Seven Ways to Update your Kitchen on a Budget

I’m launching a new line of content here on Sima Spaces- meet the “Sima Spaces Sunday Seven”! Each Sunday, I’ll be sharing a roundup of seven somethings- design tidbits, renovation advice, organization tips, source roundups, decoration ideas… and more! Be sure to sign up for my mailing list (in the sidebar!) so you don’t miss out.

I’m launching the inaugural Sunday Seven posts with seven updates for your kitchen. This is the first of a long series where I’ll share seven updates for every space in (and outside) your home!

Our kitchen was the first thing we renovated and finished in this home, and it certainly isn’t cheap to do a full remodel. If you have a super vintage kitchen like we did, you might need a full remodel like that- and in that case, email me because I’d love to help! BUT, if your kitchen is just a little dated or maybe just builder-grade-basic, some simple updates could make a major impact on your space.

So, without further ado, here are seven (relatively) easy updates for your kitchen. You can spend as much or as little as you’d like- hence the use of the term “budget” in the title!

1 | Update your cabinet hardware

Whether you have dated hardware from the 80’s or builder-grade boring hardware, swapping out your existing knobs can make a big change in your kitchen, and doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

2 | Add (or replace) your backsplash

Although this might sound intimidating if you’re not a DIYer, I promise it’s not as hard as it seems! I don’t have a “how-to” for tiling on the blog (sorry, I’ll work on that!) but YouTube has hundreds of videos. The cost will vary depending on the size of your kitchen and the type of backsplash you want. It can be done in a weekend with a little determination and elbow grease, and can make such a huge impact in your kitchen.

3 | Replace your light fixtures

Swap out those dated or builder grade fixtures with something more personalized to your taste and style. Again- check out YouTube for some videos if you’ve never done this before! You can spend as much or as little as you want here, but it’ll make such a difference in your kitchen.

4 | Hide your kitchen gadgets 

Do you have a pizza maker, blender, mixer, toaster, air fryer etc. on your countertops? Find a way to make room in your cabinets to store them! Unless it’s something you use every day, like maybe a toaster or coffee maker, there’s no reason you should be storing all of your small kitchen appliances on your countertops. They collect dust and take up counterspace! Take some time to organize your cabinets or pantry and get them out of the way and off the counters.

Sima Spaces Kitchen
The only small appliances we have on the counter are ones that we use (almost) every day- our coffeemaker, electric kettle, and toaster.

5 | Add some decorative accents 

This doesn’t have to be anything too crazy or expensive! Add a plant or two to your windowsill. Get a nice soap dispenser rather than just having a plastic disposable bottle on the counter. Add a vintage runner. Get a new utensil holder, and upgrade your utensils you’ve been using for 8 years- yes, I’m talking about you, melted plastic spatula! Get a cute fruit bowl. Add a candle or two. Display your sugar/flour/pasta/rice etc. in cute glass storage containers. Organize your cookbooks and add some attractive bookends. The options are endless!

6 | Paint your cabinets

Full disclosure- we did not paint our cabinets, and I have no personal experience with this. However, I’ve seen plenty of people who have done this and love them! This is best for the person who has cabinets that are in overall good physical condition, is handy enough to be able to disassemble, paint, and reassemble their cabinet doors. It’s a much bigger time investment than the projects mentioned above, but is overall an affordable major change you can make- especially when combined with #1 and/or #2 above! Here are some of my favorite painted kitchen cabinets!

Before and after of painted kitchen cabinets via The EveryGirl
Stunning example of painted cabinets via @_grits on The Everygirl

7 | Replace your sink faucet

Like replacing your light fixtures, this might sound intimidating- but after some research, you’ll find it’s not as hard as you might think. There are tons of YouTube tutorials out there, and you only need a few tools to do the job. You could update your faucet to match the new color of your cabinet hardware, or update it simply to look a bit more modern!

These are just a few ideas of many ways you can update your kitchen! What’s a way that you’ve updated your kitchen without a full renovation? Let me know in the comments below!

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Author: Laura Sima

Hey there, I'm Laura- creator of Sima Spaces. I'm a home renovator, designer, and blogger based in St. Paul, MN. When I'm not designing or renovating homes, you can find me working as a pediatric ICU RN, snuggling my dog or cat, skiing in CO, or enjoying a glass of wine on our patio.

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