Tips to Save Money on Your Small Kitchen Remodel + 34 Smashing Design Ideas

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Remodeling the kitchen is the most expensive redesign project in the home.

Good thing is, you don’t have to break the bank to remodel that small kitchen of yours. This article will show you the average amount of redecorating your kitchen. Plus you’ll discover 30 design ideas to help you with your remodeling project. 

Hint: a lot of the inspirations are simple DIY projects with amazing results.

How much does A Small Kitchen Renovation Cost?

The cost of renovating your kitchen depends mostly on two factors;

Your location

Kitchen renovation cost varies from place to place. Persons living in rural and suburban areas will expect to pay less than those in metropolitan areas.

Secondly, remodeling tends to be cheaper in the south than in the north.

The scale of renovation

Are you undertaking a midrange remodeling project or an upscaled one?

An upscale remodel will definitely eat deep into your budget. The average cost for a mid-range kitchen remodel is $66,196: that’s according to Remodeling Magazine. While that for an upscale project is $131,510.

And according to HomeAdvisor, the price of renovating your small kitchen ranges from as little as $4,000 to $50,000.

There are several ways to save costs when remodeling your kitchen such as replacing countertops without replacing cabinets, or looking for cheapest kitchen cabinets.

What Drives the Cost Up?

Typically, cabinetry takes up around 25% of the budget.

Then you’ve got countertops like Silestone and granite which are expensive. There's also a home renovation app that you would like. 

How to Save Cost on Your Kitchen Remodel when You’re on a Budget

1. Adequate preparation

First things first, before beginning your makeover project, make up your mind on every item you want. And then get them on site.

One of the factors that drive renovation costs over the roof is picking up new products or a different one during the renovation. Stick to your game plan.

2. Give your old cabinets a new look

Like we pointed out, if you’re changing your cabinet, you’ll most likely be splurging–which isn’t bad. Unfortunately, you haven’t got the budget for it.

So to save, you can paint your kitchen cabinets if they’re still in good shape. You’ve got no idea what magic this little touch can work in your cooking area (and probably home).

3. Change old cabinetry door panels

Instead of replacing your old cabinet with new ones, consider replacing only the door panels with a new style you’ll like. This way, you’ll be cutting costs significantly.

4. Light up the place

There are a lot of ways to redesign your small kitchen area without breaking the bank. One of them is adding some artificial lighting.

You can use pendant lights or under-cabinet lighting: you can never go wrong with any of these. Just make sure the lights are focused on the areas you do your cooking. Not a bad idea, though, if they sit over your dining table.

5. Stick to the position of your appliances

Moving appliances like your dishwasher, stove, or sink can increase your small kitchen remodel cost by $5,000 according to designer Justin Riordan.

So you can use your current layout and pipes to save money.

6. Create makeshift hardware and storage spaces

Since you’re low on budget, you can construct a small pantry or forge hardware to add more storage space in your kitchen.

And instead of throwing old hardware away, you can repurpose them to serve other functions in your kitchen. You can get something of good value from items you consider as “wastes”.

7. Used items can be useful

For your remodeling project, you don’t have to get all your equipment as new items. You can go to a nearby place where they sell used goods and get a product for a bargain. You can also look for tips and factors if you are considering kitchenette ideas.

8. Don’t remodel it from the ground up

Since you haven’t got so much to spend, maybe a midrange upgrade will be a better option (economically) for you than an upscale one.

34 Awesome Design Inspos to Give Your Small Kitchen A Facelift

Whiten up your kitchen

One common problem with small kitchens is that they’re… SMALL. They’ve got a cramped layout different items are competing for the tiny space, and many times, they don’t look neat.

You can add more space to your small kitchen by using smart paint colors. These light colors reflect a lot of light, make your nook brighter, and give your small kitchen the ambiance of spaciousness.

Here are some design inspirations for lightening up your cooking space:

1. Go almost completely white

Source: House Beautiful

For your small kitchen remodel, you can’t go wrong should you decide to redesign your space to make it whiter. The whiter the room, the brighter, and more homely your kitchen will feel.

You can also touch up the white design with a pop of color to create a form of home décor.

2. Highlight with vibrant accents

Source: Max Zambelli

From the countertops to the backsplash tile, and cabinets, this small kitchen design features an all-white layout with vibrant accents; making it look divine. It has also pendant lights to lighten up the place.

The kitchen countertop is Calacatta Gold marble, the backsplash was made by Waterworks, the stools were crafted by Carpet & Home, and the lighting is from Apparatus.

Another kitchen that does a great job of using a neutral hue to paint an accent wall is this one.

Source: Danielle Colding Design

The powder blue blends with the white tile backsplash and silvery worktop and cooker. But it still keeps the small kitchen looking really white and bright.

This is an excellent idea if you’re a renter and don’t want to make major changes to the design.

3. Go monochromatic

Source: Magdalena Bjornsdotter

You just can’t help but fall in love with this black and white kitchen design in this farmhouse.

The layout which serves as both the kitchen and dining room is brightly painted white and paired with a white flea-market table plus an industrial-style chair set. The driftwood pendant light is from Olsson & Jensen.

Trust me, no guest wouldn’t want to dine here.

4. Less is more

Source: Melanie Acevedo

This is more of a transformational design than remodeling because the changes were indeed sweeping

Here, the designer got rid of the brick backsplash, wood kitchen island, upper cabinetry, and the other appliances that cramped the whole place to make it look airy and divine.

The kitchen island and appliances previously made the room look disorderly.

She also installed white-painted plain sheetrock in place of the old bricks.

How about some color splash?

While white color makes your small kitchen appear neat and like it’s spacious, other color paints highlight the features of your kitchen and grab attention.

These small kitchen remodel ideas will give your home a facelift (and space).

5. Create a colored pattern

Source: David Tsay

This interior designer brilliantly created a visual flow by blending white, light green, and dark green colors. The green transition began from the wall and went darker with the Moroccan clay tile backsplash.

And she paired the look with matching furniture colors. Feel free to use a similar concept for your small kitchen design.

There’s no way this kitchen isn’t attracting the right attention!

6. Color block your small kitchen

Source: Maltsev Design

Having a colorful kitchen is a great way to highlight the features of your small kitchen.

But in this case, this color blocking pattern disguises the kitchen’s features and makes it difficult to determine where the cabinet is. The absence of any hardware also acts to conceal the kitchen cabinets.

Hint: the kitchen cabinets extend up to the ceiling.

7. Multicolored walls

Source: Andrea Ferrari

We’ve seen what white and colored walls can do to a small kitchen. How about going dual-tone?

For your small kitchen remodel, you can mix your two favorite colors (provided they’re complementary) on your walls to create a two-toned effect on the wall.

Here, this Italian creative director painted the upper wall yellow and the other half black. If the entire wall was yellow, you probably would have missed the artwork at the top. But you wouldn’t miss it now that the color is layered.

The black also blends in with the green worktop and the silvery sink and cooker.

8. Making a bold statement: Go green

Source: Simon Upton

Now I’m not talking about environmental sustainability. But there’s something about green in the kitchen that homeowners don’t seem to get enough of.

From the walls to the kitchen cabinets, to the table, this small kitchen features an appealing green color that exudes class.

The chic style then rounds the look with a horizontal black color (including that of the cooker) that pairs well with the green. To give the kitchen a classy finish, a black-colored concrete countertop is installed, and the floor is covered in matching laser-cut linoleum.

Source: Franco Lagnese


9. Deep blue cabinets

Source: Alex Lukey

Another color that does well in the kitchen is the blue color.

Take a cue from this Canadian lake house. The open concept kitchen has got moody blue cabinets reaching the ceiling and a fantastic blend of the grey-colored backsplash.

The white tabletop in the dining space and cabinet top also balances the color density to give the kitchen a serene look and an illusion of a larger space.

Multipurpose small kitchen remodel

Kitchens don’t have to be the place where you only cook.

You could bring some life to your kitchen by taking some of your favorite activities from your rooms or home office to the kitchen.

Here are some design inspirations you can steal (without any legal implications!).

10. Bookshelf in the small kitchen???

Source: Roger Davies

Hey bibliophile, I’m pretty confident you’ll steal this design style for your small kitchen renovation.

These homeowners constructed a bookshelf on their wall so their cookbooks can be within reach. You can draw inspiration from this kitchen's model if you’re an avid reader.

Just don’t read any of Shakespeare’s romance fiction when you’re cooking: hence, you’ll get carried away and forget your meal is on the stove.

Open shelving small kitchen renovation inspiration

Sometimes, small kitchens can look cluttered and compact with all the boxed shelves hanging at the top.

In such scenarios, your small kitchen remodel could just be a simple solution: opening up those upper cabinets.

Here’s how to achieve such a decorative style.

11. Open shelving plus bright space

Source: Victoria Pearson

Painting your small kitchen white adds more space to the look. Open shelving can make it look airy like in this design idea.

This kitchen features a kitchen island with a shiny and silvery worktop surface that blends with the white color paint on the wall.

But what’s most fascinating about this small kitchen is that the people living in this house opted for lining the wall with open shelves rather than cabinetry.

You can also see the way the stainless steel pots are neatly arranged at the top, the plates and other items are stacked on the open shelves, while the kitchen's appliances sit on the counter.

If the primary aim of your small kitchen remodel is to declutter the room to create more space, you should consider this open shelving pattern.

12. Optimize your small kitchens with scrap metal

Source: Devol Kitchens

Another benefit of open shelving is that you don’t only create space for kitchen items but other stuff that won’t remotely find their way to your kitchen.

You could create a bookshelf as we saw earlier. A pantry is another option. But in this small kitchen, a metal rod with hooks was hinged under the upper shelves to accommodate cooking utensils and mugs.

There’s no limit to how spacious your cooking area can be when you get rid of those cabinets. Plus, this is a budget small kitchen remodel.

13. Open shelves with bold colors

Source: Alec Hamer

This remodeled home swapped its dark upper cabinets for open shelves that took the shape of the pitched ceiling.

The result: the kitchen became brighter, more colorful, and spacious. This design also created space on the wall for hanging pots.

The result now features a stainless steel rolling kitchen island. A marble worktop was also fitted on the counter.

14. Make your small kitchen look like a workstation

Source: Amy Neusinger

If not for the plate rack on the kitchen cabinets, you probably would have guessed this was a workstation in a lab, right?

But it’s a kitchen with open shelving that has an industrial appeal. When you’re tight on budget, you can look to inspiration like this for your small kitchen renovation.

To make it look nicer, let your painting be monochromatic.

15. Showcase your organizational skills

Source: Sarah Tramp

The living room is where many people show their decorative prowess. Have you thought of putting yours to practice in your small kitchen?

Another perk for going with the open shelving style is that you get to exhibit how creative, orderly, and organized you are.

Here, the designer does an awesome job of arranging bowls, containers, and cutlery according to color and height so the place looks cohesive and uncluttered. She even installed a rod to hold other cooking equipment on the side of the island.

Strategic, if you ask me!

16. Reconsider your kitchen layout: Inject your style

Source: House Beautiful

This is another small kitchen remodel that’s functional, aesthetic, and easy on your budget.

If there are two things the convex mirror does, they grab the right attention and take it away from the surrounding space.

And the countertop and silvery sink also add some contrast to the kitchen. This small kitchen shows that no space is too little to inject your personality.

But don’t forget this was partly made possible due to the open shelf on the left.

17. Galley kitchens: Walk down the aisle

Source: in4mal

Galley kitchens, often referred to as corridor kitchens, are the best layout for a small kitchen. are constructed so that two counters are stationed opposite each other, with a hallway separating them.

Like in this picture, one counter has got the stove and sink. While the other has the cabinetry and appliances. This is a perfect approach for making your small space to look bigger.

For your small kitchen remodel, you can choose to make yours a galley kitchen with open shelves.

18. Take the attention away from your island

Source: Victoria Pearson

One of the beauties of the kitchen island is the countertop.

So instead of splashing the cash on a new and expensive worktop, you can opt for neatly arranged open shelves with backsplash color that complements your floor and cabinets.

Feel free to accessorize with your collectibles.

19. Rectangular open shelves

Source: Max Kim-Bee

If you’ve got a small kitchen that’s part of the living room, you’re probably pressed for space.

For a low-budget kitchen renovation, you can get inspired by this family that opted for rectangular open shelf units to house the kitchen appliances and cookware; and a Kohler sink stationed on an accordion table.

Lighten up your kitchen

Planning on using dark paint colors for your kitchen? You might want to rethink that.

These inspirations will bring in more light (natural and artificial) to your kitchen.

20. Position your dining room close to the window

Source: Westend61

There’s no air more refreshing than natural, fresh air.

When rethinking your small kitchen space and you’ve got the area close to the windows, isolate the cooking area from the dining set by bringing the latter to the window.

This way, you would have allocated more room to the cooking apparatus, while taking in the view of your exterior environment as you enjoy your meal.

21. Light and large floor tiles

Source:  SrdjanPav

With the sunlight shining and reflecting into this galley kitchen, white large floor tiles were used to make the kitchen appear wider: it’s an optical illusion.

Small floor tiles make your kitchen look cramped, but larger tiles do the opposite. When going for a design like this, be sure to use 12 x 12-inch tiles or larger. The light reflection on the tiles also illuminated the small kitchen.

However, if you’ve got a galley kitchen with a narrow center floor, and you plan to use large tiles, it might be a mismatch. But you can still use white tiles.

22. Natural and artificial lighting

Source: Tulcarion

A perfect way to brighten up your kitchen is by pairing natural light and artificial lighting.

Here, the glass door provides much-needed natural light and a scenic view of the exterior. While the pendant light has a functional role; serving as both home décor and a light source.

23. How about under-cabinet lighting?

Source: Jupiter Images

Using under-cabinet lights like these is a budget-friendly way of giving your cooking area a new look.

24. Illuminating with light-filled neutrals

Source: Charles Schiller

In this kitchen, the homeowner installed an L-shaped counter with a Silestone countertop and added more cabinets.

The L-shaped counter, lighting, and cabinet, all have the same bright and neutral tone: giving the kitchen a brighter effect. The counter also acts as the sink, range, dishwasher, and breakfast bar.

Some other chic design inspirations

25. Considering a bigger storage space?

Source: I Wash You Dry

Instead of getting a custom cabinet, install cabinet drawers to contain your Tupperware, cookware, and other items that can fit in.

26. Get a round table

Source: William Waldron

Square dining tables take up more surface area than round ones.

For your small kitchen nook, open up more flooring by using a small round table. This will also change your kitchen's outlook (without you splurging on fancy items).

27. Another flooring idea

Source: Dale Wilcox

Refinishing your wooden floor can also make your nook look beautiful.

But if you’d love to replace your tile or vinyl floors, the cork floor will take it easy on your budget.

28. Add some greenery

Source: Etc.Etera

Adding plants to any place can breathe a new life and freshness to that place.

29. Create contrast with backsplash

Source: Brigette Romanek Studio

You’ve got very tiny space and you aren’t sure what to do to remodel your small kitchen: have you considered livening up the backsplash?

Here, the designer mixed things up by blending white marble backsplashes with matte black tiles to give a contrasting but chic look.

We have also covered small kitchen backsplash for you!

30. Face the windows

Source: Paul Raeside

31. Play with wallpaper as an accent

Source: Toledo Geller

32. Opt for low (backless) stools

Source: Leanne Ford

If you can, create more spaces for windows. This way, the nook will feel airy and less claustrophobic.

So there you have it, you’ll never run out of ideas again when redecorating your small kitchens.

Read more on kitchen remodeling in our articles like how to paint laminate cabinets, how to paint kitchen cabinets without sanding,  how to paint kitchen cabinet hardware, how to organize wine cellar, what to put in kitchen drawers and cabinets, about maximizing space in a studio apartment, home made mildew remover and lots more on our blog!

Dino Paccino

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

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