Tips for a Small Kitchen Makeover on a Budget

A small kitchen gets a simple makeover with big results! New paint and hardware are easy and affordable ways to spruce up an older kitchen and completely update the space while staying within budget.

This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. My full disclosure policy can be found here.

Simple changes can make a big impact!

We recently helped our oldest son and soon to be daughter-in-law with a small kitchen update in their new home and everyone loves the fabulous and affordable results!

Small kitchen makeover on a budget

Our son is getting married in a few weeks, and he and his fiancé just bought their first home. It's an older home near the University of Memphis and has been a rental home for students for nearly the past decade! In fact, Liss (Elissa) lived in this very home as a University student several years ago! How fun is that?

Planning ahead

They bought the home as an investment, not as their forever home. It's in a great location and it's very difficult to find affordable homes on their street. Their plan is to live in it for a few years after getting married, and then rent it out for many years.

The home is older and needs a new roof. Our son already refinished the original hardwood floors throughout and they've replaced several things that were outdated.

So the budget was tight, like suuuper tight! The kitchen looked pretty bad, but we all realized it had good bones and just needed some tweaking to make it look fantastic!

Tips for saving money in a small kitchen

This home has been a rental property (student rental property) for several years, so it was very dirty. The bold paint colors in the kitchen weren't doing it any favors! While at first glance we all thought it needed to be gutted, after careful consideration we realized a budget friendly makeover would be the best way to save money while updating the space!

Make it work

The black appliances, while old, were all in good shape and didn't need to be replaced immediately. The white cabinets and neutral countertop were workable too! This kitchen just needed a little love and TLC to become really fabulous for this young couple.

Rather than spending a bunch of money on new appliances and cabinets, Braden and Liss decided to work with what they had. A new modern light fixture, paint and hardware really gave this small dated kitchen an updated lease on life!

A fresh coat of paint

If you're looking to make a big impact in a space for very little money, consider painting! It's the best bang for your buck! After looking through many paint choices, Braden and Liss decided on a neutral color that would compliment the countertops rather than work against it.

Liss' parents painted the kitchen and it's safe to say that no one was sorry to see the red and yellow go away! Right away you could feel the space give a sigh of relief! And by neutralizing the bold colors, the kitchen immediately felt bigger.

New hardware

Mr DIY and I took over and installed new hardware on their existing cabinets. The first step was to clean the cabinets and fill any holes. We were replacing knobs with handles, so were able to use the existing hole on the cabinets, but needed to fill the hole on the drawers. Lightweight spackling filled the holes, and once it was dry we lightly sanded it. Because it dries white, and the cabinets are white, you can't even see where the old holes were! Mr DIY drilled new holes for the new pulls.

The hardware they chose are the  Skylight pulls in Champagne Bronze from Hickory hardware. The color is warm without being too gold or brassy and it works really well with the warm tones in the countertops. These beautiful pulls are a huge upgrade from the dated knobs they had before!

Tip: elegant and modern new hardware can instantly elevate kitchen cabinets

While the new pulls are metallic, they have a brushed matte finish which lends to a modern feel. They're classically elegant and what a difference they make! These pulls are available in 7 different finishes and multiple lengths if you need a different color! Visit Hickory Hardware to see all their hardware options and be sure to use my code DIYB10 to save 10% on your purchase!

It's still an older kitchen, but it feels light and bright and perfect for young newlyweds! 

While we didn't add any square footage to the space, the small kitchen feels so much larger, and it looks so much better. Just look at the difference!

It doesn't look like a rental home for University students anymore! The kitchen looks modern and classic with the budget friendly additions of paint and add new hardware!

I know the young couple is excited with the changes and looking forward to cooking many meals together in their updated kitchen. And I'm looking forward to being a guest at the table! ❤

This small kitchen is a beautiful space and we were able to accomplish it with a very tight budget!

Let me know if these small kitchen makeover tips were helpful, and which is your favorite way to update a space!

PIN IT to save!

bringing beauty to the ordinary,

Disclosure: As a Hickory Hardware Brand Ambassador, I received
product for this post. All opinions contained within are my own.


share this post


  1. What an amazing result. Just beautiful and as different as night and day.

  2. Wow! The kitchen looks amazing! I can’t get over how much bigger it looks because of the paint color! Fabulous job! Blessings, Donna

  3. Looks great!! Amazing what paint can do! Found ya over at A Stroll Thru Life.



Post a Comment

Your comments are like sunshine and chocolate! Thanks for taking the time to leave a nice one ;) I read all comments and love to respond if you leave your name and email! Otherwise, please look for my response under the post where you left it!