How to Upgrade Your Rustic Farmhouse Style Kitchen For Cheap

Kitchens are the heart of the home, but often get the least amount of love because they can be extremely expensive to upgrade. If you don't have the cash for a full kitchen reno, we have some ideas that you can incorporate into your kitchen for cheap to update it with some modern farmhouse style!

Replace door panels with chicken wire

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Upgrades

With some chicken wire and white chalk paint, DIY and craft blogger Amy Gregson of My 3 Monsters transformed her basic oak cabinets to looking high-end with a modern farmhouse flair. See how she did it here. This is a super easy way to add some style to basic cabinets for cheap.

Photo Credit: Amy Gregson from My 3 Monsters

Lighting, Lighting, Lighting

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Kitchen lighting pendants

We can't stress it is everything! Some great pendants can really frame a space, and is a huge opportunity to add a touch of quirk or your "second style" to a space. Say you love farmhouse, but have a weak spot for industrial too. Adding an industrial pendant to your traditional farmhouse kitchen is a cheap and temporary way to add your little flair without changing your style completely.

Our favorite kitchen pendants are:

 Photo credit: Alicia from Our Vintage Nest

Swap Out Boring Hardware

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Kitchen cabinet hardware

A fresh take on knobs and pulls is one of the quickest (and cheapest!) fixes for sad-looking kitchen cabinets. You can go a few routes with hardware:

Shaker-style pulls (shown on the drawers in the above photo) - this is the traditional farmhouse look

Classic knobs and pulls - an oiled bronze or black adds great contrast, while a shiny metallic will add a modern flair

Knocker pulls (shown on the cabinets in the above photo) - for a country cottage look

Mix-n-match - stop by your local goodwill or antique store to mix and match your favorite metals and prints for a vintage, whimsical look

Create a Coffee Area

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Upgrades coffee bar

You’ve seen them in magazines and on TV, no doubt — built-in coffee bars complete with a sink, fridge and lighted shelving, like this one that Lisa Robazza designed “to utilize an awkward space under a stair in a small kitchen for a client who entertains often.” All those pricey perks are nice, for sure, but you can get the same effect for free. Just reorganize a corner of your kitchen (ideally a spot near your sink) so that all your coffee-making supplies are together: The machine on the counter, mugs or cups in a cabinet above, and filters, pods or grounds in a drawer underneath.

Our favorite coffee bar items are:


Photo credit: LuvLee Creations

Add Open Shelving

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Upgrades

Put Your Best on Display

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Upgrades Floating Shelves

When you have cute kitchen items, why not display them?!

Existing open shelves or glass-door cabinets are the perfect opportunity to give your kitchen a new look. Clear everything from the shelves, and then add decorative (and useful) items — keeping everything within a limited color palette as much as possible. In this project, neutral tones tie the reclaimed wood floating shelves and trim in with the white cabinetry and glass backsplash while also marrying the rustic and modern styles of each feature.

Our favorite items to put on an open-shelf display are:


Add Color to Cabinets

Rustic Modern Farmhouse Kitchen colored cabinets

A fresh coat of paint is a relatively easy way to update cabinets that are sound and functional but less than lovely looking. You’ll have to remove all the hardware (number doors, drawers, knobs and pulls so you’ll know how to replace everything correctly), clean and sand all surfaces, then paint with two to three coats of a premium-quality self-priming paint. You can also buy a DIY kit like the Rustoleum cabinet paint kit.

Show Some Shade

Farmhouse Kitchen Upgrades window treatments

Window treatments do not have to break the bank — you can find endless options under $100 if you go with roman shades or bamboo blinds. And remember, sometimes less is more with window treatments. Keeping it light and neutral, or adding just a bit of natural texture can go a long way. Woven or bamboo shades are a great stand-alone look or can easily be layered with drapery panels. One of the most common mistakes can be covering too much of the window... let the natural light come in!

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