We bought a 1911 Craftsman home in Seattle about 3 years ago. One might say it had 'great bones', but that really just means that with a huge investment, the house had a chance of being great. When we moved in, the kitchen had new stainless appliances, old oak cabinets, new granite countertops, and refinished fir floors.
The kitchen wasn't the first project on our list, because it was generally functional and not horrible looking. That said, I knew that I needed to make a few cosmetic changes to make the kitchen prettier while we spent real money on finishing the basement, adding bathrooms, replacing our furnace, adding storm windows, hardscaping our yard, etc, etc.
Prepping, Priming and Painting
* I always put my cabinet hardware in the dead center of my drawers.
If you have old or outdated cabinets, I highly recommend painting them. You have nothing to lose by painting something that you don't like and/or plan on replacing at some point anyway. Painting kitchen cabinets easier than you think, and it's inexpensiver! Just bite off a section of the cabinetry at a time, and you'll have a new kitchen in no time. Good luck!