A Kitchen Upgrade Can Make Your Home Holiday-Ready. Here Are Some Inexpensive Ways to Refresh Your Space


The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and if it’s your turn to host Thanksgiving or Christmas this year, it can feel as if there’s a ton of pressure to make your home look all brand-new and shiny. The problem with this, of course, is that it’s a huge undertaking to remodel this close to the holiday season. According to Angi, the average U.S. homeowner will spend over $26,000 on a kitchen remodel, which seems like an awful lot of money to put into one Christmas or Thanksgiving celebration.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with some inexpensive ideas that you can DIY over a weekend to make your space look great, just in time for dinner with the family.

1. Add a new coat of paint

The Sherwin-Williams color of the year for 2024 is a light, cool blue that would go well with any cool-toned room. Painting an accent wall can really make special features like built-in bookcases or china hutches pop. Or you could do the whole room for an instant update and that lingering fresh paint smell that really sells the whole “new room” feel.

2. Upgrade your old countertops

What’s a holiday meal without time spent preparing food in the kitchen? There’s always a lot going on in there, and you know people are going to notice the countertops. If yours are starting to show their age, or you’ve simply been thinking about upgrading for a while, redoing your counters can be a simple weekend project.

Formica is time-tested, makes a great solid surface, and goes down in no time, but even a simple tiled counter is easy enough as a well-planned DIY project.

3. Change the lighting

It always amazes me how much changing the lighting in a room can change how it feels. It also kind of works double duty in a kitchen. When you’re upgrading kitchen lighting, you can create more useful work spaces for holiday preparation and entertaining, adding light and color where there might not have been any before.

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Explore some fun options like modern track lighting to shine light on specific spots on your counter or island, or pendant lights to create pools of intimacy near sitting areas. Even a giant eclectic chandelier shaped like a dandelion in seed (like the one I bought last month) can refresh your dining area in ways you might not expect.

4. Modernize your cabinet hardware

Upgrading your cabinet hardware (like knobs and drawer pulls) is another easy job that you can get done in no time but will make huge visual waves. People often underestimate the way that old hardware dates their otherwise generic kitchen cabinets, and are often surprised to see that a few hundred dollars spent on new handles, knobs, and hinges makes everything look new again.

As long as your cabinets are in good shape, this should work like a charm — otherwise, consider a fresh coat of matching finish for the worn spots on your cabinets, too.

5. Buy some new appliances

It’s a much bigger investment than some new paint or countertops, but new appliances can make a boring kitchen really pop. If you already have other remodeling projects in process, or still have a HELOC (home equity line of credit) that’s open from a project that was recently wrapped up, this could be a great time to add some new appliances, too.

Generally, choosing a new stove or refrigerator is the hardest part, since many home improvement stores have a dazzling array of options available to take home the same day.

A DIY kitchen upgrade doesn’t have to cost a fortune

You may be ready for a full-blown kitchen remodel, but you don’t have to consult with your local mortgage lender to get the job done in time for the holidays. Instead of adding the stress of a big-budget kitchen redesign and a new mortgage payment to an already stressful season, why not try a few DIY projects to give your kitchen a facelift? You might find out that your old kitchen only needed a little love to bring out a dazzling new face all along.


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