Kitchen Remodeling on a budget

Yes, it does exist! And, no, you can’t do it yourself.

Kitchen RemodelingAre you looking at your kitchen, thinking it needs to be renovated and realizing the funds are just not there? Consider a cheaper alternative with an affordable facelift. Making a few budget-friendly changes and adding modern accents could be enough to transform that kitchen from frumpy to fantastic.

Where to Begin

Before starting this project, it’s important to determine what is outdated, falling apart or in need of a little improvement. Are your cabinets salvageable? Do your appliances need to be replaced?

These two areas of a kitchen can be the most costly to replace. If you’re fortunate enough to have solid-wood cabinets, there are numerous ways to update the look. Visit your local cabinet showrooms to see what trends appeal to you, especially in terms of colors. A new trend is to paint only the upper or lower cabinets, which can create a striking difference. Another option is to add molding to the door fronts or have the cabinets completely refaced. There are many color and finish options available from companies that specialize in refacing.

Perhaps the addition of one wall of cabinets is all the update your kitchen needs — which would add efficiency and style. If your budget allows, create an entertaining area with the addition of a beverage center, wine chiller and new sink.

Kitchen Remodeling on a budgetAnother inexpensive option is to paint the walls a dynamic new color to accent the cabinets and add a refreshing new look to the kitchen. If the cabinets are white, consider a bright fun yellow or fresh relaxing green. There are several online resources that offer advice and assistance with the remodeling process, including or cabinet manufacturers’ Web sites. Take advantage of the free design programs available on these Web sites.

Most kitchens could be given a fresh new look by replacing the counter tops. This space is often the first to look dated and worn. If you have laminate, consider granite or one of the new solid and engineered stone surfaces. Look at the backsplash and think how you could update the look to a more modern style. Other popular finishings include ceramic mosaic tiles or sparkling new glass tiles.

Take advantage of the wall space available in the kitchen and add open shelving, stainless steel tool racks or attractive pot racks. These will add to your storage space and also give an updated look.

Final Touches and Accents

Kitchen Remodeling on a budgetAs your remodeling project proceeds, take a careful look at the lighting in your space and see if it is working for you. Choose colorful new pendant lights, sleek track lighting with halogen bulbs or undercounter lights. Hardware changes also can make an impact without straining the budget and can easily be done by the homeowner.

If your space allows, why not add a new furniture item? This is a great way to add more workspace with a convenient little rolling island or bake center. Designers often add a hutch or open cabinet for displaying your favorite china pieces or collections.

You might be surprised at how inexpensively these items will transform your kitchen to a more updated look.


Designer Inspiration

For more information on tips, trends and inspiration, check out the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s Web site at