This won’t be your forever kitchen. But these smaller-scale improvements will get you past the worst of the cringing — when every time you walk in the room you either zero in on that one feature that drives you crazy, or you want to take a torch to the entire place and start from scratch. You'd be surprised how easy it is to cover up the unsightly bits, and raise the room's level with just a few DIY projects. Even if you're a renter and plan to be there for a good long time, these are affordable enough for you to consider.
Install A New Vinyl Floor: Estimated Cost $200-250
Daniel of Manhattan Nest is the master of the make-it-work-for-now. When he put in this new black vinyl floor he acknowledged it wasn't perfect, but knew it was a big improvement that would last a pretty long time. And laying it down on top of the painted underlayment was more attractive and durable that what he started out with, without question.
Refinish Your Faucet: Estimated Cost $150-200
You can replate (strip and re-do in another finish) your sink faucets to get a different finish that looks higher end, without getting rid of your old fixtures. This Brooklyn family opted for new stylish and sophisticated brass tone, which looks pretty amazing. You can get more details about the process and cost over at A Beautiful Mess.
Swap Your Countertop: Estimated Cost $300-350
Butcher block slabs are available from IKEA at a reasonable price so if you’re able to do the work yourself, you’ll get a warm wood surface that beats laminate or tile countertops any day. We Are the Brauns were able to install them in their kitchen for very little. (Also lead image above.)
Paint Your Cabinets: Estimated Cost $100-150
This kitchen was made over for about $300 and the largest change Sarah Lemp made was the newly painted kitchen cabinets.