43 Stunning DIY Kitchen Ideas for a Total Makeover

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Next time you are thinking about a kitchen update, consider these 43 DIY kitchen ideas on a budget that will save space, increase storage and give you the functional, stylish kitchen of your dreams! Plus, a kitchen remodel will add value to any home, and doing it yourself will save you thousands! 

Remember our kitchen renovation at our old house? That project added over $100K in value to our home after we had it appraised!

You’ll be amazed at just how much you can do yourself, so get ready to be inspired! These 40+ DIY kitchen upgrades will help you see exactly what’s possible so you can finally have the kitchen of your dreams.

collage of over 40 creative DIY kitchen ideas to update any space.
43 DIY Kitchen Renovation Ideas

DIY Kitchen Ideas: 40+ DIY Projects & Ideas

The kitchen projects that I picked to feature today all have one thing in common:  DIY.  The homeowners who live and cook in these kitchens did either some or all of the work to take their kitchens from drab to fab. 

Some of them completed every task from demo to electrical installation, while others designed their new kitchen themselves and let a pro take over from there.  Regardless, all of the kitchen remodel projects below used DIY spirit and tons of creativity to produce gorgeous new spaces!

Even if you’re totally new to DIY, you can do this! I know it sounds intimidating, but that’s why I’ve loaded this blog with tons of detailed, step-by-step instructions. Even if you don’t have many DIY skills, you can turn your house into your dream home!

To make it even easier, I’ve created a free Kitchen Renovation Checklist so you can think through all the small changes (and big ones, too) that will totally transform the look of your kitchen!

Your Dream Kitchen Made Easy

Free Kitchen Renovation Checklist

Before you work on a single kitchen project, get organized with this free checklist! It will help you know exactly which tasks to focus on to get the biggest bang for your buck!

1-Turquoise-Yellow-Gray-Island
New Kitchen Lighting

Adding Light and Efficiency at I Wash You Dry

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Painted gray cabinets

Farmhouse Style Gray and Blue Kitchen at Jenna Sue Design

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Small kitchen renovation with peninsula

Modern Bungalow Kitchen Refresh at Cush & Nooks

How To Plan A Kitchen Remodel

  1. Search Google and Pinterest for DIY kitchen ideas “before and after” is a great way to get ideas and gain insight from others who have tackled a DIY kitchen remodel. One of the biggest things you can do is plan ahead.
  2. Decide on your details: Choose a backsplash tile (subway tile is classic and usually cost-effective), appliances, countertop, and flooring. 
  3. Meet with a kitchen designer and have them create the 3D renderings of the kitchen layout and kitchen cabinets (like these) in order to maximize every square inch of your new kitchen. If you know what storage features you want inside your cabinets (ie. pull-out drawers, lazy Susan, etc.) a kitchen designer can make sure that the cabinets have everything you need.
  4. Search for updated kitchens that feature before and after pictures with the type of flooring and countertop you want. This will help you visualize if your selections are really what you want for your space. Sometimes I think I want something, and then I see it in a real space, and I’m like, “no way.” -ha. 

Planning a kitchen remodel takes time and patience. If you are looking for a checklist of sorts, be sure to check out my post on designing a kitchen for the split-level house .

Kitchen Cabinet Remodel Ideas

On a budget? One of the biggest things you can do when remodeling your kitchen is to replace the cabinet doors. 

This will totally upgrade any outdated cabinets without the high cost of new cabinets. Of course, you can also choose a new color and cabinet handles to turn even the most basic cabinet doors into something beautiful!

Kitchen Guide To Keeping Your Cabinets:

Read more about how we updated our current kitchen by keeping our cabinets and painting them

How to Upgrade Old Cabinets Without Replacing Them

You can have new doors made while leaving the existing base cabinets. This costs a bit more, but if your doors have molding or other details that don’t fit your style, it’s totally worth the cost.

If the low and upper cabinets are in good shape, a fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference! This remodeling idea will save you thousands!

We’ve painted kitchen cabinets several times, and there are a few tricks to make them perfect every time (hint: use a paint sprayer). The last thing you want to worry about is unsightly brushstrokes or bubbling paint!

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Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Updating a Small, Builder Grade Kitchen at Design, Dining + Diapers

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Painted blue cabinet

Low Budget Fix Up of a Vintage Kitchen at Manhatten Nest

Gray and White Kitchen with a Fun Gallery Wall at Yellow Bliss Road

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Two toned kitchen cabinets white and brown stain
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Floating kitchen island

Radiant Colors in a White Kitchen at Paper Daisy Design

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Tiny kitchen remodel

Black and White Kitchen at The Yellow Cape Cod

Cheap Kitchen Remodel Before and After

Need a budget kitchen makeover? These upgrades show you some of the easiest ways to get a whole new look for less!

Here are some of my favorite trends from these DIY kitchen projects:

DIY Kitchen Ideas on a Budget

  • Replace old cabinets with open shelves
  • Use inexpensive subway tile for a backsplash
  • Add a fresh coat of paint
  • Repaint your old kitchen cabinets (I love the two-tone look with the different colors for the uppers & bases!)
  • Add crown molding or box-in the tops of your cabinets for a sophisticated look
  • Install under-cabinet lighting for a warm touch
  • Replace your kitchen faucet
  • Paint your existing kitchen counter
  • Switch out your old kitchen sink
  • Install laminate flooring (so affordable & durable!)
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white kitchen cabinets with small island cooktop

Oak Cabinets Painted White at The Blissful Bee

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Butcher block counters

Butcher Block and Subway Tile at Go Haus Go

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White subway tile backsplash and butcher block counters

Pretty Blue and White Cabinets at The MomTog Diaries

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Upgraded kitchen cabinet drawer pulls

Natural Wood Open Shelving at Our House

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Painted kitchen cabinets with medallion backsplash

Statement Tile Backsplash at Hi Sugarplum


Best Small Kitchen Ideas

If you’re in a small space, the best thing you can do is focus on light! This can make a huge difference, and it’s an easy way to refresh a tired kitchen.

  • Two-tone cabinets: If you love rich colors but have a tiny kitchen, consider white cabinets for the uppers and using that bold color on the bases.
  • Paint the ceiling white: The easiest way to give your small kitchen some more height is to paint the upper cabinets, kitchen wall, and ceiling white. Without anything to stop the eye, the room will feel much taller!
  • Think through kitchen storage: Although it may be tempting to rip off the old cabinets and install open shelving, the most important this is storage space. Is there a pantry you can optimize for easier access? Would it be helpful to install pull out shelves in your cabinets? Add extra storage and revamp any boxed-in areas to make them work for you.
  • Optimize lighting: The more light you can add, the better! Remove or update any window coverings, change out the light fixtures, and consider installing under cabinet lights for a warm, inviting, and modern look.

DIY Kitchen Decor Ideas

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Kitchen floating shelves for a small space

Coastal Inspired Kitchen Makeover at Primitive & Proper

Big Family Kitchen Update at The Idea Room

Bright White Kitchen at The Graphics Fairy

Basic Kitchen to Beautiful Cottage Style at Cherished Bliss

DIY Kitchen Remodels Before & After

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Dark blue kitchen cabinets with gold hardware and fixtures
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Green glass tile backsplash with white grout

Turquoise Tile + Stained Wood at Fisherman’s Wife Furniture

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Beadboard backsplash
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White subway tile wall and backsplash
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Ikea kitchen cabinets with yellow

Ikea Cabinets Painted Yellow Inside at Cape 27

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Butcher block countertop
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White subway tile backsplash with stainless steel undermount sink

Tips for Using Ikea Cabinets at Lindsay Stephenson

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White kitchen cabinets with brown granite countertop

Farmhouse Kitchen Updates at Rooms for Rent

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White kitchen with desk style island

1905 Cottage Kitchen Redo at Tatertots & Jello

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Cottage style kitchen with white cabinets

Two Tone Kitchen Renovation at Finding Home

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white kitchen cabinets with beadboard island

White and Gray Kitchen with Pops of Color at I Heart Naptime

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white kitchen cabinets with black hardware

Gray and Green Ikea Kitchen at Southern Hospitality

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Industrial kitchen with butcher block floating island

Industrial Vintage French Kitchen at So Much Better with Age

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small white kitchen

A Kitchen for Cooking at A Pinch of Yum

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Kitchen peninsula with shiplap

Blue and White Cottage Kitchen at Tidbits

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Green backsplash with white cabinets

Pretty Pastel Kitchen at Welcome to the Mouse House

Paternity Leave Kitchen Renovation at Design Sponge

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light gray kitchen cabinets with white farmers sink

Vintage Kitchen Gets a Neutral Makeover at Hummingbird High

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gray kitchen cabinets with nickel drawer pulls

Removing Upper Cabinets at The Inspired Room

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Small kitchen island

A Turquoise Island at Flower Patch Farm Girl

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Painted light green kitchen cabinets

New Look for a Dated Kitchen (that backsplash!) at Centsational Girl

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white kitchen cabinets with black counters

Black and White Kitchen with a Rainbow Reading Nook at No Big Dill 

How To Completely Remodel A Kitchen For Under $4000

A kitchen remodel on a budget will most likely require keeping the existing cabinets and painting them. Since we’ve done a few full remodels, I wanted to share some insights from my favorite DIY project!

Lake House Kitchen Remodel

Our small kitchen remodel at our lake house is a perfect example of a kitchen makeover on a budget.

We purchased additional cabinets to increase the kitchen layout to accommodate more storage and built-in section for the refrigerator.

As you can see below, the original kitchen was a hodge-podge mix of appliances with a door and window smack dab in the middle!

lake house rental log cabin stained plank walls living room kitchen
1950 small kitchen before renovation

The remodeled kitchen below features a full wall of cabinets which provide additional counter space, more storage, and a better kitchen layout.

open kitchen and living room with vaulted white ceiling, leather couch, island stools, black ceiling fan, rope pendants
Small kitchen remodel at lake house

We relocated the door to the opposite side of the house and closed off the window. By keeping our existing cabinets and purchasing a few more, we saved a lot of money. We also installed a butcher block countertop and painted it black to coordinate with the existing black countertop.

More DIY Kitchen Renovations

1970’s Kitchen Renovation Before & After

This picture below is our kitchen renovation from a few years that was featured in Woman’s Day magazine.

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Painted white kitchen cabinets

The budget kitchen remodel above is our old kitchen from 1970, and it featured white painted cabinets.

The original kitchen was dark oak cabinets (see here), which we painted (above) to give it a quick update.

A few years later, we blew up the kitchen (see full kitchen before and after here) and tore down walls (see below), and installed all new cabinets, an island and mudroom wall. The kitchen added over 100K in value after the appraisal, which was crazy!

This project is a fantastic reminder that you can update your kitchen space over time! It’s okay if you start with something more simple now and give your own kitchen a complete overhaul later.

DIY Kitchen Reveal / Mudroom
white kitchen cabinets with built in mudroom wall

Split Level Kitchen Before and After

Here is our latest kitchen remodel at the split level flip house. You can see the entire remodel here as well as the kitchen before and after pictures.

This kitchen below was a tiny 8×8 1970’s dated kitchen with walls and tiny doorways that led to the dining room and living room. To make the space feel open and airy, we removed all the walls and opened up the ceiling.

You would never know that this was a split-level home by all the updating we did to the interior. Check it out here

1970s split level house kitchen wall with dining room and living room
split level kitchen before renovation

Keep in mind, we sold that house when the market was just ticking upward (see house sale here) and the kitchen remodel was a huge factor in the sale price. You are never guaranteed to hit big when you do a remodel (when it comes to selling) but it can’t hurt!

split level kitchen and living room open wall remodel before and after
Split level kitchen after renovation

Our Mediterranean Kitchen Renovation

The kitchen in our current Mediterranean-style home initially had a very traditional look. There were beautiful wood carvings (I love the ones on the kitchen island), granite countertops, and a detailed mosaic backsplash over the sink.

traditional Italianate style kitchen.

Although I love all of these details and the tall, open feel, I eventually got tired of all the brown: wood cabinets, brown tiles, brown granite counters, etc. 

Over the years, we’ve gradually updated this kitchen to give it a modern feel: think subtle gray cabinets, gorgeous marble countertops, white walls, and modern, open light fixtures.

kitchen cabinet stainless steel bar pulls in a gray kitchen

This is truly my dream kitchen: it’s so bright and inviting! 

Although we’ve definitely spent some money on this update, you can see a lot of the actual structures are the same. 

Tip: If you are planning to tackle a DIY kitchen remodel, definitely check with your town to see if you need a permit to complete any of the work.

These DIY kitchen ideas are not only stylish and functional but add value to your home as well. I hope you found some great inspiration here and are ready to dive into your own remodeling project! 

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.

4 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for including my Industrial Vintage kitchen!
    Hugs, Jamie

  2. Oh wow! I was reading this post and scrolling through and recognized my kitchen! Thank you. It’s still strange to be included in a group with such amazing bloggers and DIYers. Thanks again and good luck with your kitchen project.

  3. The third kitchen is an almost exact replica of what ours looks like now. Well done! Thanks for such a large and wholesome blog. Can I recommend to anyone out there renovating to add a nice large wooden wine rack to their kitchen as it has become a center piece in our kitchen. I bout a DIY kit wine rack from https://wineracksite.com/shop/120-bottle-wine-rack-kit/ that holds up to 120 bottles. Check it out and give me your opinion. I love it and my wife and I have nearly finished filling it with wine! Thanks guys.

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