8 Fast Kitchen Fixes You Can Make Right When You Move In To a New Place

updated Jun 28, 2019
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When you move into a new space, especially if it’s a fixer upper, you often have a laundry list of things you want to do to make it better and feel more like home. But Rome wasn’t built in a day, so cut yourself a little slack. You can’t expect to tackle every problem right away, particularly in the kitchen, which is where a home often shows its age and wear the most. But there are some things you can do almost immediately upon moving in to give your new kitchen a facelift. And guess what? They’re fairly easy, high impact, and won’t set you back too much financially. Sound like a plan you can get down with? Then consider these fast fixes for your kitchen today.

Credit: OXO

Update Your Drain Cover

A new sink and faucet may be out of the question right now, due to budget or even the bandwidth to take on any kind of a plumbing project. But you can certainly pop in a new drain cover. Chances are there’s nothing protecting that part of your sink now or what’s there is kind of, well, disgusting. This is a cheap and easy fix and will help make hand-washing dishes easier.

Credit: Adrienne Breaux

Spend on Hot Hardware

A cabinet refresh, even if it’s just paint or new doors, can be costly and time-consuming. But changing out the hardware is much quicker, easier, and can be done without spending a fortune if you don’t go for a super high-end brand. You can still try a trendy brass-look or matte back finish though, so you space will seem fresh.

Credit: Amazon

Get a New Space-Saving Paper Towel Holder

Though it’s ideal to use washable microfiber or cotton rags for spills and such to be sustainable, paper towels are still a kitchen staple you might need from time to time. That said, who wants to give up precious counter space for some big, bulky holder? Gain a few inches by installing an under cabinet option, which makes paper towels easy to grab without using much space.

Credit: Apartment Therapy

Hang a Mirror

Feel like you don’t have as many windows as you might like in your cookspace? Fake ‘em (till you make ‘em with a renovation) using a mirror. Try one above your sink if there isn’t a window there or elsewhere in the room.

Credit: Home Depot

Install a Better Backsplash

Peel-and-stick tile options have come a long way. What was once just subway and penny tile fool-the-eye vinyl stickers (that honestly weren’t doing much fooling) are now more varied in terms of color, pattern, and shape. Beyond that, companies now make actual tiles with sticker backs that snap together and look so good, it’s hard to tell they’re not grouted. You can also opt for patterned temporary wallpaper in this spot, too. Depending on how big your kitchen is, for just a few hours’ work and maybe a couple hundred dollars (or even less), you can get a lot of decorative bang for your buck and time.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Light the Way

If you’re an inexperienced DIYer, this one might be out of your wheelhouse. But watch enough YouTube videos, and you just may feel ready to switch out your overhead lighting. Go for something a little larger and higher impact than whatever you’ve got going in your space currently.

Credit: Birch Lane

Kick Up Your Counters with Cool Canisters

Your dry ingredient storage isn’t just for utility! Find a set of canisters that also add a pop of color, shine, or character to your countertops, and maybe they’ll distract just a little attention from those countertops that need replacing.

Gracinha 4 Piece Kitchen Canister Set at Birch Lane, $48/Set of 4

Credit: Winkie Visser

Show Your Switch Plates Some Love

Light switches and outlets are some of the most utilized yet underappreciated spots in your home. But you can make them work harder and smarter for you with decorative switch plates and outlet covers. Swap whatever builder grade stuff is there now for something that matches your new hardware. Or, you can pick a better-quality option that blends into your wall color if you want them to recede. And consider upgrading your outlets to have USB ports, so you can charge and store all of your devices easily in the kitchen.