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Small Kitchen Remodel Ideas that Won’t Break the Bank

Add sizzle and style to your space with some inexpensive small kitchen remodel ideas. These small kitchen storage ideas and simple diy projects can help you upgrade even a poor layout. Get inspired to add in some special decor  (maybe even some fun open storage?) and find ways to make your kitchen look and feel the best it can. The results just might shock you!

Small kitchen remodel on a budget for a modern boho look

How to Use Small Kitchen Remodel Ideas to Help You Love Your Kitchen More

1. Dream of the possibilities focusing on function first.

I admit.

I’ve spent hours dreaming about the possibilities of our small kitchen.

In reality, one small change would have a domino affect that would lead to spending thousands and thousands of dollars.

That’s just not gonna happen for us anytime soon!

And yet…I want my kitchen to be a place I enjoy spending time in – now!

Are you in the same boat?

Much like the kitchen remodel before & after that I did in our previous house, I decided I wanted to see what I could do to make our current kitchen look and function better – without spending much money!

To give you a reference, the last time we did a kitchen before & after , here’s where it ended up:

Small apartment kitchen before remodel

The new paint color at least got rid of the horrible color that it came with when we moved into the townhouse.

And, my favorite part was the little coffee station we took out a cupboard for.

Open shelves above coffee pot with mugs for a coffee station - a before kitchen remodel picture.

It has largely remained the same since then.

2. Define what you want to change and why you’d like to remodel

Before I start any room makeover process, I always try to define what my personal pain points are. In this case, there were 2 things:

  • The kitchen felt dark and dreary to work in. I wanted to get out of it as soon as possible!
  • Baking anything was difficult as all my supplies were in the smallest corner of the kitchen. I felt squished as I tried to work.

3. Small kitchen colors can be a very dramatic remodel tool

I decided that I could perhaps make my kitchen feel both brighter and bigger if I painted it a lighter color. I chose to paint it Simply White by Benjamin Moore – as it is the white I have in almost the entire rest of the house.

And bonus, I already had an extra can of paint right here at home. (Which means, a no cost remodel – which is a win-win in my books!)

Small kitchen painted in Simply White paint color for a budget friendly small kitchen remodel upgrade.
Lighter paint colors in a small kitchen can make the space feel brighter and bigger.

Although it took 4 coats of paint to cover, I instantly liked the feel of the room so much more.

Another big change was removing that horribly unsightly duct for the stove fan. We never used the fan anyway, so we just left it off.

4. Rearrange items so that you can maximize small kitchen storage options

The second thing I did was to move all my baking supplies over to the largest work space.

A mixer and canisters sitting on the counter of a small kitchen in the corner beside the sink.
Moving around kitchen supplies and appliances to a spot that is comfortable to work in makes a big difference in a small kitchen!

Oh, my goodness! I can’t believe what a difference such a small change makes!

A small kitchen sink with window above and cupboards beside.
Removing the curtain above the window makes the space feel more modern.

Now I don’t have to cram myself into a tiny corner when it’s time to use the mixer!

Freshen up the decor

The open shelves above the coffee maker are a great place to add some personality – and storage – into our small space. So, I decided to totally switch it up with some boho modern decor.

Open shelves with a snake plant, wooden cutting board, antique art print, and bowls as decor.
Open shelves in a kitchen can be a place for handy storage and pretty decor.

Wood shelves and warm wood decor accents add lots of character to this otherwise black and white space.

An open shelf with white bowls, antique jars filled with coffee beans, and an old art print of a ship on the wall behind it.
Adding antique art prints can give a kitchen a cottage feel.

I hadn’t thought of adding art to the back of the shelf until I started looking for kitchen ideas, and spied this new cottagecore decor trend!

Live houseplants in the windowsill and on the shelf also add lots of life and color to the space. Not to mention, I now have fresh mint easy to use!

Small kitchen window with plants in the windowsill and a sink below.

So, there you have it – some super budget friendly & simple ways to remodel your kitchen and get a whole new look – without removing any walls, cupboards, or countertops!

More Small Kitchen ideas:

Would you like to do a room remodel on a budget, too?

I put together a FREE guide for room makeovers with that in mind! It’s my simple “recipe” for Room Makeovers that I use every time I’m ready for a change in a space. After making over dozens of rooms over the years, it’s become a fun process for me, and I’m spilling all the “secrets”. Just click on the button below to join today.

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  1. I love your kitchen and what you’ve done to refresh it. I need your kitchen set down in the middle of mine.😁 I know that sounds crazy. I have a lot of storage but it is so high. For an almost 75 year old it’s very impractical. I should not be on ladders. While reading your post, it gave me the idea of using under-the-counter space in more practical ways. Yay! Why didn’t I think of that before. Thank you! I’m going in there right now and plan that.

  2. Great ideas for updating a small kitchen, Rita. You know I’m especially fond of open shelving. And removing that duct made an amazing difference! Pinned!

  3. It looks amazing, Rita Joy! It’s unreal how much of a difference paint can make. Removing the vent duct was genius! Thanks for the great ideas!

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