Jenn Todryk Shares The Easiest, Most Budget-Friendly Way To Update A Kitchen

Giving your kitchen a design update can be a pricey endeavor. At the time of writing, the average cost of a mid-scale kitchen renovation in the United States (i.e. no structural changes) ranges between $20,000 to $70,000. For some, a budget of this size isn't possible. Luckily, as Jenn Todryk of HGTV's "No Demo Reno" demonstrated, you can update the look of your kitchen on a much smaller budget by changing just one thing — your hardware.

In Season 2, Episode 4 of "No Demo Reno," titled "Craft Explosion," the topic of adding hardware to a couple's existing kitchen cabinets comes up. "Here's the deal. Hardware, you're all about like, saving money," Todryk shares. "Hardware makes a huge impact and it doesn't even cost that much." The term, which refers to the handles, pulls, and knobs on cabinets in this case, represents a small adjustment that can make a big impact, particularly if you decide to branch out with your choices. If you're intrigued about swapping out your hardware but don't know where to start, here are a few things you should know.

Material is vital for how well hardware holds up

Firstly, you need to take the durability of the materials into account. This is very important when it comes to picking the right hardware. Brass and stainless steel are two of the most durable materials and are likely to last a while. However, this does not mean they are the most popular choices or the only ones. Acrylic, bronze, ceramic, and wood are also just some of the materials that hardware can be made from.

If you're looking for hardware that will last a long time, opt for handles made from stainless steel. Extremely strong and durable, this material is pricey but won't show signs of corrosion after a few years like other metals. As mentioned, brass is another good option, as it can be made to look like lots of other materials and will hold up well against the test of time. However, it isn't as low-maintenance as stainless steel and requires frequent polishing. If you live in a humid environment or cook often, consider choosing chrome hardware. Chrome won't corrode quickly and is also resistant to rust, though marks will show up easily.

Some hardware materials are better suited to certain color schemes

If you're looking for hardware that's classy and timeless, materials like brass or copper are good choices to consider. We've covered how brass is an excellent hardware material for look and longevity, but copper is also a relatively low-maintenance material. It additionally features a more unique look. The patina of copper will naturally change over time, though what it changes to look like will depend on the look of the copper hardware you buy in the first place. Copper hardware would look especially good in a kitchen with a darker color scheme or if you have wood cabinets, as it has a naturally warm look. 

On the other hand, materials like stainless steel will offer a more modern look, which could look out of place in a traditionally styled kitchen. While looking for durable hardware is of course a good thing, it must match the rest of your kitchen. Whichever material you opt for, there's no doubt that swapping out the hardware in your kitchen will make a splash even if you're on a budget.