How I Updated My Kitchen On a Budget – Mom in Music City
in Home Projects

How I Updated My Kitchen On a Budget

  • April 7, 2017
  • By Sabine

My kitchen has come a long way in the three years since I bought our fixer upper. I wish I had more before pictures to show you just how dirty and rundown this place really was. Sometimes even I forget our home didn’t always look like this. Since I only had a small budget to work with, I did 99% of the remodel myself. The only help I had, was with hanging the drywall in the bathroom.

I want to share with you the upgrades I have done in our kitchen. These upgrades didn’t cost much, but they work for us and make the kitchen look clean and bright.

#1. Stained the kitchen cabinets
kitchen cabinets makeover

The first thing I tackled were the kitchen cabinets. I didn’t like the look of oak with gold knobs, so I stained them with my favorite gel stain. Three years later, the stain is still holding up great. I used the same stain on my bathroom vanity.

kitchen upgrades diy
#2. Updated cabinet knobs
new hardware

I updated the gold knobs with simple, silver knobs. The quality of these knobs is outstanding.

#3. Installed vinyl tile
kitchen upgrades diy

The floors in this house used to be horrible. Old, dingy carpeting, full of pet stains and cigarette smells, ran throughout the house (even in the kitchen). Under most of it were beautiful hardwood floors, which I restored.

hardwood floor refinish

The kitchen, unfortunately, didn’t have wood floors so I chose a vinyl tile. It’s super durable and easy to install.

vinyl floor
#4. Created a pantry
bookshelf to pantry

When my oldest graduated and moved out of her college apartment, we found these two generic bookshelves , left behind by college kids. When I saw the bookshelves I knew I could turn it into a pantry, which my kitchen was lacking.

bookshelf to pantry

I added doors and knobs, which match my kitchen cabinets.

#5. Updated light fixtures
boob light

The “boob” light as well as the table got a makeover. I replaced the light with this black pendant.

pendant light
new pendant light
pendant light

The light above the sink was replaced with this $6 pendant. I love the simple design (and the price).

#6. Built a kitchen island
DIY Kitchen Island

A few months after we moved in, I built this kitchen island. It’s made with 2 x 4’s and gives us the much needed counter space.

#7. Made a new table top
DIY Kitchen Table top

Our old table worked fine in our old apartment, but wasn’t very functional for this kitchen. I built a new, larger table top but kept the legs. I then took the old table top and placed it on my island. Now I have even more counter space.

#8. Installed a backsplash
back splash diy

I added a board and batten backsplash made from leftover faux wood blinds.

#9. Painted the walls
kitchen upgrades diy

I painted the walls a light grey color – Moonshine by Benjamin Moore.

low cost kitchen upgrades
By Sabine, April 7, 2017
  • 8
  • melodys100
    April 7, 2017

    I love your kitchen!! It’s amazing how far it came, now it feels so fresh and clean and bright!

  • Em Smith
    April 7, 2017

    I love everything!! You are so talented! Thank you for sharing this.

  • Zina
    May 9, 2017

    Kitchen is awesome! I’m doing my kitchen also, slowly by myself. I’m a single mom too. It is tough on a tight budget. My father taught me a lot growing up about building a house. Look forward to seeing more of your projects. My hardwood floors will be next.

    • sabines
      May 10, 2017

      Thank you, Zina. You’re lucky your dad taught you so much about home improvement. I have to resort to tons of googling and YouTube videos. Definitely not easy when you’re a single mom, but so well worth it. Good luck with your projects. You rock, mama!

  • Rosario Thole
    April 18, 2019

    Woman, you’re amazing and a total inspiration to me!!
    “I wanna be like you “

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Mom in Music City is a lifestyle blog, written by Sabine Schmidt, celebrating a simple and practical approach to home improvement, decor, beauty, food, parenting, and much more.

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