The beginning of a kitchen remodel can be overwhelming. Especially when working with a small budget! Earlier this week I sat my computer ready to create renderings of concepts for our upcoming kitchen remodel: but I got writer’s block. Maybe I should call it designer’s block? So I am taking a step back to share some favorite kitchen designs AND how they can be implemented on a small budget.
The great thing about doing a kitchen on a budget is you can do the space in stages! You aren’t completely demo-ing the kitchen so the space will still be functional. Lighting can be added independently from backsplash + countertops. A plan is important, but you can save money by shopping for the upgrades slowly (think sales!).
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1. Paint the Cabinets
Painting existing cabinets will go such a long way. The challenging part is deciding on a color! I love how clean, fresh, and modern white cabinets can be, BUT we aren’t changing our tile floor (a light color) so dark cabinets may be a better solution. Which do you prefer, dark or light cabinets? Image Source: I Spy DIY
2. Add a Fun Backsplash
A backsplash can range tremendously in price depending on the size of the kitchen and material. Subway tiles are a classic choice and are affordable, too. And you can make the subway tiles more modern by adding a dark grey grout.
If a traditional backsplash is over budget or if you need a temporary solution, try a removable wallpaper! I really want to put this Magnolia Home Watercolor Check Wallpaper up in my home! Image Source: Style Me Pretty Living
3. Modify an Island
You can modify an existing island inexpensively by painting it, adding trim work, changing the countertop, and/or adding new barstools. Our island is two-tiered, which we don’t love and plan to make it 1 level. It will require a little electrical work, but by keeping the plumbing and island in the same spot it should be a relatively inexpensive change. Image Source: Lonny
4. Add Trim to Basic Cabinets
You can add instant character and a custom look to contractor-basic cabinets by adding material over the top of existing cabinets with trim. It will completely change the look of the cabinets! And it doesn’t require any wiring, plumbing, or expensive material–a cost effective solution especially if you can DIY the install. Image Source: Inspiration for Moms
5. Glam Up the Hardware
Hardware goes such a long way in a space. If you need an affordable hardware, try a euro style bar. But if you can, save up and splurge a little on high-end pulls. We installed Restoration Hardware pulls in our previous kitchen (the total kitchen remodel was less than $5,000) and as a touch point the pulls really do make a physical and visual impact in the space. Image Source: House Beautiful
6. Upgrade the Faucets
Shop around online and read the reviews to find good deals are quality faucets. Faucets are another touchpoint in the space, and a kitchen faucet will be used daily–so make sure you love it! You are looking for a piece that has good form and function. I like the look of traditional 2-handle faucets, but one-handle faucets are nice too–they will give the space a more modern look. Image Source: Emily Henderson
7. Think Affordable Countertops
If you already have good quality countertops–yay!! That will be a huge cost-saver not having to replace them. For us we have laminate and it is deteriorating around the edges. We have discussed butcher block (we installed IKEA butcher block countertops in our previous home and loved them) as it is really affordable and nice looking. But we feel the neighborhood we live in now requires a more traditional upgrade. I found 8 countertop options for under $3,000 here.
So we plan to shop for remnant pieces at a discount. We may end up with a different material on our island than our countertops–which should work as long as the patterns compliment each other. Image Source: Carley Summers
8. Install New Light Fixtures
Last but not least–light fixtures!! Lighting is relatively easy to install, but it isn’t something you will want to swap out yearly. So pick a design you will be happy with for at least 5 years! If you have an eat-in kitchen or an open floorplan into the living room try to get lighting that will compliment those rooms too. If you are looking for a flush-mount fixture check out these for under $50. Image Source: Bigger Than the Three of Us
Over the past year we updated our hardware, painted the walls, changed our island from a 2-tier to a 1-tier, and installed new leathered granite countertops.
Follow along as we update our 1990s kitchen on a budget!