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Kitchen Resources

20 Easy Kitchen Remodel Ideas on a Budget

Is a full-on kitchen remodel out of the question? You can still give the busiest room in your home small makeovers that pack a lot of punch. Read on for 20 kitchen remodel ideas on a budget that’ll help you modernize your outdated kitchen.

updated kitchen

Table of Contents

Swap Out Hardware

kitchen hardware

Old cabinets can get a simple and quick update by adding new, modern pulls and knobs. Your cabinets might not even have any hardware at all, and if that’s the case, this is the perfect opportunity to add a little pizzazz to them. No matter your style—bohemian, contemporary or farmhouse—you can find inspired hardware at your favorite home improvement store, home decor shops and on Etsy from local creators.

Mix Up Textures, Patterns, and Colors


Amp up your kitchen’s visual interest by incorporating different textures and materials. If you have a window in your kitchen, put up some stylish curtains in a fun pattern. Or take a nod from Julia Child, who hung her pots, pans, and utensils from a pegboard in her kitchen. A new light fixture in trendy rattan or seagrass will add an earthy element to your design.

Show Off Collectibles

shelf of collectibles in kitchen

Take advantage of above-window shelving to create a highly visual spot for prized collectibles. This approach would work particularly well with vintage kitchenware, like antique corkscrews or your family’s stash of mid-century porcelain.


This is an option that costs you no money at all — talk about kitchen remodel ideas on a budget! Having cluttered countertops and drawers jam packed with tools you never use does nothing for your kitchen’s design sense. Pull everything out to see what duplicates you have, toss broken items, and donate items you never use. You’ll have more room for the pieces you do have, and it’ll give you a chance to keep things tidy and clean.

Display Dishware

displayed dishware

Rather than hiding your dinnerware inside cabinets, display them on a pretty rack on your counter or in your cabinets. Swapping out a solid cabinet door for a glass one or even shelves can also create the illusion of a larger kitchen as well as add design interest.

Stick to One Splurge

green and white kitchen cabinets

Dreaming of granite countertops but wary of the cost? Consider a splurge on special countertops if you keep a tight budget on everything else. For instance, use inexpensive tile and off-the-shelf cabinetry to save a great deal of money as well as keeping the original layout of the room and not moving the plumbing. 

Install Creative Lighting

edison bulb lighting

Who said that a stunning light fixture doesn’t belong in the kitchen? Traditional glass pendant lights can easily brighten and charm a kitchen, or Sputnik or Edison bulbs can be an interesting juxtaposition to a modern kitchen. Lighting underneath your cabinets can also serve as a spotlight of sorts for your beautiful countertops and can be accomplished with low-cost LED strips.

Combine Styles

mix and match kitchen

A bold patterned area rug and Windsor stools may be a bit more expected in your home’s living room, but can add a whimsical touch when placed in your kitchen. For even more whimsy, use boat hardware – like boat cleat drawer pulls – on your custom cabinetry.

New Paint

An all-white kitchen with stainless steel appliances

Unify everything in the space with a fresh coat of paint. Nothing makes a room feel more updated than fresh paint, especially white. If you’re a fan of color, navy blue, sage, and dusty blue are also great options. One of the biggest offenders in outdated kitchens? The cabinets! Though time-consuming, painting your cabinets can completely transform your kitchen, and it’s one of our favorite kitchen remodel ideas on a budget.

Upgrade Appliances

stainless steel appliances

If your refrigerator and dishwasher are stuck in the ‘90s, you might long to bring them into the present day with stainless steel appliances. It would certainly give your kitchen the makeover it deserves, but you can save money by using stainless steel contact paper instead. You’ll get a very similar look for a fraction of the price.

Don’t Forget the Faucet

kitchen faucet

Faucets come in a number of finishes and colors to match your hardware – but that’s not required. Mixed metals can be stunning in kitchens, and farmhouse-inspired faucets are also a showstopper. If that’s not in the budget, consider spray-painting your hardware in anything from hammered copper to aged bronze to contrast with your existing faucet.

Use Spots of Bold Color

kitchen with red walls

Although most people are afraid of wild, bold colors or patterns, using them in small places throughout adds just the right amount of decor splash in such places as bold-colored tablecloths, artwork, dish towels, countertop appliances, or even a floor runner that doubles as a mat. Want to be a little more subtle? Peel-and-stick wallpaper on the inside back panel of your cabinets will give you a pop of pattern/color every time you open it.

Embrace Contrast

black and white kitchen

If you decide to paint your cabinets or just swap out your hardware, consider how colors play off each other in the kitchen. Black-painted solid oak kitchen cabinetry offers a dramatic contrast to cream or white kitchen walls. On the other hand, consider white modern cabinets against strong-patterned wallpaper for an even more exciting appearance.

Change Your Outlets’ Look

teal outlet

Of course you need outlets to power your appliances or to charge your phone, but that doesn’t mean it has to serve as an eyesore. If you’re embarking on a bigger renovation, you can have them behind hidden panels or inside cabinets. Otherwise, simply purchasing a new switch plate in a bold color or matching metal with your hardware can up the ante.

Install a Fun Backsplash

kitchen backsplash

As far as DIY projects go, tiling is a great one, even for beginners. Consider a fun and colorful kitchen backplash in order to add loads of style and charm. Choose from various textures, materials, styles, and colors to complement your kitchen’s overall decor. And if a total gut job of your kitchen backsplash is out of budget, you can always purchase peel-and-stick tiling to lay over the existing tile. This is a great way to test out a style you are considering, or a low commitment option if you gravitate more toward trendy styles.

Mix Old and New

If you already have stainless steel appliances (or are going to give yours the contact paper treatment to give them the same look), consider offsetting that modern look with some country charm. Beadboard can be applied to cabinets or you can add repurposed wood around your island. Crown molding is also definitely a welcome addition to kitchens.

Install an Extra-Deep Sink

Gorgeous single-basin farmhouse sink.

This is one for the “splurge” category that we couldn’t resist. An extra deep sink combined with convenient open shelving makes cleaning up easy, as well as washing huge pots a breeze. We especially love the charm of farmhouse sinks, or the industrial look of a copper sink.

Create a Cozy Spot

Take advantage of your kitchen’s nooks/views to create a spot you’ll never want to leave. Whether you already have a bay window looking out to a beautiful backyard or are shopping for a bench or bar-height shelf to add another area of interest to your kitchen, try adding pillows with intricate patterns and bold colors to boost the room’s overall design. And don’t forget – paint is your friend. If you find a secondhand bench in great shape, you can always change the color of it.

Open Up the Kitchen

Open layout kitchen? On a budget? It can be done! The biggest cost here will be getting an engineer out to ensure there’s nothing load-bearing in a wall separating the kitchen from the dinner table or family room – and depending on costs in your area, that could run a few hundred dollars. Once you’ve got the all-clear, you can look up videos and articles on how to take it down or put in a pass through. You can rent the right demo equipment for a day or two and purchase drop cloths to protect your floor and furniture.

Plant Life

kitchen plants

Bring greenery into your kitchen with potted herbs or some of your favorite plants. You’ll always have fresh herbs for cooking, and plants are shown to reduce stress and boost energy.

These kitchen remodel ideas on a budget turn your kitchen into a work of art for fun, food, family, and friends.

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