Get the Look for Less By Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault

Mar 14, 2024, 18:30 PM

I’ve always believed that great style doesn’t need to come with a hefty price tag!  In fact, almost all my projects hinge on the idea that the most important ingredient in any well-designed space is creativity, NOT money!

So, when we had friends over for dinner after completing our kitchen reno, the kind compliments about the transformation quickly shifted to a conversation about how they wished they could update their own kitchen, but just didn’t have the budget for a complete overhaul right away.

I’ll be sharing more tips for how you can get “the look” for less at the 2024 Edmonton Home + Garden Show March 21-24 at the Edmonton Expo Centre. For now, here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect in my presentation!

Before and After Kitchen MakeOver

I was eager to share with them (and you) my frugal approach to design and the simple DIY equation to get the look of a custom kitchen… for less! 

Equation graphic showing paint and kitchen remodel items with finished project

But first off, I want to make a quick point!

“Custom” does not… and SHOULD NOT be synonymous with “expensive”!  You can absolutely create a customized space with a limited budget.  You just need to be a little more creative with the dollars you have!



In terms of our kitchen, YES, we hired pros, but we carefully balanced our budget by doing some DIY projects ourselves so that we could splurge a little on certain “wish list” luxuries!

Regardless of your budget, here are some DIY ways to save and recreate the look of our kitchen on a budget…


Cabinetry typically takes up the most visual space in a kitchen, and the colour and finish immediately dictates the room’s overall mood and style.  I wanted our kitchen to feel light and bright, but I also wanted to add some personality with colour, so we opted for a two-tone situation.  Here are a couple of budget friendly options to get the look for less:

Rust-oleum Transformations Cabinet Coating (Satin)

Give your existing cabinets a fresh face with a coat of paint… and if you just cringed while reading that because painting seems like a daunting task, then you’ll definitely want to check out the super DIY-friendly Transformations Cabinet Coating Kits!  They require no stripping, sanding, or priming and come in a wide range of colours including “Capri” which is a beautiful blue-grey dupe of my kitchen.  

I’ve used these kits on countless projects including bathroom vanities, and furniture makeovers, and I’ve had amazing results every single time!

Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault headshot wearing black shirt and leopard print throw over against baby pink backdrop

I’ve also become a HUGE fan of using chalk paint because it’s so easy to work with, it dries extremely fast, AND it’s available in spray cans which is perfect for achieving a smooth cabinet door finish without brush or roller marks!  The important thing to remember if you’re working with Chalked Paint is that it needs a clear topcoat to protect the finish from everyday wear and tear… but you can get that in a spray can too!

Painting your existing cabinets will allow you to easily create a “customized” two-toned look in Coastal Blue and Linen White… or in any colour combo of your choice!

Rust-oleum Chalked Linen White and Coastal Blue Spray Paint



We splurged on quartz in our kitchen, but previously had laminate for years!  If you currently have outdated laminate counters that could use a refresh, and a new natural stone upgrade just isn’t in the budget right now, update the look of the existing finish with a HOME Countertop Kit.  It’s a simple two-step application process that can instantly give you those gleaming satin counters with maximum scratch and stain resistance.

Rust-oleum Home Countertop Coating Kit (Satin)


I wanted to keep our new backsplash as simple and streamlined as possible, so we opted for a very affordable white high-gloss subway tile.  Now, the tile itself wasn’t expensive, but unless you’re planning to tackle the installation yourself, that’s where things can get pricey!  A cost-effective option to get the look of our backsplash for less is to work with whatever you already have, and just paint over it with product specifically designed for tile!  Check out products like the Tub and Tile Refinishing Kit to introduce a soft white high gloss finish that will immediately freshen up the overall space and create a blank canvas for you to add countertop accessories against!

Rust-oleum Tubs & Tile Refinishing Kit (White)

And if you don’t currently have a backsplash and your DIY tiling skills are a little non-existent, try the easiest installation EVER by using peel and stick tiles!


Pewter today… bronze tomorrow!  Colour trends seem to change so quickly these days, and that includes trends in metal finishes!  I knew early on in our reno that I wanted to include brushed gold in the design to playfully contrast against our stainless appliances.  

If your budget is limited, but you’re craving a trendy hardware update, consider buying a can of metal spray paint to update ALL of your existing handles and knobs instead of replacing each one.  To get the identical finish of my hardware, check out Universal’s metal paint in the Antique Brass finish.  It may seem like such a small change, but I promise that updating your hardware will make a big difference!

Rust-oleum Universal Metallic Paint & Primer In One (Antique Brass)

full width new navy blue remodelled modern kitchen

When your appetite for a kitchen reno is bigger than your budget, just remember that even the smallest DIY refresh can make a HUGE impact! I’m excited to be returning to the Edmonton Home + Garden Show March 21-24, 2024. If you’ve got a DIY project and you have questions, stop by and chat! I’d love to see you. You can get tickets now online at

See Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault live on the Sleep Country Home and Garden Stage Friday March 22 at 6pm and Saturday March 23 at 12pm.