INTERIOR TIPS | How to renovate a kitchen on a budget

by Velvet Karatzas

How to renovate a kitchen on a budget (and to make it look amazing): our key tips

An updated kitchen will certainly make a house feel like brand new again. On the other hand, tackling a kitchen remodeling project can prove a handful problem. Hence, here are some ideas on how to go about a kitchen renovation on a budget.

During a kitchen renovation, there’s a lot to consider even without changing the layout. In every case, the budget is the factor that will determine how far one will be able to stretch a renovation. As such, the extent of any kitchen renovation relies heavily upon prioritizing. There are always ways for one to refresh a kitchen even with the smallest budget, but without prioritizing things can get out of hand.

Download our free Interior Trend Reports

and join more than 6000 subscribers to our newsletter: unreleased contents, free trend reports and special discounts for IB+ trend book and webinars

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Therefore, figuring out what’s the biggest hardship you encounter in your kitchen is the first step in the right direction. It helps to establish the real needs while pin pointing all of the potential problems i.e. inadequate light sources, wrong space allocation, wrong fit to lifestyle, faulty or out-dated design e.t.c.

Once you’ve managed to find all the things that you wish to change, then you can use this post as a starting point to map your next moves based on your budget. In an effort to keep things as simple as possible: allow me to start this list of ideas from the easiest and lest expensive and work my way upwards. Then, depending on your needs you can decide which of these listed options or combination of those will serve you best.



How to renovate a kitchen on a budget


how to renovate kitchen on a budget

Modern kitchen by Africa Studio


Renovate a kitchen on a budget #1 | Color (€-€€)

One of the most inexpensive things anyone can do to update a kitchen is changing the wall color. This can clearly be done even on a weekend as a DIY project. In my opinion avoid bold stark colors that may prove tiresome in the long run. Neutral colors like off-whites, grays and beige are usually the safest go-to options.

It is true that the color of the cabinetry usually dictates the wall color. Therefore, if you’re considering of changing the color of your cabinetry, then you need to consider your wall color as well for it may not work for you as expected.

Another inexpensive way to update a kitchen via color is painting over the kitchen cabinetry. This may take longer than a weekend, depending upon the size of your kitchen, but it is doable and so it’s no wonder that it’s gaining in popularity.

A word of caution here: if you are making your kitchen work hard for you, then expect to see the wear on the paint early on, especially in the areas where contact happens most. However, do bear in mind that although this is not a permanent solution with a lifelong duration span, it should suffice for several years until it’s time to upscale your cabinetry.


Blackboard kitchen by sirtravelalot

|| Be inspired on the blog about kitchen design:


Renovate a kitchen on a budget #2 | Hardware (€-€€)

This is a hack that works really well in most situations. It is very easy and usually very affordable to swap old, boring hardware with newer, trendier ones. There are countless options out there and the best part is that anyone can do it, so do explore all the possibilities. You may be surprised about the effect it has on the overall look.


how to renovate kitchen on a budget

White kitchen in Scandinavian style by Switlana Symonenko


Renovate a kitchen on a budget #3 | Add Decor (€-€€)

Adding an art print, a few plants and some i.e. beautiful ceramic pieces may very well highlight a kitchen feature of yours that may have not gotten much love before. Adding a rug or changing your window coverings are also good options when it comes to updating your kitchen.

Some may even argue that open shelving is another option for displaying decor and making the room feel more airy, but that depends on your lifestyle and how well you can keep up with that in the long run. Besides, adding open shelving in place of a cabinet means that you will need to find extra storage space elsewhere to hide anything that won’t look nicely on display.


how to renovate kitchen on a budget

Open plan kitchen by Monkey Business Images


Renovate a kitchen on a budget #4 | Lighting (€€-€€€)

The next step is lighting. Good lighting is essential and let’s be honest, poor lighting is a result of a poor design. Now assuming that your lighting is well designed, then changing the fixtures may be the only thing required to refresh your kitchen’s look. For instance, a ceiling lamp could be replaced with a stylish pendant one that will instantly make a design statement.

However, if your kitchen lighting is not working for you then you may need to splurge on redesigning your light sources i.e. introducing led lines under and atop the upper cabinets. That is a good way to add more light sources without adding too much on your power utility bills.


Modern kitchen by Marko Subotin


Renovate a kitchen on a budget #5 | Backsplash (€€-€€€€)

Changing the backsplash is definitely an option that can have a big impact in the overall aesthetic. It is somewhat fussy to change, but the makeover usually makes it worthwhile. There are a few options here that one may resort to without actually removing the old backsplash, unless you can afford to do so.

The first option is to use vinyl coverings. It is not the best long-term option, but it works. Many vinyl coverings can be custom-made to fit the required dimensions and have a good feel to them and that makes them an attractive solution. (A popular choice of a vinyl covering is one of concrete tile patterns that has a retro vibe and looks great with many kitchen styles).

Another option is to convert your old backsplash to a chalkboard or microcement it. These two options are relatively more costly than the first one, but they are both long-term solutions.

|| Be inspired here by our ideas on choosing the kitchen backsplash tiles


elios ceramiche



Renovate a kitchen on a budget #6 | Countertop (€€-€€€€)

An old, worn, out-dated countertop can be a real eye-sore. So, upgrading the countertop is one of the most popular options in a kitchen remodel. The reason being is that it covers quite a large surface area. Now there are many different kinds of countertops that come at various price tags, thus there no real excuses for not updating.


Kitchen marble countertop by Jodie Johnson


Renovate a kitchen on a budget #7 |  Cabinetry Doors (€€€-€€€€)

In many cases, it is possible to keep the existing cabinets except of the doors that can be replaced for newer ones of your choice. Surprisingly, this is not the most popular option, but considering the numerous options I think this is a truly viable solution that you should definitely consider.

Modern kitchen by archiVIZ


Renovate a kitchen on a budget #8 | New Appliances (€€€€ – )

This is one of the most costly steps in a renovation. That is because many times this can result in additional costs for new cabinetry to fit the new appliances. Therefore, this is an option I recommend the least. As a matter of fact, I’m quite confident that if some of the other options have been employed, then chances are that there’s no real need to replace them, unless broken.

In concluding this list, I would like to point out the domino effect. Many times people opt a renovation idea over another for whatever reason, but without proper consideration. The result is the domino effect, for this one change may lead to another and another until one ends up a step away from a full blown gut renovation that wasn’t planned out from the beginning. The problem with that is that improper planning and task scheduling can break the bank and worse may still end up with a faulty kitchen design.


Emily Dervish


Hence, do take the time to think thoroughly of the real needs vs your budget and prioritize your undertakings. One step at a time will eventually get you there.

Happy renovating!


|| s h o p  our kitchen favorites ||

Visit The Shop

*This article contains affiliate links

Related Articles

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy