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Modern Kitchen Makeover

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

This once dark and dated kitchen is now the perfect gathering spot, thanks to bright paint, added counter space, lighting, and designer tricks -- all on a budget.

Remodeled kitchen with a blue island and white cabinets.
Before of the outdated kitchen

Before: Going Stale


Dark walls, aging appliances, and a brick backsplash made this kitchen ripe for remodeling.

Kitchen island with blue cabinets and wood-look countertop

Room for Improvement


Updates start with a bright paint palette that makes the walls and island pop. To stay on budget, the homeowners replaced existing cabinet doors and repainted. Pendant lights on dimmers vary the brightness of the new kitchen island that anchors the room and provides seating and entertaining space. Hexagon tiles lend the floor a modern look, and the marble tile backsplash glams up the room -- a small splurge that adds a high-end look and value to the makeover.

Kitchen layout drawing.

Freshen the Layout


A big empty space gains storage and a large work surface with the addition of an island.

Kitchen island detail.

Custom-Look Island


Two 36-inch stock cabinets form the base of the expensive-looking center island. Trim was added to give it high-end style. A butcher-block-style laminate countertop completes the modern look.


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Paint colors used in the kitchen.

Perfect Palette


Go bold with bright Valspar colors, as on the island and walls. Save darker accent colors for small accessories -- we used them on a DIY painted vinyl rug.


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Before of storage cabinets in kitchen.

Before: Reusable Cabinets


An unused desk space and inconvenient cabinets hindered the kitchen’s efficiency. To lower costs, the twin cabinets were reused.

Wine refrigerator inserted between two tall cabinets.

After: Wine Station


Shelves and a wine refrigerator were added between the newly separated tall cabinets. Replacing the old hardware with longer, centered handles and hidden hinges makes the design more symmetrical and modern.


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Kitchen island contrasting with white appliances and cabinets.

Whites Make Colors Pop


For a cabinet style similar to these, check out Lowe’s Kitchen Classics Arcadia. Then add Euro-hinges, fresh hardware, and bright colors that stand out against the white cabinetry. To make a refrigerator look built-in, frame it with sideboards.

Painted rug in kitchen

Walk-the-Line Rug


Add color with a custom rug. Cut a piece of sheet vinyl to 3 x 5 feet using a utility knife. Turn the vinyl over and roll or brush latex primer on the back. Then top the primer with white paint. Once dry, mark off stripes with painter’s tape. Paint stripes with leftover wall paint, alternating each color in the room. Finish with a top coat of clear polyurethane. Before using, cut a gripper pad to size and place it under the rug.

Open shelves for dishes.

High-Style Shelves


Open up the kitchen and preserve storage space by replacing upper cabinets with open shelves. Show off your dishes and artwork on purchased versions or make your own.

Framed photo and painted stool.

Big Picture


Turn a favorite photo into wall art sized to fit your wall space. Have a local office-supply store enlarge the photo and print it on canvas with a 2-inch border. Then frame and hang your artwork. For added color, sand a stool with 120-grit sandpaper. Prime and sand again with 220-grit sandpaper. For a two-toned effect, tape off the leg bottoms and paint the seat and tops of the legs. Then tape and paint the bottoms of the legs another color.