Updating kitchen cabinets on the cheap

If you choose to paint, don't be shy If you choose to paint, don't be shy about color. Try a bold approach. Photo Credit: Handout, 2013

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Kitchen cabinets make a strong style statement, but if you've thought about replacing yours, the project may seem daunting. A lengthy kitchen renovation usually requires a big budget, and often more time than money. But there are lots of ways to freshen up your cabinets and save on both.

QUICK CHANGES

Sometimes, simply sprucing up the look of your cabinets is all it takes to give your kitchen a whole new feel. Easy updates start with paint. If your cabinets are already painted, why not change the color?

Try a bold approach with bright shades such as orange, robin's egg blue or yellow. If those colors seem a little too loud, other stylish options include all shades of gray, mossy greens and steely blues. Or, you could simply try painting only the top or bottom cabinets a different color to create a contrast.

Still more choices include pulling out select cabinets for painting, such as an island or a sink cabinet.

Other quick changes include mixing up open and closed cabinets. Removing a few doors to create an open display cabinet can give your kitchen a new focal point and make the room seem larger. Of course, door insets also can be removed and replaced with glass for a lighter, brighter look.

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RENOVATE

If you have a little larger budget, resurfacing will give your cabinets a new look without a complete tear out. You can hire out the work or replace doors and drawer fronts yourself by ordering online.

If you're ready to completely change up your cabinets, consider replacing them with open shelves. Yet another way to shake things up is to do a minimal tear out and replace only one bank of cabinets with open shelves.

If you'd like bold style and want a big, graphic print or design on your cabinets, or even a picture of your favorite vacation spot, it's possible with Facets by Custom Cupboards

(tinyurl.com/oh3svls). Virtually any design, color or picture you can imagine can be imprinted on your cabinets. Love plaid or geometric designs? They're available.

JAZZY OPTIONS

There are other ways to trick out your cabinets, too. Try installing rollout shelves and organizers, interior lighting, under-cabinet lighting, and painting or wallpapering the cabinet interiors. New hardware always adds interest.

Retro style is making strides, too. Try adding arched framing around a kitchen window or rounded-corner cabinets for a vintage look. If your cabinet fronts are flat, interesting molding and accents like beadboard can freshen up your kitchen.

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