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$ Or $$$: Compare These 5 Different Kitchen Makeovers

A person can make a huge difference in their kitchen on a large or small budget. Here are some creative ways to tackle a kitchen makeover on any budget.

Counter Surfaces: To splurge for a kitchen counter, nothing says high class louder than granite or marble surfaces. You can order slabs of rock to be shaped or fitted for a particular kitchen from any well-known home or housewares shop. The reason that this option is pricey is not only because both granite and marble are costly in themselves, but because it also requires installation by professionals for which there is often a fee.

An inexpensive way to get virtually the same result is to utilize a sticky plastic covering made for countertops. Decorative counter adhesives are similar to wallpaper in that they cover a surface and come in a number of designs. Application is fairly straightforward and can be done at home with a flat edge, and water in some cases.

Cabinets: Many people aren't aware that refacing cabinets can set off a drab kitchen. Refacing essentially means to cover the face of a surface with embellishment, or in this case veneer. Generally the result is an exponential increase of beauty. Changing up cabinet doorknobs after refacing also does aesthetic wonders for the cabinet space. Putting in new doorknobs and refacing a cabinet can be done by a layperson, but it is best to do diligent homework before starting this type of project. If you're not a quick study, get a professional for the job.

Instead of paying for refacing and labor, you could also paint over kitchen cabinets, whether they be plastic or wooden. A slick coat of paint in a bright color will provide instant cheer while darker colors could make a kitchen look more elegant. For an inexpensive cabinet doorknob switcheroo, visit your local arts and crafts store for sturdy bobs with an artistic flair. Before beginning to paint, you'll want to make sure all dishware and appliances are covered or moved so that they stay uncontaminated from toxins. Better yet, invest in a safe and natural paint for your kitchen.

Walls: When you think of wallpaper, grandma's aged paisley print may still come to mind. This may be why several new wallpaper designs have been made edgier and more contemporary for the new times. Wallpaper that looks nothing like the wallpaper of old is now easily accessible and generally comes with easy-application kits. Your kitchen walls can be transformed into realistic looking stained glass, liquid silver, sparkly gold or polka dotted to your heart's desire, using wallpaper alone.

The slightly less expensive route would be to get stencils or wall decals that, unlike wallpaper, are not meant to cover the entire wall. Kitchen decals can be best described as giant wall stickers that a person places in strategic spots on their wall. Stencils are similar but require paint and/or some staining to achieve the desired effect. Both options are simple and won't do much damage to your wallet.

Floors: Tiling the floor is probably in the top three list of best things to do for a thorough kitchen makeover. Like kitchen countertops, the surface of the floor can really make or break a kitchen aesthetic. Glass tiles, slate tiles and sporadic colorful tiles are some of the most popular choices for kitchens.

Instead of purchasing entirely new flooring, a sticky wallpaper-like film can be used to coat the floors if budget is a concern. Nearly identical to countertop adhesives discussed above, the floor adhesive should be spread across the uncarpeted kitchen surface with a flat edge and some effort for a completely different looking floor.

Appliances: This may seem obvious to some, but it is a fantastic idea to consider upgrading large appliances to make the kitchen look newer and more modern. Getting rid of the boring white refrigerator you've had for years and introducing a wooden or aluminum inlay fridge will really make the space pop. Along the same lines, your old stove may work fine but there is likely a buildup of grime, grease and discoloration due to flames. A sleeker cooker and oven will make the kitchen seem newer, and the same goes for other large kitchen appliances.

The cheaper option is only to go smaller when replacing items with better looking models. Toasters, microwaves and even sugar bowls and salt and pepper shakers can help improve a kitchen if they are chosen carefully. You'll want to go for uncommon but stylish looks when replacing these smaller items. Don't be afraid to go for bright colors like a yellow coffee maker or a red food processor. It's the details that counts.

Sakina Al-Amin writes regularly for an accumulating number of online publications, but has dreams of one day being a spokesperson. She resides in the metro Detroit area with her husband. Her work can be found at

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