Refresh your kitchen cabinets with a coat of paint. ATTRIBUTION: Steve Larkin (Flickr)

My dream kitchen consists of quartz countertops, custom cabinets, a slab backsplash, and plenty of storage space. Unfortunately, these upgrades come at a steep price. On average, homeowners spend upward of $17,000 on a kitchen remodel. If you want high-end appliances and custom features, that can tack on tens of thousands more. While kitchens are notorious for being pricey, not all upgrades have to cost you a bundle. Try out these ideas to transform the look of your kitchen for less.

  1. Paint your cabinets. Outdated cabinets can make a kitchen look decades old. If your existing cabinets are in otherwise good condition, consider a fresh coat of paint. Bright white semi-gloss will instantly brighten up your kitchen and create a clean and contemporary look.
  2. Replace countertops with stone remnants. A quality countertop can take up a good portion of your remodel budget. Depending on the size of your kitchen countertops, you may get a good discount by choosing stone remnants left over from other projects.
  3. Update light fixtures. When you walk into a room, your eyes are often drawn to the light fixtures. Updating your light fixtures is an inexpensive upgrade that can have a major impact on your kitchen’s appearance and overall ambiance. Swap out aging fixtures for modern pendants, replace outdated track lighting with a monorail kit, and add stick-on lights under the cabinets to brighten your workspace.
  4. Repurpose materials from your old kitchen. Don’t just discard materials from your old kitchen: Repurpose them and save money. If possible, salvage old cabinet doors, windows, and hardware. Even wood flooring can be refinished to look like new again.
  5. Buy scratch-and-dent appliances. If you’ve ever seen a deeply discounted appliance at your local home improvement store, you may be wondering why it’s so cheap. These appliances usually contain minor scratches or dents typically created during the shipping process. If you’re willing to buy an appliance with a barely visible scratch or dent, you could save big bucks.
  6. Install crown molding. If you plan to keep your existing cabinets but want to dress them up a bit, consider crown molding. Crown molding installed at the top of your cabinetry helps create a custom look at a fraction of the price.
  7. Remove or update old hardware. Older styles of hardware can make your kitchen look outdated. You can instantly change the look of your kitchen by simply removing the hardware for a simplistic look or upgrading to modern knobs and pulls.
  8. Add or change the backsplash. By adding or changing the backsplash in your kitchen, you can create a whole new look and feel. Today, you can find peel-and-stick options that are grout-free and easy for DIYers to use.
  9. Replace cupboard doors and drawer fronts. If the faces of your cupboards are outdated but the cabinet’s overall structure is still intact, you may want to consider replacing just the doors and drawer fronts.
  10. Create open shelving. Make your kitchen appear more spacious by replacing a bulky cabinet with open shelving. Open shelving is often used to display collectibles, hold dishes, or act as an open pantry with staples like flour and rice arranged in decorative jars.