Kitchen Reno On A Budget

Hey y'all!

***To start I wanted to say I will have a lot of links and buttons in this post to lots of materials I used. If you click on the buttons and make a purchase, I will make a small commission at no extra charge to you. The in-text captions have no affiliation, they are strictly for information. Thank you for your support!***

When I first moved into this house I added a little extra stress to my life, I booked a wedding for two weeks after my move in day. Yeah, I know. Wasn't the smartest idea. However, I'm always up to the challenge and my parents were staying a couple weeks to help me get this DIY kitchen renovation done on a budget. Here's how it went...

These were what we started with. Pictures of the original house before we bought it and moved in.

dark hardwood floors in 1920's kitchen. Painted cream cabinets, kelly green tile countertops, cream walls, half moon blue window over kitchen sink.
Original kitchen, peep that window!

Old kitchen, dark hardwood floors, cream cabinets and green tile countertops. White mini fridge in place of standard, old and grime covered stove.
Yikes, those floors are UNEVEN! But the window makes it all worth it.

Documenting The Journey

Throughout this process I created some YouTube videos that document the process as well. If you want to check those out click here!


Getting appliances through a 1925 farmhouse is a lot harder than you would think. The stove, microwave, and dishwasher fit through the doorframes with no problems. However, when it came time to drag the refrigerator through the house we quickly realized our first mistake of this renovation.

The fridge was 33 inches wide, while the door frames were only 32 inches.

We barely got it through the front door and through to the living room, but when it came time to slide it through the two doorways leading to the kitchen, we realized there was an inch difference. Meaning we were needed to somehow, someway, get an extra inch and a half out of the doorway. Keep in mind we are in no means contractors or experienced in the art of taking apart fridge doors and putting them back together, so it came down to what were we will to possibly destroy?

The answer was pretty simple, the fridge was over $1000 while the doorframe could be fixed for less than $50. In the morning we grabbed some hammers and got to work... ripping out the molding and door frames themselves.

Now, as we worked on this kitchen it became abundantly clear to us that not only was the entirety of the house in no way level. We also found countless times where previous owners through the lifetime of this house half-assed their work. Now, if it was to save money or just put a bandaid on it until it was someone else's problem (i.e - Me) we'll never know. All we know is that this house has so many problems.

Once the molding was off, we got the extra inches we needed and dragged the fridge into place. Finally. After having to build a temporary stopper that would keep the fridge level until we refinished the floors, we got to work on locking the other appliances into their new homes.

brand new fridge with doors open, glowing inside with only a butter container inside
That brand new fridge glow...

At this point we had most of the appliances in, the ones we got were from a Lowe's special buy deal where if you got four of the same brand appliances you'll get a percentage off. Luckily I moved in just before the holidays so we were able to hop on a few of the pre-Black Friday deals.

In total all four brand new appliances cost approximately $3250. This was the most expensive part of the renovation, so I'll make

sure to separate this out from the rest of the budget for the room.


For the color scheme I wanted to keep things bright and natural with a pop of color in the cabinets and the beloved window above the sink. In general, it was subtle changes. All paints that I used were the Behr Ultra Interior with scuff defense purchased at Home Depot for approximately $42 a gallon. I recommend getting one gallon to start and get more if needed. All the cabinets took one gallon.

The original wall color was cream with a very yellow undertone, so I decided to switch it for one with a more neutral undertone to even out the space, the color's name is Pebble Cream. The trim we kept a bright white, it just needed touch ups and an overall refresh. The name of that color is Solid Opal. For the cabinet color, this was super important to me. I love greens and blues, so I ended up with the shade Eucalyptus Wreath. It is a soft sage green color with a hint of a blue undertone, so it complimented the blue window.

If you need a good painting kit, with everything you need, this one is much like the ones I bought! Click the button below to grab a set (I had to get two)

Painting set up with gallon of paint, roller, brushes, and paint swatch
Painting Time!


We quickly realized during this renovation that this house had nothing level, no straight lines, nothing. For a Type A personality like my mom and myself, it was a very frustrating process. Eventually we were able to learn how to appreciate the imperfections in everything. How unique the house truly was, but there was definitely a learning curve.

First things first, getting the cabinet doors off. I used a Ryobi electric drill with a Phillip's head screwdriver drill bit for most of this process. I have loved this tool set so far.

We ran across some issues once the doors were off. The previous owners decided to paint over the hardware, the practically brand new hardware, thus sealing it to the door. As you may think, we had a very tough time get them off.

I tried to strip the paint off the hardware and reuse it, however it didn't end up working the way I wanted it to. So we ended up with these hinges. For handles I have always dreamed of having gold/brass accents in my home. Gold just seems so warm and timeless. While silver is timeless, and I've used it in other rooms, I want my kitchen to have a very specific warmth to it. I was able to accomplish that with these brass handles.

We struggled getting the screws out of the doors because they were painted over, I eventually had to switch drill-bits and grab a pair of pliers to get the last of the screws free from the doors. Once that was done we could sand and paint them.

Green cabinets with brass pulls, drill and other home improvement tools.
Put on my first ever cabinet door! I was a little excited about it.


Now for my Kitchen Island I wanted something that could be mobile. This way I could move product to better lighting, or move it completely out of the way when I host family and such. Storage is incredibly important to me as I do run a home bakery and am beginning my homesteading journey as well. For a while I went back and forth on the top of the island, whether I wanted butcher block, granite, or stainless steel. In the end, I went with the steel top and I'm so happy I did. Everything just pops on it.

The exact island I got is from Wayfair, but I was able to find a very similar one on Amazon for about $100 less than what I paid. Click the button below to find it on Amazon.

Pieces of furniture being put together much like Ikea furniture.
Set up was super simple even with so many pieces, took me about an hour to put it together myself.

The Big Reveal

This was such a stressful transformation simply because I gave myself such a short amount of time. During all this, we had to have an electrician and plumber come out to create water lines to the dishwasher and fridge, and create an outlet to plug in the microwave. So, lots of work. However, we made it just in time!

Now the price breakdown.

This was just for the things I bought and used for this project, and I'm listing the prices before taxes because some states have much lower sales tax than others. For example, I'm originally from Portland, Oregon with no sales tax, but I moved to Knoxville, Tennessee with a sales tax of 9.25%. So I'm not including the taxes below. Also keep in mind that my kitchen is my livelihood, so I did splurge a bit in some places to make sure my kitchen could be a great work environment, you can always find better deals to bring this cost down.