Learn from their experience!
Alicia Cox, former HGTV writer/producer
"All my favourite pinned kitchens (and the kitchen of our dreams) include open shelving, white cabinets and butcherblock counters. Butcherblock is an affordable material that wears incredibly and gets better with age — perfect for cooks who are active in the kitchen.
Sylvia Grace Cutmore, Sense & Simplicity
"For a charming and economical kitchen backsplash, consider installing beadboard; some caulking at the seams, a few coats of semi-gloss, and you're done!"
Renee Elliott, Eat Live Shop
"I'm all about updating a space on a budget, so I'm a huge fan of tearing down ugly kitchen cabinets and replacing them with cool open shelving to display pots, dishes, glassware and small appliances. This can really open up a space and give it a modern, industrial vibe."
Emma Fexeus, Emma's Designblogg
"To protect the wall above the stove area, use inexpensive metal sheets, as they are durable and very easy to clean. For a modern, industrial look, use stainless steel, and for a warmer more rustic style choose copper, which gets a lovely patina and ages beautifully."
Vanessa Francis, Decor Happy
"You can never go wrong with Shaker style cabinetry. Classic and timeless, Shaker doors work in just about any style of home from modern to traditional. Choosing classic cabinets means you won't want to replace them every 10 years."
Erin Gates, Elements of Style
"When in doubt, choose white cabinets! Cherry and oak cabinetry looks like a contractor special and white cabinets will be a much smarter choice for resale value."
Browse a gallery of Erin's favourite rooms.
Jan Halvarson, Poppytalk
"I love cool storage ideas, like these recycled wine boxes made into drawers on the cheap."
Browse a gallery of Jan's favourite things.
Kim Johnson, Desire to Inspire
"Cabinet doors are an affordable way to add some colour to your kitchen (instead of painting all walls or replacing the backsplash). If you're thinking of doing all white cabinets, consider painting a section of uppers or lowers in a bold colour. Then when it comes time for resale, you can simply repaint them."
Browse a gallery of Kim's favourite rooms.
Jenn Lore, Department of the Interior
"A kitchen just doesn't feel right without a seasonal touch of nature — perhaps a wild bouquet from the garden, a bowl full of stone fruit or heirloom tomatoes, or even a window shelf lined with small pots of herbs. I have a rental kitchen smaller than an average walk-in closet, but somehow a natural element gives it purpose."
"Marble slab countertops are so popular these days, but I suggest avoiding them. Marble requires upkeep, it's quite expensive, not environmentally friendly, and it's prone to visible aging and stains. Unless you're really unconcerned with such things, don't let your designer talk you into it."
Browse a gallery of Jen's favourite rooms.
Brittany Stager, My Daily Randomness
"Give your kitchen cabinets an inexpensive face-lift with new hardware. With the addition of some sleek chrome pulls or vintage knobs, your kitchen cabinets will take centre stage.
Gayla Trail, You Grow Girl
"I know the chalkboard wall is an overdone trend in kitchen decor, but I could not resist painting one. Sure, I use it in the predictable ways — shopping lists and messages — but our family has discovered a myriad of other very good uses along the way that have made it an indispensable part of our daily lives. I honestly don't know how we lived before without one!"
Browse a gallery of Gayla's gardening ideas.
Daniella Zitella, Daniella Marie (formerly Dress Design Decor)
"It's all about the little details if you can't do a complete overhaul. I recommend changing all old electrical outlets and plates to the new square-shaped versions. It immediately makes the space look a little more updated."
See our Kitchen Makeovers gallery for more budget tips.
1. House & Home July 2010 issue, photography by Ted Yarwood
2. Maison & Demeure April 2011 issue, photography by André Rider
3. Better Homes and Gardens
4. House & Home June 2011 issue, photography by Donna Griffith