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12 Budget-Friendly Small Kitchen Remodel Ideas

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Photo: John Keeble / Moment / Getty Images

12 Budget-Friendly Small Kitchen Remodel Ideas

This article originally appeared on Angi and is syndicated by Cheapism.

From mornings with the family to weekly wine nights with friends, your kitchen is a gathering spot for all. So if you wish your space were larger but don’t have a lot to spend, check out these small kitchen remodel ideas that you can achieve on a budget.

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Install or Buy a Small Island

Kitchen islands don’t need to cost a fortune. In fact, on the low end, a kitchen island costs $120.  If you can, try installing one with a slim profile, just large enough for a work surface. If that’s not doable, buy a rolling island (with storage underneath), that you can also use as a bar cart or dining table. 

You might even be able to find one with a marble top to lend your space a more luxe look. If that’s not in the cards, try collapsible furniture, like a small table with a leaf and folding chairs. 

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Install Sliding Doors

Replacing traditional kitchen and pantry doors with sliding doors could save you some precious space. For the easiest solution, try a barn-style sliding door, perhaps in glass, to let light shine through. Although they’re more complicated to install, pocket doors—since they recess into the surrounding walls—will give you more wall space. 

Try buying second-hand doors locally that are in good shape to save money. It’s a great way to update your small kitchen without breaking your budget.

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Go With a Bold Patterned Vinyl or Laminate Floor

If you decide that you need to replace your floors, consider budget-friendly vinyl or laminate (with the latter, choose a “waterproof” product). As another plus, plank and sheet vinyl, and laminate are ideal for DIYing if you have some experience. You can also call a local flooring installation company for help.  

Think about selecting flooring with a bold, stylish pattern to distract the eye from your kitchen’s small size.

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Revive Existing Cabinets

To make your kitchen upgrade budget-friendly, keep your current cabinets. If they sit firmly on the wall and lack cracks or peeling veneer, they should be salvageable. 

Clean, sand, prime, andrepaint any exterior wood or laminate surfaces. In addition to being relatively easy to DIY, painting kitchen cabinets is low in cost. If you’re after a more dramatic transformation, though, reface your cabinets by adding new veneer to the outsides of boxes and buying new doors and cabinet fronts.

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Pick Cabinets That Reach the Ceiling

If you decide your cabinets are beyond repair, buy ready-to-assemble replacements from a big-box store or order custom, laminate-front cabinets. To maximize storage, have them reach the ceiling and opt for space-savvy details like large pull-out drawers for pots. Then, consider glass-front doors to achieve an airy and spacious look.

You may need to hire a local kitchen remodeling pro to install the cabinets properly. To save money in other areas, paint your kitchen yourself and install a vinyl backsplash—it’ll instantly upgrade your kitchen but help you stay on budget.

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Try Open Shelving

Open shelving cuts down on the expense of new cabinetry and looks stylish. In addition to reducing your expenses, it’ll open your space. The only downside is, you’ll probably lose some storage.

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Paint Your Walls and Cabinets White

Repainting your kitchen walls and cabinets will achieve a big visual impact for a small amount of cash. To make your small room look larger, choose a light color, like white. Since white walls and cabinets lack pigment, they’ll reflect nearly all the light that hits them, giving you the illusion of more space.

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Get Deals on New Appliances

As with your cabinetry, try to salvage your existing appliances, hiring an appliance repair company near you as needed. If you need to swap your appliances out, though, buy used or new mid-range models in black or white, which are more affordable than stainless steel. 

Although they’re ideal for small kitchens, slim-profile appliances are often too pricey for budget kitchen remodels. Plus, if you’re choosing different size appliances, you’ll likely need to replace your cabinets. When buying new, seek out bundled deals, which let you save money by opting for multiple appliances from the same manufacturer.

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Choose Laminate Countertops

Quartz and natural stone are the most in-demand countertop materials; however, they can be pricey. To save money, you can try to find deals at a stone yard. Alternatively, buy laminate countertops, which are resistant to heat and spills, and are economical.

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Paint Your Tile Backsplash

To give your tile backsplash a new look, paint it yourself. If you don’t already have one, rest assured that a new backsplash doesn’t need to cost a lot. To reduce expenses, look for discount tiles, like stylish and easy-to-maintain glass. You can also try vinyl peel and stick backsplashes to keep costs even lower. 

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Sneak in Storage

If your budget allows, invest in some built-in storage solutions for your cabinets, like drawer inserts for knives and spices. Then, install inexpensive solutions, like under-cupboard glass racks, a pegboard, a hanging pot rack, a magnetic knife board, or door or cabinet racks or hooks.

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Spring for New Hardware

If you’re looking for small kitchen ideas on a budget, new hardware is one of the easiest ways to make a big difference. 

Get creative when replacing your kitchen’s knobs, bars, and pulls. Not only is hardware one of the smallest ticket items on a kitchen renovation to-do list, it’s also easy to install yourself. Try matte black materials for an edgy, contemporary look.