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Upgrading your kitchen cabinets doesn’t mean installing a brand new set.  In fact, there are plenty of things that you can do to improve the look of your cabinetry that don’t involve a ton of time and money.

Read on to see 10 easy and affordable kitchen cabinet upgrades.


Use a Fresh Coat of Paint

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A good cabinet upgrade often begins with a coat of paint.  Sure, it can be a time consuming task, but it’s much less expensive than installing brand new cabinetry.  If your kitchen cupboards are in good condition, but just look a little dated - a fresh coat of colour can give you the update you’re looking for without breaking the bank.


Pull the Doors Off

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Removing the doors from a couple of your upper cabinets can make your kitchen look larger, while showing off some of your favorite things.  Let jars of spices, your favorite cookbooks, and a few stylish serving dishes spruce up your space.  For an added pop, paint the inside of the cupboard a rich hue that complements your decor.


Upgrade Your Hardware

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Probably the simplest idea on our list, swapping out your old kitchen hardware for some new stuff can instantly update your kitchen.  Once you find the handles and drawer pulls that you like, making the switch can be done in an afternoon.


Make Your Borders Pop

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Make the rails and stiles on your cabinets stand out - or paint your own borders to make it look like your cabinets have them with a strip of contrasting colour.  Painters tape will help you to get crisp, clean lines.  Use it to map out a 1-2” border around your cabinet doors or drawer fronts.


Add Wallpaper

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A little bit of wallpaper can go a long way - especially if you’re adding it to the inside of glass-front cabinets.  Making the dishware inside look like works of art on display, the color or pattern of wallpaper that you choose can add plenty of interest and create an ideal focal point for your space.


Create a Command Center

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Your kitchen cupboard is the perfect place to create a command centre for your home.  Use a little chalk board paint to make a designated spot for your grocery list, or a schedule of appointments for the week.  If you’d prefer to keep that information hidden, the inside of a cupboard door works just as well.


Add Appliques

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Available at most home improvement centers, wooden appliques can be easily painted and attached to your cabinet doors.  A simple, cost-effective upgrade, appliques can add a vintage, or cottage feel to your kitchen.


Make Cabinet Curtains

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You don’t need to be able to sew to create a quaint, vintage cafe vibe in your kitchen.  Add curtains to glass-front cabinets by folding your fabric in 1-inch pleats before stapling it to the top and bottom of the inside of the door.  Use an extra strip of fabric to cinch curtains in the middle.


Cut It Out

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If you’re good with a jigsaw (or know someone who is) adding some cutouts to your cabinets gives your kitchen a bit of handcrafted charm.  However, if you’d prefer to leave the powertools to the professionals, you can get a similar look with a stencil and a bit of paint.  A shade that contrasts the color of your kitchen cabinets is best if you’d like the design to pop.


Let There Be Light

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Good lighting is essential for every room - and adding some hidden fixtures beneath your kitchen cabinets is the perfect way to give them an upgrade that’s both functional, and beautiful.  Your under-cabinet lighting can show off a stylish glass backsplash, or simply help you to see better as you’re chopping up veggies for your favorite meal.  Don’t let the fact that you’re working with electricity deter you from doing it yourself - This Old House has a great step-by-step tutorial for avid DIYers.