A modern kitchen
Credit: Nicky Dowling / Getty Images

6 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Kitchen for Under $100, According to an Interior Designer

From renter-friendly light swaps to tailored touches to your cabinets.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Since we all spend a decent amount of time in our kitchens, it should be a place we enjoy. But so many of us wish our spaces were different, from decor styles to layouts to sparkling new appliances. Maybe your dream kitchen is a bright, open farmhouse-style space, a cutting-edge contemporary look, or perhaps a sophisticated and sleek modern design.

Whether you want to remodel but don't have the time or money, or you're renting and can't make major changes, there are still plenty of small ways to spruce up your kitchen and make it a more enjoyable place to cook. Even better, you can do these tweaks and swaps without the help of an expensive expert. 

We spoke with Toussaint Derby, lead designer at Havenly, about her favorite easy design updates for kitchens. From renter-friendly light swaps to tailored touches to your cabinets, these improvements all cost less than $100. Scroll down to learn her tips, and shop her favorite picks for your space.

kitchen facelift
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Start from the ground up

View at Amazon ($24)

Kitchen floors are often forgotten, but adding a washable rug can add a pop of color. This is a good option if you can't afford to retile or add wood floors, or if you're renting and want to cover up a surface you dislike. Many rugs are also cushioned, a bonus for those who spend hours on their feet in the kitchen.

kitchen facelift
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Change your hardware

View at Amazon ($32)

Derby says one of her favorite easy kitchen updates is changing cabinet hardware. "It's such a small part of the kitchen, but when you look at it, overall, it can make a huge difference — especially if you have something more dated," she says. Update to more modern pulls, change the shape from round to square, add color or a design, go vintage, or swap out the metal. Derby says exchanging brushed nickel for brass is trendy this year

kitchen facelift
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Tackle the cabinets

View at Amazon ($47)

If you have more time and are willing to take on a small project, update your cabinets even further with a coat of paint. "Cabinetry is very expensive, so if you have spaces that are maybe a wood color you don't like, sand them down and paint them a nice new fresh white, or go more bold with deeper blue or green," Derby says. Finally, keep them looking fresh and organized with cabinet organizers

kitchen facelift
Credit: Courtesy of Wayfair

Let your favorite light piece shine

View at Wayfair ($97)

This is one you can do even if you're in a rental. Whether you have ceiling or pendant lighting, you can swap the fixtures. You might need help from a friend or service, but Derby says lighting can dramatically change a room. She suggests looking at Wayfair for inexpensive but nice light fixtures. 

kitchen facelift
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Freshen up your faucet

View at Amazon ($88)

Changing out your faucet is so simple, yet will make a big difference in your daily life. You likely use your faucet multiple times a day, so it should be something functional and that you enjoy looking at. Derby suggests swapping out the finish for an instant updated look.

kitchen facelift
Credit: Courtesy of West Elm

Low-lift backsplash

View at West Elm ($56)

Stick-on wallpaper changes a room with very little effort, and is a great option for renters. Just make sure the brand you choose is good quality so it doesn't fall off the wall, and don't use it behind the sink. "Look at the client reviews and use your best judgment," she says. She likes this one from West Elm because the marble look "punches up the luxe factor."