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!

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!

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