Kitchen Upgrades

FROM BUDGET TO BLOWOUT

MAKING YOUR FAVORITE ROOM IN THE HOUSE MORE BEAUTIFUL AND FUNCTIONAL DOESN’T HAVE TO MEAN RENOVATING OR BREAKING THE BANK. FROM CHANGING THE PAINT COLOR TO INSTALLING A NEW STOVE, HERE ARE DOZENS OF INSPIRING WAYS TO UPDATE YOUR KITCHEN NOW.

NAB LUXURY APPLIANCES AT A BUDGET PRICE

Viking, maker of trophy ranges, has launched an affordable Designer Series line. For under five figures, you can get the range, fridge, dishwasher, and combination microwave/vent of your kitchen-obsessed dreams.

vikingrange.com for stores; complete kitchens from $8,500

SPLURGE ON PAINT

Top-notch paint provides a thicker, more even coat that makes a paint job last longer. It costs more than others, but saves money over time. Farrow & Ball “Eco Full Gloss” and Sherwin-Williams “Duration Home” are low-odor, with few or no VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which have been linked to nervous-system and respiratory illness. Sherwin-Williams’s “ColorSnap” iPhone app will find a match to the color of your favorite sorbet flavor, peach variety, or tablecloth.

sherwin-williams.com for stores; farrow-ball.com; $45 to $99 per gallon

DIM THE LIGHTS

The kitchen is your second living room, and putting kitchen lights on dimmers turns task lighting into mood lighting as fast as you can say “Dinner’s on.”

“Maestro,” “Diva,” and “Lyneo” dimmers; lutron.com; from $27

BUY TIP-TOP KNIVES

Knives are the most important kitchen tools you own: Invest in these four must-haves and they’ll be the last you’ll ever need to buy.

6-inch “Classic” chef’s knife and 8-inch “Classic” chef’s knife by WA1/4sthof ($90 to $100 each); cutleryandmore.com; “Hyde Park” 7-inch Santoku plus 3 1/2-inch paring knife ($100 for the set) by The Culinary Institute of America; metrokitchen.com

CHOOSE CHAIRS THAT CAN TAKE A BEATING

If the hub of your house is the kitchen table, you’ll need stylish, lightweight chairs that last. These minimalist modern seats are versatile and go well with the Ercolani table (No. 33).

“Stax” chairs; conranusa.com; $120 each

THROW DOWN A RUG THAT ADDS SOME PUNCH

For a durable touch of warmth and style, get a bold-looking indoor-outdoor carpet made of 50 percent recycled plastic. We like Magdalena York’s “Stockholm Circle,” in colors like green, red, or charcoal gray.

magdalenayorkcollection.com for stores; from $125

BABYPROOF WITH STYLE

Say good-bye to ugly safety latches. Rhoost’s childproof fittings prove that safety and good looks can coexist. These are made of plastic that’s free of BPA, a compound linked to obesity and cancers as well as reproductive and neurobehavioral problems.