Style Makeovers: Dated Kitchens Refreshed Without Renovating

Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies

Kitchens can be daunting and expensive to remodel, yet they remain the room people want to renovate the most. Whether you're on a tight budget or a renter with constraints on what you're actually allowed to do, the kitchens shown here are excellent examples of what can be achieved by simply painting cabinetry, removing cabinet doors, swapping out lighting or hardware, or upgrading appliances.

While some of these homeowners may have splurged on an item or two (like new countertops), these updated kitchens are examples of how subtle or inexpensive changes can make a huge impact on a room.

1. A Minneapolis Kitchen Gets a Fresh, Bright New Look. This kitchen was updated with a unifying black and white palette, a new subway-tiled backsplash, and industrial fixtures and hardware. The simple updates make it more modern, but the turquoise accents help keep its old-school charm.
2 & 3. Before & After: A Quick and Easy Kitchen Update. In a only one weekend, this kitchen went from dark and dated to light and lovely — and on an insanely cheap budget to boot! Armed with a gallon of paint, cork shelf-liners, and a lot of elbow grease, this couple transformed their tiny work-in-progress galley kitchen into something they could live with until their budget allowed them to renovate. Best piece of advice from their experience: Start with the path of least resistance and work from there.
4 & 5. Before & After Makeover: A Dark, Dated Kitchen Goes Light and Bright. Faced with this dated Florida kitchen, the homeowners brough it into the modern world by painting the cabinets (and removing some), slipcovering the island with Corian countertops and ends, and switching out the ceiling fan for pendant lights. The metal IKEA shelves open up the room and match the new sink and appliances (originally black, which were swapped out for stainless).
6 & 7. Update Your Dated Wood Paneling with Paint. Once they got past the fear of painting their 1970's wood paneling, these homeowners opted for Benjamin Moore's Woodlawn Blue to bring their cabinetry into the 21st century. An interior decorator helped them solidify their vision and stay within their tight budget, but they saved money by doing the work themselves. The new granite countertops (on an expanded peninsula), updated lighting, and stainless steel appliances helped round off their kitchen remodel.
8 & 9. Before & After: A Cramped Kitchen Gets a Big Change. What can you do with one day and $300 worth of materials? Drastically change your cramped and dark kitchen into something that feels more airy and fresh, at least according to Teddy's kitchen project! White paint, new pulls, and under-cabinet lighting are simple fixes that did the trick.
10. Before & After: A Modest Galley Kitchen Makeover, Apartment Therapy. Country decor, peeling vinyl floors, and honey-stained cabinetry made this kitchen an eyesore. A simple black, white and silver color scheme, reproduction pendants, and ceramic cabinet pulls helped update this galley kitchen, while also bringing back some of the home's 40s vintage vibe. The splurge in this kitchen was the black granite countertops, the finishing touch that this modest kitchen needed.

For more information and many more photos of each of the updated kitchens, be sure to visit the links listed above.

(Image credits: Design Sponge; Amber Byfield; House Beautiful; House Beautiful ; The Decorologist; Teddy Lee; Leah Moss)

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