Kitchen renovations are pricey! A recent Consumer Reports survey found that the mid-range kitchen remodel lands between $25,000 to $50,000. While that number may seem wild, it's actually not that surprising when you look at all the elements involved, including cabinetry, countertops, appliances, and even less-expensive items like hardware (multiply that $5 knob by 30 and you're getting into the hundreds even when you choose a cheaper option!).
So I'm always amazed by the people who, through sheer DIY skills or thrifty choices, manage to transform their kitchens for cheap. Kudos, you guys — you're an inspiration to us all!
Here are five kitchen renovations that cost $5,000 or less.
1. Brown to White
Australian homeowner Chris Phillips ripped out upper cabinets, brought in IKEA beauties, and flipped the scheme from drab brown to bright white. Oh yeah, and he also redid the floor and got all-new appliances. A lot of work, but it was all done for less than five grand.
See more: Before and After: This Kitchen's $5K Budget Even Included Appliances at Apartment Therapy
2. Slightly Rustic
Homeowner Sarah, of Grace in My Space, asked for bids to remodel the kitchen — but when they were tens of thousands of dollars too high, she decided to revamp it herself. Smart but cheap fixes — like replacing an upper cabinet with airy open shelving, customizing cool pendants to fit the space exactly, painting the remaining cabinets, and peppering the space with colorful accents — gave it a budget-friendly refresh.
See more: Kitchen Remodel on a Budget: The Reveal Grace in my Space
3. Gray and White Galley
Here Vicki, of Wheel Chic Decor, made smart cost compromises without sacrificing style. Some highlights: choosing laminate that looks like stone instead of the pricier real thing, selecting IKEA lighting and shelving that looks much more upscale than the price, and opting for simpler tiles, but laying them in an interesting pattern with high-contrast grout. Those smart options plus the ever-transformative paint — here, different shades of gray for the upper and lower cabinets — delivered a thrifty makeover.
See more: My Budget Kitchen Makeover Reveal at Wheel Chic Decor
4. Smart Gut Job
This kitchen was an actual disaster when the new homeowners moved in. It was a suspected meth house that smelled like "sausage and pee," but by purchasing used appliances, remnant stone for the island, and IKEA cabinets, Rachel and her husband were able to pull together a great-looking kitchen from scratch for under $5,000.
See more: Before & After: A Suspected Meth House Gets Majorly Modernized on Apartment Therapy
5. Perfect Compromises
Over on A Beautiful Mess Mandi shared her reno, which cost just a little more than $2,000. To keep costs down, she painted existing fixtures, chose shiplap instead of a tiled backsplash, and found less expensive versions of her dream lighting. She also mixed more expensive solid brass hardware with cheaper brass-plated knobs from the hardware store.
See more: Kitchen Renovation Reveal at A Beautiful Mess