Five Kitchen DIY Projects That Add Tons of Character

September 24, 2019

I am finishing up the fall touches around the house and thought it would be fun to share the fall decor I've added to our kitchen, along with some before and after pics. 

This year I worked on a bunch of little projects in the kitchen that made a big difference. I don't think any of them were over $100 (pretty sure) and overall they added some detail to the space that I love. 

I like to add character any way I can, and these custom touches are affordable ways to set your kitchen apart from others!

Let's start with the panels I added to the ends of the kitchen cabinets. Here's a look at how they looked before -- pretty standard: 
Adding custom look to sides of cabinets

I added the custom end panels to the cabinets with some wood and I LOVE the result. They look more high end and different than most: 
Stacked in wall oven and microwave

Adding a custom design to end of kitchen cabinets

Like my basket full of pumpkins? ;) I filled the basket almost full with kitchen towels and then added some little pumpkins to the top. 

I always get asked about my rods over the stove top and on the end -- both are from IKEA!

Because I added that detail to the sides, I was able to work on another project -- adding feet to the bottom of the cabinets: 

Adding small DIY details to kitchen cabinets

You can see how I added the DIY cabinet feet here -- it's such a little thing but I love the added detail:
How to add feet to kitchen cabinets

I recently corralled most of the items I use when cooking (like spoons, butter dish, salt and pepper, oils) onto a tray on the counter. I LOVE having it all in one spot and it looks great too!:
Use a tray to corral kitchen cooking items

Tray on kitchen counters with cooking necessities

Adding DIY "feet" to cabinets

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I shared more about the free art in the kitchen here:
How to make photos into watercolor art

Butcher block on kitchen island

This next one is something you won't notice in these photos, but I'm so pleased with how it turned out!  

I took the side of our fridge that was plain before: 
Plate rack on side of refrigerator

Use side of fridge for plate rack

Goodness I love it!! 

The biggest project I completed was adding on to the kitchen island. It's one of my favorite projects I've done at this house because I prefer a big, chunky island. I took it from this: 
Add to width of kitchen island with thicker sides

To this -- it feels so much more substantial: 
How to extend sides of kitchen island

How to add width to kitchen island

This one was a bit tricky because we have cabinets that open up underneath. I wanted to make sure we still had full access to all of them, even after adding the sides that span the width of the island. It worked GREAT and was less than $100. You can see how I completed the extension of the kitchen island here

I got new chairs (the cats were tearing up the upholstered chairs) and it feels so much more like "us" now: 
Black stools light gray island white kitchen

I have big plans for this wall, but for now I've had fun decorating these DIY shelves!: 
DIY open shelves in kitchen

And finally, the smallest detail -- you'll notice here how you used to be able to see the underside of the cabinets:
How to hide under cabinet lights

It was something that bugged me at our old house too, so I did this there but never blogged about it. 

You can purchase light rails (what these are technically called) for cabinets, but it's WAY cheaper to do it yourself!:
DIY light rails hide underside of cabinets

They make such a big difference! (I've always wonder why the underside of cabinets aren't painted to match.)

The DIY light rails on the bottom of the cabinets make it so you can't see them or the under cabinet lighting:
Small updates in kitchen that make a big difference

There are a bunch of projects I still want to tackle in here! It's been SO FUN tweaking everything and sharing it with you!

Here's a look at the kitchen not long after we moved in:
black brass pendant lights kitchen

And here it is now with the DIY projects, big and small!: 
long white kitchen with light gray island

It looks bigger, right? I love that island project so much. :) Stay tuned to see what I have planned next!

Have you done small projects like this that made a big difference in your kitchen? They are the most satisfying for me because they don't break the bank and didn't take long to do.

If you're wondering about any of the items in the kitchen, you can click on the photos below to get to the same or similar items!:

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  1. What a great idea! You added so much character to an already beautiful kitchen!

  2. Finally some things normal people can do! I love what you have done with it. You stream lined it as well.

  3. You are my hero! You do the most amazing things that "normal" people can do. AND the price is always reasonable. I appreciate it so much. Thank you so much for sharing. I love it all.

  4. Your kitchen is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, I Love it. Thank you for sharing


  5. I love all your ideas! They are both economical yet look so professionally done. Please keep changing simple designs to custom made looks. WELL DONE.

  6. So many nice touches! I don't get the thing with under the cabinets, either. Glad to know a solution if I replace our cabinets someday.
    Thanks for always inspiring me! chrissy

  7. can you share what the name of the runner in your kitchen? i know you mentioned that its from rugsusa but overstock populates when i select the rug.. thank you:)
    diane from nc

  8. Hi, can I ask how you installed the bar with hooks over your stovetop on the tile? I don't want to damage my glass backsplash.

    1. I put the screws into the grout only -- it's held up great!


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THANKS so much for reading!