5 Kitchen Design Ideas for Less

Looking for kitchen design ideas for less?

If your kitchen design ideas are plentiful, but your budget isn’t, don’t despair. You can get the look you want without spending a fortune. All it takes is a little elbow grease and creativity.

Consider these 5 ideas:

Do it yourself. When tackling a remodeling project, do as much of the work yourself to save money on contractors. If you’ve never done any kind of demolition work yourself, get some advice from a handy friend or family member. Instead of hiring a general contractor to oversee the job, bring in a consultant for a one-time fee to advise on issues of structural integrity. Tackle smaller, cosmetic jobs like installing a backsplash or switching out hardware.

Save on cabinets. One of the biggest expenses in remodeling a kitchen is cabinetry, which is about 40 percent of your project budget or more. To save money, choose to only replace or refurbish your lowers and switch the uppers to open shelving. Two other options are professional refacing or trying a do-it-yourself coating system.

Reduce, reuse and recycle. You can save a ton of money by using recycled materials. Check out thrift sales, building supply center clearance sales or outlets, and salvaged materials from places like Habitat ReStore. If you’re not doing the work yourself, check with your contractor to make sure he is OK with using recycled materials. Other great places to check for cheaper materials are Craigslist and Freecycle.

Keep your existing footprint. Knocking out walls, moving plumbing or electrical, or putting on an addition all increase the cost of your remodel. If you stay within your same basic footprint, however, you can avoid some of those costs. If you don’t like how your kitchen is laid out, be creative with the space you have.

Use stock materials. Anytime you deviate from standard measurements, costs increase. If you like the look of custom, buy stock cabinetry and then embellish with details if desired. Trim and crown molding go a long way in taking a plain cupboard to something really unique and interesting looking.

Have any unique kitchen design ideas for less of your own? Be sure to share them in the comments section!



Kitchen Design on a Small Budget

Unless you’re a trained professional, kitchen design on a small budget can seem daunting. Even if you know what you like (and have a defined style), going from concept to completion while keeping stress to a minimum can be a huge challenge.

Before you get started with your remodeling project, do your homework. Get a big picture view of your options and limitations, preferences and “need to haves” vs. “nice to haves.” Once you have some of those ideas figured out, you can narrow down the scope of the project and your plan of attack.

Lifestyle, Budget and Space Considerations


Do you eat out a lot? Do you like to prepare meals and entertain family and friends? Do you prefer an eat-in kitchen or is a more formal dining room appealing? Your lifestyle will help you determine the features you want in your kitchen design.


The average cost for an upscale remodel is about $80,000 so be honest about what you can afford and what you want to spend. For example, do you intend to replace your kitchen cabinets or could you get by with refacing or painting them? How long do you plan to stay in your home? Think about the items you want to change or add that can give you the most return on your investment once you go to sell. Consider splurging on things that significantly add resale value and be budget-minded on cosmetic items. Don’t forget unexpected costs. It’s a good idea to set aside 20 percent of your budget for items that pop up along the way.

Shape and amount of space

Are you OK with the general size of your kitchen? If so then you won’t need to move walls, which adds significantly to your costs, especially if it affects mechanical and plumping systems. If you have the room, consider adding an island. It will give you an extra surface for meal prep and serving, as well as valuable storage space and seating.

Inexpensive Updates in Kitchen Design

Open shelving

You don’t have to spend a fortune for some easy upgrades. Removing the upper cabinets and switching to open shelving saves money and the room will look bigger.


A new backsplash goes a long way in transforming the room as well. Consider Fasade decorative vinyl or Aspect peel and stick metal, stone or glass backsplash. With peel and stick application, or a few swipes of construction adhesive, you can easily install either product over a weekend without having to spend money on a contractor.

Replace light fixtures

If your lights are outdated or you simply need more to really see the tasks at hand, new light fixtures will do the trick without breaking the bank. Consider adding pendants over an island.

Paint and accessories

A fresh coat of paint does wonders to enliven the space and really makes a big impact for very little. Another small touch is switching out your cabinet hardware and drawer pulls. Finally, switch out your accessories to put the finishing touch on your project.

For more ideas on how to complete a budget-minded makeover, visit a kitchen design center for tips and see the right countertops, cabinets, flooring and more for your lifestyle and budget.

What are your thoughts on kitchen design on small budget? Let me know in the comments!