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How to Remodel Your Kitchen on a Budget.

Learn how to remodel your kitchen on a budget.  I’ll show you how I took my outdated kitchen from an ugly, functional nightmare to my dream kitchen with a budget of $2600.

You can create your dream kitchen on just about any budget if you are willing to put the time and effort into doing most of the work yourself.  A kitchen makeover can cost $20,000 or more but by following this tutorial you can create your dream kitchen for about $2500.  Let’s create your dream kitchen on a budget.

I love my budget kitchen remodel…

Our dream home was a foreclosure and a beige nightmare.  We bought this home for its location on the water and because it’s just a short walk to the beach.

Take a look at how our kitchen looked when we moved in.

Kitchen Before

This is just one of the strangest layouts I’ve ever seen in a kitchen.  We were completely baffled by the weird bump-out and the random cabinets just placed on walls.  The countertops were tiled in slate-looking tiles and walls were tiled in 12 x 12″ real slate floor tiles + the bank (we bought this as a foreclosure) had put in really awesome – not- “new” black appliances.  They also put linoleum over the hardwood floors – (why would anyone do that?).  I hated this room, hated walking by it, and I couldn’t stand the idea of cooking in it, so it had to be the first thing we tackled in our renovation.

Kitchen Before

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Learn How to Remodel your Kitchen on a Budget

We now have our dream kitchen.  Read on to see how we remodeled our kitcehnon a $2600 budget.
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Chief Mermaid & Mojito Maker

This is me hangin’ out on the boat – it’s an absolutely gorgeous day in the Florida Keys – doing what wannabe mermaids do best…splashing in the waves + soaking up the sun.

Life’s amazing.  Want to learn more?  

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How to Remodel Your Kitchen on a Budget

The Process

Strange cabinet sticking out into the middle of the kitchen

Who knows what purpose this served.  Notice that all the cabinets don’t match.  The great news was that most of the cabinets were extremely well constructed and could be refinished and reused.

Vinyl flooring over hardwood floors...

Who does this…what a crime!  This kitchen floor had lots of crime committed against it.  In addition to the vinyl over the hardwood, underneath the hardwood was one of my favorite floor options ever Terrazzo…  Unfortunately, the Terrazzo was too far gone, but I was definitely rescuing the hardwood.  Experience Tip:  The floors should have been done before we reset the cabinets.
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12 x 12 slate looking tile as a countertop

The kitchen was dark, and this countertop + the 12 x 12-inch slate tiles on the wall just made it worse.  You can also see the vinyl floor before I started scrapping it up.

Mismatched Cabinets

All the cabinets were in good shape and most of them were really well made custom cabinets.  But since nothing matched and there were a variety of different woods, the only option to reuse these was to paint them.  + the strange unfinished cabinet without doors that you can see on the end.
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Tall cabinet with awesome storage

Ok, the height is pretty close to the height of a bar countertop + my husband is 6’4″ so this is perfect for prep space for him plus a couple of bar stools if we added an overhang with the new countertops.  + you can’t see completely see it in the picture but the plywood wall between the cabinet and refrigerator isn’t attached to anything at the top – again strange.

Makeover Inspiration

We decided to reuse the cabinets, make a custom cabinet for the refrigerator, buy a stock cabinet for over the microwave and glass doors for the cabinet that was missing doors.  We repositioned some of the cabinets to make a better workflow.  To make all the mismatched cabinets work together paint was really the only viable option.  I got to work rescuing the hardwoods floor – which we discovered were installed throughout the house – score!  In some places, the wood was pretty damaged so I came up with a distressed finish we could use throughout the house…  It looks awesome and any wear is super easy to fix with a quick dry brush and a little bit of furniture wax.

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Inspiration for floors and countertop

My husband wasn’t really sold on my floor rescue plan.  He needed a little convincing, so I found this image on Houzz.  I can’t find the original to give credit.  Sorry.

Inspiration for the cabinets

We live in Florida and wanted the kitchen to be beachy, casual and indestructible.  We were watching the Netfix show Bloodlines, set in the Florida Keys and we were sold on this color combination.
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How to Remodel Your Kitchen on a Budget

Kitchen After…

This was supposed to be an intermediate renovation – we’d build our dream kitchen later – but it turned out this is our dream kitchen.  We chose a white granite with wonderful veining and even a little sparkle.  I really wanted white marble but that idea was vetoed by my much more practical husband.  Looking back I’m glad we went this direction.  It’s practical and beautiful.  I was able to save the hardwood floor from its ugly vinyl covering.  Bonus, I found the perfect backsplash tile to tie all the colors and materials together – on sale at Lowe’s…who would have guessed.  We finished everything off with new stainless steel appliances.  I love the way they look but I hate, I can’t say this strongly enough, hate cleaning them.

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No more strange cabinet sticking out into the middle of the kitchen

We pushed the cabinet back inline with all the other cabinets.  We moved the tower that had been sitting by itself on the back wall to just next to the stove.

Distressed cabinets & beach-y driftwood washed floors

I love them.  They are super easy to take care of and any repairs are easy with a little bit of paint and furniture wax.
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New White Granite Countertops

Absolutely the right decision.  They are beautiful and super easy to care for.  I love them…still a little bummed I didn’t get marble 🙂  + you can see the glass doors we put on the open cabinet.  They look great!  We ordered the doos online and had the glass installed locally.

Painted Cabinets + Distressed finish

We lovingly sanded and painted every door and drawer face.  Then I distressed them.  I was a little scary but we love the look.  I waxed them so they wouldn’t yellow and it makes it super easy to clean and maintain.  + I created a coffee bar by repurposing a David Marsh shelf and old TV cabinet – the top actually swivels.
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The perfect mosaic backsplash

The colors + the glass and sand colored tumbled marble tie everything together.  Perfection!

Purple bead-board on the back wall

Getting the slate off the wall was a nightmare + bonus, they tiles right to the drywall…  Neither my husband or I are drywall-ers and the job just didn’t seem big enough to hire someone so we used my go-to trick – bead-board!
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$2600 Kitchen remodel…

When we started this makeover we fully intended for this to be a temporary fix while we made plans for a brand new kitchen.  We wanted something that would be functional since the original layout was unusable.   Plus, we wanted the kitchen to look good and be inviting since we planned to live with it for a couple of years.  Our budget for the kitchen remodel without appliances was $5000.

The biggest investment we made was in countertops and it was the topic of a lot of debate.  We looked at a number of different options and ultimately decided to splurge on the granite since we’d be living with the result for a couple of years.

We came in under budget spending just $2600 to turn the old mess of a kitchen into our dream kitchen.  We love the result so much that we’ve stopped talking about “the next kitchen remodel”.

We completed the remodel in about 2 weeks working 5 or 6 hours a day.


Here’s where we spent the $2600:

$2000   White Granite Counter Tops

$50        Cabinet above the microwave

$80        2 Sheets of beadboard

$300      4 cabinet doors

$100       Rain glass for cabinet doors (installed)

$50         6 cabinet handles

$50         Paint


Where we saved:

  • We did all the work ourselves
  • We reused and/or repurposed the existing cabinets
  • We build the refrigerator cabinet
  • We added storage with furniture we already owned
  • We rescued the hardwood floor from under the vinyl flooring
  • We ordered the cabinet doors online


Most kitchens can be rescued for a couple of thousand dollars just by reimagining the possibilities, looking at what you have and how those elements can be reused or repurposed.

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DIY + Create

The Latest Mermaid Tale(

Everyday inspiration.

Live More.  Stress Less.  Spend Better.

Comfortable & Casual with a Coastal Twist.

Diy & Creative Philosoph-

One of my passions is creating a home that is comfortable and inviting.  My Husband and I have done enough DIY renovations now to know how to keep it stress-free (mostly) and easy to accomplish.  I’ll share my tips and tricks for designing on a budget – by updating, repurposing, and making over items you already have or can pick-up cheap.  + I’m doing some cool stuff with clothes to update my summer wardrobe. Let’s create something! Kelly

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Chief Mermaid & Mojito Maker

This is me hangin’ out on the boat – it’s an absolutely gorgeous day in the Florida Keys – doing what wannabe mermaids do best…splashing in the waves + soaking up the sun. Life’s amazing.  Want to learn more?  

“Dive deep for the treasure that you see!”

How to Remodel Your Kitchen on a Budget via @mermaidsandmojitos
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