Let these ideas guide you to create a beautiful kitchen on a budget. Don't sacrifice style -- plan ahead and make smart choices when choosing where to splurge and save.
If your kitchen dreams are bigger than your budget, try some of these ideas. You can scale down your project by doing less construction, trimming luxury materials, or rethinking the ingredients that make up traditional kitchen design. Let these ideas help you get a lovely kitchen for a little less money.
Shop the web to compare prices. Most big-box stores carry additional products online and will special order just about anything from top manufacturers at below list price.
See just how easy it is to take this project on yourself.
If your cabinets are in good working condition, but you don’t like the style, refinishing them is the best way to get a new look for less. Homeowners with basic do-it-yourself skills can give them a fresh coat of paint. Or, send them out to a paint shop for a factory-finish spray coat.
The sky is the limit with wall coverings. Use them to dress up a wall, to apply to a cupboard door, or to line the back of an open cupboard. They deliver an instant style upgrade.
If your heart is set on a material, then splurge. But to keep costs in line, choose the material in a way that will make a big impact for less. Take marble, for example. Use it on a small island instead of all counter surfaces. Or shop for a marble tile to use as a backsplash.
Flat-pack or ready-to-assemble cabinets reward homeowners who are willing to invest a little elbow grease with deep discounts. The cabinets come flat and unassembled. Each box needs to be built before it can be hung.
Surround a freestanding refrigerator with wood walls and a deep upper cabinet. Check fridge ventilation needs first.
By acting as your own general contractor, you can save roughly 10 to 20 percent overall. Just be absolutely sure that you’re qualified and that you have the time to oversee every detail of your remodeling. If you are unskilled and have to choose between expensive materials and labor, choose the labor. A good craftsman can make even mundane materials look great.
Talk to a professional designer about your dreams and budget. It just might be that hiring an architect, kitchen designer, or general contractor will help you get more kitchen for your money. In fact, it can help you prevent costly mistakes that could more than make up for their fees.
Replace dated backsplash tiles on a budget. The tile showrooms display expensive and inspiring solutions, but don’t despair. These tiles might be out of range, but with a little creativity, you can get the look you want with less expensive tile. Think about interest applications: linear stacks or thoughtful accents with a few well-placed expensive tiles.
If your kitchen needs new flooring, shop around before committing to your replacement. Flooring is sold in different formats (sheet, linear foot, square foot), so be sure to compare cost per square foot before buying. Don't rule out modest materials: Creative application by mixing colors or finishes can yield a one-of-a-kind (and inexpensive) solution. Look at vinyl, linoleum, and laminate for affordable choices.
Substitute traditional cabinetry with carts and shelves. Shop at a restaurant supply store for freestanding metal counters and shelves found in professional kitchens. Stack dishware, platters, and small appliances on shelves. Use baskets and trays to corral smaller items. Crocks on the counters organize silverware.
Contractors and plumbers often cover their costs by charging list prices for materials. If you buy direct, your costs will be significantly lower. Let those who bid on your projects know which materials you plan to buy.