Update Your Cabinets on a Budget


lynn morris J

Design tip from Lynn Wyndham Morris, IIDA, Allied Member ASID, AIA, NKBA, USGBC

Director of Communication, ASID

Touch of Tradition

7313 Carroll Road, Suite D

Sorrento Mesa

760-633-4474 or 619-669-8871




Lynn Morris is the senior designer for Touch of Tradition, a hub for interior and outdoor design innovation and inspiration. Her specialty in residential design and remodeling is supported by Touch of Tradition’s home and garden shop with ready-made and custom furnishings, accessories, window coverings, fabrics and more.



Update Your Cabinets on a Budget

When you need to give your kitchen or bathroom cabinets a facelift but don’t need or want to tear them out and start over, try one of these ideas:

  • Paint or re-paint wood cabinets to completely transform your room. You can do the uppers and lowers in the same color or do uppers and lowers in complementary colors. There are an infinite amount of color options to work with.

  • Remove a few cabinet doors and create open shelves. Be sure to patch the hinge holes. For a great highlight paint cabinet interiors a color of your choice. Like texture? Slip wicker or fabric baskets onto the shelves to create pullout storage with wonderful ambiance.

  • Add light to the interiors. Remove the panel from a pair of doors and replace with glass. Install a battery or hard-wired LED puck light inside.

  • Create shelf storage in an unusual corner or over an infrequently used counter. It provides an area for display that changes the feel.

  • Change the hardware. Go from brass to nickel, from wood to ceramic, from knobs to pulls. Many big-box stores have hardware kits to make the change inexpensively or, for a one-of-a-kind look, shops like Touch of Tradition carry specialty hardware. 

  • Remove the panel from the inside of a pair of doors or simply remove the doors and install fabric. This works well in a casual or country kitchen and is easy to do when tension rods are used. 

  • Paint the panel on a large door or set of doors (such as pantry doors for example) with chalkboard paint to create an erasable message center.

  • Add trim to a flat panel door for a more traditional look. Love an ornate look?  Find wooden appliqués and glue them on. They can even be in a different color or stain.

  • Use a glaze over a solid, light paint color to accent the detail on your doors. You can also add a stencil to the panels and glaze to blend and finish.

  • Distress the doors and drawers and create an aged look for time-worn country or Tuscan style. You’ll need to add stain or paint to complete the look, but what fun you’ll have!

Categories: Home Design