Looking for a budget kitchen remodel? I’m sharing 9 ways we updated our kitchen condo design with quick fixes to make it feel fresh!
When we closed on our condo in Toronto in March 2021, we undertook a full renovation of the bathrooms and main spaces, and sadly, our kitchen wasn’t at the forefront of our reno. With slate floors, a top freezer fridge and lack of lighting, we knew we had to do something! Until we can afford new upper kitchen cabinets, we decided to do a budget kitchen remodel by working with the same cabinets, layout, backsplash and counters, but making updates to the details and lighting in the space.
You can also check out my former condo kitchen makeover here.
1. Replace your microwave range hood
One of the biggest eyesores and functional deficiencies in our condo kitchen was the microwave hood over our gas range. We opted to remove the microwave entirely (and yes, we do not have a microwave in our small condo kitchen) and replace the hood with a high-powered Vent-a-Hood in classic stainless steel. The new range hood is simple, non-obtrusive, and most importantly does the job of removing cooking smells and smoke.
2. Add Pendants over the Kitchen Island
One of the first things I wanted to do in this kitchen as part of our ceiling and lighting upgrades was to add two stylish pendants over the kitchen peninsula. These brass and globe pendants are from Dainolite, who stock some incredible modern and contemporary styles to suit a variety of homes.
The Adrienna pendants from Dainolite are perfectly in scale with our kitchen and offer mood lighting and interest to anchor the kitchen space. We often turn the pendants instead of the LED pot lights to keep a softer atmosphere. I love how these pendants add a sculptural shape and tie in our brass hardware, and define the peninsula of our traditional “U” shaped condo kitchen.
For an extra touch, I recommend putting your lighting in your kitchen on a dimmer system to be able to control the level of light and use your kitchen pendants as ambient mood lighting during entertaining!
3. Replace your old fridge
If it’s in your kitchen reno budget, upgrading your appliances to more stylish, energy efficient models is well worth it! We removed our classic top freezer model with an elegant KitchenAid French Door Refrigerator with beautiful handles and tons of storage. I feel like it made the kitchen feel instantly more modern! Also, I am loving the built-in water and icemaker.
4. Raise your ceiling
One thing that SHOCKED us while renovating our kitchen was that there was a faux drop ceiling. Precious ceiling height was being sacrified for nothing! We raised the ceiling height by 1.5-2 feet and it completely opened up the space to feel more airy. As a consequence, we have space above our upper cabinets to the ceiling, but we plan on replacing the uppers in the next couple years to go flush to the ceiling. For now, we’re enjoying the increased breathing room.
5. New Wall & Ceiling Paint
We worked with Benjamin Moore as part of this reno, and went with Chantilly Lace OC-65 Ceiling Paint by Benjamin Moore for a clean, blank canvas. The walls surrounding the kitchen have been painted in our loft’s main colour, which is Classic Gray OC-23, a lovely warm white. This is a fresh start to the previously cool-toned grey that was all over our condo! If you’re in an open concept space, bring in the same paint colours into your kitchen, so that it feels like it’s part of the rest of your living space.
6. Cheapest Kitchen Reno: Keep your Cabinets, Upgrade them with new hardware
Whether that means painting your existing cabinets, or upgrading your hardware, not replacing your cabinets will save you thousands of dollars. Though our new raised ceiling has left us with a gap (and admittedly, an exposed exhaust pipe for the ventilation of our gas stove), we are saving up for custom millwork to truly fit the space. In the interim, the updated brass hardware from Richelieu has made all the difference! Before the black hardware felt very basic and tired, but the sleek brass knobs and pulls have added a bit of glam, and tie into our lovely pendants.
7. Replace your backsplash
Another great way to upgrade your kitchen is to redo your backsplash. You can play it safe with a simple white subway tile, or go all out with a one-of-a-kind backsplash mosaic. In my last condo, we added a chevron and brass dolomite backsplash that was the focal point of our condo kitchen wall! You can check out that mini condo kitchen reno here.
Another great way to replace your backsplash on a budget is to use peel and stick tiles! These are renter-friendly and can be removed when you’re ready to leave your space.
8. Small Kitchen Reno: Keep your floors light & bright
When we moved in, our kitchen had dark black slate floors which were very 1990s and felt too heavy for the loft space. We wanted to brighten things up, and decided to run our new white oak floors from Moncer throgh the entirety of the ground floor. This creates a seamless look, that doesn’t “chop off” the space, making it feel even bigger!
While this is nowhere near a “budget” reno item, you can opt to use peel and stick floor tiles from FloorPop in a fun, light print that tie into the rest of your home, or consider an economical click LVP (luxury vinyl plank) as a quick fix that will uplift your space!
9. Replace your kitchen faucet
Replace your kitchen faucet for an instant upgrade and add functionality to your kitchen. We installed this brass Kraus gooseneck faucet that is elegant and timeless. I love how the brass ties into our pendants and the hardware, while adding a bit of “jewelry” to the kitchen, until we are able to upgrade the MDF millwork to a more custom design!
I hope these 9 budget kitchen remodel ideas will inspire you to make little upgrades to your kitchen. This can be a work in progress over time, and with little investments, you can remodel your kitchen on a budget!