Design & DIY

6 easy kitchen updates that won’t break the bank


Read more about Colin and Justin’s kitchen upgrades in the Fall 2014 issue of Cottage Life, now on newsstands.

1. A lick of paint is the easiest way to transform virtually anything. Rub wooden cabinets down with sand-paper before applying several coats of satin–finish paint using a small foam roller. Thin coats build up to provide strength and colour density, so take your time.

2. Changing worktops is way easier than you think, especially if you don’t have to worry about pipe or sink cut-outs. Shop around for a replacement that’s right for your project: Ikea, for instance, stocks butcher block that’s surprisingly good value from $35 per square foot. Other options worth considering are quartz (from $100 per square foot), stainless steel (from around $75 per square foot), or laminate (from $20 per square foot).

3. Invest in hanging racks, drawer tidies, and cupboard organization systems to create calm where chaos once reigned supreme. Our first port of call was HomeSense, where we found $20 cutlery trays that make life so much easier.  Who wants to fight through an army of finger-jabbing utensils to find a fork?

4. Counter-scape! New counter appliances are a quick and easy way to refresh proceedings. Try replacing your old kettle and toaster with a fab vintage-style model. Alternatively, add stainless steel for sparkle.

5. Think about installing under-cabinet lighting. From approximately $50 per unit, they are budget friendly and are relatively easy to fit using screws or self- adhesive pads. The extra task lighting is useful for food prep and all those little countertop jobs you need 
to tackle.

6. Add additional wall shelves to showcase cottage-style accessories. Choose metal brackets and live-edge timber for a more rustic look, painted wood shelves to match your kitchen doors, or battered steel to proffer a more industrial vibe.

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