Steal These Ideas for a Beautiful, Custom Kitchen

Upgrading your kitchen needn't cost a fortune. See how painted cabinets, stylish task lighting, vintage fixtures, and clever storage ideas can create made-to-order looks for less. -STAN WILLIAMS, This Old House magazine

See all 28 Thrifty Ways to Customize Your Kitchen on thisoldhouse.com!

MORE: Paint kitchen cabinets to refresh a tired old space at a fraction of the cost of refacing or replacing.


1. A Cheery Retro Look: Showstopping Sink

Make an old farmhouse sink, such as this mid-century minty-green one, the centerpiece of your kitchen cleanup zone. Find one at a salvage yard for as little as $175. Inspect carefully for scratches, chips, and rust spots, and buy in a condition you can live with; you'll be hard-pressed to find a pro who can repair the surface and bake on a new porcelain coating.


MORE: Get unique fixtures and house parts at deep discounts by learning how to navigate architectural salvage yards.


2. Warm and Inviting: Targeted Task Lighting

Install mini pendants over an island or a peninsula to bring light down from ceiling height to the work surface.


MORE: Install an easy solid-surface backsplash and save yourself some money using basic DIY skills.


3. Trim Out: Open Storage

Remove the doors on an existing upper cabinet and fit the interior with a plate rack for easy access to everyday dishware. This rack is perfectly placed within arm's reach of the sink.



MORE: Read this before you remodel your kitchen so you can meet with a pro or visit a showroom armed with our expert advice.


4. Stock Products: Instant Island

A freestanding worktable, such as this butcher-block-topped model with a bottom storage shelf and steel utility rail, does the job of a built-in island for a fraction of the price. The table can also be moved to a corner of the kitchen to serve as a buffet station.


MORE: Build a butcher-block kitchen island out of stock lumber.


See even more thrifty ideas to customize your kitchen on thisoldhouse.com!




MORE kitchen renovation ideas at thisoldhouse.com:


Afford the Kitchen You Want. See how a mix of high- and low-ticket products and materials can get you the room of your dreams.

Appliance-Buying Tips to Know Before You Go. Make a smart purchase with our list of often-overlooked shopping pointers.

Freshen Up Kitchen Cabinets With Oversized Bar Pulls. Hardworking handles are a quick and easy way to add substance and style.

Easy DIY Upgrade Kits. Bring order to your space with built-ins in a box.