7 Ways to Add DIY Style to Stock Builder Grade Kitchens

Builder basic grade kitchens are a fact of life for many of us, but often need just a little decorative nudge to make make them more special. Here are a couple of inexpensive tweaks and improvements to upgrade your space, that don’t require major renovations or time.

1. Pair bottom stock cabinets with open shelving instead of upper cabinets. Above, Sarah of Smitten Studio renovated her Michigan cabinet and built these fresh white shelves in their small kitchen, which looks special versus expected.

2. In Kristen & Michelle's kitchen, they took an inexpensive Home Depot stove vent and covered it with plywood and trim. The result makes it look custom and more expensive.

3. Jen from Involving Color added molding and corbels to her plain kitchen island to give it details and interest. You can see the whole process over on her blog, Involving Color.

4. Danielle Oakley shared her sister's $400 kitchen renovation, in which the owners added crown molding to the upper cabinets. The two-color paint job also brings it beyond basic.

5. Gus and Lula used a jigsaw on some scraps of plywood and came up with feet that they then installed flush with the base of their cabinets. This minor detail took very little time and added a significant selling point.

6. Beyond cosmetics, you can also add functionality in small ways, like pull out cabinets, sliding trash cans, or built in cutting boards. Serena shows how hers was constructed over at Farm Chicks.

7. The absolute easiest thing you can do is swap out hardware for knobs and pulls that class up the joint a tad. Above, The Kitchn shared Whitney's Austin rental and her upgraded brass pulls.

(Image credits: Smitten Studio; Kristen & Michelle's Modern Bohemian; Involving Color; Danielle Oakley Interiors; Gus & Lula; The Farm Chicks; Adrienne Breaux)