Five Dollar Decor - Kitchen

Every Friday, I'll be posting Five Dollar Decor--five ideas for interior decorating that can be achieved by spending only five dollars. For five dollars, you can add one new element to your in-home design. For twenty-five, you can revamp an entire room around a new theme. Hmm... a trip to Starbucks, or a weekend redecorating project?

After spending a solid fifteen and a half thousand hours in my kitchen yesterday preparing Thanksgiving dinner, I thought that today would be a perfect day to highlight some quick, cheap, and easy ways to make over a kitchen.

1. Kitchen Rugs

Replacing kitchen floors is costly, difficult, and generally not allowed for renters. A much easier way to deal with an unsightly or tired kitchen floor is to cover it with a sturdy and durable rug.

I personally am a huge fan of Ikea's Signe flatwoven rug, which can be purchased for a mere $2.99. Unfortunately, it's not available online, so if you want that specific one you'll have to make a pilgrimage for it (our nearest Ikea is in Pittsburgh, 2 hours away).

2. Painted Furniture

Even if you can't paint your walls or floor, it's quick, easy, and cheap to paint furniture. This is a great trick for getting a completely mismatched collection of chairs to look intentionally matched, as in this photo from Apartment Therapy. Of course, a kitchen table could be painted to match or coordinate.

If your kitchen, like ours, is too small for that much furniture, you could still add a fresh splash of color by painting a stepladder, stool, or narrow shelf and finding a home for it in a corner.

3. Kitchen Tools as Art

The painted bundt pans used as decor in this photo from PointClickHome actually almost made the cut to be in last week's Five Dollar Decor post, but I think they fit better here, in a kichen-specific post. 

Other things that would make an excellent decorative display include antique utensils (potato mashers, spatulas, etc.), wooden spoons, thrifted mugs, trivets, and potholders. For a more modern look, choose items all of the same color, or paint items a single color so that all match. For a more eclectic or antique style, mix and match as much as you like.

4. Tea Towels

Tea towels and dish towels are available in abundance everywhere from the Dollar Tree to Bed, Bath & Beyond. For $5 at the dollar store you can locate five dish towels or tea towels in a variety of surprisingly stylish designs and colors.

Hang them off the stove, on the wall as decoration, or over the windows as makeshift curtains, as in this photo from Xochi Santa Fe. Cover a cabinet or the panels on a door with them. If your kitchen, like mine, is bland-looking and colorless, this can make a huge difference.

5. Chalkboards

Whether unfinished and rustic, mounted inside of a modern and stylish frame, or painted directly onto the wall, a chalkboard in a kitchen is a happy thing. Shopping lists, notes, phone messages, recipes, reminders, and doodles--whatever it is that ends up there, it will reflect your home and family, which is what a good kitchen ought to do.

For those of us living in apartments where painting isn't an option, cheap chalkboards are available for a few dollars at craft stores and can be removed from their frames and mounted any way you like. For a custom size or shape, find a piece of plywood that takes your fancy and paint it with chalkboard paint. Or, take it into another room and paint the side of a bookshelf, the top of a table, or a flat mirror frame.

If you own or are allowed to paint, consider covering a door panel, a cupboard, or even an entire wall with chalkboard paint. I love this photo from Design*Sponge for inspiration.

If you don't like black or chalkboard green, RowHouse blog has a recipe for homemade chalkboar paint in the color of your choosing using nothing but a cup of latex paint and some dry unsanded tile grout mix.

Tune in next week for another exciting episode of Five Dollar Decor!


  1. Hi,
    I just wanted to let you know that our local home improvement center, actually the 2 big guys, both carry multiple colors in the spray and paint in the can, chalkboard paint.! Isn't that so cool. If my memory serves me right I saw black, green, red, and pink. Mix red and pink viola Lavendar??? who knows it may work. Have a great week and thank you for your awesome ideas. Deanna



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