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High-Impact Upgrades

Stretch the life of dated or ho-hum kitchen cupboards by giving them a low-cost, high-impact cottage-inspired face-lift. These simple projects can be done in a weekend and pack enough punch to give the entire room a brand-new personality.

1. Open Shelving

Photo by Tria Giovan/Gap Interiors

Ditch cabinet doors to create more airiness. Remove hardware from bottom to top, then pack screw holes with wood filler. When dry, sand smooth, prime, and paint.

2. Interior Curtains

Photo by Jamie Salomon/Corner House Stock

Mimic cafe windows by adding curtains to glass-front cabinets. Fold fabric in 1-inch pleats before stapling the top and bottom to the inside of the door. Cinch in the middle with matching fabric straps.

3. Painted Borders

Photo by Jessie Walker/Corner House Stock

Make rails and stiles stand out—or create the illusion that cabinets have them—with a dose of bold color. For crisp lines, use painter's tape to mask adjacent areas or to map out a 1- to 2-inch border on slab doors or drawer fronts before painting.

4. Door Cutouts

Photo by Eurocreon Co. Ltd./Alamy

Delicate cutouts add handcrafted charm. Trace a design onto the doors and use a drill and a jigsaw to cut it out. Sand edges until smooth, then prime and paint. Or go bladeless: Get the look with paint and a stencil of your choice.