How to Refresh Your Kitchen On A Budget

By Mark Noonan                 Plumbing Mart President


Shoestring Budget, Show-Stopping Results

When planning that perfect kitchen renovation, your mind immediately runs to cost. You need a change. Your kitchen is outdated, it’s not functional, or you simply want to get out of your rut. But, you don’t have the money for a full overhaul. You think all hope is lost and you will be stuck in that dreadful kitchen until your savings account catches up with your vision. Luckily, there are many low-cost ways to update the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank.

Cabinetry. When envisioning a kitchen renovation, the first thing one thinks of is changing the cabinets, since they are a large focus of the space. But doing a full cabinet replacement can be very costly, especially when custom cabinets are needed. Fortunately, you can update the look of your entire kitchen with a few simple updates to your existing cabinetry.

  1. Paint over your existing cabinets. Update the colour to create a more appealing colour palette to you.  If going with dark walls, consider a lighter contrasting shade for the cabinets, or conversely, if going with lighter walls consider darker cabinets
  2. Replace the doors on the cabinet. Look into a kitchen supply store to see what options are available that fit your budget.
  3. Change out the cabinet doors for glass fronts. This can be very aesthetically appealing and is a truly beautiful design
  4. Take out the cabinet entirely, or remove the doors, to create open shelving. This is a current hot trend in kitchen design. It creates the illusion of greater depth in the kitchen and opens up the kitchen visually.
  5. Replace the hardware on your cabinets. This is a great option if you are also painting your cabinets. There are many options available to fit any budget, and an area in your renovation where you can look for sales on supplies without compensating on quality.

Painting. Changing the colour can drastically change the entire feel of your kitchen. Pick a colour that suits the tone you want to set in the kitchen. Choosing a palette based on whites and neutrals, for example, are timeless, whereas bolder colours are trendier (which you may update as the trends change).  For a smaller kitchen, avoid colours that are too dark or heavy, as they can make the room appear smaller. For larger kitchens, or kitchens that are a part of an open-concept living space, choose colours that are flows with the space. If your kitchen is a standard sized space – anything goes!

Lighting. Updating the lighting can change the feel of your kitchen. Get rid of fluorescent lights (nothing looks good under fluorescent lights). Add in pendant lighting over work areas, pot lights as accents, and dimmers to bring everything down for meal time. A stylish light in the center of the space, such as a chandelier-light design, can bring it all together.

Backsplash. A great way to change the look of your kitchen is by updating the backsplash. There are many options available today that are affordable, and look great. Because the backsplash is at eye level, it certainly should not be ignored in your design plan. It may be wise to seek out the advice of a professional design consultant at this stage because of the many options that are available. Spending a little money here is worth it in the long run, both for correct installation as well as the correct design choice.

When remodeling your kitchen on a budget, the devil is in the details. Be careful in choosing your design features, colours, and updates you make to create a cohesive feel that brings life to your kitchen.