Decorating Ideas - Kitchen Design and Decoration on a Budget

Making the decision to undertake some minor improvements in your home can be exciting, yet challenging. When your budget is limited, making changes, whether it’s to make your space more functional or create a more personalized look, can be frustrating. Even figuring out where to begin can be hard. Even though I feel I have a good eye and I think I did a pretty good decorating my home, every few months I just stand and look around and feel like I need a change; I get bored. That’s not always very good for someone with a limited budget, but I’ve learned a number of solutions over the years to transform every room in the house without breaking the bank. This article will focus on kitchen decorating ideas. I’ll also be touching on dining room, living room, bedroom, and bathroom decorating ideas separately, so be sure to check back here for links.

A stylish “renovation” doesn’t have to cost a fortune. A little bit of fabric, some paint, and perhaps some unexpected decorative details can do wonders to transform a space. Flea markets are rich resources for furniture and accessories, and other interior decorating ideas and if you’re handy, or crafty, you can see past the “cover” to create something beautiful from something old. Yard sales are another resource for inexpensive items to decorate your rooms, like pottery or quilts.

The Five Decorating Basics Tips:

  1. Paint. Paint is always the least expensive way to dramatically change the look of any room, and it’s easy to do it yourself.
  2. Slipcovers. Ready-made or custom slipcovers are a reasonable alternative to reupholstering worn furniture and they can make a dull room look new.
  3. Fabrics. If you have a collection of fabrics in your linen closet that you love, don’t keep them hidden away. Use them around your room for impact; consider making some matching or contrasting pillows.
  4. Artwork. Most of us have more artwork stored away than we have space to display it. Every few months, or whenever you need a change, rotate your artwork for a fresh look.
  5. Windows. There are thousands of window treatments that you can create, or purchase, on a budget. Just a couple of days ago I decided that I needed curtain panels in my office; I have one large window in there that currently had white wood blinds on it. I just wanted decorative panels on each side of the window, so I found a striped fabric shower curtain that I liked at Target, then went to my local fabric store and purchased one yard of a complimentary solid color for $5. I needed 84” panels and the shower curtain was 72”, so I added a 12” border at the bottom with the solid fabric, which gave it a more custom look. Once hung, I was absolutely amazed at the way the two panels changed the look and feel of my office – instant warmth. Not to mention that I am not a sewer, so I was quite proud of myself for undertaking this project and accomplishing it on a budget!  Another option for curtain panels on the cheap is to use sheets if you find something that goes with your décor; the top hem can easily be used as a rod pocket.  Add a nice trim and you're good to go!

I know, it's not a kitchen, but since I mentioned my new curtains above, I thought I'd include a photo of them...my shower-curtain-turned-decorative-curtain-panels proudly hanging in my office (I'm probably sitting in that chair right now!)
I know, it's not a kitchen, but since I mentioned my new curtains above, I thought I'd include a photo of them...my shower-curtain-turned-decorative-curtain-panels proudly hanging in my office (I'm probably sitting in that chair right now!)

Kitchen Decorating Ideas:

Keep magazine articles that list low-cost sources for things such as tile, cabinets, and countertops. Clip photos of appealing rooms and color schemes. Research prices and create a spreadsheet to help you adhere to your budget and so you know what to expect.

Avoid paying for new cabinets and instead paint old ones that are in good condition. If you do need to get new cabinets, save money by ordering them unfinished and paint them yourself.

Give a kitchen island a worn, well-used kitchen look by distressing it; experiment with your technique on plywood first until you perfect it.

Look for affordable details at flea markets to add unexpected touches, like an old decorative iron bracket mounted underneath a stove hood, cabinet or breakfast bar (not as a structural support).

You don’t necessarily have to replace old laminate cabinets – they can be painted. Ask someone knowledgeable at your local hardware store for a good primer that will stick well to such a surface. I’m actually about to undertake such a project in my kitchen and am crossing my fingers it will work out well.

If you have problem walls, such as old plaster walls that would cost a lot of money to repair, cover them with beadboard which retains a traditional look.

For some whimsy, cover a hopeless surface with stain- and water-resistant oilcloth in a colorful pattern.

To hide an unsightly wall of appliances, cover the front of your dishwasher with a cabinet panel.

Give low-cost or unsightly cabinets a traditional look by simply facing the doors with beadboard paneling.

Frosted glass cabinet doors are a relatively inexpensive way to create visual space in small kitchens, while still concealing the cabinet’s contents.

If you have a window in your kitchen with a nice view, consider leaving it curtain-less (and shutter- or blind-less) to open up the room, allow more light to come in, and make the space appear less cluttered.

A window-mounted glass shelf holding glassware allows a collection to be displayed without blocking precious light.

Mounting the microwave above the stove can save valuable working counter space.

A bamboo or sea-grass rug adds warmth to a kitchen and is an economical upgrade from a worn vinyl floor.

If replacing flooring, bamboo, an eco-friendly material, costs half as much as maple and is just about as hard. Painting an old wood floor with a high-gloss enamel can give the room a clean, bright look.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Distressed kitchen island.Old iron bracket used to decorate stove hood."Found" old gate used as a beautiful pot rack.Beadboard paneling on old cabninet doors.Great example of god use of frosted glass cabinet doors.Window with great view and glass shelf holding clear glass bottles.Flowers add a lot of personality to a kitchen.  Also shows mounted microwave and corner cubby to hide unsightly appliances.Open shelving in kitchen.Example of both painted kitchen cabinets and use of beadboard on wall.
Distressed kitchen island.
Distressed kitchen island.
Old iron bracket used to decorate stove hood.
Old iron bracket used to decorate stove hood.
"Found" old gate used as a beautiful pot rack.
"Found" old gate used as a beautiful pot rack.
Beadboard paneling on old cabninet doors.
Beadboard paneling on old cabninet doors.
Great example of god use of frosted glass cabinet doors.
Great example of god use of frosted glass cabinet doors.
Window with great view and glass shelf holding clear glass bottles.
Window with great view and glass shelf holding clear glass bottles.
Flowers add a lot of personality to a kitchen.  Also shows mounted microwave and corner cubby to hide unsightly appliances.
Flowers add a lot of personality to a kitchen. Also shows mounted microwave and corner cubby to hide unsightly appliances.
Open shelving in kitchen.
Open shelving in kitchen.
Example of both painted kitchen cabinets and use of beadboard on wall.
Example of both painted kitchen cabinets and use of beadboard on wall.

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2 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Wonderful ideas and not too much money spend. Thank you.


equealla profile image

equealla 6 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

Very creative ideas. DV next year some of my rooms will be enlarged. My builder,architect and me are working out strategies of cost efectiveness to be able to do this. Money for nice will be mostly non existent. I will keep a close eye on your tips. They seem to be very useful.

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