5 DIY Kitchen Remodel Ideas on a Budget to Upgrade Your Space

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We all dream of a stylish, upgraded kitchen space, but sometimes the kitchen budget can be a roadblock. No worries! I’ve got you covered with five budget-friendly kitchen remodel ideas that will leave your space looking like a million bucks on a tight budget. You don’t need to do a full kitchen renovation to make an impact. Let’s get started!

I recently gave our 11 year old IKEA kitchen an upgrade, and I LOVE how it turned out! I’ve wanted to update this space for a few years now, so when I finally had the opportunity to do it I was so excited. The updates weren’t extreme: I did 5 different budget-friendly DIY projects and added a couple of new accessories. It’s amazing how a few small changes can completely change the look of a space!

Here’s how our kitchen looked before:

Here’s how our kitchen looks now:

It looks so pretty now, right?! A few DIYs and simple changes made it look so much warmer, brighter and more elegant. Here are the changes I made, and how you can upgrade your kitchen on a budget, too!

Hardware Makeover: Elevate Your Cabinets

A simple yet effective way to give your kitchen a high-end feel is by upgrading the cabinet hardware. Swap out old knobs, pulls or handles for new ones in a more modern style. Our old hardware was large polished chrome cup pulls and knobs. I swapped those for antique brass hardware, and I LOVE the result! To add a touch of luxury, mix and match different shapes – think knobs, pulls, and handles. This not only modernizes your space but also makes it look more expensive. I chose to install these round brass knobs on the upper cabinet doors, these cup pulls on the lower cabinet drawers, and these long handles on the lower cabinet doors.

Design Tip: Mixing Metals

There’s no need to match all of the metallic finishes in your kitchen. If swapping out your handles is part of your kitchen makeover, you don’t need to buy new lighting to match! When mixing metals, think about contrast. A polished chrome finish and a brushed nickel finish are too much the same to work together. However, a polished chrome with a matte oil-rubbed bronze or an antiqued brass is a lovely contrast of light & dark and of shiny and dull. I decided to keep my polished chrome light fixtures and faucets in my kitchen, and I love how they mix with my new antique brass hardware!

DIY Range Hood Cover: Custom on a Budget

Ever noticed how a stylish range hood can become the focal point of a kitchen? Our hold euro-style range hood was broken, so I was excited to do a project I’ve been dreaming about for a while: a DIY custom range hood cover! We used MDF and scrap wood to build it on a budget, and added a shelf for both practicality and aesthetics. To really up the ante, we attached this brass tipping rail for that high-end finish. If you add a custom range hood cover, I promise your kitchen will instantly exude a custom, upscale vibe too! Here’s the full DIY tutorial on how we built our range hood.

Countertop Upgrade: Marble Look on a Budget

Dreaming of marble countertops but fearing the cost? Fear not, because IKEA has your back! Their budget-friendly EKBACKEN marble-look laminate countertops are a game-changer… I’ve used them in a lot of renovations! Easy to install and maintain, these countertops will instantly elevate the overall aesthetic of your kitchen. As much as I loved our butcher block island top, it was dark and a little too small for our family. I used the IKEA EKBACKEN kitchen island counter top, we cut one end to size, and it’s the perfect topper for our island. I’m a big fan of laminate as a countertop material for it’s affordability and how easy it is to maintain.

Trim and Nook Painting: The Details Matter

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make the biggest impact. Matching your trim and painting any nooks, toe kicks etc. to match your cabinetry exactly is a subtle yet effective way to make your kitchen look more expensive. Head over to Home Depot with a cabinet door in hand, and they can color match a paint to perfection! The details are important, and this meticulous touch will leave your kitchen looking cohesive and polished. I’ve been procrastinating painting my microwave nook by the stove black to match my cabinets, and once I did this the difference was HUGE. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do. I also took all our toe kicks off, sanded them, cleaned them, and re-painted them with a few coats of paint. (Behr Cabinet & Trim enamel is my favourite paint for kitchen cabinets. I find it’s easy to paint with, it dries nice and hard, and it’s easy to maintain afterwards.)

Custom Window Treatment: Elegance on a Budget

Let the light in with style! Creating a custom window treatment adds elegance to your kitchen without burning spending a lot. A faux Roman shade made from a chic tablecloth and a tension rod is a fantastic way to infuse personality into your space. It’s a simple yet impactful DIY project that looks so pretty! I made one for the window above our sink, and I love how it adds a soft touch to our space. I’ll share this faux Roman shade tutorial soon, but meanwhile you can see my other Roman shade tutorial here!

Bonus Tip: Kitchen Decor Matters!

An easy way to make your kitchen look new and fresh is by adding a few new decor items. These warm wood topped stools look amazing next to my island, and I added some thrifted art with gold frames to mimic the brass of our new hardware. What a difference those small decor changes made!

Let me know what you think of our updated kitchen in the comments below! I’m in love with how warm and bright it feels, and I’m reminded once again about how the little details matter. It feels like a whole new kitchen to me! I hope you found these kitchen remodel ideas on a budget helpful, and happy DIYing!

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  1. Christina I absolutely LOVE all the changes you made especially the vent hood with the rail and the stools. Where did you purchase the stools?

  2. I’m so happy I found you, I’m purchasing an old house and will completely gut, we plan on Ikea cupboards as well. I have a question, do you have a separate pantry somewhere as I don’t see one.

    I’m looking forward to looking at all your DIY 🙂

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