Updating Your Kitchen on a Budget

Updating Your Kitchen on a Budget

If your kitchen is a little outdated but you are generally happy with its location and layout, there are many things you can do to refresh it without breaking the bank. Not every kitchen needs a full remodel. However, if walking into your kitchen reminds you of the distant last century, it may be time for an update. 

Paint Those Kitchen Walls

A budget friendly option, re-painting can completely transform the look of your kitchen. Even if you decide to color the walls in the same shade as you have now, it will brighten up and clean up the look of your kitchen space.

  • White, off-white, or beige are good if you prefer neutral tones.
  • Try painting an accent wall in a brighter color if everything else is in neutral tones.
  • If you are feeling really adventurous, try wallpapering one wall to add texture and color.
  • Lighter colors will tend to open up the space and are great in small kitchens.

Add a Backsplash

Adding or redoing your backsplash in a fun, interesting style can breathe new life into your kitchen. Not just for looks, they protect your walls from grease and grime. 

Costs can vary of course, depending on the materials. Here are some affordable choices.

  • The classic and modest subway tile is an affordable choice. It has proven to be both functional, unfussy and fashionable. These tiles are generally laid horizontally in staggered rows.
  • A very inexpensive DIY option would be to use a good quality waterproof wallpaper. Some wallpapers can mimic the texture of a true backsplash. There are many interesting patterns to choose from.
  • If you simply want to refresh tiles you already have, try peel and stick decals. These will work best on plain tiles. This is an easy DIY project. For added visual interest, try adding decals in a repeating pattern to specific tiles
  • Another good inexpensive option is to buy peel and stick tiles. Offered in many colors and patterns, they are fairly easy to install, saving yourself the need to hire a contractor

Replace the Cabinet and Drawer Hardware

Replacing all the knobs and handles on your cabinets and drawers can make a big difference to the look of your kitchen with very little cost. The variety these days is amazing and the impact of sleek, modern cabinet pulls and knobs can update the look of your kitchen with very little labor or money.

  • Matte black finishes – modern and sophisticated.
  • Copper and gold – these beauties add a rich, warm tone to the look of your kitchen.
  • Polished nickel and chrome – for a less formal look try nickel or chrome for a pretty and shiny appearance.
  • Satin or brushed nickel and chrome – for a more muted and understated tone, these finishes are perfect.
  • Matte, satin or antique brass – if you want an elegant touch with added warmth try these.

Paint the Cabinet Doors and Drawers

Although changing out your cabinets can be one of the most expensive tasks in a kitchen renovation there are less expensive options if a full cabinet reno isn’t possible. 

  • Sanding down your cabinets and then painting them in an attractive color will create a whole new look to your kitchen. 
  • Popular colors: white (a classic), earthy, subtle greens, black and other dark colors, 2 toned (eg. white on top, natural wood on the bottom).
  • Upgrade some of the upper cabinets by installing glass or plexiglass fronts to showcase fancy dishes.
  • Taking the cabinet doors off and having an open concept cabinet space. This can be done to a few cabinets to create a different look, and showcase the best dishes or glasses in the open cabinet space. 

Kitchen Lighting Ideas

Here is another way to pretty up your space and make it more functional for working in your kitchen. A modern kitchen deserves the best lighting possible. Having the right lighting for your kitchen can help create the atmosphere that you want. As the kitchen is also a workspace, the lighting should also enhance functionality for reading recipes, looking at the food in the oven, etc. You don’t have to feel like the possibilities are endless, once you have a clear understanding of the purpose of the lighting you can then choose what suits your inspiration. We recommended choosing a mix of ambient, task and accent lighting. 

  • Recessed lighting – useful as overhead lighting for tasks or for reading. Recessed lighting can also be used for under-cabinet lighting. There is ‘peel and stick’ lighting for under cabinet use that is very inexpensive.
  • Pendant lighting – if you have a kitchen island, pendant lighting is ideal. There are many attractive styles, sizes and shapes. This type of lighting tends to be more of an accent lighting as it’s not the main source of light. There are a variety of options to choose from from various department stores such as Ikea, Lowes, Home Depot, and even thrift stores. 
  • Track lighting – This lighting enables you to adjust and angle the bulbs wherever you require light. It also provides much more light than a regular ceiling fixture can do. Since track lighting is versatile it can be used to illuminate certain areas of your kitchen that you want to have stand out. 

Make sure to consult an expert on what exactly you will need to properly install lighting. This would include wiring, bulbs and transformers. Hiring a contractor to install your lighting is not costly and it can ensure that the job is done efficiently and effectively. 

How to Update Your Kitchen Countertop Efficiently

Your countertops are an important part of your kitchen. They add a practical workspace and visual interest. If your old countertop is starting to look stained, chipped, or worn out and you aren’t sure how you can afford to replace it, the good news is that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are some budget friendly kitchen countertop renovation options 


  • Looks high end and can resemble marble but more budget friendly
  • Very durable 
  • Scratch and stain resistant 
  • Does not harbor harmful bacteria
  • Does not require sealing 
  • Available in many designs, patterns and colors
  • However, be careful to guard against sudden changes in temperature, use a trivet or pot holder for hot items


  • Laminate countertops today are much improved and have many color options. They can be made to look like quartz, granite or marble
  • Laminate is the most budget friendly material for countertops
  • They resist stains and dirt and are non-porous
  •  No sealing or other special maintenance is required
  • However, it is not scratch or heat resistant
  • Be aware too, that laminate does not have resale value if selling your home

Replace Flooring on a Budget

Updating your kitchen flooring can be costly but there are some budget conscious choices. 


  • Laminate has been improved considerably in the last several years
  • One of the least expensive flooring
  • Comes in many colors and can be manufactured to look like real hardwood
  • It’s best to choose better quality laminate as cheaper laminate has a tendency to crack and warp
  • Be aware that laminate flooring is not waterproof and spills will have to be attended to right away

Vinyl Planking:

  • Although a little more expensive than laminate, it’s still a good choice for your budget
  • Planks can be installed over concrete and hardwood.
  • Easy to install
  • Durable, moisture resistant and easy to clean and maintain, best low cost flooring for a kitchen

Sunshine Sunrooms excels at helping homeowners remodel their kitchen and bathrooms. We offer individualized services based on each of our client’s specific budgets, vision and needs. Call us at (972) 243-5390 for kitchen and bathroom renovations or contact us online to request a quote.

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