Once you start you can’t stop right? Home renovations are seriously addicting (at least for me), but let’s be honest, our bank account can’t keep up. I’ve been lucky to work with some amazing sponsors which helps soften the blow but there are some rooms in our house that just aren’t going to look the way we really want for a really long time. One of those being our kitchen.
It’s actually a great space and it could be WAY worse but it’s definitely not my style. We’ve got a new fridge on the way, and I figured this would be the perfect time to do some updates (mostly cosmetic) to at least bring it into the 21st century. Might as well bust out as many projects as I can before baby #2 arrives, right? 😉
BUDGET KITCHEN MAKEOVER
I’ve shared some pics of our kitchen before, although sparingly, but here’s a little refresher of what we’re working with.
Total potential but in need of some serious updates. Obviously it’s not going to look like my dream kitchen, so I’m not even going to share those inspo pics with you, but I did come up with a little mood board and a list of things we’ll be tackling. Oh and you can follow along on Pinterest with my Dream Kitchen board to see what I’m pinning!
TO-DO LIST FOR BUDGET KITCHEN MAKEOVER
- Paint the walls (my amazing dad actually did this already when we were in Charleston)
- Get new bar stools (already changed these out too)
- Paint the tile backsplash – to keep the costs minimal I’m going to paint over the black tile and possibly use a stencil to create the look of concrete tiles
- Update the cabinets – not with new ones but by adding some trim to give the appearance of Shaker Style Cabinets and painting that weird grey trim
- Paint the cabinets – white to match the walls
- Add new hardware
- New fridge
- New lights – over the island and over the sink
- Vintage rug
- New decor
- Replace white cabinet on the far left
- Possibly update countertops – a lot of you have suggested either concrete or IKEA butcher block so I’m doing some more research on that!
- New sink/faucet
- Wood treatment on the backside of island?
I’m thinking about painting the island a different color than the rest of the cabinets but have no idea what color! Obvs something in the green/blue/gray family but I’m going to worry about painting the rest of the cabinets first. And I really want to do some sort of wood treatment or planking on the inside back of the island. Still thinking on that too.
I think that’s it! The major piece is going to be the cabinets but I think they’re going to make such a huge difference. I found some tutorials online where people have done the same thing and they’ve turned out so good. I’m not looking forward to painting them all but I know I’ll be happy I did in the end.
So the main things we aren’t changing right now are the floors and maybe countertops. Which again, could be way worse but I just hope with all the other updates they don’t stick out and look even more out of place. It drives me crazy that the floor tile is at that weird angle but hopefully by covering up some of it with a gorgeous rug will distract your eye from that 😉
I came up with a little mood board to help me make some decisions and see how everything will work together. Paint color for the island still TBA but I threw in a little grey swatch for now.
MOOD BOARD FOR BUDGET KITCHEN MAKEOVER
*affiliate links included
stools :: hanging light :: flush mount light :: hexagon knobs :: brass pulls :: stencil :: faucet :: brass pulls
Since we’re not doing a whole gut job right now, our kitchen probably won’t look as clean and cohesive as my mood board but creating these is an absolute must for me before I begin any room makeover. It helps so much to see things paired together visually and helps me make design decisions that I would otherwise ponder over for weeks and weeks.
Over the weekend I got super motivated and started painting and adding trim to our cabinets. I’m quickly realizing how big of a project this is going to be mainly because of the amount of cupboards we have. But the good news is I’m not really giving myself a deadline for this project, so I don’t need to rush and will just get it done as I can (aka between nap times).
Be sure to follow along on my insta stories for lots of behind the scenes updates as things start to come together!
Would love to hear if you’ve done a mini budget kitchen makeover before where you updated what you had and worked within a tight budget!
Budget makeover sound so comfortable. But materials to be used should be durable and safety should be on topmost priority when doing whatever house modification. Thank you for sharing, you are such an inspiration. Please keep posting.
Thanks for posting, Bre! This is great! We all could use a little push to make small changes that prove to provide big results!
Can you share the comfort of those bar stools? I have had my eye on them for a client, but I’m skeptical of their quality. Thank you, Bre! Your home is drool worthy and so lovely.
Hi Abby! They are SO comfortable, I love them for that. The one thing I was disappointed in was the legs – they’re metal not wood. But for the price, I guess you get what you pay for. They’re still super stylish! If you’re on a budget, they’re perfect!
Aslam and sons
Great plans! Thanks for sharing. i am glad to see because we are planning to our kitchen.
Awesome! There are so many changes you can make that are super easy and will make a huge impact!
Love you plans! Can’t wait! I’ve hated the color of my cabinets and the hardware since the day I moved in 10 years ago 😉 I thought I would change that sooner but that never makes the cut to get into the budget. I recently tried to find affordable brass hardware but was stumped when I discovered all drawers are drilled with a 3 3/4 center to center. So excited to find that your pick could also work for me! Do you have a board where I could find other options???
i’m in the same boat…make it work! I have already finished phase one with paint and switching out a cabinet with some open shelving but I would love to extend my cabinets to the ceiling and add some crown. Fortunately I already have nice counter tops (even if they are not the color I would have chosen,)so I’m thinking back splash is on my list. I’ll follow along to see if you have any brilliant ideas. Good luck, sometimes the projects that seem like the simple, easy ones turn out to be the back breakers.
Glad I’m not the only one in the middle of all of this! The more I think about it the more I want to do, but I have to remember it’s just a temporary fix for right now. So nice you already have counter tops you like – I feel like that’s one thing that won’t be as easy to replace. But at least they are a neutral and plain color! Excited to follow along with your space!
How are you painting your cabinets? We have cheap pressed wood cabinets that I’m dying to paint!
I’ll share a tutorial once I’m all done but I’m using 1/4″ plywood cut into 2″ strips for the trim and then I’m just priming and painting with a small brush and foam roller!
Hey girl! I’m so excited about this makeover! I did a DIY makeover of my kitchen when we moved in by doing many similar projects that you have planned. I did a concrete overlay on my countertops using the Encore countertop kit that I got on Amazon. They have held up really well for 3 years. No chips or cracks and I have stood on my counters to scrape and paint ceilings. I also have a drop in sink with no divider and I really love it. I can pile dishes up with ease in that thing. I’m excited about your cabinet makeover too!!!!
Thanks for sharing Candi! We’re definitely going to look into the concrete countertops – good to know they’ve held up for so long! And I was thinking about another sink with a divider but now you’ve got me thinking!
Thanks! I also forgot to tell you that thenpainted cement tile is a great idea. I just painted my bathroom floor with the Augusta tile stencil from cutting edge stencils and it looks really awesome! I can imagine one would look incredible on your backsplash! And it’s soooo much cheaper!
we did a budget makeover a few years ago and I like it so much that I will be sad to see it go one day when we actually completely renovate it. One way we really saved money was by skim coating the countertops with a concrete overlay. It’s a feather finish by ardex. In our new kitchen I will probably do the same thing that’s how much I like it.
I’ve heard great things about the Feather Finish! Definitely something we’re going to look into!
I’m in the middle of budget kitchen reno right now. I’m 75 years old and my home is in a much lower price range than yours, will probably be sold in the next 8-10 years, and is in a neighborhood where cosmetic upgrades will suffice. My cabinets went from builder grade oak to white, with new modern hardware, and that in itself made such a huge difference. My countertops went from beige laminate to an upgraded laminate that has the appearance of granite. (The new laminates are amazing and inexpensive, as are butcherblock.) My wallpapered backsplash is getting new no-grout self-stick tiles that look like glass but are much less expensive. The old kitchen floor tile is being exchanged this coming week for a dark “wood” laminate and my old appliances are being replaced next week. It’s been a long time coming and I’m very excited. While I would have loved to update with real wood, real glass, real hard surfaces – my budget would not allow. The cosmetic improvements of the faux finishes are wonderful for temporary fixes or even, like mine, permanent ones in a home whose value won’t support the high-end finishes.
Also, as a suggestion, my son and his wife installed real stacked stone on the face of their island where little feet (and big ones) have a tendency to kick while sitting on the stools. It is absolutely damage-proof and looks wonderful. Just a suggestion.
It sounds like it’s going to be a beautiful makeover! I’m all about the faux finishes, especially when you’re on a budget! And thanks for the top on the island – that’s a great idea!
My husband and I did a mini kitchen makeover last year for about $500. We painted the cupboards/window frames, repainted the walls, replaced the floors with a vinyl snap together and bought new quarter round. Also bought some chrome shelving and my husband built a hanging rack for pots and pans. It looks like a whole new room!
That’s awesome! Sometimes all you need to do are a few cosmetic changes and they make all the difference in the world!
We did a budget make over where we kept our cabinets and did the trim update on the front with new hardware, it made a huge difference. We also redid our layout (you’re lucky to already have a good layout). We had cabinets with paneling on the back that separated the kitchen and dining area so we made it open with an island. For countertops we used concrete on our outside cabinets and a butcher block we made from bowling ally floor for the island. We love how it turned out, even if it took us over a year working on it on and off! Best of luck!
Awesome, thanks for sharing Shalie! I can already tell the cabinets are going to make a huge difference! And love the idea of a butcher block countertop from a bowling ally floor!
What do you use to make your mood boards?
I use Photoshop!
We did a super budget makeover on our farm cottage. Painted the revolting tiles white & put butcher block wooden tops on cabinets, mainly to make them wider, they are very narrow 50’s cabinets. Made an incredible difference for seriously a few $100. Very satisfying. Can’t wait to see yours. (Search Currawong on my blog if you want to see)
Awesome, thanks for the insight! Will definitely check yours out…I’d love to do some butcher block countertops! And painting tile seems like such an easy temporary fix! I’m excited to see the difference it makes in our space 🙂
Aaaaah I know it’s going to turn out amazing even if it’s just cosmetic changes! I bet you’ll manage to turn that space on its head even without ripping anything out 🙂
Aw thank you Michelle, I sure hope so! We’ve got some good bones to work with so hopefully I can make it fit my style a little more!
Christina in FL
Oh my!!! What a project and labor of love! What a huge kitchen! I am working with a footprint of 9’6″ by 8’6″ wall to wall. I remind myself people in NYC work magic with even smaller spaces. 🙂
I look forward to seeing more!
You can totally make a huge impact in a small space! I almost wish ours was smaller so I didn’t have so many cabinets to paint, ha!
Hi Bre, I added wood trim to my cabinets last summer and it was a TON of work. But the payoff was amazing. It totally changed my entire kitchen. I had 1980’s beige laminate. So bland. I used mdf which was really easy to sand down and fill when I made any mistakes. They aren’t perfect, but will get us through until we can do a real renovation. I new from hating my kitchen to loving it.
Yay, so glad to hear it’s holding up and you’re loving it! I started over the weekend and am already realizing how much work it’s going to be, but I know it will be worth it in the end 🙂