Artwork is good for any room in your home, including the kitchen. It adds color to walls and a sense of personal style to the décor. Artwork isn't cheap, though, so to stay within your $1,000 budget, you're going to have to think outside the gallery box. Coffee shops and cafes often carry paintings for less than $200. You don't want to overdo it for the kitchen, so one painting that reflects your taste should do. Another option for artwork is a stretched fabric print. There are many arts and crafts Web sites that sell DIY kits, or you can check out a craft store. These kits come with snap-together wood frames with screen-printed designs on fabric that you stretch over the frame and staple. It's an inexpensive alternative to high-priced paintings and will add a lot of character to your space. If you go with fabric, hang it as far away from the range as possible to help preserve it.
If your floors are an issue, you have some options that you can pull off for under $1,000. Are they a linoleum eyesore? You may be able to tile over them. Linoleum isn't easy to tear up, and sometimes the best solution is simply to cover it up. Tile stores have inexpensive options that will look better than that old slick surface you currently have. Ask an employee what sales and close-out specials are going on and see if any of the tile appeals to you. The materials will cost extra money, but you can outfit yourself with spacers, a trowel and grout float for less than $50. Then you need to purchase the tile glue, or mastic, and the grout. Depending on how large your kitchen is and what kind of sales you can find, you can completely redo your floors yourself for less than $500, leaving you with another $500 for your other projects.
If you think you can't pull off a DIY tile job, don't be so sure. Tiling is all about following the steps. You prepare the floor, spread the tile glue, space and lay the tile, then grout and clean. This is a very rough description of the steps, but that's about all there is to it. For more detailed instruction, drop by a home improvement store and check out the lessons they offer. They'll most likely schedule at least one tiling class per month, as it's a popular DIY project and a great way to save money on labor.
Some other simple and inexpensive things you can do to change your kitchen:
- Add a tiled backsplash to your countertops.
- Cover the old countertops with an inexpensive veneer.
- Add curtains to your windows.
- Replace the stainless steel sink with a nice porcelain or acrylic unit.
- Change up your faucet with something new and different.
Do yourself a favor and subscribe to some crafty home-renovation magazines like This Old House and Ready-Made. Both of these have great money-saving tips and DIY projects in each issue. To bring your redo in at less than $1,000, think about these tips and decide which parts of your kitchen would benefit most from a facelift. Then budget out your ideas on paper, mix and match until you have a plan that works for you, and get to work.
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