$15K or Under: Cabinets
Often the biggest expense in a kitchen, new cabinets will probably be out of reach at this price point. If you have an older kitchen, it may be wiser to repaint or refinish the existing cabinets, which are likely wood. It will cost half as much as the price of new wood cabinets, and it's smarter than downgrading to particleboard to fit the budget, Costa points out. Or consider tearing out cabinets completely and going for a trendier open-shelving design, like this look from Pottery Barn.