Budget-friendly kitchen remodel ideas

Transform your kitchen into your dream space with these creative and budget-friendly kitchen renovation ideas.

Vivian Tejada
October 18, 2023

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Kitchen remodels are some of the most popular home improvement projects for homeowners – for good reason. Depending on the kind of renovations, kitchen remodels can improve a layout, aesthetic appeal, energy efficiency, and overall functionality. In addition to optimizing your daily living, a kitchen remodel can increase your home’s resale value. 

However, dream kitchens can come with a high cost – we’ll discuss a variety of kitchen remodel ideas you can consider while on a budget.

Cosmetic upgrades with a big impact

Enhancing the look and feel of your kitchen doesn’t have to put you in debt. Consider these cost-effective cosmetic upgrades to refresh your home without hurting your wallet. 

Paint power

A fresh coat of quality paint is a quick and easy way to revitalize kitchen walls and cabinets. Depending on the look you want, you can choose a classic color palette, such as black and white, bold, or neutral. 

Paint can also be leveraged to create unique sceneries or increase lighting. For example, painting half the kitchen one color and the other a contrasting color can add versatility and make it stand out from other rooms within the home. On the other hand, painting kitchen walls a light or neutral color, such as white, soft yellow, or beige, can help the space appear larger than it is. These colors also have the added benefit of reflecting sunlight, improving natural lighting throughout the day.

Partial-cabinet makeover

Instead of replacing existing cabinets, reface them by applying new cabinet doors or drawer fronts and keeping the cabinet boxes. Consider gold cabinet knobs, handles, and pulls onto black or white cabinets if you want a luxurious look. Upper cabinets should be prioritized over lower cabinets since they are at eye level. You could also simply replace cabinet hardware to give your kitchen a quick facelift. 

Peel-and-stick backsplash

Carefully placing peel-and-stick backsplash tiles on small areas along your kitchen walls can add texture and color to your space. Subway tiles, mosaic patterns, or bold, eye-catching designs are good backsplash options for the wall area between cabinets and kitchen countertops. 

Lighting makeover

Replacing outdated light fixtures with stylish pendant lights, chandeliers, or under-cabinet lighting can improve visibility and add a touch of sophistication to your kitchen. Consider installing new lighting in the middle of your kitchen or above frequently used areas, such as the stove or island. Adequate lighting often sets modern kitchens apart from older ones in property photos. 

Affordable countertop and flooring renovations

Kitchen countertops and floors are two areas homeowners are often eager to renovate. However, given their large surface areas, these projects can be expensive. Laminating countertops with durable materials and installing vinyl flooring are two budget-friendly ways to revamp your kitchen’s surface area. 

Laminated countertops

Laminate countertops come in a wide range of designs that make countertop space appear bigger and cleaner. They’re designed to handle everyday wear and tear well and are easy to maintain. Laminate countertops are lightweight, versatile, and eco-friendly, reducing the need for extensive manual labor and speeding up installation. According to HomeGuide, laminated countertops cost between $20 to $80 per square foot, or $600 to $3,200

Vinyl flooring

Vinyl flooring is a practical and stylish choice for kitchen renovations. Similar to laminated countertops, they’re designed to handle wear-and-tear and water spills, reducing maintenance costs. Vinyl floor tiles also have the added benefit of sound absorption. Installing vinyl flooring costs $2 to $12 per square foot. Compared to hardwood flooring, vinyl flooring is $5 to $13 cheaper per square foot.


Remodeling ideas for small kitchens

Homes with small kitchens are not exempt from budget-friendly renovations. On the contrary, they’re perfect for low-budget remodels because minor improvements can make a major impact. 

Open-concept shelving

Open-concept shelves add an open, airy feel to any kitchen. They also allow homeowners to display kitchenware, which is an added benefit if your kitchenware is decorative. Consider removing the doors on some or all of your cabinets to add a personalized touch and enhance accessibility to everyday items. Promoting an open-kitchen-feel is a great idea, particularly for small spaces, as it maximizes the room a kitchen already has.

Breakfast nooks

Creating a cozy breakfast nook in the corner of your kitchen is a convenient and stylish way to add dining space without taking up much of the room. Breakfast nooks are designed in a variety of shapes and styles to fit any kitchen’s aesthetic. They also have space-saving features such as wall-mounted tables and built-in benches to maximize utility. Breakfast nooks are one of the small kitchen remodel ideas that bring out the coziness of a home without sacrificing much-needed square footage.

Floating countertops

Incorporating floating countertops that fold downward is a convenient way to add extra space without permanently taking up much room. This design optimizes kitchen efficiency and enhances its overall aesthetic appeal. Additionally, placing a floating countertop in the kitchen can be more cost-effective than installing an island. A custom-built kitchen island can cost between $3,000 to $7,000 to install, while floating kitchen countertops can be found for as little as $80

Vertical gardens

Homeowners with a green thumb can implement vertical gardens and herb walls into their kitchen renovations. Vertical gardens create a focal point within the kitchen while saving ground and countertop space for other renovations. Incorporating plants and greenery into your kitchen renovation also encourages sustainable food production.

Stylish, second-hand furniture and decor

Including used furniture and decor in your kitchen remodel is an excellent way to give it a new look without breaking the bank. Thrifted decor and refurbished furniture can be found at yard sales, flea markets, and online marketplaces. 

Refurbished furniture

Repurposing existing furniture allows you to personalize your space while reducing waste. If you have a knack for DIY projects, try reviving old chairs with upholstery or other household items. You can also use existing furniture within your kitchen to create new spaces. For example, old cabinets can be reworked into a kitchen bar with a bit of sanding, primer, and a fresh coat of paint.

Thrifted decor

Another way to make your kitchen remodel sustainable is to thrift used decor instead of buying new items. In many cases, thrifted products are in great condition and have rarely been used. Second-hand items in good condition can be found at a 50-70% discount. You can purchase older items for even less at an 80-90% discount. Look for vintage glassware, dishware, and antique tables and islands to infuse character into your new kitchen.

Final thoughts on budget kitchen remodel ideas

Renovating your kitchen is a great way to improve your home’s resale value, functionality, and aesthetic appeal. Budget-friendly kitchen renovations give your home a fresh and modern look without requiring you to deplete your savings or take on a high-interest loan. 

If you’re looking to revamp your kitchen completely, but don't have the funds for your desired budget, consider tapping into your home equity with a Home Equity Investment (HEI). Learn more about HEIs and find out how much you can get for your dream kitchen today.

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