The kitchen is often considered the hub of the home. It’s a space where you cook – and usually, eat and socialize too, so it’s no surprise that it can start to look a little worse for wear in time. A brand-new kitchen is never easy on the wallet and could set you back an average of $20,000 for a full restoration, which may not be feasible at the current time.

The good news is that there is always the scope to make small yet effective chances to give your kitchen a whole new lease of life without having to spend over the odds.

In this guide, we’re going to look at some of the key ways you can transform your kitchen on a budget:

Update the backsplash

Tiling can instantly date a kitchen, but one of the cheapest ways to transform the room is by upgrading the backsplash. Not only does it act as a protective barrier to your walls while cooking, but it also adds to the room’s overall aesthetic. You could go for something bright or patterned to make a statement against your countertops or keep it minimalist with neutral subway tiling.

Paint kitchen cupboards

If your kitchen cupboards are structurally sound but have perhaps seen better days, you don’t necessarily have to replace the doors and drawers. You can majorly impact the kitchen’s entire aesthetic with a simple lick of paint. Providing you have carried out the crucial steps of preparation work, it is a relatively DIY job to manage. If you simply haven’t got the time for the project, you could also gather quotations from professional kitchen spray painters, which may achieve a much more durable result.

Install under cabinet lights

You can instantly add a modern touch to your kitchen with the use of under cabinet lighting. Strip lights or LED lights can be mounted under cabinets to add some elegance and practicality to your space. There are several benefits to installing lighting under cabinets. Not only do they provide a neat and understated look to your kitchen, but bit you’ll also save a significant amount on energy bills – the light is directed where required, as opposed to wasted excess light flooding the room.

Add a piece of artwork

Artwork is a form of self-expression within the home. It may not always be obvious to incorporate murals or paintings into your kitchen, but doing so can instantly draw the eye and create a real statement.

If your kitchen features a large, plain wall – why not produce a picture gallery? You could mix it up with family photographs, children’s artwork, or simply posters and graphics that tie in with your interests. Additionally, you could install a wall-to-floor chalkboard to allow the kids to experiment with their creativity by doodling, or even jotting down shopping lists or to-do lists each day.

If you’re keen to upgrade your kitchen on a budget, we hope the above tips have come in useful for your upcoming project.


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.