Kitchen makeover tip #1: Redoing the counters
When it comes to revamping the counters, Lisa suggests spending as much as you can afford. "Counters, especially in open concept layouts, play a prominent visual and functional role in the kitchen. When we work with clients on kitchens, I often build the budget around the countertops," she says.
Popular marble options and other natural stones often require a lot of maintenance, which is a lot of additional cost on top of an already sizable price tag. So Lisa recommends quartz, because it is available in a variety of colours and is virtually indestructible. In other words, it's a lasting investment.
For a more cost-effective option, try laminate. "My favourite place to source economic, modern looking laminate counters is IKEA," says Lisa. "They sell pre-cut counters with a very simple profile that make a great statement on a budget."
Another insider tip, Lisa says, is to source off-cuts. "Many stone fabricators will keep on hand off-cuts from larger pieces and these off-cuts are sold at a reduced cost," she explains.
Kitchen makeover tip #2: Kitchen cabinets
The easiest way to get fabulous new cabinets without breaking the bank is to simply reface your doors. "Refacing cabinet doors is a process where your original doors are removed, sprayed off-site and then installed back in place," explains Lisa. After all, how often do guests go nosing through your kitchen cabinets to if the doors perfectly match the interior? It can be your little secret!
Just be sure to check for any sagging or warping in the shelves before refacing, says Lisa. "And look for mould or water damage in the interior of the cabinet," she adds.
Kitchen makeover tip #3: Spectacular sinks
To achieve a seamless look, Lisa recommends buying an undermount sink. "Keep in mind scale when selecting your sink size," she advises. "In smaller condo kitchens (especially ones that include a dishwasher) a large sink may eat up your counter space and look disproportionate."
For colour-loving enthusiasts, Lisa recommends Jonathan Adler's designs for Kohler - her personal favourite line. "Bright pops of colour are unexpected and very fun in the kitchen sink," she says.
Kitchen makeover tip #4: Back to backsplashes
"The backsplash is like jewelry in the kitchen," says Lisa. "It's a spot where you can inject personality, colour, pattern and shine."
Porcelain subway tile is a pretty go-to option when budget is a concern. It always looks effortlessly elegant and suits a variety of colour schemes and decor styles.
"Another way to stretch your dollar (so you can afford quartz counters) is to visit retailers like Habitat for Humanity's Re-Store and see what treasures you can find by way of tiles or stone off-cuts," says Lisa.
Of course, Craigslist and Kijiji are other fantastic places to scour for great, unexpected kitchen makeover deals.
Kitchen makeover tip #5: Fabulous floors
Surprisingly, Lisa's all-time favourite flooring options for kitchens on a budget is marmoleum. "What's fun about marmoleum is that you can create stripes, borders and patterns in the many colours and textures this product comes in," she says. "It's incredibly comfortable underfoot and requires very little maintenance."
Sticker tiles designed to mimic the aesthetic of wooden plans are another easy option for DIY kitchen renovators.
A third option to consider is porcelain tiles. "I like using a grout colour that is as close a match as possible for a seamless, integrated look," says Lisa about using porcelain flooring in her design projects.
General kitchen makeover tips
Although it may seem obvious, Lisa says that the greatest advice she can give when it comes to designing a kitchen on a budget is to, well, start with a budget. "Pick one thing in the kitchen that you really want and crunch the numbers backwards from there," she suggests.
Swapping kitchen accessories in and out, such as dishtowels and counter-worthy accessories, is another simple and effective way to change the colour and feel of a kitchen with minimal cost.
Lastly, Lisa adds, never underestimate the power of paint. You can update your kitchen with paint in a variety of ways and change hardware on cupboards and drawers to give your space the feeling of a brand new kitchen.
Whatever your kitchen dreams may be, following these budget-friendly tips are a recipe for success!