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  • Writer's pictureAron Pinto

Kitchen Improvement Projects For Your COVID19 Downtime

As you are probably spending more time at home right now you are probably also spending more time in the kitchen. For many Waterloo region homeowners this may highlight some of its functional drawbacks and design and decor flaws they have simply been too busy to notice before.

The problem is that big kitchen renovations call for an often significant investment of time and money. However, not all kitchen improvements cost thousands or take months to complete. If you are considering putting your home on the market in the near future a great kitchen is a must. And even if you are not, a kitchen that looks and functions better can never be anything but a plus.

With this is mind, here is a look at some simpler tweaks you can make to the kitchen in your home to improve it more than you might imagine. And as you may have more time on your hands right now, the fact that most of these are essentially DIY projects then there is no time like the present to get them started.


Painting cabinets is more affordable than any other way to update what are the backbone of any kitchen. It’s not the right choice for all kitchen cabinets, but if yours are well-placed and well sized but lacking in style – or hopelessly outdated – it can be an excellent DIY project to undertake.

Painting cabinets is great, but it’s all about the prep work. You have to prep and paint them well – slowly, with a durable, waterproof paint in two coats they’re going to chip or peel. You can’t cut any corners, but if you can commit to the task the end results can be stunning.


Creating a new backsplash is an easy way to freshen up your kitchen. Be sure to choose a timeless material that will complement your cabinetry, and avoid mixing styles and periods. For instance, if you have ’70s-era cabinetry, you won’t want to pair that with something trendy like subway tile.

If you’re a confident DIYer, tile your backsplash. Or for $20, you can paint it in a bold high-gloss paint that you can easily wipe down after cooking.

Shiplap – a kind of wooden board that’s often used for constructing sheds, barns, and other rustic buildings – is an affordable and durable option as well, and it’s not difficult to DIY. Many people who use it then decorate the piece with vinyl wallpaper. This too is easy to find in many places, but if you want a tip, we love the offerings at Osbourne and Little (and they are available for online shoppers to purchase with ease)


If you’re short on counter space and aren’t looking to add more cabinetry, consider buying a premade island or bar-height table that you can float in the center of your kitchen.

Or, if you have a more contemporary kitchen, consider purchasing a stainless-steel food prep table from a restaurant supply company. Just make sure you have at least 36 inches between the cabinets and island on all sides for easy traffic flow.


If your cabinets don’t have lip molding on the interior, remove cabinet doors to create open shelving and show off your beautiful serving dishes.

Or, if you have an empty wall, create your own shelving system with floating shelves from a retailer like IKEA. Just be sure you install brackets underneath the shelves if you plan on loading them up with dishes and cookwares.

Appliances and plumbing

Dated appliances paired with updated cabinetry will make your kitchen feel incomplete. New stainless-steel appliances are the finishing touch. For less than $500, you can get a new stainless-steel electric range; for less than $700, a brand-new top-freezer refrigerator.

You can easily update your faucet for under $100 (although, of course, you could spend a lot more). And a new farmhouse sink could be yours for less than $400.

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