Kitchens are notoriously difficult and costly to remodel. The materials are expensive and the layouts is hard to change because of water and energy supplies, which have usually been installed and embedded inside the walls for a long time.
Renovating a kitchen on a budget is for this reason a challenge that takes a lot of commitment, organization, skill and creativity, so that it all looks good and works as intended in the end.
In this article we’d like you to look at some genius kitchen makeover tips and projects that will hopefully help you and inspire you to take on the task of remodeling your own kitchen, even if you’re on the tightest budget.
1. Keep Existing Cabinets
Cabinets are often the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel. It may be tempting to change your cabinetry when remodeling a room like the kitchen or bathroom, but it can be quite an unnecessary expense in some cases. If your cabinets are still in good condition, you can update their look to fit any decoration changes you make by painting them a new color, changing the knobs and pulls or even adding new materials and textures to the existing structure. In fact, you can even do the latter to take advantage of cabinets that have been repurposed or which have minor imperfections, because small adjustments can make them look like new ones.
Keep Existing Cabinets but Change the Color Palette
This warm, brown kitchen may have been a rustic dream, but it was simply too brown and heavy. A new color palette of white and gray was adopted in order to completely change the look of the room without actually replacing most of the furniture or changing the layout. via designingvibes.
Give Your Cabinet a Budget Facelift with Beadboard and Paint
These traditional, wooden kitchen cabinets were definitely becoming outdated and in need of a facelift. By painting the cabinets a lighter color, adding beadboard to the center of the doors and changing the handles, the owner gave the furniture an updated look that matches their kitchen much better. via source.
Make a Statement in Your Kitchen by Simply Replacing Backs of a Cabinet
This kitchen cabinet is yet another example of how simple changes can make all the difference. By adding the patterned fabric to the background on the inside, the owner will not only make a decorative statement but also allow the pieces inside to stand out a lot more than they did against the white. via aloandbeholdlife.
Build Cabinets up to the Ceiling to Add Height to the Kitchen
The cabinets in the before picture made this kitchen look small and cramped. The new, lighter-colored cabinets that actually reach the roof add an illusion of height as well as extra storage space. via thriftydecorchick.
Make Your Kitchen Unique and Stylish with Mini Swiss Cross Decal, Floral Wallpaper and Spray Painted Gold Pulls
The details really took this kitchen from drab to incredibly chic and unique. The small cross decals form a pattern and add interest to the backsplash, while the wallpaper covered cabinets, accented by spray painted gold pulls, give the kitchen an elegant, shabby chic aesthetic. via uptodateinteriors.
Paint the Outdated Cabinets Two Tone for a High-Contrast Look
This kitchen was weighted down by the outdated natural, shiny wood color. By changing the color scheme – painting the ceiling and upper cabinets a light hue, while the floor and lower cabinets became a much darker charcoal color – the owner updated the area while keeping the layout and adding contrast. via source.
2. Make the Old Work with the New
Coherence is what makes a theme and decorative style work, so you better pay attention to that when adding new elements into a room that was previously built. Matching the colors, patterns or textures of the new elements to the overall color scheme and atmosphere of the room ensures everything looks good and cohesive when put together. You can do this by painting the new pieces or covering them with paper and stencils. You can also change cabinet doors to match the table’s materials, for instance. Just remember that all the changes should flow nicely together.
Change the Cabinets But Keep the Rest of the Kitchen
This kitchen wasn’t bad-looking at all, but it needed a change, which was brought on by swapping the cabinetry. The island was repainted to match the style of the new, more modern and decorative cabinets and bring cohesion. via source.
Big Kitchen Reveal by Just Adding a Tile Backsplash and New Door Knob
This is yet another genius remodel project that is all about the details. Keeping your layout will save you money on plumbing and electrical installations, so making small adjustments like adding a bright tile backsplash or swapping your door knobs will make your kitchen look newer and livelier without breaking your bank. via theeffortlesschic.
3. Keeping your existing layout is always cheaper.
It’s natural for you to feel completely fed up with your kitchen’s layout, and it is undeniable that sometimes changes just need to be made, but you should try to avoid those changes if at all possible. Moving electrical appliances and water sources means getting new electrical and plumbing installations, which are very expensive and can take a long time to complete. Sometimes small changes will make a big difference in the way your kitchen looks while saving you a lot of time and money.
Coastal Kitchen Makeover: Keeping the Existing Layout
This coastal kitchen had definitely seen better days, so a makeover was in order. The basic layout was kept to save money, but the style and color palette were changed to bring in the right, modern kind of rustic aesthetic. via sandandsisal.
4.Saving on Appliances
You should always look at appliances thinking that “if it ain’t broke, you don’t need to change it”. Appliances can be as expensive as cabinetry, if not more. While a kitchen makeover may be a great excuse for finally swapping that outdated fridge that eats up energy, sometimes it is better to save up the money and make that change another time. If you’re worried that your appliances won’t match your new kitchen, the solution is very simple: you can buy some paint and make them the right color or you can cover them in fabric or paper. Either way, you will have brand new looking appliances and save a lot of money.
Save Hundreds of Dollars by Using Stainless Steel Appliance Paint to Paint The Dishwasher
This kitchen went through a full greyscale and metal DIY makeover, so to match the new color scheme and save money on replacing the dishwasher, the owners painted it with stainless steel appliance paint, which is a budget-friendly option. via goldshoegirl.
If Your Fridge Doesn’t Match Your Decor- Wallpaper It
Using wallpaper to change the look of furniture or appliances is a great way to make them appear different and more fitting for the rom while staying on a budget. That is what was done to this fridge, which didn’t match the overall decoration of the kitchen it was installed in. via source.
Brighten up the Kitchen with Duct-Tape
Using duct tape to remodel your kitchen may not seem very glamorous. However, the material is quite inexpensive, and nowadays there are kinds of colorful and even metallic tapes which you can use to change the look of your furniture and appliances, by creating cool, decorative patterns. via honeyandfitz.
DIY Chalkboard Paint Refrigerator
This fridge makeover is very simple and inexpensive, yet creative and impressive as well. The white fridge was covered in black chalkboard paint, which not only gives it a very unique look, but also allows owners to write fun menu or shopping lists for every week. The door handles were also wrapped with twine for a different finishing touch. via thekurtzcorner.
5. Choose open shelving where possible and save money
Open shelving is a simpler, more modern alternative to traditional cabinets, and it has a lot of advantages. Swapping your cabinets for open shelving will allow you easier access to your stored items and have them on display. It create the illusion of a bigger kitchen and save the storage space too. More importantly, it will save you good money, because less material is used to make this kind of storage and installation is simpler, so you would spend less on labor too.
Open Shelving Creates Interest in the Space as Well as Saves Money
Swapping traditional cabinets for open shelving will not only save you money in your makeover budget, but it also creates a very different, interesting look that you don’t come across every day. It also creates the illusion of a larger space, which is always a good thing. via somuchbetterwithage.
DIY Kitchen Open Shelving and Plank Walls
The traditionally rustic all-wood look of this kitchen was weighing it down. A full white makeover with open shelving instead of cabinets and plank walls makes much better use of this gorgeous space. via source.
6. Kitchen Island Alternatives
Kitchen islands are literally the central piece of a kitchen, but they can be expensive to build and install. It is quite easy to come up with alternative kitchen island ideas though, if you’re creative. Bookshelves can serve the purpose beautifully while also adding storage space, as can old cabinets, dressers and even doors. All you need to do is look through what’s available to you and be ready to do some DIY-ing.
DIY a Kitchen Island by Repurposing a Piece of Furniture
This old glass door cabinet made for a great, multi-use kitchen island after getting a new, wooden plank top, a paint job and a pair of matching kitchen stools added to it. via thistlewoodfarms.
Or Add Character to Your Existing Kitchen Island
The importance of small details can never be stressed enough, and this is yet another example of that. Adding the planks along the side and the corbels under the top made this island look much different and more interesting, even though the changes are small and subtle. via porch.
IKEA Hack Billy Bookshelves Kitchen Island Storage with Butcher Block
Using these bookshelves as a kitchen island storage unit was a great, budget friendly idea. Not only do they look quite good, but they are also functional and make great use of space, so this is a fantastic idea, especially for smaller spaces where big cabinets might not work. via goldenboysandme.
7. Backsplash Options
Kitchen backsplashes are very important, and changing them can make a huge difference, even if everything else remains the same. Those ideal backsplash materials that look fabulous, are easy to clean and last forever, but they can be quite expensive though. So most people end up having to make concessions.
There are a lot of things you can do to get the look you want and save money though. You can buy stick-on tile, which is economic and can be installed by anyone, which in turn allows you to save on labor, or you can always fake the look and texture you’re after by polishing and painting your backsplash to look like it’s made from a nobler material than it actually is.
Change the Look and Feel of Your Kitchen by Changing the Backsplash
A background is never just a background. Swapping the exposed brick for this textured wood backsplash added light, dimension and interest to this kitchen decoration. via suburbanbitches.
Opt for Peel and Stick Tiles to Cut the Cost of the Labor Involved
Peel and stick tiles are fantastic for budget kitchen renovations because they are cost effective and you can also install them yourself, thus saving on labor. These white ones, in particular, changed the look of the wall completely by adding a subtle texture. via source.
Faux Sharpie Herringbone Back Splash for $3
This faux herringbone shows that you can get a great kitchen makeover with any budget – even under $10. The secret is once again in the patterns and details. via thebloominghydrangea.
Change the Look and Save Money with Faux Painted Brick Backsplash
Adding a real brick backsplash to your kitchen might be expensive and not all feasible for you, but you can create a similar effect on a budget with paint and creativity, as you can see here. via source.
8. Saving on Countertops
Countertops are another feature that can blow your budget. Some materials really lend themselves to being made over without being replaced, which is a good thing, because that means you only need to repaint the countertop in your new color scheme, if it is in good condition. If you really want or need to replace your countertop, our recommendation would be to opt for the cheapest durable material available and then work with it to obtain the look you’re going for. While the material itself may not be as noble, good polishing and painting can do wonders, so you can easily have a countertop that looks like it is made from marble or concrete but was in fact much cheaper than those materials would be.
Countertop Paint That Looks Like Concrete
Real concrete countertops may not be for everyone, but you can create the same effect on any surface yourself by polishing it to create the right texture and then adding some high shine paint. No one will ever know the difference from afar. via abeautifulmess.
Dreaming of Marble, but It isn’t in the Budget? Paint your own!
Marble is one of the best, yet most expensive materials that can be used in the kitchen. If it is purely the look of the material that you’re after though, you can easily create “faux marble” on any surface using some crafty and creative painting tricks. via inmyownstyle.
9. Saving on Kitchen Lighting
Modern kitchen lighting is usually provided by overhead fixtures, which are great because they save space and look quite elegant and discrete. This kind of lighting is usually quite expensive to get and replace, partially because only professionals are capable of installing such lights.
Traditional chandeliers and pendant lights are much cheaper, especially because you can install them yourself, provided you either don’t need to change the electrical installation or know how to.
Pendant lights also have the advantage of being more decorative and interesting to look at, and they support bigger bulbs, which allows them to focus a good amount of lighting in one place or spread it all around, depending on design and placement.
You can also use smaller pendants under the cabinets or over the sink if you have some open space, as that will bring some extra light to your area, as well as a decorative element.
Add Character to Your Kitchen Using Pendant Lights
Overhead kitchen lighting doesn’t work for you? Pendant lights might then. They not only add character to your space, but they also give much more direct light, which is sometimes exactly what you need. Don’t forget that you still need under cabinet lights though, or you might find yourself blind during meal prep. via designimprovised.
Make the Plain Space Fun Using a DIY Pendant Cage Light with a Wooden Box
This project is for those that need to add lighting as well as fill some space. The industrial cage pendant lights are fantastic for that purpose, because they definitely draw attention while shining a good amount of light on the area they’re placed in. via twofeetfirst.