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Top 5 Hacks For An Inexpensive Kitchen Renovation

Updated: Apr 1


The kitchen is one of our favorite spaces. We had to be very careful with the budget while renovating the kitchen.

Our budget was maxed out just on the construction expense for our renovation so we had to get creative when buying finishes. We managed to put together the look that we wanted on a much lower budget than anyone said we needed. The kitchen was an area where were able to save a lot so we thought we would share our top 5 inexpensive kitchen reno hacks!


The image we used for inspiration in our kitchen renovation. Photo by Nicole Franzen via Branca & Co.

Our finished kitchen. We stayed within budget with a couple of our renovation hacks. Photo by David Sauerhoff

Reproduce An Inspiration

Having a designer was definitely not in our budget (although we did have designer friends stop by for some friendly advice along the way). We found a kitchen design early on that we loved and planed to take a lot of inspiration from. You might have a few saved on Pinterest already, choose one or a few! No doubt your inspiration picture will be a kitchen with more expensive finishes. For instance, we loved the exact pendants in our inspiration picture, so we researched and found them. Unfortunately, we needed three and at $1,200 each they were way out of our budget (more about that below). We set out to accomplish a similar look and feel as our inspiration photo at a much lower cost. We did all of the design ourselves and felt confident with our inspiration photo as a guide. 


Our pendants were pieced and put together by us. This ended up saving us hundreds of dollars. Photo by David Sauerhoff.

DIY Pendants and Lighting 

As we mentioned above the pendants in our kitchen inspiration photo were out of budget and we just didn’t see anything that we liked in our price range. Everything seemed a little too generic and we wanted something a bit more unique. So we decided to make our own pendants from parts we bought from a lighting parts wholesaler. If you’ve never wired a light before, you’re not the only one! We haven’t either, but there is a wealth of knowledge online and we were able to get it done. We love the way it turned out. The other lighting upgrade we were able to DIY was our under cabinet led lighting. Inexpensive and easy to install!


Our upper cabinet built-in we ended up rotating on it's side and removing the door. We then added a natural wood open shelf. This allows more storage and open cabinet space.

After the kitchen was complete we added some LED lights under the cabinets.

Easy Built-In Open Shelving 

We really wanted to incorporate some built-in open shelving. Custom millwork was just not in the cards for us. We went with all standard cabinetry. To accomplish and open cabinet look we got a cabinet finished on the inside, turned it on it’s side, and left the doors off. We built in a shelf and love the way it turned out. It looks built-in but for a fraction of the cost. We wanted a natural wood element as well so we left room for one floating wooden shelf as well.


Cabinet Hardware from Buster + Punch elevated the cabinets and gave the space a finished look.

Less Expensive Upgrade For Your Cabinets 

We used pre-finished and pre-assembled cabinets. Our cabinets are real wood but we got them inexpensively. We used the RTA Cabinet Store. We elevated them by upgrading the hardware. The hardware we went adds something bling and we also mixed and matched styles on different cabinets for more interest. It’s also possible to get lower priced cabinet boxes without doors from IKEA and upgrading the doors from a company like Semihandmade.


We had extra quartz from the counter fabrication so we decided to use for the vanity in our upstairs bathroom. Photo by David Sauerhoff.

Counter Remnants 

One of the other big expenses in the kitchen can be counters. It’s also where you can really establish a higher end look. While we worked with an amazing stone company for our kitchen counters, we learned that going to a local stone fabricator and browsing through the remnants they have from other jobs is a great way to save. We did that for every other piece of stone in our place and can easily see it paying off big in the kitchen. You can get a really high-end marble, quartz, or other natural stone for a fraction of the cost. If the remnant isn’t large enough for all of your counters consider doing something different on an island.

There are ways to save on almost everything you’ll need for any renovation. These are just some things we thought of to drastically reduce the cost of finishes in a kitchen reno. Let us know if you have any other ideas!


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