5 Kitchen Cabinet Makeover Ideas

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, and the cabinets play a major role in defining this important space’s overall aesthetic and functionality. Tired, outdated cabinets can make even the most beautifully designed kitchen feel lackluster. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to give your existing cabinets a makeover without undertaking a full-scale renovation. 

With a major kitchen remodel averaging over $100,000 in California, many homeowners in Fresno are seeking more budget-friendly ways to update their kitchens. Giving your cabinets a makeover is one of the most impactful and cost-effective ways to breathe new life into your kitchen.

With some creativity and elbow grease, you can transform the look of your cabinets without replacing them entirely. Read on for five kitchen cabinet makeover ideas that can modernize your kitchen on a budget.

1. Cabinet Refacing

Cabinet refacing means giving your old cabinet a makeover without making over-the-top changes to the existing shelves. Compared to a full cabinet replacement, refacing is more cost-effective and less time-consuming, mirroring the ease of a simple makeover rather than an extensive kitchen remodel. These factors are particularly advantageous to those who are putting their homes up on the market, especially if the housing market in that area is facing a decline. 

For instance, if you’re based in Fresno in California Central Valley, where the median home price is $370,000, showing a 5.3% drop from July 2022, and homes are taking an average of 37 days to close, homeowners can make these slight upgrades to make their home sell faster. However, the success of this job largely hinges on the expertise of the professional commissioned for the job. It’s imperative for those in Fresno to collaborate with local Fresno cabinet refacing specialists as these experts understand the locale’s climate conditions and building codes, making them best equipped to deliver impeccable results.

2. Open Shelving

Removing upper cabinet doors and replacing them with open shelving is an easy and budget-friendly way to give your kitchen a fresh, airy look. When implementing open shelving, sturdy wooden boards or glass panels can help prevent items from falling off while adding a polished look. Opt for open shelving away from the cooktop to prevent grease buildup.

Consider only adding open shelving to one or two areas of your kitchen. Too much open shelving can make a kitchen look cluttered. Also, limit open shelving to items you use frequently or want to display. Anything you don’t often use can be stored in cabinets to keep the space looking tidy.

The advantage of open shelving is it provides an open, airy aesthetic that makes the kitchen appear larger and more modern. The visibility of open shelving also allows you to access items more readily. You don’t have to open cabinet doors to see what’s inside. Open shelving also lets you highlight your decorative kitchenware rather than hiding it away in cabinets.

3. Customized Storage

Reconfiguring cabinets and adding customized storage components tailors your space to your needs. For example, you can install roll-out trays in lower cabinets for easier access to items in the back. Lazy susans in corner cabinets make items more accessible. Pull-out spice racks keep spices organized and easy to find.

Take time to observe your kitchen storage needs and habits. Install inserts and organizational systems based on the items you store in each area. Frequently used pots and pans may benefit from a pull-out rack, while lesser-used items can go in a stationary cabinet. 

4. Two-Toned Cabinets

Painting upper and lower cabinets in different colors adds visual interest to an all-wood or all-white cabinet scheme. Popular two-tone combinations include white uppers with navy lowers or black lowers with tan uppers. Choose colors in the same tone or shade for a cohesive look.

When selecting two colors, opt for a lighter color on top to give the illusion of higher ceilings. Neutral tones like white, beige, and gray paired with bold colors work well. Properly prepare and prime cabinets before painting for best results. Painting just the cabinet boxes, not the cabinet fronts, also achieves a two-tone look.

Two-toned cabinets provide contrast and visual depth, adding style and dimension without the cost of installing brand-new cabinets. The two colors make the kitchen feel fresh and modern. Choosing a lighter color for the upper cabinets also makes the room feel more open and airy. Two-tone cabinets give you a whole new look for a fraction of the cost of a full cabinet replacement.

5. Cabinet Expansion 

For more storage without replacing cabinets, have additional units installed next to existing ones. Match the new cabinet style to the old one for a seamless look. Ensure they are level and the same height as the original cabinets. Extra cabinets provide needed storage without the cost of full cabinet replacement.

Consider your kitchen layout and identify areas where additional cabinetry makes sense, such as beside the refrigerator or the sink. Take measurements and visit home improvement stores to price standard cabinet sizes. With some simple carpentry skills, new cabinets can be cut and installed for a custom fit.

The benefit of cabinet expansion is that it allows you to gain more storage space while retaining your existing cabinet footprint and style. Expanding with matching cabinets creates a cohesive, built-in look. You can strategically add storage where you need it, like near appliances or the kitchen sink.


Giving your kitchen cabinets a makeover is one of the most budget-friendly ways to revive your kitchen’s style. From a simple paint job to a major refacing project, the possibilities for transforming your cabinetry are endless. Any of these five kitchen cabinet makeover ideas can help modernize your kitchen’s aesthetic without breaking the bank. With some creativity and strategic updates, you can give your cabinets an affordable facelift that makes your kitchen look and feel brand new.