo on Houzz
Rikki Snyder, original photo on Houzz

Add beautiful lighting. Replacing builder’s-grade can lights with a fabulous pendant or a chandelier adds a wow factor to a kitchen, and there are ways to do it for less. The old iron light fixture in this kitchen was found in Europe and repurposed for this English-style kitchen. Vintage lighting can also be found at resale shops and thrift stores, including those run by charities like Habitat for Humanity.


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