Skip to Content

Budget Friendly Updates in Our Kitchen

Budget Friendly Updates in Our Kitchen

I find it super hard to believe, but this week actually marks six-whole-freaking-months of living in my midcentury modern lake house. Given I have yet to share much of my kitchen with you, I thought today would be the perfect time to do it.

While my husband and I have only had the financial means to make small, budget-friendly updates to our kitchen thus far, to show you just how far this space has come since its 1970’s glory days, I thought you would appreciate a good “before” photo …

kitchen before remodel

The image above, taken before the previous owners made great strides in updating the space, is such a great example of just how transformative paint can be.

modern rustic kitchen ideas

As I have preached before (read my Beginner’s Guide to DIY Kitchen Remodels here), when you are working with a limited renovation budget, I truly believe that paint is the best place to start.

Brightening the space, the cabinets were painted white (no tint), and the island was painted in a sage/ blue hue- Coastal Plains by Sherwin Williams. To follow suit with the other main living spaces of the midcentury modern home, the cedar board and batten walls were painted in Shoji White by Sherwin Williams.

For your shopping convenience, this post contains affiliate links. As a Reward Style and Amazon affiliate, I earn commission on sales at no extra cost to you.

modern boho kitchen with sage island and white cabinets

While our sellers did upgrade all of the appliances and cover an awkwardly placed window(which opened to a storage room) , most of the other original features of the kitchen (like floors and countertops) remained the same. Proving my point that paint is a powerful tool!

With a “natty- light” budget to contend with , for now, my dream countertops and backsplash will have to wait. Nonetheless, I refuse to let my funds stop me from having some fun and incorporating a bit of my boho modern style into the mix.

I just have to be scrappy about it….

modern gallery wall art in kitchen

I’ve always been a sucker for pendant lighting over kitchen islands, so I searched high and low for the most budget-friendly yet scale-appropriate lighting I could find, and was pleased to find these boho-esque, basket pendant lights for a bargain of a deal. To avoid electrical expenses, my husband was able to swag these babies in a more ideal position than the original receptacle placement had allowed.

To properly fill the kitchen wall , I knew I was going to need something substantial.

But because “substantial” and “budget” don’t typically go hand in hand, my DIY prowess had to take the lead. With spare frames from the gallery wall that we installed back at our 1980’s rancher(you can read that original DIY tutorial here), I thought the kitchen wall would be the perfect place to make use of the leftover decor.

modern kitchen updates

While I don’t know if I will keep these particular frames here permanently, I simply cannot refuse free sh*t. After all, when working with a limited budget, placeholder pieces are just a part of the decorating process.

To add another layer of texture and warmth to the space, I found this vintage rug dupe for an absolute steal here. Bringing some drama and movement to an otherwise utilitarian scene, live, oversized branches add a sculptural element- breaking up the monotony of straight lines.

So… now you may be wondering what’s next for this space.

modern kitchen decor updates

Well…other than hoping I eventually win the lottery to get new countertops and backsplash, I am also in the process of sampling new paint colors for the island.

Of course, I will be sure to keep you updated on all of the progress, but until then, feel free to shop the affiliate links for my budget-friendly kitchen decor below…

Shop the Look:

Thank you so much for stopping by this week!

I hope these simple updates help you to see that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to beautify your kitchen.

Now get out there and design some good vibes along with a fabulous life.

kitchen makeover inspiration


My journey in interior design and home improvement began with transforming my first fixer-upper home, all while managing a budget and raising two young boys. My work, a reflection of my passion for creating beautiful, uplifting spaces, has been recognized by top publications like Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, HGTV, and more. I invite you to explore my site and witness the transformation of my home and the vibes we've designed.Read more...


Thursday 1st of September 2022

I love your kitchen Erica!! I agree, paint makes a huge difference in any room. I painted our knotty pine in our kitchen and dining room after we moved in and I felt as if I could breathe again!! Your home is gorgeous and I am enjoying the peeks you are giving us. Take care and enjoy the holiday weekend!

Designing Vibes

Thursday 1st of September 2022

I bet the paint made such a difference in your space, Donna. Thank you so much for the kind words and I hope you have a lovely holiday weekend as well. :)


Wednesday 31st of August 2022

Is that a fireplace in the kitchen? I love that! I can't wait to see what else you do with the place! My sister lives in an antique cape. The kithen is in the "original" part of the house, built sometime in the early 1700's. I'm helping her make some very budget friendly changes, keeping all of the locations of the plumbing, electrical and gas. We've ripped out the dropped ceiling to expose the original beams and demo'd the 1950's cabinets. The only new purchase is a red range (she loves vibrant color). Everything else will be salvaged. She found a circa 1930's sink with drain board on FB Market Place and all of the cabinets are being replaced with furniture pieces for an un-fitted look. I can't wait to see how it all turns out! Btw, I listen to your podcast every week and am still loving it! My sister listens now too. Keep doing what you're doing! It's great!

Designing Vibes

Wednesday 31st of August 2022

I would love to see how your sister's place turns out, Donna. And yes...that is a brick fireplace in the kitchen that opens to the living room on the other side. It was tricky to get a good angle of it with my tripod. haha Thank you so much for the kind words of encouragement. It truly means so much and I just wanna give you a big ol' hug. I hope you enjoy the holiday weekend. xoxo