A high style, low-budget kitchen reno

See how this plain galley kitchen got the rock star treatment with a little creativity sourcing materials.

By Ravi Shah

Photo by Roger Yip


This galley-style kitchen was long, cramped and awkward to access from the home’s main living space. There was no doubt this kitchen was due for a major renovation. But this was no “sky’s the limit” project; in fact, with creative sourcing of materials 
(that is, craigslist and other means of discount shopping), the entire project was completed for less than $10,000, including appliances.

The drop ceiling allows for recessed lights and conceals built-in speakers. The biggest change in the renovation was the addition of several square feet of counter space, which was needed badly by the family of five.

Above those counters are cabinet doors made of oak plywood. The insides of the cabinets are also finished with oak ply, so the insides of the cabinets look just as good as the outside.

To illuminate the kitchen, LED lights, which use only 90 watts of electricity in total, direct light at all work surfaces.

Budget-saving reno tips

  • Shop for appliances at clearance centres or online. Be on the lookout for deals.
  • Make your own custom cabinets, tailoring their size to your storage needs. Trim the plywood with solid wood.
  • Use granite tiles instead of custom-cut solid granite for the countertop and backsplash.
  • If possible, leave plumbing and electrical components in their original locations because moving them can be expensive.
  • Install energy-saving light fixtures, such as LEDs.
  • Work around existing walls where possible, unless there is a serious flow or access issue.

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Oct. 11, 2012

12:50 am

The kitchen renovation need a good planning for budget. Budget is the main concern when you are planning for kitchen renovation. Selecting a good quality of wood material, shape, size and color would be my first preference while renovating a kitchen. I always love my white shaker cabinets which is always my first choice.


May. 4, 2012

11:08 am

Another option for renos is using Architectural Film. It comes in lots of finishes, such as wood, metal, abstract, or stone such as marble. It goes right onto your existing surfaces, making them look just like the real thing, but with no mess or downtime, and for a lot less money than traditional materials. I found out about this product from the website www.architecturalfilms.ca - these people supply and install the film. I had them come in to do update my kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanity, which were in good shape but looking dated. Now they look great, and I'd definitely recommend Architectural Film to anyone who wants to upgrade their space without breaking the bank!

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