Save - spend life happy

spend life happy

SaveHome & Family 8 Ways to Modernize Your Kitchen on a Budget

8 Ways to Modernize Your Kitchen on a Budget

Don’t get deterred by the kitchen remodel average cost. These DIY kitchen upgrade ideas transform a kitchen for less money. Visit Save for more DIY tips.

8 Ways to Modernize Your Kitchen on a Budget

As one of the most-used rooms in a house and a main gathering spot for families, our kitchens can have a major impact on our happiness at home. The state of your kitchen can also impact the resale value of your house if you ever decide to put it on the market. 

But kitchen improvements can get expensive. According to home renovation site Sweeten, in 2022, a full kitchen remodel average cost started at more than $20,000 and climbed up to $60,000 for high-end kitchen renovations.

Thankfully, there are lots of easy and simple ways to modernize your kitchen on a budget, all with projects you can take on yourself. Here are some DIY kitchen remodel ideas.

1. Refresh your paint color

A new coat of paint can deliver remarkable kitchen upgrade results. Think about enhancing the paint on both your walls and your cabinets.

HGTV recommends the following colors for kitchens based on what homeowners tend to respond to:

  • Gray
  • Blue
  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Green

If your kitchen is already one of these hues, a fresh coat of paint can brighten up your kitchen. Apply two coats of washable paint with a satin finish or semi-gloss to make the paint job look glossier and make it easier to clean.

2. Simplify your space

A modern kitchen looks decluttered. Take stock of all the things on display in your kitchen and think about what you can minimize.

Organizers are your friend in the kitchen. Consider what you can consolidate in bins, jars, and drawer dividers. If you find that you leave a lot of food items out in the open in your kitchen, work on organizing your pantry, too, so you can store those items away from view.

3. Decorate with what’s on display

For items that stay out on display, you can update those to add a touch of color or detail that's more eye-catching. Some ideas:

  • Swap out boring or garish coffee mugs on a mug rack with ones that complement your kitchen color palette
  • Upgrade kitchen towels with new, plushier ones in a more suitable color
  • Donate old kitchen rugs and add in more modern ones
  • Dip dye the handles of plain wooden spoons
  • Store dishwashing liquid and hand soap in pretty pump containers
  • Decorate jars that store dry goods like pasta

To add cohesion to on-display items, one easy idea is to work in the same color family. From towels to rugs, to soap dispensers, the same palette unites what’s in your kitchen.

4. Install a new light fixture

Like a DIY paint job, installing a new light fixture can help you achieve stunning results. You don’t have to splurge on a fancy chandelier. There are lots of inexpensive hanging light options for purchase, as well as ones you can cobble together yourself from vintage and found materials.

You can also transform a light fixture that’s no longer working for you by taking it apart piece by piece, then giving it a facelift. Use some paint to make over its color. Swap out the covering and bulb(s) for ones that are more your style. You could even use a cheap but chic lampshade to cover up an unsightly fixture and make it as good as new.

5. Add a focal point

The right piece of art can make a kitchen seem more professionally designed. Plus, it can add a splash of attention-grabbing color to complement your wall and cabinet hues.

It’s fun to create your own art with a simple canvas and acrylic paint. You can also get the whole family involved by creating an art mosaic with several smaller canvases. Each family member can contribute a piece. Arrange them all together for a truly unique art statement in your kitchen.

6. Set up an herb garden

Herb gardens are both pretty to look at and bring some tasty additions to your kitchen. You can add some potted herbs to your kitchen windowsill and snip off herbs for your favorite dishes.

Some herbs you can grow in your kitchen are:

  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

Speaking of greenery, adding some houseplants to your kitchen is an easy and inexpensive way to decorate, while also improving the air quality in your kitchen. Plants on display can also decrease levels of anxiety, which can help when you’re trying to master a tricky new recipe.

7. Let in light

Natural light can make a big difference in a kitchen. Kitchens look more modern when they look light, airy, and clean. You can DIY your own window treatments to create a more open and light-filled feeling in your kitchen.

Create a custom treatment with simple roller shades. You can paint on a detail, like a colored stripe, to the shade to make it look more design-y without the expense.

You can also sew your own fabric shades onto cheap wooden slats, using the pattern you like. Or, customize fabric shades even more by dying your fabric.

8. Upcycle furniture and update fixtures

Kitchen furniture and fixtures can easily be updated on a DIY budget, too. If you have stools under a kitchen island, think about how you could give them a makeover instead of buying new ones. You could reupholster fabric or repaint the chairs, for example. If you’re really crafty, shop kitchen furniture secondhand and customize it for an upgrade.

All the handles on drawers and cabinets could be swapped out or repainted for a new look, too. It’s a lot less expensive to purchase fixtures compared to replacing the entire cabinets. New modern fixtures can make a big impact.

Save even more in your kitchen

A clean and simple kitchen will typically look more modern than a kitchen that’s messy and cluttered. Take inventory of what you’re working with in your kitchen, what’s a necessity, and what could be donated or moved out of sight.

Look for ways to combine function with decoration, with greenery like a fresh herb garden. For items you plan on keeping, think about how you could freshen them up, with a new coat of paint or a DIY fixture.

Since we tend to spend lots of time in our kitchens, we’ve curated other ways to save in this popular room in your home.

Want to save money on groceries to stock your kitchen with? Find a Save coupon book near you, or get it delivered for coupons on food and other home goods.