Subway tile with gray grout

8 Ideas for Creating a Timeless Dream Kitchen on a Budget

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8 tips for creating a timeless dream kitchen on a budget.

What do you think of when you visualize your dream kitchen?

I dream of a kitchen with vintage-classic details that withstand the test of time and trends.

A kitchen remodel can be the most expensive home improvement project you can make, but it can also provide the best return on investment when you go to sell your home.

Our budget only allows us to get it right once every ten years. So, when time and money allows us to remodel, I want to find ways to make it timeless and durable enough to hold up to the rigors of cooking for four hungry boys.

Here are some ways you can add timeless, vintage-classic appeal to a kitchen and still stay on budget.

Please visit the original source to pin any of the pictures below. 


Subway tile with gray grout

Houzz | Taste Design Inc

1. Choose a classic white subway tile and a grey grout.

As much as I love the idea of using a marble subway tile, using a white subway tile instead can save you at least $7.00 a square foot. When you have a lot of square footage to cover as in this counter to ceiling backsplash, the savings can really add up. White grout can become dingy over time, so choosing a grey grout is a wise and beautiful choice.

Kitchen remodel by The Inspired Room
The Inspired Room

2. Paint can be your kitchen’s best friend.

Instead of replacing her cabinetry, Melissa from The Inspired Room painted her cabinets a two-toned effect and dramatically changed the feel of her remodeled kitchen. I have gone back to this kitchen time and time again for inspiration. Nothing gives a room more bang for the buck than a gallon of paint.

stainless steel countertops Tim Barber Interior Design
Tim Barber Interior Design

3. Consider cheaper alternatives when choosing countertop materials.

There is a good reason so many commercial kitchens choose stainless steel countertops. They can withstand heavy use and can be custom made for a fraction of the cost of natural stone. Combining the beauty and durability of stainless steel with the vintage charm of a farmhouse sink keeps the kitchen from feeling too cold and industrial. Check out how Linn and her husband from The Home Project installed their stainless steel countertops for about $20/ square foot.


7th House on the Left

4. Pick one splurge item that your kitchen (and you) can’t live without.

It’s easy to rationalize going over budget by telling yourself, “If I’m going to do choice A, then I might well go with choice B”.

When planning your dream kitchen on a realistic budget, remember…


The one thing that our new-to-us kitchen must have is quartz countertops that resemble the look of marble like the ones that Greg and Ashley from 7th House on the Left chose for their beautiful and stylish kitchen. I’m willing to let go of the non-essential bells and whistles just so I can walk in my kitchen every morning and see my sparkling white countertops.

At Home on the Bay

5. Add personality to ordinary lighting.

I adore how Mary from At Home on the Bay took a schoolhouse light from a local home improvement store and turned it into a knock-off Barn Light Electric pendant for a fraction of the cost. You could easily make three lights for the price of one to go over a kitchen island.

BHG kitchen with beadboard backsplash and island
Better Homes and Gardens

6. Add a bit of beadboard.

Nothing says classic-cottage style like beadboard. Incorporate into your kitchen as a backsplash, in the back of open cabinets or even above the cabinets if you have soffits.

Electrolux Appliances

7. Forget the trends and stick with stainless steel appliances.

To create a beautiful, functional kitchen, begin by choosing beautiful appliances that complement one another. Electrolux offers matching suites of refrigerators, induction cooktops and dishwashers that are sleek, stylish, and designed to help you achieve professional results.

lettered cottage vintage kitchen
The Lettered Cottage

8. Add some architectural interest.

Something as simple as adding vintage corbels to a kitchen island adds a hint of nostalgia to this kitchen from The Lettered Cottage. Architectural salvage stores, Habitat for Humanity and eBay are good places to start if you’re searching for that perfect salvaged find for your own kitchen.

Do you love looking at beautiful kitchens as much as I do? Then I’d love for you follow my Dream Kitchens board on Pinterest.

So what is the one thing that your dream kitchen couldn’t live without?



I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


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  1. All of these kitchens are soooo Gorgeous! They’re so modern and clean looking. I’m really impressed.

  2. Thanks for these outstanding pictures . These are really beautiful. thanks for sharing

  3. I had never thought to put stainless steel countertops in my kitchen before! It makes sense though, like you said, there’s a reason it’s used in commercial kitchens. We are looking to remodel our kitchen soon, so thanks for the tips.

  4. Great design, love your ideas, all are dream kitchen designs. Amazing Amazing Amazing …!!!

  5. Amazing! I really liked all these ideas and tips. The first photo is my dream kitchen style. I’m amazed that I can get it in a lesser amount of money.

  6. I’m always drawn to the classic white design of a kitchen. And I’d also go with having stainless steel appliances.

  7. Hey there! I’ve been following your blog for a long time now and finally got the
    bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from
    Houston Tx!

  8. I love all of these kitchen ideas! We’re remodeling ours this year so I’m saving this for later on Pinterest. Thanks!

  9. I love the vintage style kitchen, the materials make the kitchen feel warmer, especially the last image reminds me the kitchen in the house I grew up.

    1. Your kitchen is fantastic. And that stove…is it possible to fall in love with a stove? I just shared your kitchen on my Facebook page. 🙂

  10. Fabulous inspiration pictures and tips Tricia. I have pinned many of these same kitchens… you have such great taste!! We hope to take our kitchen on in the fall… so I am in the tip/idea collecting mode! Have a great week,

    1. Thank you, Krista! I love your style as well! I could easily waste an entire day looking at kitchens on Pinterest. I’m hoping we can start on our kitchen as soon as I get some outdoor projects out of the way. It won’t be a major overhaul, but just enough to where it’s finally presentable enough to have guests over for dinner. Jeez, it never ends! Ha!

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