Update Your Kitchen on a Budget

Whether you’re looking to buy a new home or looking to update your current home, sometimes a full kitchen renovation just isn’t in the budget. The average kitchen remodel costs anywhere from $35,000 to over $100,000 but there are small, inexpensive ways to update without breaking the bank. If you’re looking to update your kitchen on a budget, here are some of the most cost effective ways to refresh your space!


Builder basic oak cabinets are less than wow-worthy. Unless you’re living in cottage country, warm orange tone woods scream ‘DATED’. Painting your cabinets can give them more depth and make them more versatile. A white or light gray are timeless. If your cabinets are currently white, consider painting base cabinets or island cabinets a darker contrast colour like a navy, black or darker gray.  Another idea for your island or peninsula is to tile it or clad it with reclaimed wood (depending on the look you’re going for). Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional painter – this is still far less expensive than replacing all of your cabinets. Here are some of my go-to cabinet colours from Benjamin Moore:


A typical kitchen backsplash is only about 20-40 square feet. Splurging on a statement backsplash is a great way to make the whole kitchen look more luxurious and customized. From about $10-$25 per square foot for a decorative tile, this is a great way to add interest in your kitchen. Still too much? Subway tile is clean, classic and timeless at only $2.50 per square foot.


This is one of the quickest, easiest and most cost effective ways to refresh your kitchen. Basic, boring knobs and pulls show a kitchen’s age. Whether it’s a classic chrome or brushed nickel option or a trendier brass or matte black – you can change the look and feel of a kitchen with this simple swap alone.

Top To Bottom: Top Knobs Kinney Pull | Atlas Homewares Conga Pull | Atlas Homewares Browning Pull | Top Knobs Ascendra Pull | Top Knobs Hillmont Pull


Though updating your countertops and changing to an undermount sink can be a big ticket item – simply changing out your faucet can make a big difference. Getting rid of that builder basic faucet and opting for a more functional pull down style can be a great way to update the space. A stainless steel faucet will work well with your stainless steel sink, but opting for a black or brass faucet to match your hardware can help to elevate the space as well.


Though adding pendants, pot lights or under cabinet lighting might be out of the budget, simply switching your existing ceiling fixtures can make a huge impact. Say goodbye to the boring flush-mount light and opt for something more decorative.


Do you wonder why those kitchens in magazines and on Pinterest look so much more put together than yours? One word for you: Accessories. Creating small vignettes with accessories will give your space that designer touch. Coffee or bar trays, flowers, cutting boards & bowls of fresh fruit. Displaying a few stylish items will make the space look like it has character – just like how a few good accessories complete an outfit. This doesn’t have to break the bank either. Stores like Homesense, Structube and Bouclair have great little accessory options that are all under the $15 per piece range. Below are a few examples of items from Bouclair that are all less than $15.

This kitchen update by designer Brian Patrick Flynn is a perfect example of what these tweaks can achieve:

Are you thinking about refreshing your kitchen on a budget? Have you recently updated using similar tips and tricks? Let me know in the comments.


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