Artistic Design : Kitchen Remodel On A Budget

Artistic Design : Kitchen Remodel On A Budget

Utilizing artistic design and creative solutions, such as color and texture…

can make a big difference when considering a kitchen remodel where cost is a major factor. There are many ways to save money and still make an impact on a kitchen’s design,  by simply using existing elements; resurfacing them with paint and adding a few low-cost touches.   Here are the artistic design elements that were used to take a dated,  badly in need of updating, kitchen; from unappealing to unbelievable!


Artistic Design can be used effectively to make inexpensive changes to…



The red ‘basket-weave’ wallpaper that was applied to the upper-half of the walls was found at a yard sale. The woman selling this wallpaper had used a high-quality paper, ordered enough to do several rooms; had changed her mind and decided not to use it all.  The bottom-half of the walls previously had bead board applied to them, and were stained to match the cabinets that needed to be replaced.

~  Cost for Wallpaper  –  $5.00



The Existing bead board cabinets had originally been constructed of a darkly-stained hardwood, with a layer of beadboard applied to them. The upper cabinets were in decent shape, but needed some work, including relining the insides with plywood; since sanding would have been too time-consuming. There were also areas where the beadboard was missing and the finish was uneven, so painting seemed like the best option. After sanding them to remove the varnish, two coats of black semi-gloss exterior & one coat of black gloss paint; were applied. The island was also constructed of the same material as the other cabinets and was prepared and painted using the same technique.

The lower cabinets were in much worse shape, and needed to be replaced. To save money, 2 higher-end RTA ( “Ready-To-Assemble” cabinets… a 30″ Sink Base & a 36″ 1-Drawer Base-Cabinet); were purchased from a reputable online dealer. Assembling them yourself keeps the cost down, and this particular company offers step-by-step ‘How-To’ videos on their website, to make installation easier.

~  Cost for Cabinets  – $547.80  (total price including a 20% discount with an  

    online ‘coupon code’ )

~  Total Cost for Exterior Semi-Gloss & Gloss Paint  –  $30.00


Granite Tile

Rather then spending thousands on a slab of granite for the countertops, 12″ x 12″ granite floor/wall tiles were purchased from a major home-improvement retailer. The tiles are thinner than the granite you get in a slab,(in this case 3/8″); and to have a finished edge. was needed to frame them to hide the edges of the granite, as well as the 3/4″ plywood, and 1/2″ cement backer board placed underneath the tiles for structure as well as a surface for the tiles to adhere. Another option is wood or some other types of metal, such as wrought iron. In this remodel, stainless steel was used to fit around the perimeter of the 6-foot island and 8-foot sink and base-cabinets.
An undermount brushed-stainless, double-bowl sink was mounted on top of the layers of plywood & backer board to cover their edges. This allowed only the granite tile’s edges to show, since they were being placed on top of the sink’s ‘flange’. This gave a more finished appearance around the inside edges of the sink, since the granite edges were highly-polished using a diamond sanding-disk; matching the top surface of the tiles.
Continuing with the stainless theme, 1/16″ sheets were applied to the walls adjacent to the stove… also of stainless. Stainless steel, which is used in kitchens of gourmet restaurants; as well as many of the areas in hospitals. It is the best choice for maintaining clean, hygienic, and easy-to-clean surfaces in the kitchen, where food safety is a major concern. A brushed-stainless faucet with a pull-out sprayer, as well as satin-nickel knobs and pulls were added to the cabinet doors and drawers. Choosing materials with similar finishes, gave a cohesive & finished look to the kitchen, A stainless pot rack was also installed above the island.

~  Cost for Tile  –  $198.00


The floor tiles which have a similar stone-like appearance to the granite tiles, which had been installed in the past 5 years; were in great shape; easy to maintain, and did not need replacing.


The wood trim around the ceiling, baseboard, chair rail, windows, and door, was painted black to match the cabinets.

~  Cost for Trim – included in cost for paint


Recessed satin-nickel fixtures were installed in the ceiling, as well as a satin-nickel, wall-mounted fixture; above the sink area.

~  Cost for 2 recessed-light fixtures       – $56.00

~  Cost for Wall-Mounted 3-bulb fixture  – $39.99



Small changes such as using different textures, can have a noticeable effect on the look of a room.  See my article Designing Rooms Using Existing Elements, which offers more suggestions for changing the look of a room.  If you are adept at using a sewing machine, and can use your artistic design skills; you can save money and have a vast selection of fabrics to choose from… by making them yourself.