Budget-Friendly Kitchen Remodel

Learn how to design a timeless, budget-friendly kitchen remodel. Create a custom-look kitchen with shaker style doors and IKEA cabinets.

Did you know you can take an IKEA kitchen reno to the next level with custom doors to create a custom-look kitchen that feels timeless, yet fresh and modern? I’m sharing all of the secrets!

Updated May 2022 with updated information, photos, and links. Please note this post contains affiliate links.

cream coloured shaker cabinets with quartz counters. Unlacquered brass cabinet hardware. French door glass china cabinet. Shiplap wall in breakfast nook. clay subway tile backsplash. Budget-Friendly Kitchen Remodel

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Kitchen Reno on a Budget

Shaker Cabinets

Shaker cabinets are easily accessible and often less expensive than more detailed cabinetry. Stock shaker cabinets are often stocked at your local hardware store or ship quickly. 

We integrated IKEA cabinets. I used the IKEA kitchen planner to enter my room size, and add in the base cabinets and upper cabinets. I sent the PDF and link to the plans to AllStyle Retrofit, who created custom cabinet doors for IKEA cabinetry. They review the design to ensure functionality and send back of the doors, panels, drawer fronts, etc for your with a quote. You can select from a variety of door styles, solid wood, your cabinet color and more! 

cream coloured kitchen cabinets brass hardware. Ikea kitchen reno. Budget-friendly kitchen

IKEA Kitchen reno

IKEA is really helpful when it comes to kitchen plans, you can set up a meeting in person or online to plan your kitchen. If you are looking for a budget-friendly kitchen remodel, this is a great option to consider. If you are using custom fronts, remove the doors and decorative panels from your IKEA order. Curious what I ordered? Click here for the IKEA ORDER (pdf document) that I placed via IKEA.

Custom Doors for IKEA Cabinets

Custom Doors from AllStyle Retrofit, which are specially made to fit with IKEA cabinets.
Cabinetry: IKEA Sektion
Door Style: Lancaster
Material: Maple Frame/MDF Center Panel
Color Code/Name OC-14 Natural Cream
Color Notes: 20° Sheen


Kitchen Colours

The cabinets are painted in Natural Cream by Benjamin Moore, which is a timeless cream color that feels fresh. It has grey undertones in the mushroom color palette, this color palette is very on trend. The walls and shiplap are painted in Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. It works well for Eastern natural light. Picking custom door fronts allowed me to take this IKEA kitchen reno to the next level.

Love the colour of the cream kitchen cabinets? Find out why Natural Cream is the perfect creamy cabinet colour and the complimenting wall colour here.

Breakfast nook with shiplap wall, natural cream cabinets and bench seating. H&M affordable pillow covers in sage green, beige, and linen.

Classic Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

To add interest, I mixed metals and integrated brass for warmth.  Brass cabinet hardware is the perfect compliment to the polished chrome bridge faucet, wolf range, and other kitchen appliances. Learn how to mix metals in this complete guide.

Another way to add character to a kitchen is by mixing cabinet hardware, our kitchen includes: PullsKnobs, and Latches.  One key to a Budget-Friendly Kitchen Remodel is by picking what to spend money on and where you should save, hardware is somewhere to spend a little more. Mixing and matching cabinet hardware gives a custom look and the brass cabinet latches are my favorite timeless element.

Natural cream cabinet wall with brass cabinet hardware, and cabinet latches. French door glass cabinets. Budget friendly ikea kitchen reno


If you love the timeless look of marble without the maintenance, I recommend Hanstone Quartz. The color Montauk for instance looks like authentic marble, but requires very little upkeep.

Natural cream cabinet wall with brass cabinet hardware, and cabinet latches. French door glass cabinets. Quartz apron front sink and bridge faucet in stainless.

Bridget Faucet

Another must have in my kitchen was a bridge faucet. I think that bridge faucets are like a piece of art while also being a classic style to incorporate into your kitchen. You can also buy them with a separate side sprayer, which is what I did. I also think that when your sink is a focal point in your kitchen, these small details matter! I decided to go with the polished chrome finish. This is another item that I think took this IKEA kitchen reno and made it look high end.

Why? When I was selecting the sink I wanted to go with stainless, it fit my budget and I was worried about staining and chipping a porcelain sink. Also, it tied in with the appliances that were stainless. Nervous about mixing metals, check out this post.

Apron Front Sink

There is a great debate over having one big open sink or having a split sink. I personally love having a split sink. I always have something in the drying rack no matter what. The first 8 months of living here, we had one big open sink and I couldn’t stand always having something on the counter drying.

I opted for a 60/40 sink and I still love it! A slightly bigger opening for washing dishes, and a slightly smaller area for drying dishes. When I was having the countertops templated I also had a piece cut and added to the front of the sink as an apron. A more chic yet timeless take on a farmhouse sink.

Focal range hood wall with clay subway tile backsplash to the ceiling, brass picture light over vintage frame. Natural cream cabinets and range hood.  Wolf range. Bridge faucet in peninsula with quartz countertops. IKEA kitchen reno that is a custom look Budget-Friendly Kitchen Remodel

Timeless Backsplash Tiles

The backsplash tiles were purchased from Creekside Tile in Toronto. They are from “Nanda Tiles”, from the Laurel Clay collection in Candem White. The tiles are 7.75″ x 2.25″

Grout is Permacolor grout in Bright White


Brass Lighting

I absolutely love the lighting I selected for our kitchen. The first picture light I was able to buy at a design store on a discount. If there are any tiny imperfections however they can’t sell the lighting to their high end clients so they end up marking it down.

This is the link to the picture light we chose and this is the sconce that was used beside the rangehood.

IKEA Under Cabinet Lighting

Cabinet lighting is from IKEA and controlled by Alexa, the perfect addition to an IEKA kitchen reno.

When I designed the kitchen in the IKEA planner, it automatically added $1000 of lighting to the cart however when it all showed up I couldn’t believe how much there was. I think the intent was to have lighting inside all of the cabinets too? I only installed it under the cabinets pointing to the countertops, and in the glass cabinet. This is a feature that makes a budget-friendly kitchen remodel appear more high end and custom.

It was very easy to install because it plugs in so you could add it to your existing kitchen as well!

Looking to add smart undercabinet lighting to your kitchen? Learn more about the IKEA smart under cabinet lighting here.

Natural Lighting

One of the big benefits of the kitchen is the natural light we have in the space. The wall beside the breakfast nook is filled with floor length windows and double doors. I really makes the space beautiful and bright anytime of the year.

Breakfast nook with shiplap wall, natural cream cabinets and bench seating. H&M affordable pillow covers in sage green, beige, and linen. Featuring Siamese kitten. Ikea kitchen. Budget friendly kitchen.

Love the look of this cozy breakfast nook? Learn why we opted for a cozy breakfast nook over a traditional peninsula, plus get all of the details here.

Herringbone Floor

One of the main causes of this renovation was the flooring. Our old kitchen flooring was slate, which was cold, showed dirt, aging, and marks.

I wanted to continue a similar wood tone into the kitchen from the rest of the house, but I wanted to go with engineered hardwood instead of wood. Plus I love the timeless look of herringbone floors.

I decided to go with the TwelveOaks Wishbone White Oak in color Lucid Dreams.


Sharing my experiences with buying appliances, and honestly, it wasn’t pretty! It was actually the most challenging process of the entire IKEA kitchen reno if you can believe it. One of the things we didn’t want to replace in the kitchen was out 11 year old Wolf range and range hood. I opted to create a custom cover for the range hood myself and integrate the IKEA lighting into it. I ended up picking a Dishwasher, Bosch 500 series and a Fridge, Bosch 500 series.


One regret I do have is not buying a panel ready dishwasher. The cost is not much higher than a regular dishwasher aside from having a cabinet panel made for it and buying hardware. Panel ready fridges are definitely more expensive, but I would definitely love one if I could! When searching for classic style small appliances I came across my favourite kettle and toaster (pr gift). Wondering where the microwave is? It’s hidden away in a cabinet!

Disclaimer, I had a horrible experience dealing with Canadian Appliance Source and would not recommend purchasing from them. I ended up buying through Costco, which was an amazing experience!

Kitchen Reno Cost

What is the cost of my ikea kitchen reno? The total cost was approximately $20K (including flooring labor, counters, cabinets, cabinet fronts, cabinet hardware, furniture etc). The cabinets and custom doors were ~$8K. One of the biggest cost savings was that the labor & installation was done by myself, with occasional help from family/friends.

The New Kitchen Floor Plan

Here is the floorplan with a few basic dimensions of our budget-friendly kitchen remodel. We mostly kept a similar floorplan to what we had in the kitchen before but we straightened out the peninsula, and added in the breakfast nook. Click here for the PDF: Kitchen Plans and Dims

More home design ideas


Before & After



  1. Jen
    October 26, 2021 /

    Incredible job!!! It looks amazing!
    Did you do the mock up plans yourself? If so, what software did you use?

  2. Emma Courtney
    October 26, 2021 /

    I did, I used Google SketchUp!

  3. Marsha
    June 29, 2022 /

    Love, love your kitchen! How tall are your ceilings?

  4. Emma Courtney
    July 5, 2022 /

    10′ tall!

  5. Stephanie
    July 5, 2022 /

    Hi, curious since you used Ikea cabinets, is the inside a different color then the doors and panels?
    I’m looking to do the same but stuck on how it will visually look with the inside of the cabinets varying in color from the outside.

  6. Emma Courtney
    July 7, 2022 /

    Hi Stephanie, Yes the insides are white, but from my experience, this is the case with most kitchen – the inside and outside don’t match. High end kitchens would have wood interiors, but less expensive would have white or something else, but not match! You also can’t see the interior colour unless you open the doors. Hope this helps!

  7. NY
    August 11, 2022 /

    Can you give details on the range hood?

  8. Emma Courtney
    August 15, 2022 /

    I wanted to save money so I used my existing range hood and framed it out, and then created a cover for it!

  9. Michelle
    September 20, 2022 /

    Looks gorgeous! 🙂 Cream gives it a lovely warmth.

    How did you do the crown molding? Did Allsyle Retrofit make it for you? Is there a small gap between the upper cabinets and the ceiling?

  10. Sogol
    September 21, 2022 /

    Hello! What a stunning kitchen! Would you be able to share how you covered your range hood? I am interested in doing the same. Thank you!

  11. Amy Day
    September 22, 2022 /

    Love, love, love what you did!
    Thanks so much for sharing all the details!

  12. Emma Courtney
    October 4, 2022 /

    Hi Michelle, I installed the crown molding. I planned it to ensure there was enough space for 6″ crown moulding. It was not through AllStyle Retrofit, though you could ask them. I just got some from the store and painted it the same colour as the cabinets!

  13. Emma Courtney
    October 4, 2022 /

    Hi Sogol, I don’t have any plans to share the range hood cover since it includes electrical. My advice would be to search how others have done it. I found the images showing how others framed in their range hood was very helpful, and from there what material you want to use to cover it.

  14. Emma Courtney
    October 4, 2022 /

    Awh thanks Amy, I appreciate it!

  15. October 11, 2022 /

    Hey there! Absolutely love your kitchen! Did you have to paint any part of the Ikea cabinets the same cream color? And did you do it yourself?

  16. Emma Courtney
    October 13, 2022 /

    No, I didn’t have to paint anything except the crown that I decided to add at the top. All of the exterior parts/visible parts: The drawer fronts, doors, decorative panels, kick panels, all of that stuff came from AllStyle Retrofit!

  17. Tara
    October 15, 2022 /

    Beautiful kitchen! What countertop did you use?

  18. Emma Courtney
    October 18, 2022 /

    Montauk from Hanstone Quartz

  19. Bri
    October 22, 2022 /

    Hi! Did you use a satin or semi gloss finish on your cabinets?

  20. Emma Courtney
    October 24, 2022 /

    The closest match is pearl finish!

  21. Pia
    December 30, 2022 /

    Hi Emma, What a gorgeous kitchen! I do have a question, in terms of painting the cabinets, did the doors already came painted? How did you paint the ikea cabinets (outside panels) if they are MDF?

  22. Kristina
    December 31, 2022 /

    Hi! Your kitchen is gorgeous! In the breakfast book is that beadboard paneling? Thank you!!

  23. Emma Courtney
    January 3, 2023 /

    Hi! The cabinet fronts from AllStyle Retrofit came painted already with a professional finish. None of the ikea cabinets are visible. AllStyle provides the doors, draws, decorative panels, kick boards, light valences etc. Everyhting that is visible is provided by AllStyle. I did not have to paint anything from IKEA.

  24. Emma Courtney
    January 3, 2023 /

    No, it is Shiplap!

  25. maya
    January 5, 2023 /

    Hi Emma, I love love your kitchen and have been staring at it every day for the last week (in case your post views skyrocketed haha). I’m curious if you would’ve still chosen this cabinet + wall color combo if your kitchen faced north instead of east (with a big window)? Dealing with a north-facing kitchen — for a new house that we haven’t moved in to yet — and want to make sure it doesn’t yellow the cream, especailly in contrast with the Chantilly Lace walls. Thoughts?

    Thanks again for sharing! <3

  26. Emma Courtney
    January 24, 2023 /

    Hi Maya, That’s so exciting! It’s hard to say because paint colours look different in everyone’s homes. If you have a big window, I think it should look okay! I definitely don’t think it would look yellow since I find it has more grey undertones. I do love the contrast between natural cream and chantilly lace though, so that is a combination I would pick again. I really think it would be best if you could get a sample pot of natural cream, paint it on a board or something a little bigger and take it over to the house when you are there for a visit.

  27. Dede Browne
    January 30, 2023 /

    Hi Emma, I have western exposure lighting in my kitchen, do you think your colors on your cabinets, walls and shiplap will work in that lighting?

  28. Emma Courtney
    January 30, 2023 /

    Hi Dede, I think it should be fine but ultimately I would paint some test swatches in the space and look at them at different times of the day to see how they look!

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