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Online home design forums are full of inspiration for eager homeowners, and you’ve probably picked out your dream kitchen design from the Internet’s most pristine, white-walled, chrome-cast kitchens. Despite this, you might not have seriously considered putting in some elbow grease and imagination to transform your own kitchen space into something magical. These affordable kitchen renovation hacks will save you money and give you a taste of your very own Pinterest-worthy kitchen paradise.

  1. Opt for less costly laminates.

Tacky, inauthentic-looking laminates of the past don’t hold a candle to improved, modern graphics. Better printing and edging techniques have improved their look, and laminate countertops are finding their way into more budget-friendly kitchens. A popular use for laminates is to mimic copper or other expensive metal finishes and stone countertops.

  1. Refresh—don’t replace—your cabinets.

Tearing out and fully replacing all your kitchen cabinetry can cost thousands of dollars. One way to avoid the expenses of installing cabinets is to just re-paint them. A popular color option for most kitchen enthusiasts is white. Not only are white cabinets stylish, but a fresh coat of paint will do the job in concealing minor scratches and discoloration. Use the money you save to update appliances or add some extra counter space in your kitchen with your very own kitchen island.

  1. Keep the layout of your kitchen.

One thing that will steeply drive up the cost of a kitchen remodel is a total shift in the layout. Major changes, such as moving dishwashers, sinks, and ovens, require the technical expertise of plumbers and electricians, who are costly to hire. They’ll need to replace electrical outlets, rewire the kitchen, and move water pipes to achieve this.

  1. Choose a budget backsplash.

Going all out with intricate backsplash designs is a popular trend for kitchen renovation gurus. Achieving maximum backsplash appeal can happen on even the most stringent of budgets—patterns come in affordable stick-on designs that look great. Design possibilities include planks, brick patterns, patterned plywood, subway tile, and more.

  1. Do it yourself as much as possible.

Don’t pay top dollar for kitchen storage and other decorations. There are infinite ways you can repurpose household items to utilize in a kitchen setting. Almost anything you already own can be spruced up with a trip to a craft store.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.