Looking for ways to update or decorate your kitchen on a budget? Wait until you see these cottagecore kitchen ideas.

We have wanted to update our kitchen since well before moving in. I planned on updating it this past winter, but we had to put it on hold for a few months while we completed other projects that were higher on the list.

Since moving to our current home, we’ve been making small cosmetic updates on a budget that have had a huge impact. I mean, have you seen some of the changes we’ve made? We renovated the sunroom, family room, dining room, and foyer with a can of paint and thrift store vintage decor.

With most of the main living floor updated, it’s time to focus on the hub of the home, our kitchen. I haven’t shared much of it in my blogs, but It’s a great working kitchen with lots of high-end appliances. It’s lovely, but it needs a little makeover. I don’t love the cabinets and want to sand them down, paint, and refinish them.

Tackling a kitchen project like that isn’t foreign to me as I did something similar in our former home, where I took our 90’s country kitchen to farmhouse fabulous just by painting the cabinets and walls.

Until we renovate our kitchen, I’ve been decorating with a cottagecore vibe that includes old copper, vintage decor, plants, and lots of fresh flowers. Which has been a great place to start to make our kitchen feel cozier.

Are you looking to update and decorate your kitchen on a dime too? Here are some ideas to add cottagecore charm to your kitchen on a budget.

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What is the Cottagecore Lifestyle?

Cottagecore is a design style that emphasizes a rustic, cozy, and nostalgic aesthetic. It offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

With period features, vintage decor, and a focus on simpler times, it’s no wonder that the cottagecore aesthetic has gained so much popularity in recent years. The cottagecore trend has been gaining steam for several years now. I for one have embraced it and made it my own to reflect my personal style.

To get the cottagecore look, I casually blend vintage farmhouse decor with my plants and flowers. In this post, we’ll explore some budget-friendly cottagecore kitchen ideas and how to decorate.

farmhouse kitchen with chalk paint kitchen cabinets in old white by annie sloan -Spring Forward with My Rustic Farmhouse Spring Home Tour

Ways to Renovate a Kitchen on a Budget

If your kitchen feels a little ho-hum and you want to add more cottage charm, there are lots of ways you can renovate it without breaking the bank. I spent well under $1000 to renovate my former kitchen using chalk paint and gel stain, and you can too. Renovating a kitchen can be a significant expense, but there are ways to do it on a dime.

Focus on Cosmetic Changes

Instead of completely gutting your kitchen and starting from scratch, a great way to update a kitchen includes making simple cosmetic changes such as painting your cabinets or adding new hardware.

You’d be surprised how much these changes can give your kitchen a fresh new look without a major expense. After painting our kitchen several years ago, it was worth it! It’s not hard to do and the result is incredible.

Keep the Same Layout

Changing the layout of your kitchen can be expensive and time-consuming. One of the best ways to keep costs down is to keep the layout the same and work with the existing plumbing and electrical. This will save you money and make the renovation process faster.

Of course, you may still need electrical and plumbing updates, but working with what you have already can save you money when renovating a kitchen.

DIY Projects

There are many DIY projects you can do in your kitchen, such as installing a backsplash or painting your walls and cabinets. Even if you’ve never done them before, doing these projects yourself can save you money on labor costs.

If you lack confidence or aren’t sure where to begin, research it. Google it to read blogs and watch videos on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram. You’ll learn so much about the process and build confidence at the same time.

Shop for Deals

Look for deals on appliances, cabinets, antique furniture, and other materials. You can often find deals at thrift stores, antique shops, vintage markets, or on clearance and during sales events.

Think outside the box and look for second hand or unique items you can incorporate. For example, a china cabinet and hutch would make great additional storage. Or maybe you can flip an old buffet into a cabinet with a sink.

Black kitchen island with white wainscotting in farmhouse kitchen in spring -spring Forward with my rustic farmhouse spring home tour

Refinish Instead of Replacing

Instead of replacing your cabinets or countertops, consider refinishing them. Refinishing can give them a fresh new look without the expense of replacement.

Painting cabinets and hardware are really easy to do. And I’ve also seen bloggers paint and epoxy their countertops with great success. You can even paint the seat upholstery with ease and minimal fuss.

If you plan to replace them anyway, why not try refinishing them first? You might save yourself a lot of money taking a risk and just putting in that minimal effort. If you are afraid to try it, test it on something else first until you get a feel for how it’s done.

Use Cost-Effective Materials

Consider using cost-effective materials such as laminate or vinyl flooring instead of hardwood. These materials can give your kitchen a beautiful look without the high price tag. And there are so many great materials out there that are like real wood but aren’t.

When we refinished our laundry room and powder room, we chose a tile floor that looked like hardwood and it was GORGEOUS.

It was much easier to add with our existing wood floor because it was different plus it cost a little less than adding that same look with real hardwood flooring.

spring forward with my rustic farmhouse spring home tour
My former laundry room

But Don’t Skimp on Quality

While you want to save money, you don’t want to sacrifice quality. Invest in good quality materials and appliances that will last for years to come. Consider how these updates will add value to your home.

And really look into the repair, maintenance, and reliability of any appliances you buy. Do your research so you aren’t rebuying appliances later.

hood vent refinished with antique walnut general finishes gel stain in farmhouse kitchen -Spring Forward with My Rustic Farmhouse Spring Home tour

How Can I Update My Kitchen So It Looks Cottagecore?

If you love the look of a farmhouse kitchen or long for an english cottage style aesthetic, you can bring that vibe into your home by adding a few key elements. Here are some cottagecore kitchen ideas to try.

Natural Materials

Cottagecore is all about organic, natural materials, so look for wood, stone, and other natural materials when decorating your kitchen. Wooden countertops, stone floors, and brick walls all add to the rustic, country charm of a cottagecore style kitchen.

Vintage and Antique Finds

Look for vintage and antique kitchen accessories to decorate your space. Old crockery, enamelware, and copper pots and pans are all perfect for a cottagecore kitchen. Antique kitchen scales, old copper, floral pulls, a vintage botanical print, and tools can also add to the charm.

Neutral Fall Finds from the Christmas Tree Shops

Soft Colors

Soft, neutral, and earthy muted colors are central to the cottagecore aesthetic. You can incorporate these colors into your kitchen with painted cabinets, a tiled backsplash, or even just some pretty dishes on display. It all really depends on the style you are going for and look you want to achieve.

Open Shelves

Open shelving is a popular feature in cottagecore kitchens. It allows you to display your vintage finds and pretty dishes, while also keeping everything within reach. Consider using reclaimed wood for your shelves to add more the rustic charm. Or just remove the doors from your existing cabinets to get a similar look.

Floral Accents

Flowers and floral patterns are a must for any cottagecore kitchen. You can incorporate floral motifs into your backsplash or wallpaper, or simply display fresh flowers on your table or windowsill. Hanging dry flowers from a rack is another great idea to decorate.

farmhouse kitchen with range hood stained with general finishes gel stain and chalk paint kitchen cabinets in annie sloan old white that is part of a rustic farmhouse house tour

Farmhouse Sink

A farmhouse sink is a perfect addition to the cottagecore kitchen. It’s practical and functional, but also adds to the rustic charm. Look for a sink with a simple, classic design and pair it with a vintage-style faucet.

I wish we could have done a farmhouse sink when we renovated our kitchen a few years ago. But it would have driven up the cost of our budget because we needed to fix the cabinets below too.

Since I was doing the renovations on my own and had no experience with doing all that, we just went with a new under-mount sink when we installed our granite countertops.

Cozy Textiles

Finally, don’t forget to add some cozy textiles to your cottagecore kitchen. A pretty tablecloth, tea towels, and a cozy rug can all add to the warmth and comfort of the space.

Modern Farmhouse Kitchen with chalk painted kitchen cabinets in Annie Sloan's Old White and room is decorated for fall

How I Added Cottagecore Style to My Own Home

Since my 90’s kitchen was SO outdated by 2017, I decided it was time for a renovation. Although we didn’t have a large budget, I found ways to make cosmetic updates to the whole kitchen on a dime.

Here are a few cottagecore kitchen ideas that I did to make the heart of the home feel brand-new.

farmhouse kitchen in fall with fresh cut flowers and light beige cabinets with green granite counters
Our new farmhouse kitchen

15 Cottagecore Kitchen Ideas on a Budget

If you are looking for ways to add cottage charm to your home, here are 15 budget-friendly kitchen ideas to try this year.

Rustic Farmhouse Spring Home Tour - farmhouse kitchen in spring

How to Paint Wood Cabinets With Chalk Paint

Looking to update your kitchen on a budget? Learn how to paint wood cabinets with chalk paint It’s a budget-friendly remodel that is easy to do and totally worth the effort!

the ponds farmhouse wooden bowls above kitchen cabinets

How to Decorate Above Your Kitchen Cabinets

Looking for ideas on how to decorate above kitchen cabinets with a modern farmhouse style? Rachel from the Ponds Farmhouse shares tips for creative decorating using collectibles and more.

simply 2 moms kitchen with cherry cabinets and wood furniture

How to Update a Kitchen with Cherry Cabinets Without Painting Them

Who says a kitchen with cherry cabinets can’t look modern? My good friends Anne and AnnMarie from Simply 2 Moms has ideas to update your kitchen with wood cabinets without painting them!

wm design house updating and organizing a butlers pantry

How to Update a Butlers Pantry

Looking to update your butler’s pantry with a few DIY projects on a budget? My good friend Wendy from WM Design house shares how to lay a beadboard backsplash over your existing tile, paint your cabinets, and pour epoxy countertops.

Robyn's French Nest kitchen where she shares how to decorate kitchen countertops in vintage home with flea market decor

How to Decorate Kitchen Countertops

It is tricky to decorate kitchen countertops in inviting ways without feeling cluttered. Follow these simple tips from my good friend Robyn from Robyn’s French Nest to make kitchen counter and kitchen island decorating a breeze!

Pasha is home adding open shelves to cottagecore kitchen

Yes You Should Add Open Shelving to Your Kitchen

Open shelves are a controversial kitchen addition. My good friend Pasha from Pasha is Home gives you all the reasons you should install them in your kitchen.

Midwest life and style kitchen table makeover with oops paint in modern farmhouse

Affordable Kitchen Table Makeover Ideas With Oops Paint

Do you have an outdated table that could use some TLC? Jen from Midwest Life and Style shows you how easy it is to give your kitchen table an affordable makeover with just a bit of misting paint.

vintage home designs how to decorate a kitchen hutch

How to Style a Kitchen Hutch

Do you have trouble styling your china cabinet or kitchen hutch? My good friend Michele from Vintage Home Designs shares some easy step-by-step ideas on how to decorate you hutch with layers that add uniqueness and interest.

tatertots and jello shares tips for updating a 90s kitchen with farmhouse charm

How to Update a 90’s Kitchen on a Budget

My good friend Jen from Tatertots and Jello shares her tips for updating an outdated 90’s kitchen on a budget. Wait until you see the transformation of her kitchen!

eleanor rose home open shelving kitchen decor ideas

How to Style Open Shelving in a Kitchen

My good friend Heidi from Eleanor Rose Home shares 8 simple, universal tips & tricks for styling open kitchen shelving that can be applied to any shelf, in any room, regardless of personal style.

white lilac farmhouse how to decorate countertops for spring with vintage decor

How to Style Your Kitchen Countertops for Spring

As we transition into spring, do you struggle with how to style your kitchen counters? You can have beautifully styled kitchen counters without a lot of fuss or clutter. Let my good friend Tammy from White Lilac Farmhouse show you ways to bring in spring accents.

Beautiful copper pot rack in cottagecore kitchen by peacock ridge farm

How to Make a Beautiful European-Style Copper Pot Rack

Follow along as we show you how to make an elegant pot rack from copper pipe. See my good friend Renae from Peacock Ridge Farm’s full step-by-step instructions!

the crowned goat pantry organization ideas with open shelving and wallpaper on walls

The Easiest Way to Organize Your Pantry and Refrigerator

My good friend Coco from The Crowned Goat shares her simple tips and tricks on how to keep your pantry and refrigerator neat and tidy all year long

The tattered pew's painted kitchen cabinets

Why Refinishing Your Cabinets Is a Good Idea

Thinking about redoing your kitchen cabinets? Then my good friend Kelly from the Tattered Pew’s post is a must-read on why refinishing kitchen cabinets is a good idea!

More About Cottagecore Style

Do you enjoy decorating with a cottagecore vibe? What are your favorite renovating and decorating ideas? I would love to know more in the comments below.

And don’t miss joining my Gardening DIY and Decorating Community on Facebook for more chatter. And follow along there and on Instagram as well. There are behind-the-scenes daily things that I share on Instagram that don’t make it to the blog. Would love to see you there too!

If you prefer to binge-watch Bricks ’n Blooms on TV, we go more in-depth with tours and posts on my YouTube channel. Would love to hang out with you there!

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Stacy Ling with her book the bricks n blooms guide to a beauitful and easy care flower garden

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close up of cottagecore kitchen with painted cabinets
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Thank you so much for following along.

Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling
Home and Garden Blogger Stacy Ling cutting zinnia flowers in her cottage garden with wood picket fence in front of garden shed

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  1. So many fantastic ideas on the round up today! Thanks so much for sharing, have a great day, Stacy!

  2. So many great ideas! Such a wonderful group of talented bloggers. Happy Spring, my friend. So fun hopping with you today.

  3. I have been wanting to paint my cabinets for so long, but always been nervous to do it! Thank yo for sharing your tips….now to work up the courage to do it!