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15 Small Kitchen Makeover Ideas You Can Do on a Budget

by The Home Sapiens Team
15 Small Kitchen Makeover Ideas You Can Do on a Budget

A small kitchen doesn’t have to mean limited style or functionality. With a few creative updates, you can transform your kitchen into a charming, efficient space without spending a fortune.

In this article, we’ll explore 15 practical makeover ideas that will help you revamp your kitchen, adding both aesthetic appeal and functionality. From painting cabinets and installing a backsplash to upgrading light fixtures and adding open shelving, these tips will guide you through each step of the process.


Paint the Cabinets

Paint the Cabinets

Credit: pinterest/@thisoldhouse

Painting your cabinets is one of the most effective ways to transform your kitchen. Start by removing all cabinet doors, drawers, and hardware. Clean the surfaces thoroughly with a degreaser to remove any built-up grime and grease.

Sand the cabinets lightly with fine-grit sandpaper to ensure the paint adheres properly, and then wipe away the dust. Apply a primer suitable for your cabinet material, such as wood or laminate. After the primer has dried, use a high-quality, semi-gloss or satin paint.

Light colors like white, cream, or pale gray can make the space feel larger and brighter. Apply multiple thin coats, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. Reattach the doors and hardware once the paint is fully cured.


Change Cabinet Hardware

Credit: Instagram/@designmax101

Updating your cabinet hardware is a simple yet impactful change. Choose new knobs or pulls that match your kitchen’s style, such as modern, vintage, or farmhouse. Measure the existing holes to ensure the new hardware fits, or use a template to drill new holes accurately.

This project only requires a screwdriver and a few minutes per handle. Brushed nickel, matte black, or brass finishes are popular choices that can significantly update the look of your cabinets.

READ MORE: 5 DIY Decor Ideas to Make Your Space Truly ‘You’


Install a Backsplash

Credit: Instagram/@fireclaytile

Peel-and-stick tiles are a budget-friendly and easy-to-install option. They come in various designs, such as subway, mosaic, or geometric patterns. Begin by cleaning the wall surface and measuring the area to determine how many tiles you’ll need.

Cut the tiles to fit using a utility knife or scissors. Peel off the backing and stick the tiles onto the wall, pressing firmly to ensure they adhere well. For a more durable option, consider adhesive mats designed for tile installation.


Add Open Shelving

Credit: Instagram/@thekitchendesigngroup

Open shelving can create an airy feel and provide a space to display your attractive dishes and glassware. Remove some upper cabinet doors or entire cabinets, and replace them with open shelves. Use sturdy brackets and wooden planks, which can be painted or stained to match your kitchen.

Arrange your items neatly to create an organized and stylish display. Be mindful of what you place on the shelves—store frequently used items for easy access and reserve the top shelves for decorative pieces.

READ MORE: 7 Plant Arrangements to Make Your Home Greenery Reflect ‘You’


Replace the Faucet

Credit: Instagram/@j.blantonplumbing

Opt for a high-arc faucet with a pull-down sprayer for added convenience. Stainless steel, brushed nickel, or matte black finishes are popular choices. To replace the faucet, turn off the water supply and remove the old faucet.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the new one, which typically involves connecting the water supply lines and securing the faucet to the sink.


Paint the Walls

Credit: pinterest/@WestPearInteriors

A fresh coat of paint on the walls can instantly brighten your kitchen. Clean the walls thoroughly and fill any holes or cracks with spackle. Sand the patched areas smooth and wipe away the dust.

Use painter’s tape to mask off areas you don’t want to paint, such as trim and countertops. Choose a high-quality, washable paint in a light, neutral color like soft beige, light gray, or pastel. Apply at least two coats, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.

READ MORE: 8 Colorful Paint Schemes to Make Your Walls Feel Like ‘You’


Use Under-Cabinet Lighting

Credit: Instagram/@christopherpeacock

Under-cabinet lighting can illuminate countertops and create a warm ambiance in your kitchen. LED strip lights are energy-efficient and easy to install. Clean the underside of the cabinets to ensure the adhesive strips stick properly.

Peel the backing off the adhesive strips and stick them in place, pressing firmly. Plug them into a nearby outlet or hardwire them for a more seamless look. Some LED strips come with dimming options and color changes, adding versatility to your lighting.


Upgrade Light Fixtures

Credit: Instagram/@dreaminteriorsuk

Consider pendant lights over an island or sink, a chandelier for a touch of elegance, or recessed lighting for a clean, contemporary feel. Turn off the power at the breaker box before removing the old fixture.

Install the new fixture according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which may involve connecting wires and securing the fixture to the ceiling or wall. This project may require some basic electrical work.

READ MORE: 6 Creative Lighting Fixtures to Make Your Home Shine Like ‘You’


Add a Rug or Runner

Credit: Instagram/@decor.byfarah_

A rug or runner can add warmth and personality to your kitchen floor. Choose a rug that is durable and easy to clean, such as one made from indoor/outdoor material or a washable cotton rug. Patterns can hide stains and add visual interest.

Place the rug in high-traffic areas like in front of the sink, stove, or along the main kitchen walkway. Ensure the rug has a non-slip backing or use a rug pad to prevent slipping.


Replace Countertops with Butcher Block

Credit: Instagram/@beamerscreekwoodworking

Butcher block countertops add a warm, rustic feel to your kitchen. Measure your existing countertops and cut the butcher block to fit. Secure the countertops to the cabinets with brackets or screws.

Seal the wood with a food-safe finish to protect against water and stains. Regularly oil the surface to maintain its appearance and prevent drying or cracking.

READ MORE: 11 Easy Storage Solutions to Make Your Home Organization Reflect ‘You’


Install a Pot Rack

Credit: Instagram/@montclairdesignperspectives

A pot rack can free up cabinet space and give your kitchen a professional touch. Ceiling-mounted racks work well over islands, while wall-mounted racks can be placed above a counter or near the stove. Choose a pot rack that fits your space and style.

Use sturdy anchors and screws to ensure the rack can hold the weight of your pots and pans. Arrange your cookware in a way that balances the load and keeps frequently used items within easy reach.


Use Contact Paper

Credit: Instagram/@feel.home.520

Contact paper can quickly update outdated surfaces. It comes in various patterns and textures, such as faux marble, wood grain, or stainless steel. Clean the surface thoroughly before applying the contact paper.

Measure and cut the paper to size, then peel off the backing and apply it slowly, smoothing out bubbles as you go. Contact paper can be used on countertops, shelves, or even appliances for a quick and inexpensive update.

READ MORE: 8 DIY Storage Solutions to Effortlessly Organize Your Home


Add Decorative Storage Containers

Credit: Instagram/@blissfullittlehome

Choose attractive jars, baskets, and containers that match your kitchen’s decor. Clear glass jars are great for storing dry goods like flour, sugar, and pasta, while woven baskets can hold fruits, vegetables, or utensils.

Label each container for easy identification and an organized look. Arrange them neatly on shelves or countertops to keep your kitchen tidy and stylish.


Hang Art or Chalkboard

Credit: Instagram/@at_the_mcgillens

Choose artwork that reflects your style or kitchen theme, and hang it at eye level for the best visual impact. A chalkboard can serve as a functional and decorative piece where you can write grocery lists, recipes, or messages for your family.

Frame it nicely to make it a focal point in your kitchen. Alternatively, consider a magnetic board for displaying notes, recipes, or photos.

READ MORE: 7 DIY Outdoor Decor Ideas to Make Your Garden Reflect ‘You’


Replace Window Treatments

Credit: Instagram/@avant_gardedesign

Choose new curtains or blinds that are easy to clean and complement your kitchen’s color scheme. Light-filtering shades can brighten the space, while patterned curtains can add a pop of color and interest.

Measure your windows accurately and install the new treatments according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Consider using tension rods for an easy, no-drill installation, especially in rental properties.

In conclusion, transforming your small kitchen on a budget is entirely feasible and immensely rewarding. By implementing the 15 budget-friendly makeover ideas explored in this article, you can revitalize your kitchen space with creativity and practicality.

From painting cabinets to installing open shelving and utilizing decorative storage, each suggestion offers a pathway to infuse your kitchen with renewed vitality and charm. With these insights, you’re equipped to embark on your own kitchen makeover journey, creating a space that balances style, functionality, and affordability.

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