This is a real-life small budget kitchen renovation where we took a dark, dated space and turned it into a light and bright kitchen with paint, ingenuity and hard work! Get kitchen remodel ideas on a budget with all the details for your own space.

A kitchen makeover on a budget is possible! Come take a tour and see what you can do!

a classic white kitchen with marble countertops & white subway tile
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This post was originally published March 25, 2014 and updated with new content and format April 6, 2021.

We did it! We survived renovating nearly the entire house and our marriage is stronger than ever.

Yes, it took us some time, but our kitchen remodel is complete! We purchased this colonial home in August of 2012, moving in late October, and spent many months… okay years, renovating. We move in real time around here, no super fast television kitchen makeover on a budget in this family!

The recipe for this kitchen remodel was simple: an abundance of wine. In reality, it took much longer and was of course more expensive than we had hoped. Still, we were undeterred and made it happen when we could!

When we started the kitchen, I dreamed of brass light fixtures and hardware, but they were nowhere to be found or over $1,000 each. Still, the kitchen had a completely different aesthetic with just a little renovation.

Check out this before and after, and tour the whole house Before and After, too! We’ve been renovating a long time, so don’t miss our Oak Kitchen Updates and our New Cream Kitchen, too!

A classic kitchen - before & after.

Why You’ll Love these Kitchen Remodel Ideas on a Budget

  • Practical + pretty
  • White paint plus so much more
  • Many of the items can be completed DIY
  • Your kitchen is a great investment
  • Take it one step at a time or do it all in a week
  • True small space inspiration
A white budget kitchen renovation with a wood floor

No extra large kitchen island here! While we had lots of cabinetry, this white kitchen has an extra small footprint. Get all the budget friendly ideas to make it happen in your kitchen!

Budget Kitchen Renovation Steps

  • Our kitchen remodel began with removing the white carpet {yes – crazy, right?} and replacing it with hardwoods. A rustic wood floor in farmhouse kitchen ideas on a budget.
  • Cabinets were painted white and new hardware was added. While our cabinets were original to the home, they were in good shape and served our needs. The budget didn’t allow for all new cabinets! A white kitchen cabinet with a silver pull for farmhouse kitchen ideas on a budget.
  • The unsightly black dishwasher was given a stainless makeover and we completed the first phase with new light fixtures before taking a year hiatus. A silver light fixture in a white low budget kitchen renovation.
  • The next phase, was stainless steel appliances. A great Black Friday sale made them possible and we finally took the leap, deciding that we would not tear out existing cabinets, completely redesigning the kitchen but make the most of the kitchen we had. I looked at ways to make every inch functional and found we did not only not need additional space, but we had spare cabinets after the organization transformation.
  • Fast forward another eight months and we enter into the countertop and Subway Tile backsplash phase. This phase proved to test my sanity, but a second countertop and another five months later and they were installed, unbroken. Read more about our marble counters. A close up of a marble countertop used in a kitchen makeover on a budget.

While there’s absolutely no shame in hiring a professional to help with a full scale kitchen renovation, it’s certainly not in the budget for everyone. Learn my secrets for Designing a Room When You’re Not a Designer.

a classic white kitchen with stainless steel appliances

Details: Farmhouse Kitchen Ideas on a Budget

We worked to make the most of our countertop space, removing the old convection oven and building a shelf that now hosts a small microwave and toaster. We installed new cabinet doors to match the originals to conceal the space, creating an appliance garage.

diy appliance garage
a classic white kitchen with marble countertops & white subway tile

I can proudly say that we don’t have to take out the trash thanks to this little chute tucked into our subway tile backsplash. It keeps cleanup quick and easy while eliminating the need to take out the trash. It goes directly into our main trash can in the garage!

The vintage champagne bucket doubles as a utensil holder and conceals the trash chute. When you’re doing a kitchen makeover on a budget, the vintage shops are your friend – so many cute accessories can be found secondhand!

Get all my best tips for shopping Craigslist for all the best vintage and secondhand finds here.

a vintage champagne holder doubles as a utensil holder in this functional kitchen from

The cutting board is a worry free work space when cutting or working with oils. My stand mixer is located in the corner, near the flours and sugar and just below the spice and baking pantry for convenience.

Tips & tricks for a small kitchen | maximize space & light via

The windows offer bountiful light. The all white kitchen is my sanctuary. Aside from the countertops, my favorite element is the bridge faucet. Isn’t she pretty?

A beautiful bridge faucet adds character to this timeless all white kitchen

More Budget Friendly Ideas

I love that the inexpensive new knobs give me a spot to hang a pretty tote when we walk in the kitchen.

If you love this little budget kitchen renovation, you’ll also love our Mudroom Laundry Room update from this home!

A white budget kitchen renovation with a wood floor.

What are your favorite kitchen remodel ideas on a budget? I’d love to hear from you! If this project inspired your own budget kitchen renovation, please come back and share with me.

More Kitchen Inspiration

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    1. No, we purchased a new refrigerator because it wasn’t functioning properly, however, if you have a smooth one, you could!

  1. Love your kitchen marble. Where did you find it in the KC area? I would like to use it in a guest bath. Thanks for the great tips!

    1. Thanks! Unique Stone. Be sure to read the post all about it called “Alternatives to Carrara”. I LOVE it!

    1. Thank you! I don’t recall the brand/name, but I purchased it from {shhhh} Home Depot. Don’t tell Lowes.
      I sought out the perfect faucet for months before finding an affordable, beautiful bridge. I think it was $175.

  2. I love this redo! We are about to buy a home that currently does not have a white kitchen but we want to redo it. I am curious about your painted cabinets. Have they held up well? Any tips?

    1. It’s been 2.5 years since we painted them & only 2 tiny scuffs! I’d love to see it when you’re done!

      1. Julie, did you paint them yourselves or have professional painters do it??? Also, how many coats, and did you put a sealer on them to keep the paint from being scraped??

  3. What a beautiful space!! I’m sorry I didn’t follow – what counter tops did you end up going with? I am in the middle of the same problem!