Want to transform your kitchen with projects that don’t require you to take out a loan, or spend your entire savings? All you need are some smart kitchen remodeling ideas to give your cooking space the much-needed updated look without burning a deep hole in your pocket.

As most homeowners would agree, if there’s one place that can really make or break the look as well as the functionality of your house, it is the kitchen. 

A full-scale kitchen renovation, on average, costs anywhere between $20,000 and $50,000 — depending on the complexity of the work, of course. However, if you do not want to dole out that kind of money — you can use ideas and tips from experts on ways to remodel your kitchen on a budget and save money.

Planning a renovation for your kitchen? Try our free kitchen remodel cost estimator; it’s easy and convenient to use!

You can begin your renovation with a clear budget. After all, kitchens can be one of the most expensive areas of the home to remodel. The good news is that a budget kitchen remodel is very much possible. We propose some fabulous kitchen remodeling ideas for renewing your kitchen on a tight budget.

Kitchen remodeling ideas

So, here are some great kitchen remodeling ideas that can make your kitchen look like a million bucks without breaking the bank (pun, unintended!).

1. Change the kitchen cabinet doors

Kitchen cabinetry

One of the biggest expenses in any kitchen renovation is getting new cabinets. It’s almost 30% to 35% of the average kitchen remodel cost. If your existing cabinets are in good shape, it makes sense to keep them and just change the outer shells or the doors. 

This is a sure-shot way to give your kitchen a new look while saving you a considerable amount of money and hassle. You can buy only the fronts from a manufacturer or your local home improvement store. 

2. Refresh your existing cabinetry with a new paint color or hardware

Painted cabinets

Another money-saving kitchen remodeling idea is to dress up your cabinetry with new paint and hardware. Experts advise painting cabinets with quality semi-gloss paints for a chic look. You can also consider adding new hardware. Together, these new improvements will enhance the look of your space.

FYI: By not throwing out the existing cabinets, you will avoid landfilling tons of flooring, glass, laminates, and plastics — materials that take centuries to degrade. 

3. Install some DIY open shelving

Open shelvingPhoto by Dane Deaner on Unsplash CC0

If you’re looking for extra storage in your kitchen but want to keep it well within a tight budget, consider crafting out your own wooden open shelves. Place them strategically on the wall and showcase your favorite knick-knacks, China, or spices.  

4. Opt for backsplash tile stickers

Wall tile sticker

Choosing these peel-and-stick backsplash stickers are a great way to add a stylish touch to your kitchen in an affordable way. Aside from the fact that these wall tiles are much, much simpler to install than traditional tiles, they are one of the cheapest ways to upgrade your kitchen

5. Bring in good lighting

Better kitchen lighting is a smart move to enhance the look of your space. You can hang beautifully designed pendants over your kitchen island, under-cabinet lighting, or recessed lighting. Ensure that the overhead lighting is bright and illuminates the cooking area well.

Keep in mind that most recessed lighting conversion kits cost only about $15-$20 each and are a cinch to install. And, you don’t even require an electrician to do the job. Just screw the parts into the recessed light and cover the recessed light.

Adding such light fixtures won’t bust your budget while helping you make a big impact in terms of style and light. 

6. Paint the floor instead of replacing it

If your kitchen floor is old and looks dismal — try painting it a bright color to add a lively touch to it. If you have wood floors, you can opt for a professional refinishing too — just know that it will cost you a lot more. In fact, it costs as much as $2,000. In comparison, a paint job will cost you only $200. No wonder, painting is one of the most budget-friendly kitchen updates you can make.

7. Add architectural interest with a signature feature

Beautiful kitchenPhoto by Rune Enstad on Unsplash CC0

With smart kitchen remodeling ideas, you can give your space a high-end look — in less. The goal is to add something spectacular that catches the eye and yet is not expensive. For instance, you can try adding some beadboard paneling to spruce up your kitchen island. Or, create a focal point with an accent wall having a stone facade or a bright color. 

8. Add a breakfast nook

Want to completely change how your kitchen looks? Add in a basic but beautiful breakfast nook into a neglected corner of your kitchen. The functional and lounge-worthy nook will not cost you a lot of money or space. All you need to create this perfect spot is a bargain table, bench seating, and a few plush throw pillows. You can thank us later!

9. Replace your pantry door with a sliding barn door

Sliding door

If you have a pantry in your kitchen, consider replacing its door with a barn-style sliding door. Not only will it add a different (read farm-style) touch to your kitchen’s appearance but also make your snacks and cooking ingredients more easily accessible. This creative and inexpensive solution can save even more money if you use a hollow-core door with a rustic hardware kit.

10. Change the kitchen curtains

Kitchen curtains

One of the easiest and most affordable ways to update your kitchen is to change your kitchen curtains and valances if any. From sheers to cafe curtains — the sky’s the limit here. Your old and cheerless kitchen will instantly get a beautiful makeover!

11. Opt for a sleek kitchen sink

Kitchen sink

A beautifully designed stainless-steel sink and a sleek single-handle faucet make a handsome pair. Together, they work to add efficiency and style to your kitchen. Choose a faucet whose high-arc spout swivels 360 degrees and has a pull-down spray. It will ease rinsing while keeping it stylish. 

12. Dress up your old kitchen furniture 

Do not change the kitchen furniture if yours is fine in terms of structure and convenience. Give the outdated pieces a new life with some funky upholstery. Another simple and extremely effective solution is to paint them bright. You can choose from black, vanilla, anthracite, stone, chocolate, red, tangerine, or even the classic white. And, you can even select the best effects for your furnishings — lacquered or matte. 

In the event that your furniture is made of wood, you can simply apply some varnish that will get them to shine again and look like new.


You don‘t need deep pockets to make an outdated kitchen look stylish and functional. A good mix of traditional and modern upgrades will result in the perfect budget kitchen remodel. All you need are a few little touches to really tie a look together. 

Keep in mind that hiring a professional interior designer may save you time and money in the long run — preventing expensive errors. However, we do understand that saving money is your priority. Whether you choose a DIY project or a professional job, you are are the best advocate when it comes to keeping your kitchen remodeling budget within a manageable range. And, we know you’ll do a good job. Happy renovating!

12 Best Kitchen Remodeling Ideas on a Budget was last modified: April 21st, 2022 by Oriana Gomez-Zerpa
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