How To Update a Kitchen On a Budget

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Renovations come up a hefty price tag. So how can you update a kitchen without renovating it? Here are 5 simple solutions.

5 ways to update your kitchen on a budget

For many, the kitchen is the heart of the home. But it’s also the most expensive room in your house to renovate. In addition to the expense, it can also be the most inconvenient, forcing you and your family to eat out for months at a time. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to completely change the feel and update your kitchen without renovating it! May I dare say that you can update your kitchen without even replacing the cabinets??


Kitchen with patterned wallpaper backsplash
Photo from From Grit to Pearl

Paint has limitless potential in transforming your kitchen, and it comes with very little expense. Painting your cabinets will produce the most dramatic effect whether you switch from wood to white or white to a bold color like navy or deep green. You can even try out two-toned cabinets if you want to try a color but don’t want your kitchen to feel too dark! You’ll get the look of new cabinets and an updated kitchen without replacing the cabinets! There are plenty of tutorials on how to paint your kitchen cabinets, including a great one from Honey Built Home.

Don’t stop at just your cabinets. Countertops and backsplashes can also be painted for a completely new feel. Always wanted marble countertops? Check out this tutorial help you create a marble look with paint! As for that backsplash? Try stenciling it for a few pop in your kitchen!

Update the kitchen island

white kitchen island with geometric trim and leather bar stools

Have an island? Focusing on updating just your island can help change the feel of your kitchen without blowing your budget. Since kitchen islands are separate from the rest of your countertops, they are a great opportunity to try something new. It’s a great place to try a new color: gray, black, and navy blue are especially popular!

You can also try out a new countertop. I love the warmth that a butcherblock countertop can add to a space! If you aren’t sure about replacing countertops, you can make your island a centerpiece by adding some shiplap or geometric molding to the base. Treat your kitchen island like an accent wall–the options are limitless!

Replace the hardware

Many people look over their hardware and underestimate the ability hardware has to completely change a feel of a room. Replace outdated hardware with modern pieces to upgrade your kitchen in just a few hours.

If you like your hardware or can’t afford new hardware, buy a few cans of spray paint. Adding more contrast by going from chrome to black will add more interest to your space while adding gold or copper tones will make your space feel more elegant and warm.

Swap out

white kitchen with big gold pendant lights and light blue island
Photo from Chrissy Marie Blog

Lights, barstools, and other decor can be swapped and replaced to give your kitchen a new feel. Lights and barstools will have the strongest ability to change the feel of the space–change from farmhouse to industrial with just a few new pieces.

Other decor such as wall art, cute signs, and towels will help you create a cohesive feel in your kitchen. If you want your space to feel renewed, but your budget is very limited, change out the colors of your towels and add a few new decor pieces such as vases or jars for flour and sugar that fit within the new color scheme.

Clean up

white kitchen with wood vent hood and concrete pendent lights
Photo from Carcaba Road

A simple way to change the feel of your kitchen is to simply clean up. Stowaway all but one of your countertop appliances and clear away the rest of your decor. If it starts to feel too bare, add 1-2 pieces of decor back in. Clearing the clutter will help your countertops feel larger and will make your kitchen feel more open. Clutter can change the feel of even the most beautiful kitchens by making it feel cramped. Your eyes don’t know where to focus and your brain feels overwhelmed by all of the stimuli. Clear your countertops–clear your mind!

How to update a kitchen without replacing cabinets 

There you have it! 5 ways to update your kitchen without replacing cabinets or any major renovations. Sometimes simply tidying up a space and clearing all the clutter is all you need to feel like your space is new. What was your favorite tip? Was it paint? That’s my favorite because it’s so inexpensive, yet so very versatile! 

white kitchen with leather barstools and black pendent lights
5 ways to update your kitchen on a budget

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