You finally did it. You took out a loan and made the down payment. You are a homeowner. After weeks scouring real estate for sale in Whistler, you’ve finally picked the house of your dreams.

There’s just one problem: it comes with the kitchen of your nightmares.

Okay, maybe the situation isn’t quite that dramatic. Whatever the case, you know you need to renovate. But after how much it cost to buy your house, and with years of mortgage payments looming ahead, it’s hard to justify spending another small fortune hiring a professional contractor to make major changes.

Luckily, you don’t have to. Here are 4 DIY home improvement ideas that will completely alter your kitchen without breaking your bank account.

Replace Outdated Appliances

One of the simplest ways to give your kitchen a makeover is to upgrade your appliances: the refrigerator, stovetop, microwave, dishwasher, etc. It might not seem like a major change, but cumulatively the effect can completely transform the look of your space. Even better, not only will it give the room a more stylish, modern appearance, chances are the new additions will work a lot better and a lot more energy-efficient than their predecessors.

Install New Flooring

Another simple renovation you can make all on your own is the installation of new flooring.

Obviously wall-to-wall carpeting isn’t the best idea for a room where water, crumbs, and condiments are constantly flying all over the place, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick with decades-old linoleum either. Consider the rustic charms of faux-hardwood vinyl or the clean ‘n’ pristine perfection of ceramic tile. You’ll be surprised by how this one change can improve your day-to-day life.

Switch to Open Shelves

A large portion of any kitchen is going to be taken up by cabinets. Changing cabinet doors, fixtures, finishes, or paint colors is a good way of refreshing the look of your kitchen. But consider going one step farther. Instead of just swapping out brown cabinets for blue ones, tear out the cabinets entirely and leave behind only the shelves (or, better yet, replace them with all new shelves). Open shelving is not only tasteful and accessible, it also opens up the space, allowing your kitchen to feel bigger and much less cramped.

Add a Kitchen Island

No, a kitchen island isn’t a topical destination somewhere in the Bahamas. Rather, it’s a free standing counter that you can use to prep meals, unpack groceries, or even pull up a stool and enjoy a snack while checking your Facebook messages. A kitchen island gives you more surface area to work with, more cupboard space for dishes and dry goods, and another prime spot for an elegant marble countertop.