6 Small-Budget Renovations That Will Make Your Kitchen Feel Brand New

Kitchen renovation

The typical cost of a kitchen remodel in 2017 is between about $12,000 and $33,000, with high end remodels costing as much as 50,000 (according to Home Advisor)! If your kitchen is looking outdated but you don’t have that kind of cash to sink into a renovation project, what can you do? Here are 6 upgrades will cost a ton less than a full-fledged renovation project, but can still give your kitchen a whole new look!

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The Best Home Remodeling & Improvement Blogs

Over the years, the internet has changed the way home remodeling works. There are so many more resources available for homeowners, contractors and interior decorators than ever before. In addition to using Pinterest or iPhone apps for your home remodel, there are also a large variety of blogs out there. Here are a few blogs you should be reading for inspiration, tutorials and resources when remodeling your home.

Remodelaholic (http://www.remodelaholic.com) – One of the most popular remodeling blogs out there, Remodelaholic is written and run by a couple who love everything and anything DIY. Not only do they produce high-quality content, but they also take user submissions as well. Over the span of the blog, they have successfully remodeled three separate houses, sharing their ups and downs along the way.

Apartment Therapy (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com) – Their motto is, “Saving the world, one room at a time”, and they do just that. Apartment Therapy sets out to “help people make their homes more beautiful, organized and healthy by connecting them to a wealth of resources, ideas and community online”. This blog is known for its beautiful images and wide variety of topics (including everything from outdoors to style).

Ikea Hackers (http://www.ikeahackers.net) – This blog features tutorials of how to modify and repurpose Ikea products. The blog takes reader submissions and always has original content due to the popularity of Ikea furniture. This is a great space for creative people to come together and share their ideas and get inspiration for their own furniture remodel.

Young House Love (http://www.younghouselove.com) – Another reader favorite, this blog focuses on a couple’s journey of remodeling their first home together. Complete with DIYs, personal stories and plenty of before-and-after shots, this blog is full of useful resources and inspiration for any home remodel on a budget.

Charles and Hudson (http://charlesandhudson.com) – Charles and Hudson features articles that focus on the quality, design and innovation in the world of home improvement. The blog’s popular categories include DIY, design, tools and outdoor articles. If you’re looking for something that focuses less on the interior design and more on the construction, this is the blog for you.

Common Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

kitchen remodel

Your kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in your home. It's where you cook, eat and congregate as a family. So when deciding to remodel this popular room, it’s important to make the right decisions. With all of these important decisions to be made, there are bound to be mistakes. Luckily, due to trial-and-error of many remodelers before, there are some common mistakes people make and easy ways to prevent or fix them.

Changing your plans halfway through your remodel. It's far more effective to thoroughly plan and take your time when considering what you want your kitchen remodel to look like. Not spending enough time or doing enough research can lead you to want to change your entire vision halfway through. These design changes will increase your stress, budget and timeline, so it's best to be extra prepared and stick with your original vision.

Not enough storage space. Kitchens require tons of storage for utensils, food and cleaning products. Utilizing your cabinets, pantries and other storage spaces is crucial. Look into space-savers such as storage racks and cabinet pull-outs for your remodel. You can never have enough storage space!

-Paying too much attention to trends. The latest trends in kitchen cabinets, islands or tiles may only last for a few months. You should consider if something that's so trendy will still look good a few years from now. It's best to stick to a classic look and layout and then feature small accents that incorporate the trend- that way they can be replaced and changed with something new to suit your taste.

-Ignoring the lighting. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of any room in your home. Lighting is especially important in the kitchen, since you need clear vision for cooking and working effectively. Take into consideration the placement of the lighting, the type of the lighting, and the amount of natural light coming in from windows.

Forgetting about kitchen smells. It's inevitable that your kitchen will sometimes smell from the previous day's meal, but there are certain decisions that can be made to help with the bad odors. The first is proper ventilation. A good

ventilation system will help to improve the quality of the air, keep your kitchen cleaner and provide a more pleasant smell by venting the odors. The second decision dealing with smell is where to conceal the trash in your kitchen. You want to make sure there is enough room for a sizable garbage bin (unless you want to be dumping the garbage three times a day with a smaller bin). You also want to take into consideration recycling options and make sure the bin concealed to prevent odors.

Using Pinterest for Your Home Remodel


When searching for inspiration for an upcoming home remodel, many people turn to their favorite magazines or television shows. However, one social network seems to be taking over these old standbys. Pinterest is a social media website where users can create virtual “pinboards” of images that inspire them. A user sees an image that entices them, “repins” it to their board, and can then click on the image to see further information (such as a tutorial on how to do the project or where to buy the product). Here are a few tips for using Pinterest for your home remodel.

Follow the right people. Go to your favorite home remodeling websites and check to see if they have a Pinterest button on their homepage. If so, you can browse their pins as well as the people they follow to get ideas of other accounts to follow. Some popular magazine accounts you should follow include Better Homes and Gardens and This Old House. You can also follow your favorite interior decorators, contractors, television networks (HGTV), and bloggers (Remodelaholic).

Use the search bar. If you’re looking for photos of a specific item, look or a DIY project, searching for it will produce the most popular results.  You can search based on a pin’s keyword, a user’s name or by a board name. There are tons of “kitchen remodel” boards, for example, each with their own individual pins.

Use the categories function. Pinterest covers a wide range of topics ranging from food to beauty. Popular categories you may want to look into for inspiration are “Home Décor”, “Architecture”, “DIY & Crafts” “Products” and “Design”.

Create your own boards. The main purpose of Pinterest is to pin images you find inspiring. It’s important to categorize your boards so images that are similar are placed together. For example, dedicating a board to each room in your home, each color scheme or by each project is helpful. It will be a lot easier when showing your contractor, friends or referring back to use the image yourself if your images are organized correctly.

And finally, show these ideas to your contractor or designer. Many of the photos pinned to Pinterest are high-quality and lead to the original website where the link comes from. This usually includes instructions on the project or information on where to buy the product, all of which will be helpful to implement the ideas into your home projects.

Types of Lighting for Your Home

One of the most important parts of your home is the lighting. A properly-lit room gives a warm and welcoming feel, allows you to perform specific tasks and even acts as a design element. There are four main types of lighting that are commonly found in homes- ambient lighting, task lighting, accent lighting and decorative lighting.

Ambient lighting– This type of lighting, also referred to as general lighting, fills your entire room with light rather than having it in one particular spot. This allows for an even, comfortable level of brightness. This diffused light provides an overall illumination that works in practically any room in your home. Common examples of ambient lighting include ceiling lights, paper lanterns, wall sconces, floor lamps and dimmers.

Task lighting– Just like the name says, this type of lighting is used for a specific task and area that requires extra light (which ambient lighting cannot provide). Examples of common tasks this lighting can be used for include reading, applying makeup and cooking. This type of lighting helps to keep your eyes from getting tired. Some popular forms of task lighting include desk lamps, appliance lights and specialty items- such as a lighted closet rod.

Accent lighting– This type of lighting creates a visual interest by drawing the eye to a particular space or object in the room. It is often used to highlight a painting, sculpture or houseplant. Sometimes referred to as directional lighting, accent lighting adds drama to an otherwise bland space. Popular examples of this type of lighting include halogen spotlights and table lamps.

Decorative lighting– This final type of lighting is used for design and aesthetic purposes. These lighting fixtures draw attention to themselves and add character to your room. Decorative lighting needs to be used in conjunction with other forms of lighting, since it is mainly used for decorative purposes and not to provide adequate light. Examples of this type of lighting include chandeliers and wall sconces.

*all images are from Houzz

Safety Products for Your Home Remodel

When remodeling your home, you are exposed to many dangerous irritants that could seriously impact your health and safety. If you are doing any kind of work that will expose you to airborne particles, you should be wearing these following safety items.

dust mask

Dust masks: In dusty and dirty work environments, safety is crucial. One of the easiest ways to keep your lungs healthy and safe when remodeling is by using a dust mask. A dust mask is made to easily fit over your nose and mouth to allow air to be pulled in through, while dust stays on the outside of the mask- away from your mouth. These masks are especially useful for deep cleaning of your house or when working in a yard filled of pollen. It’s important to make sure that your dust mask fits properly to prevent leaks. The same goes for a slightly ripped or damaged mask.

ear plugs

Ear plugs: Exposure to loud sounds over time can cause a drastic loss in hearing. A simple way to help curb this hearing loss is by using ear plugs. The earplugs of today are designed to not only protect you against unsafe noise levels, but also for comfort. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, come with or without strings, and some can even be reused. It’s important to note that ear plugs should be worn when using or being exposed to any machine that is louder than a lawn mower.

 respirator mask

Respirators: A respirator is a type of mask that is made to protect your lungs against irritants such as chemicals, fumes and dust. They come in handy especially when painting, cutting or sanding wood or ripping down walls. There are a variety of types to choose from, including disposable and air purifying respirators. The disposable respirators look very similar to dust masks, but include a few extra features (like double straps and a nose clip) for a more secure fit to the face. Reusable respirators are not only effective, but also user-friendly, lightweight and durable- so there is no excuse to not be safe during your remodel.

safety glasses

Safety glasses: Most of the eye injuries that happen when remodeling a home are from flying items, including particles of glass, dirt, wood or metal. If these items penetrate the eye, they will cause serious eye injury and even a permanent loss of sight. A simple way to protect your eyes from these hazards is with a pair of safety glasses. Most of these glasses types are transparent and made of plastic, but there are a variety of styles for you to choose from. These options include ultra-light designs and different magnifications, colors and tints.