Doing A Small Kitchen Remodel: Cost, ROI, & Ideas  

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In our recent survey, 7 out of 10 buyers said they would purchase a home if it had a gorgeous kitchen.1 If you have a small kitchen, especially one that is outdated, you may think that you are out of luck, but that doesn’t need to be the case.  

A small kitchen remodel can help you turn your space into a modern kitchen that buyers will love. But, before you get started, you should do some planning. You will want to know how much it costs, the expected return on investment (ROI) when you go to sell, and some kitchen remodeling ideas that will work for your tiny space.  

How Much Does It Cost to Update a Small Kitchen?  

The cost to remodel a small kitchen can vary greatly depending on the size of the kitchen, the scope of work, the market, the materials, and the general contractor. Because of these many factors, you should get some quotes before committing to this project.  

According to one source, the average cost in 2022 to do a minor midrange remodel for a kitchen in the United States was $20,125. On the other hand, a major midrange remodel was $45,370.2 Small kitchen remodels may cost a little bit less since the limited space can lead to a smaller scope of work.  

Small Kitchen Remodel ROI 

One reason to do a small kitchen remodel is to get more money back for your home when you sell  because this project can have a great return. Based on our past projects, we found that in kitchens specifically, a remodel has an average ROI of 220% and a refresh has an average ROI of 377%. For a small kitchen, the percentage may be a bit less because of the limited space, but sellers should still expect a high return.  

While the exact return will depend on various factors, both a refresh and a remodel could result in a lot of money coming back to you at the closing table. If you are getting ready to sell, you should start thinking about how to update a small kitchen and what projects will work best for your space.  

Small Kitchen Remodel Ideas  

Updating a small kitchen can seem like a challenge because of limited space, but there are plenty of ways to make the most of the room you do have. These small kitchen remodel ideas can help you make your kitchen look more modern and appear bigger. 

Change the Layout  

Sometimes a small kitchen renovation may include tearing out the existing layout and updating it. This project involves basically starting from scratch so you can have the optimum layout for the limited space. In some cases, you may even consider expanding the room. While effective, this option is more expensive and the kitchen remodel timeline tends to be longer. For some kitchens and homeowners, this type of update is not realistic.  

Get Organized 

Instead of doing a full remodel, sometimes you just need to focus on getting organized. Small kitchens that have overcrowded countertops and shelving can appear even smaller. To help the room look less cramped, take some time to get organized. Getting rid of what you do not need and getting crafty with your storage can help clear up space and make the room look bigger. 

Paint the Cabinets 


Instead of tearing out the cabinets, a simple and budget-friendly small kitchen remodel idea is to paint them. White and gray are trendy colors that can also help brighten up the room. Some small kitchens may also benefit from brightly colored cabinetry.  

Add and Upgrade Lighting 

One of the best ways to remodel a small kitchen and make it look bigger is to change the lighting. A dark and cramped room can look significantly larger once it has adequate lighting. Avoid warmer lighting that can still look dark. Instead, add cooler lighting that can brighten the room. Not only can lightning make a room look bigger, but also it can change the feel of the space. A dated chandelier can make the entire room feel old, but a contemporary light fixture can quickly make the room look more modern. 

Paint the Walls a Light Color 

Along with adding more lighting, another idea for a small kitchen remodel is to paint the room a lighter color. Light and neutral colors can open up the room and make the space seem more expansive. On the other hand, dark and moody colors can make your kitchen look small and confined. 

Change the Flooring 

If you are remodeling a small kitchen, you should think about your flooring. Darker or outdated tile flooring can make the room look small and cold, but a lighter color can make it bright and welcoming. You do not always need to replace the flooring either. Refinishing hardwood flooring can increase home value and also help the space look newer.  

Update the Appliances 

While upgrading the appliances won’t typically make your small kitchen look any bigger, it can help the room look more modern. Stainless-steel appliances are especially trendy and can give your kitchen an upscale feel.  

Replace the Countertops  


Because they make up such a large part of the kitchen, dated countertops can destroy the aesthetic of a room. An important update during a small kitchen remodel is to update the countertops to something more contemporary that can help elevate the look of the space as a whole.   

Add Backsplash  

Backsplash is an important feature that can tie the room together, but an old or out-of-style backsplash can throw off the whole appearance of the room. When doing a small kitchen remodeling project, be sure to look at backsplash ideas when you start the planning process, so you can make sure the style matches the rest of the room. 

Stage It  

If you are planning to sell, staging a kitchen can help you sell faster and for more. Especially since your small kitchen may not be ideal for a lot of buyers, staging it can create the illusion of more space and make it look more appealing. A professional staging service can give you the best tips and tricks to help make the room market-ready.  

A small kitchen remodel can quickly feel formidable, but we want to help. At Curbio, we focus on pre-sale updates that increase the value of your home before it goes on the market. Because an updated kitchen may be out of your budget before your sell, we defer payment on our work until closing.  

What are you waiting for? Talk to your real estate agent about our service or contact us to get connected to a partner real estate agent.   

  1. Curbio (2022). Preparing to Sell: 2022 Home Improvement Report 
  2. remodeling by JLC (2022). 2022 Cost vs Value Report  

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