Transforming a kitchen by modifying a few inexpensive elements

Transforming a kitchen by modifying a few inexpensive elements

Back in February, Karine Matte from Matte & Glossy had the marvellous idea of having a piedàterre in the middle of nature!
Just before the big pandemic, Karine had a crush on a cozy little cottage that looked perfect but needed a little bit of love. 

Little did she know that this project was going to be her escape during the worst months that we’ve experienced. Instead of heading down the path of anxiety, she travelled the road of creativity at a hundred miles an hour! 

 She gave herself a major challenge: to transform the cottage on a very small budget. Everything was purchased second-hand (90%), and obviously, she did the work herself. Imagine: all the stores were closed, so she had to be even more creative with the few means available on the market. She therefore wanted to share her tips and tricks for decorating on a small budget with us. 

1 – Evaluate the project and see what needs to be replaced 

Cuisine avant les rénovations sans éléments de déco

First of all, you need to evaluate the basis of what is usually expensive to replace: 

  1. The condition of the floor 
  2. The condition of the countertops 
  3. The condition of the cabinets 

Luck was on her side! The floor had a few imperfections, but nothing dramatic. The countertops were black laminate; it wasn’t peeling or damaged. For their part, the melamine cabinets were very clean. We know we would hate them at home, but at the cottage, they’re perfect!  

2 – Make a list of the items that can be replaced at a low cost 

  1. The cabinet handles 
  2. The light fixtures 
  3. The taps 

To match the black countertops, Karine replaced the handles with small, matte-black knobs.  

Cost: $135 

Bouton de porte cuisine en noir mat

Since the lighting was quite outdated, it was essential to install a track. Long live the classifieds: Kijiji, Marketplace, etc. She found a track for $20. 

3- What can I modify, remove, or replace? 

  1. Can I remove the cabinets and replace them with shelves? 
  2. Can I modify the kitchen island?  
  3. Can I add a backsplash? 

 Do you find your cabinets to be unrecoverable? Don’t panic! Do like Karine and replace your cabinets with shelves. Many hardware stores sell solid, inexpensive wood planks. This is the perfect place to put beautiful objects and set the “tone” for the kitchen! To save money, Karine used scrap wood from her new balcony. She then found metal brackets, which she spray-painted white. Guaranteed impact! 

Dosseret de cuisine vert de la collection Artisan avec étagères en bois et éléments de décorations

For the central island, which took up a lot of room in this small space, Karine decided to replace it with a smaller, airier sideboard. It’s always handy to keep a work surfaceTo keep this inexpensive, choose a piece of furniture through the classifieds. The sideboard was found for $100! 

Perspective de la cuisine avec l'ilot central en bois

Finally, to radically change the look of your kitchen for a small price, add a backsplash!  

Karine decided to do just that with the backsplash of her dreams! A bolder colour: green, which remains the predominant colour in her cottage. 

 She settled on the Artisan model in moss green. Adding a ceramic backsplash is a job that you can do yourself. 


The final look is just wow! The green perfectly matches the wood elements that she integrated into the kitchen. Put the finishing touch on it by adding a few decorative accessories: green plants, spice jars, and dishes. 

Dosseret de cuisine vert de la collection Artisan avec éléments de décoration

Here’s a final before-and-after to show that this transformation really didn’t cost much! For a little less than $500, it gives a real wow effect! As Karine puts it, “The key is to think it through. You don’t necessarily need to rush into costly renovations. It’s possible to work wonders without breaking the bank.” 

cuisine avant les rénovations
cuisine rénovée entière avec éléments de décoration

Do you want to learn more about how to renovate or redecorate your interior on a small budget? Visit Karine Matte‘s web site. As an interior designer, she give you some practical tips for your renovations.