Kitchen Renovation Ideas on a Budget: Do More With Less

15 Tips to Renovate Your Kitchen on a Budget
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A kitchen remodel isn’t cheap: costing an average of $21,750 - $51,000 in the US when complete. So, it comes as no surprise that many people are looking for ways to get the look and finish at a fraction of the cost. As experts in the cutting costs department (our customers typically save as much as 40% over what they would pay with a traditional contractor), we’ve got a ton of great ideas to help you get a whole new look without breaking the bank.

 

How can I renovate my kitchen cheaply?

Renovating your kitchen cheaply can be done no matter your kitchen's size; you just need to put in the time, be prepared to DIY where you can, and get creative. Some of the places to look to cut costs are:

  1. Revamp your existing cabinets with new doors
  2. Keep the skeleton layout of your kitchen
  3. Don’t buy all new appliances if you have some you can carry on using
  4. Update color of the walls, get a new backsplash, update hardware, and get new flooring and leave the rest
  5. Get new lighting

 

How can I make my kitchen look better on a budget?

Even just changing a single component of your kitchen can make a huge difference. Many of the things we talked about above can be done alone and give your kitchen a whole new look. Take a good look at your kitchen and see what makes it look old-fashioned – is it the cabinet doors or handles? Is there anything that needs replacing through simple wear and tear? Regrouting between tiles and painting your walls is a great way to give your kitchen a fresh look without starting from scratch.

 

How much does it cost to remodel a 12x12 kitchen?

To remodel a 12x12 kitchen, it typically costs between $20,000 and $40,000, depending on the size of the project. If the footprint or layout of the kitchen needs to change, your costs will be higher.

 

How can I make my kitchen nicer?

If you’re looking to spend as little as possible, you can make your kitchen nicer by:

  1. Decluttering
  2. Cleaning grouting and walls
  3. A fresh coat of paint
  4. A new backsplash
  5. Change the hardware (handles)
  6. Add potted plants
  7. Update the faucet(s)
  8. Update the lighting

 

How much should I budget for new kitchen cabinets?

Kitchen cabinets are usually the most expensive aspect of a kitchen renovation project, costing between 30% and 35% of the total budget.


For a typical kitchen remodel, kitchen cabinets cost between $4,000 and $13,000. If you’re planning to replace your cabinets entirely, don’t cut corners. Well-made cabinets can last decades, while cheap cabinets may fall into disrepair after just 3-5 years.

 

15 Tips to Renovate Your Kitchen on a Budget

Now you know what a kitchen renovation could cost you, let’s take a look at our top tips for how you can totally transform your kitchen for just a fraction of the price.


1. Keep cabinets but repaint or replace doors

If you don’t want to splash out for all new kitchen cabinets (they come at a high cost, after all!), there are a couple of easy, inexpensive alternatives to update the cabinet fronts.


Painting your existing kitchen cabinets is the cheapest alternative, and it’s super easy to do yourself. If you’re looking to bring more light into your kitchen, opt for lighter colors and tones, such as white, off-white, cream, greige, or light grey. Otherwise, the world is your oyster! Dark, richer colors can bring a sense of luxury to your home, especially with copper hardware.


If you don’t think paint will do the trick, you can replace the cabinet doors and drawer fronts with something more up to date, though this will obviously come at a slightly higher cost.

 

2. Paint the floor instead of replacing it

If you want to change up your kitchen flooring, that doesn’t mean that you need to replace it; you can paint it instead. You can do this for under $200, especially if your floor space is relatively small. Make sure to use a polyurethane-based enamel made specifically for use on floors, as this will be a lot more durable and last longer than more traditional paint types.

 

3. Spring for only a new backsplash and countertop

Since they cover such a large area of your kitchen, installing a new backsplash and countertop can make a massive difference to the look of your kitchen if you have the budget for it. The cost of each varies widely depending on the material, but a good option for a budget backsplash is tile. With so many styles and sizes to choose from, at different price points, tile is the perfect way to add some pattern and/or color to your kitchen without the need to spend a fortune.

 

4. Add upscale or custom hardware to cabinets

One super simple, budget-friendly way to change up your kitchen's look is to swap out old hardware for upscale alternatives. This is the perfect option if your kitchen cabinets are in great condition and you are just looking to give your kitchen a revamp.

 

5. Replace the sink with a high-quality piece

If you are looking to make one larger change in your kitchen, we advise that you replace your old, outdated sink with a higher-quality piece. No matter the vibe of your kitchen, you can never go wrong with sleek, stainless steel and a modern faucet so that you can wash the dishes in style.

 

6. Convert that unused corner into a breakfast nook

If you have poorly utilized space in your kitchen, a simple yet effective component you can add is a breakfast nook. As well as being practical, it can help make your kitchen a little cozier, and it’s really easy to pull off. All you need is a second-hand table, bench seating, and some throw pillows. Add some artwork to the walls, and your kitchen is transformed!

 

7. Use pull-out storage trays to maximize usable space

Customize existing cabinets with pull-out storage trays to maximize the space in your kitchen and give them a new lease on life. This will help you to declutter your countertops, which can instantly make your kitchen look more expensive and chic.

 

8. Install lights inside and underneath cabinetry

By maximizing the lighting in your kitchen with cabinet lighting, both inside and underneath, you can make a dramatic difference to your kitchen's mood, especially if you install a dimmer switch. Brighten your kitchen on dingy days or add ambiance with mood lighting when entertaining or for date night. It really will make a huge difference.

 

9. Replace counters with butcher block

Butcher block is much cheaper than other countertop materials and can double up as a cutting board, depending on the type of wood and finish. You just need to make sure to carry out proper maintenance so it will last for as long as possible.

 

10. Coordinate mismatched furniture with a single color of paint

Buying matching furniture for your kitchen often comes at a large expense. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, you can incorporate pre-owned furniture. Then paint or stain them to match your kitchen’s color scheme or existing furniture.

 

11. Repaint the walls and make one a different color to stand out

To add some interest to your kitchen, create a feature wall with a contrasting paint color or patterned wallpaper. Not only will it draw the eye, but it can also help to create ‘zones’ in an open-plan kitchen and can easily be done on a budget. If you opt for wallpaper, just make sure you choose a material that can withstand moisture and changing temperatures to avoid damage.

 

12. Use open shelving around large appliances

As an alternative to expensive cabinets, you can cheaply install shelving around your larger appliances, such as refrigerators. This creates a lot more storage space, opens up the kitchen as a whole, and is a place to show off your best-looking dishware. It also makes your kitchen look bigger since you aren’t crowded by large cabinets.

 

13. Convert empty space into prep surfaces or cabinets

If you have empty space in your kitchen, this can be easily utilized with a kitchen island. Yes, these can be expensive, so a cheaper option is to buy a movable island. This gives you extra surface space when you need it but gives you the ability to roll it out of the way when it’s not needed. If you’re a handy person, this is the perfect DIY project to get stuck into.

 

14. Add a rug that matches the existing décor

Although some people may feel that a rug in the kitchen might not be the best thing, adding a rug is actually the perfect way to tie the whole room together. Choose a color or pattern that matches the kitchen's existing décor, and you will instantly add warmth and comfort to your space. Note that it is best to steer clear of lighter colors as these will be much more susceptible to food and drink splashes!

 

15. Go for all-white with contrasting accents throughout

A classic trend for your kitchen is to add a pop of color to an otherwise white kitchen. This is typically done with large and small appliances, but it can be really budget-friendly if you use kitchenware, artwork, flowers, and even fruit and vegetables to add colorful interest to your kitchen.

 

Even just one of these budget kitchen ideas can help you transform your kitchen into something new for only a fraction of the total kitchen renovation price. Don’t be afraid to get creative with these budget kitchen renovation ideas and get stuck into DIY projects to update your kitchen into something you can be proud of.

If you have slightly more budget to play with but still want to save as much money as possible, why not work with us? We can generate hundreds of layouts and designs for you and complete the renovation at a fraction of the cost you would pay elsewhere. To find out more, click here.

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Picture from Skipp's Instagram
Picture from Skipp's Instagram
Picture from Skipp's Instagram