Interior Kitchen & Dining

7 Budget-Friendly Kitchen Makeover Tips

Kitchen designer Cheryl Hamilton-Gray shares her pro tips for creating a budget-friendly makeover.

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Ask everyone you deal with if there’s any flexibility in their pricing—and don’t be afraid to negotiate. Click for details on negotiating with a contractor.

Set Priorities

Choose a couple of materials or design elements that are most important to you and make them your splurge items. Be flexible with all other choices. (For more on kitchen design, take our crash course in planning your dream kitchen.)

Color Matters

Consider black or white appliances to avoid paying the premium for stainless steel. Remember that black appliances are easier to match than white, a color that always varies somewhat between manufacturers. 

Shop for Seconds

Explore alternative shopping sources like Habitat for Humanity’s Habitat ReStores, salvage yards, flea markets, thrift and antique stores, eBay—even yard sales and estate sales. You never know what you might find!

Affordable Charm

Handcrafted items such as ceramic tiles ease the burden on your wallet, and they only gain charm and character through slight variations in shape, color, or pattern. 


To score the best deals, ask vendors about overstocks, closeouts, floor samples, showroom models and upcoming sales.


Savings add up if you do some of the work yourself, while advanced skills make for an even greater bottom-line impact.