Updating kitchen on a budget

Take a note from homeowner Lauren Crouch and cover your appliance with wallpaper and seal with polyurethane for extra water resistance.

Any kitchen can go from formal to farmhouse with a few key elements.

While the kitchen isn't an obvious room to display an art collection, you should definitely take advantage of all that prime wall real estate.

Carve out a "view" with vintage landscapes and seascapes, make a more-the-merrier atmosphere with antique portraits, or create the ultimate homage to the little ones for whom all chicken fingers are made with silhouettes.

Whether you swap in a bunch of monochromatic barn lights or go with a mix of vintage (here, an old lantern) and new (like these pendant lights), changing out the fixtures will have you—and everyone else—seeing your kitchen in a new light.

Upper cabinets can make a room feel a little claustrophobic, but the extra storage space is great—especially for collectors.

What could be a simpler kitchen update than replacing cabinet hardware—especially when you already have the one-of-a-kind solution on hand!

To freshen up a kitchen, replace solid cabinet doors with glass-paned fronts, and everyone wins.

You get all the storage, and your friends get to see all the cool stuff you have.

You might be surprised to find how much of a transformation you can make with simple, won't-break-the-bank kitchen solutions like new hardware, a coat or two of paint, new bar stools, or even a new way to display an old collection.

When you're done, you can celebrate the return of the kitchen romance with the ultimate sign of love—a vanilla cake with brown-butter glaze.

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