Remodeling a kitchen is expensive, that's no secret. In our first home, we were not in the position to pay $30K (or more) for a dream kitchen. Sure, we could go for less expensive but that would have meant compromising on quality in both material and labor. I knew if we were going to remodel, we wanted to do it right.
That said, I could not continue to deal with plaid green floors and fruit-flower wall paper.
We caught a lucky break and found hardwood flooring beneath the linoleum. If that hadn't happened, to keep it cheap, I would have just selected a nicer looking linoleum to go in its place. That can either come in a roll or as adhesive backed tiles. I like the adhesive backed tiles because you can easily replace one of them if needed and they're easy to install. Interlocking vinyl tiles or laminate could have been options also.
We removed the wall paper, painted the cabinets, replaced the cabinet pulls and added new lighting fixtures. That totaled around $800. I purchased the lighting fixtures from Habitat for Humanity and the rest from Menard's. Lastly, we spend $1,100 on used appliances and wah-la, my kitchen was no longer an eyesore and actually maintained some vintage charm!
For less than $2,000, we were able to transform our embarrassing kitchen to one that we were proud of!
My husband did all the labor so that was hugely helpful and we also lucked out on the floors. We didn't need to replace our counter tops or back splash. If we'd needed to replace the counter tops, I would have just selected another laminate counter top (there are some attractive options out now) and it's the least expensive option. I wouldn't have selected a granite counter top for this little face lift in case we wanted to change the kitchen layout down the road; in which case we would not be able to reuse the granite. If we'd needed to replace the back splash, I would have selected an inexpensive ceramic tile or even used a semi-gloss painted bead board.
You can't really see the paint color on the other wall but here is the adjoining eating area on the back porch that we also did ourselves and it coordinates with the kitchen. Here, we did use the interlocking vinyl tile flooring and it was a HUGE PAIN to install but we are not professional installers so that could have something to do with it. Turned out nice though!
We took the back porch down to the studs however, unlike the kitchen!
That's me after too much coffee. Three hours later, I was not so chipper trust me!