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Home » How To Update Your Kitchen On A Budget (26 Easy Ideas)

How To Update Your Kitchen On A Budget (26 Easy Ideas)

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Styled kitchen with dark cabinets and brass finishes

Are you dreaming of a kitchen makeover but lacking the funds to make your dream a reality? Don’t worry! I’ve got you covered with 26 easy (and stylish) ideas for giving your kitchen a makeover on a budget.

1. Organize and Declutter

Let’s kick things off with a decluttering spree – the cheapest way to change how you feel about your kitchen! You can make a significant difference to your kitchen simply by having a good clear-out and grouping everything by size/use.

Put anything unattractive out of sight in cupboards and drawers, and use attractive tins, jars, and baskets to organize your smaller items.

Shop my favorite stylish kitchen organizing solutions that will make your kitchen as gorgeous as it is organized!

Organized kitchen cabinet

Plus, check out my blog posts on spice organization and cabinet storage for inspiration.

2. Paint The Walls

Isn’t it amazing how a fresh coat of paint can completely transform a space? For a new look and the most straightforward kitchen update, try out a new paint color or paint one accent wall to change things up a bit.

3. Revamp The Cabinets

New cabinets are fantastic but might not be possible in a budget kitchen makeover.

Don’t underestimate the power of paint when refreshing tired cabinets. With a little primer and paint, you can give your kitchen cabinets a new lease on life.

Got laminate-coated cabinets? Strip them and give them a little refresh. Use Cabinet enamel paint for a sturdy finish.

Painted cabinets and drawers with cabinet enamel paint by Behr

4. Re-tile or Paint The Tiles

Yes, you read that right! Give your tiles a whole new personality with a coat of paint. It’s a budget-friendly way to update your kitchen without the hassle of replacing tiles.

But if you aren’t afraid of a little DIY, replacing the backsplash with beautiful new tiles can be remarkably budget-friendly with a high-end result.

Cutting tile with a tile cutter

5. Refresh The Grout

Grout is something we often forget about, but giving it a refresh is one of the cheapest ways to make a big difference! Grab a grout pen and give your grout lines a fresh, clean look. To really shake things up, try staining your grout a different color!

6. Add An Adhesive Backsplash

In the past, adding a new backsplash meant hiring someone or being DIY capable. These days, there are so many beautiful peel-and-stick backsplash tiles out there that don’t require complex tools or DIY! They’re easy to install, cheap, and transformative – a great way to update a kitchen on a budget.

Peel and stick backsplash tiles for the kitchen

7. Replace The Flooring

If your kitchen floor looks worse for wear, replace it with a budget-friendly option like vinyl tiles or laminate, or check out floating interlocking tiles for a more sturdy solution.

Feeling brave? You could try pulling up your existing flooring to see what’s underneath!

8. Upgrade The Countertops

​Keep the cabinets you have, but upgrade the counters to change the look of your kitchen. Go for more affordable countertops like porcelain for a high-end marble look without the pricetag or upkeep.

Want the most budget-friendly option? Don’t splurge on brand-new kitchen countertops; just give your current worktops a makeover! You could paint them, stain them, or wrap them with sticky-back vinyl—another budget-friendly way to completely transform your kitchen.

9. Upgrade Hardware Like Cabinet Door Handles & More

If your cabinet handles are fairly boring or outdated, replace them with new ones. There are so many gorgeous options, from simple and elegant to funky and quirky! Or, if you’re really on a budget, spray paint your existing ones.

painted cabinet pulls and kitchen hardware

On a similar note, why not upgrade your switch covers, socket covers, and door handles for a fresh look? Hardware is easy to overlook but it’s such a quick and easy way to update a room on a budget.

Check out my post Our Favorite Designer Door Knobs for door hardware inspiration!

Stylish door handles and levers before and after

10. Wrap The Fridge (Or Paint It!)

To make a really big statement on a limited budget, consider wrapping your refrigerator with vinyl. Whether you prefer bold colors or subtle patterns, wrapping your fridge is an easy way to add some personality to your kitchen!

Alternatively, use chalkboard spray paint, or appliance epoxy spray to give it a fresh new lease on life!

11. Switch Out The Faucet

The kitchen faucet is often overlooked as the practical part of the kitchen. But go with an eye-catching faucet that stands out and adds elegance!

Swapping out the faucet doesn’t require much plumbing skill; you could do it yourself to avoid the labor expense.

Upgraded kitchen faucet

12. Add Statement Lighting

One trick to updating a kitchen on a budget is knowing when to scrimp and when to invest a little bit more. A statement light fixture is one way to make a big impact in your kitchen, so it’s worth spending a little more on light fixtures if you can afford it.

On a really tight budget? No worries! Thrift stores are full of bargains and you can always give your existing light a makeover.

Kitchen with gold light fixture and gold stools

13. Install Extra Lighting

Lighting can have a huge impact on a space and make it feel so much more luxurious. So why not add some stick-on under-cabinet lighting or wall sconces for an instant lift? There are loads of affordable but beautiful battery-operated options on Amazon.

Gold sconce on kitchen counter

14. Hang Decorative Hooks

One of my favorite ways to update the kitchen or any room on a budget is by adding decorative hooks. Find a few statement hooks and use them to hang up cutting boards, utensils, and other bits and pieces. This is an affordable way to keep your worktops clear too!

Cutting boards on hooks on the kitchen wall

15. Add A Rug

Simply adding a stylish rug can make your kitchen look much more homey. Rugs can be expensive though, so consider making your own, like I did… for just $9! 

DIY painted rugs

16. Switch Out Curtains Or Blinds

Replacing your curtains or blinds is another budget-friendly upgrade you can make. Seek out a bargain, scour the thrift stores, or get creative by upcycling some old curtains, a bedspread, a table cloth, or any other piece of fabric you like the look of!

17. Add Moulding

Create a more sophisticated look by adding moulding to your cabinets or ceiling. It’s amazing how such a small change can make a room look so much more high-end!

Moulding and trim to upgrade a kitchen

18. Upgrade Countertop Appliances

If your toaster, kettle, microwave, or other small appliances have seen better days, treat yourself to a new set of matching appliances in your chosen color scheme or finish.

Kitchen aid mixer on a kitchen countertop

19. Install Open Shelving

​Storage doesn’t always have to be practical alone; it can be used for decoration!

​If you have the wall space, add some open shelves, floating shelves, or even a bookcase. Decorate it with flowers, cookbooks, pretty storage containers, and any other accessories you love.

To learn how to style shelves, see Styling A Bookcase Vignette

Floating shelves installed in a kitchen update

20. Display Pretty Plates, Dishware, & Crockery

Showcase your favorite crockery and cutlery to add character to your kitchen. Mix and match different pieces for an eclectic look. Display beautiful ware in glass cabinets, open shelves, on a bookcase in your kitchen, or along your countertops.

Don’t have any nice crockery? Head to your local thrift store or antique store for some stunning pieces.

Dishware and crockery on display in a buffet cabinet

21. Accessorize The Kitchen

It isn’t often we think of decorative accessories in the kitchen, but sprinkling in pretty accents adds charm and personality.

Use quirky knick-knacks, cute kitchen essentials, and even soft goods to bring your own style to the room. Include items like countertop artwork, a tray with trendy salt & pepper shakers, pretty oil dispensers, and more.

Choose tea towels, oven gloves, and soap dispensers in a stand-out color scheme. Look for collections in different materials, finishes, and patterns to change out the look periodically.

Decorative kitchen accessories - cutting boards, salt and pepper shaker, gold tray, and countertop accents

22. Make Custom Holders, Trivets, & More!

Kitchen accessories like trivets aren’t expensive on their own, but if you’re giving your kitchen a makeover, those small costs can add up. So here’s a budget-friendly idea: why not make your own helpful dish holders, trivets, and helpful kitchen aids instead?

From utensil holders to painted trays, the possibilities are endless. Here are a few ideas:

DIY trivet, napkin holder, and copper pot

23. Build A Makeshift Pantry

Don’t have a pantry? Make your own! Repurpose a bookshelf, dresser, or cabinet, and turn it into a space to store your food items and serving utensils.

Bookshelf with copper pots and salt and pepper shaker + houseplants

24. Create A Kitchen Island

If space allows, why not go all out and make yourself a kitchen island? See what you can salvage or repurpose, for example an old dining table, and completely transform the layout of your kitchen… and give yourself more storage space!

If your kitchen has a set of bar stools, give them a refresh with a bit of paint or some reupholstery to match your curtains or other accessories.

If not, or if you only have one or two chairs, scour your local thrift store for a quirky replacement. Accessorize with a $5 cushion or two and your kitchen will soon feel nice and cozy!

26. Decorate With Plants

Houseplants are a great add a fresh feel to a room, and they don’t have to cost the earth (no pun intended!). Learn how to get plants for free or cheap.

What about making a statement with gorgeous planters? Get a few cheap pots and throw in a couple more decorative ones to add style. You can also get creative and use things you already have, like jars, baskets, and glasses. See my list of 20+ stylish things to put your houseplants in.

For more ideas, see Tips for Decorating With Houseplants.

Houseplant in a tea cup

27. Make Your Own Wall Art

Finally, for a truly custom look, add a personal touch to your kitchen with some DIY wall art. All you need is a bit of paint and a canvas to create some budget-friendly decor. Alternatively, print out photos or cut out designs from magazines.

DIY art on canvas

And That’s How To Update A Kitchen On A Budget!

These days, you really don’t need to spend a fortune to give your kitchen a makeover. There are so many different budget kitchen updates you can make… It’s just a case of picking the ideas that will work best for you and intentionally making those small changes!

Whatever the size of your kitchen renovation budget. I’d love to see what you end up doing!

Looking For More Inspiration?

Follow my kitchen remodel ideas on Pinterest for more inspiration on how to update a kitchen on a budget!

Budget kitchen remodel Pinterest board