Here are the cheapest kitchen remodel ideas to update your kitchen with no need to break the bank
Long gone are the days when you had to suffer to get stuck with a dreadful looking outdated kitchen that makes you cringe every time you enter your space to get some water or to cook a meal.
Even if you can’t afford to call in the contractors for a full-blown kitchen remodel, or you live in a rented home with a seeming inability to tweak the kitchen to your liking, there is still hope out there.
A few simple and reasonably affordable kitchen upgrades here and there can dramatically improve the look of your cooking space. Here are a few wallet-friendly kitchen remodel ideas that both homeowners and renters alike can steal to instantly transform their kitchen spaces.
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15 Stylish Ways to Update your Kitchen On a Tight Budget
1. Upgrade your Lighting
Great lighting can truly transform the look of your kitchen space. If you have no money to splurge on the latest Kelly Wearstler’s or Jonathan Adler’s expensive sculptural pendant lights, unscrew the ones that are currently installed and spray paint them in a sexy colour of your choice. Metallic gold, copper, silver, white, and black hues are still very much on trend. They will add that inviting touch into your space.
However, if you’ve really had enough of your pendant lights, head to Etsy to source some truly original or vintage pieces that will add depth and uniqueness to your kitchen interior.
Explore your favourite thrift stores and online marketplaces to find quite appealing pendant lights that will fit your budget.
Those dealing with low ceilings will be better served by semi-flush lights that are more appropriate for their ceiling height.
For extra lighting near the food prepping areas or in your pantry, install solar or battery operated motion sensor lighting under the upper cabinets or shelves that can comfortably replace spotlights that are no longer working. They can be installed and removed in a few minutes; this makes them very renter friendly.
2. Be Playful with your Floors
Sometimes, the kitchen floor has seen its best days and is full of scratches that you can barely conceal no matter how hard you scrub and polish your surface. There are few options to save you from despair.
For renters, go for easy-to-install peel-and-stick floor tiles or removable vinyl planks for a wood effect flooring to hide away your kitchen floor imperfections. Both floor solutions are easy to remove when you move out so as not to put your security deposit at risk.
As for homeowners who are ready to radically transform their kitchen floors without fully committing to replacing them just yet, painting your floors in a uniform colour or stencilling them in a design pattern of your liking, might give a new lease of life to your surfaces.
The secret to successful floor stenciling is to clean and sand your floors properly, filling cracks wherever they are, and selecting a high quality floor primer and undercoat, paint colour and finish, and a topcoat for durability.
Whether you are painting a wooden floor, vinyl sheets or planks, or ceramic tiles, head to Farrow & Ball, Graham & Brown, B&Q, Frenchic Paint, and Target (for those living Stateside) to browse through their extensive range of high quality paint collections.
As for floor stencils, Etsy is definitely the absolute best place to go to; most sellers there are able to design floor stencils that meet your bespoke requirements. Make sure you get two stencils in the same design pattern so as to be able to work faster and cut one of the floor stencils for your kitchen floor corners.
3. Freshen up your Cabinetry
Replacing your kitchen cabinets can be quite expensive as part of a kitchen remodel. However, if you don’t have the budget for it or you are simply renting out the space, there are two solutions available.
Renters are better off using self-adhesive contact paper with a wood effect or a solid colour to temporarily transform the kitchen cabinets and countertops in the colour and style of their dream.
From floral designs and geometric forms to bright white and stainless steel hues, choose a contact paper that best matches the look you are seeking to create in your kitchen.
For a more durable option, dated or damaged cabinets can be brought back to life by updating their existing paint colour and finish, or by swapping the existing cabinetry colour for a different hue.
Adopting a shade from the same colour palette that is reflected in the rest of your kitchen is a way to create a cohesive space. Alternatively, you can choose to go bold and use two contrasting yet complimentary colours for your upper and lower cabinets.
Pale grey, medium matte grey, navy blue, dark green, and classic black and white kitchen cabinets continue to remain very popular.
4. Add a Splash of Colour on the Walls
A new lick of paint on your kitchen walls might just be the trick that you need to revive your kitchen. In this case, you can either choose to stick to the same colour and paint finish or try something completely new.
Painting walls and cabinets in the same shade can lead to a very striking interior. Alternatively, choose a calming hue that allows for the focal points of your kitchen space to stand out.
5. Elevate your Hardware
They say “the devil’s in the details”. This is definitely true for your kitchen. Swap old kitchen cabinets knobs, pulls and door handles with new ones, and get new faucets as well to add a touch of elegance to your kitchen.
Solid brass in a gold, silver, gunmetal grey, antique gold and black hues are very trendy right now. Copper and leather pulls and handles for kitchen cabinets are also very popular amongst homeowners wanting to try something a little bit more unique.
The easiest way to go about replacing your hardware is to simply look for the same design styles in a similar or a different colour.
However, if you intend to change the style and the position of your kitchen hardware, a bit more work might be involved. You are better off calling the professionals in to ensure the job is done properly for a sleek finish.
6. Hang some Wall Art
Add a bit of warmth into your kitchen by hanging wall art into your space. Whether you go for a mask, a portrait, or an abstract painting, choose a decorative piece that will bring you joy.
Make sure you select a decorative object that can withstand the wear and tear of a kitchen environment. Alternatively, hang your wall art in areas with the lowest traffic and exposure to all the nourishing oils, spices, and water that take centre stage in your kitchen space.
7. Bring Nature in
A beautiful vase with green plants or dried flowers (or silk faux flowers if you wish) for practicality purposes might be just that extra touch of understated elegance your kitchen island or countertop corners need to bring your cooking space to life.
Dried pampas grass, baby’s breath flower, and billy balls flower bunches are hugely popular amongst homeowners and renters alike, because they are very low-maintenance and are available in a wide variety of colours, from off-white to baby pink and vibrant yellows.
8. Restyle your Kitchen Accessories
A stylish bonbon jar, beautifully displayed cooking books, gorgeous looking canisters, and fruit display dishes together with an elegant wood chopping board can help elevate your kitchen decor without you having to do any structural work.
For a visually interesting decor, play with contrasting colours, textures, and materials that effortlessly complement each other to reveal a well-loved kitchen space.
9. Replace your Kitchen Counter Stools
A new set of kitchen counter stools can help further elevate your culinary room. Investing in new or thrifted vintage kitchen counter stools can help tie in your refreshed decor, adding more depth to the room.
Alternatively, consider painting and or reupholstering your existing kitchen counter stools, depending on the stools’ original materials to better integrate them into your newly revamped space.
10. Invest in a Runner Rug
A beautiful small rug can definitely be an elegant addition to your kitchen, as it helps dress up your kitchen floor, making your home interior look more sophisticated.
Go for a stain resistant and waterproof rug with a relatively low pile height to allow for easy cleaning and walking. Natural and earthy textures such as jute or hemp and outdoor rugs designed with 100% polypropylene material and a hessian back are worth considering.
The latter are both resistant to moisture and dirt, and they can be gently wiped off with a cloth, making them ideal for high traffic areas such as the kitchen.
11. Upgrade your Small Appliances
A brand new matching toaster and kettle set together with a cute high-performing microwave (if yours is not fully integrated) or a visually appealing kitchen mixer cleverly put on display can help you create a more coordinated kitchen look.
To infuse a gorgeous retro look with 1950’s influences in your kitchen, check out Smeg and De’Longhi; they offer ridiculously beautiful and high quality small appliances in superb colours and finishes.
Other top quality brands to check out for stunning small appliances with a much broader appeal include KitchenAid, Breville, Morphy Richards, and Russell Hobbs.
12. Create Impact with Wallpaper
Consider creating a feature wall in your kitchen with a high quality wallpaper to add colour and more visual interest in your room. This can also be used to disguise some very small wall imperfections.
If you are afraid of committing to a pattern or a style that you end up outgrowing or disliking after a few months, consider a removable wallpaper or wall mural to start with. Choose a design that adds value to your refreshed kitchen colour palette.
13. Install New Curtains or Blinds
Depending on the size and openings in your kitchen area, new curtains or blinds are great ways to add another layer of warmth, textures and patterns into your cooking space.
Consider picking blinds and/or curtains that are easy to install and regularly clean to minimise the buildup of dust, moisture, cooking smells, and fats and oils in the air.
When selecting your kitchen blinds, make sure that they are waterproof. The most common options available on the market are:
- Aluminium Venetian blinds
- PVC or vinyl vertical blinds
- PVC or vinyl roller blinds
- Faux-wood blinds
- Natural bamboo roller blinds
As for kitchen curtains, opt for a fabric that best complements the decor style and the level of privacy you are comfortable with. Linen, sheer, and polyethylene fabrics continue to be popular amongst people with large floor-to-ceiling openings in their kitchen spaces.
14. Swap your Kitchen Backsplash
Update your kitchen backsplash to infuse more personality into your kitchen space. If you want to completely avoid structural work, that is removing and placing brand new tiles in, there are two simple alternatives worth exploring.
Depending on your budget, choose either peel-and-stick backsplashes with real stone, glass, or metal or high quality vinyl peel and stick backsplash tiles with a high-end finish look to them. Both options are very easy to install on existing backsplash surfaces, are low-maintenance, and tend to be long-lasting. They hardly fade or discolour over time so long as you clean them regularly with a gentle soap.
Some people prefer to work with their existing kitchen backsplashes by choosing to paint and stencil them instead with a completely different colour and design pattern to create a brand new feel to their kitchens. This is definitely worth a try if you’ve outgrown your tired looking backsplash!
15. Don’t Forget the Ceiling!
Adding wooden beams, mosaic tiles, wood planks, or applied coffers to your ceiling can beautifully transform the look and atmosphere in your kitchen.
Alternatively, work out your magic with a high quality paint by contrasting your ceiling colour to that of the kitchen cabinets and walls for a visually enticing experience.
For the more daring souls, stencil your kitchen ceiling in a colour and design pattern of your choice! Why not?!