6 Ways to Update Your Kitchen For Less

It can be frustrating when you crave change in your surroundings but have limited funds. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy, DIY fixes you can do in no time at all.

6 Ways to Update Your Kitchen For Less


It’s been said time and again because it’s true: a fresh coat of paint can work wonders on tired walls, trim or cabinetry. At only $15-$25 on average per gallon, you get the biggest decor bang for your buck, along with a little elbow grease. Watch for sales. If you keep an open mind and aren’t married to a particular brand or color, you can score paint cheap at home improvement stores in their “oops, wrong color” shelves.

Or, check out Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores, which are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and used building materials, among other cool finds, at a fraction of the retail price.


Light fixtures are an easy way to add interest to any space. In the kitchen, think about the tasks that you do in relation to the layout and counter space and plan accordingly.

Check out secondhand options like Goodwill or thrift stores in your hometown. Clean them up or repaint them and they’re good as new. And, if you don’t love it, you can always switch it out when a better option comes along, and feel good you didn’t overspend. Ikea is another great place to find inexpensive fixtures.

Accessories & Wall Art

You can find great accessories and wall art just about anywhere these days. Or, make your own art. Visit a secondhand book store or your own library and browse through the images for possibilities to frame. Kids’ artwork is another option. Take some of their masterpieces off the refrigerator and frame them to really make them really special.


Of course, another way you can refresh your kitchen for less is with a new backsplash. There are millions of materials to choose from, but for a truly budget-friendly DIY project, two brands stand out.

Fasade faux tin panels are available in a multitude of traditional, modern and industrial styles in more than 20 finishes. They easily stick to the wall with double-sided tape or construction adhesive. Aspect peel and stick tiles come in two formats, metal and glass, and add instant flair to your space. All you have to do is peel and stick!


Replacing cabinet hardware and drawer knobs and pulls makes for a dramatic update for very little. You can find them at any home improvement store or specialty cabinet shops at all different price points. Or, take it a step further and remove some of the doors on your upper set of cabinets to achieve a lighter, more open look and have a new option to display some of your favorite dishes and serving platters.

Window treatments

You don’t have to live with tired window treatments. At the very least, clean the grime off your blinds. You’ll be amazed at the amount of dust and grease that accumulates over time. Here’s a great article on how to do that. Or, take down the blinds and try Roman shades or a new valance. These items can be purchased inexpensively at any mass merchandiser. Or, get crafty and sew them yourself.

What do you think of these 6 ways to update your kitchen for less? Have any more ideas? Let me know in the comments!



Kitchen Backsplash Tutorial – From ‘Ick’ to Awesome

Jennifer — when she’s not teaching Shakespeare, dangling participles and poetic devices in her small town — tackles the real estate world “one dated, ugly home at a time.” She successfully bought, flipped and sold her first project, and recently began her second project. She details the ups and downs of DIY house flipping in her delightful blog, The Bachelorette Pad Flip.

We learned about her adventures in a recent blog post where she described the trials and tribulations of renovating her kitchen. “I know that vintage is in, but this kitchen was just BAD vintage. I did all of the demo myself, which was quite fun,” she says.

Upgrades included replacing the countertops, adding new tile flooring and new stainless steel appliances, replacing the vintage sink, installing new light fixtures, painting the walls and adding new cabinet hardware. She also added a spiffy new Fasade backsplash in our Ripple style, Argent Silver finish. You can read all about her kitchen backsplash tutorial in this post.

Update: Jennifer is currently completing her third flip, which was her grandparents’ house. She retired from teaching, is a full-time Realtor and says she’s flipping houses with one singular goal: to pay off student loan debts. We love following her DIY flipping adventures and think you will, too, so be sure to check out her site.

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!