The kitchen is the equivalent of the Beltway during rush hour on a Friday afternoon. It is the most heavily-used part of a home, giving it the starring role in most reno dreams. In fact, many homeowners say a key reason they choose to take on a kitchen remodel is their discontent with the space. A 2017 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study revealed 43% of those surveyed took on a kitchen renovation project because they could “no longer stand the old kitchen.”

And the kitchen can make or break future real estate deals. Whether the cabinetry is outdated or the walls feel like they’re closing in, it may be time to evaluate the functionality and the layout of this room. The good news is minor kitchen remodels are a popular trend for those homeowners who need change now—and the right choices can stretch that resale value, even without a huge budget in place.

Here are some popular ways to update your kitchen in a budget-conscious way:

Declutter with expanded counter and storage space.

Too many cooks in the kitchen can create a quick traffic jam. A top complaint of homeowners is functionality of space. By adding counter space or an island, this room can be more user-friendly, and you may actually look forward to being in it. More meals cooked at home equal less money spent on takeout. Plus, carving out more storage space—like drawers or a pantry—can help with organization.

The kitchen tends to be a room where people like to hang out during food prep or holiday gatherings. Eliminate clutter by creating designated places to put food, gadgets, and kitchen accessories. HPI staff can help you determine the best use of your square footage by sketching placement options for extended counter space or storage features.

Improve design with updated cabinetry and hardware.

Yes, you can accessorize your kitchen. Instead of a full gut job, a minor kitchen remodel could be as simple as new paint and hardware. White is a trending non-color color for contemporary kitchens, and it can brighten up the space.

Knobs, handles, and faucets are just some of the new hardware options that can be added to transform the look of your room. The right combinations of color and material can bring an outdated kitchen into 2018.

Go green with new appliances.

Going green isn’t only good for the environment—it also improves your bottom line. Old appliances are less efficient; therefore, they impact your utility bills in a negative way. For example, ENERGY STAR refrigerators use 40% less energy than conventional ones made before 2001 do, according to the US Department of Energy. While there are upfront costs associated with switching out stoves, dishwashers, etc., the long-term savings make it worth the cost.

There is a common misconception that home renovations will break the bank. Here’s where the value of a free estimate comes in. HPI staff is trained to give a realistic picture of what to expect with any remodeling plan, and they can help you talk out your vision to see what makes sense for today and what may need to go on the future to-do list. Going big isn’t the only option for improving key areas, such as a kitchen. Minor updates can improve the function of this highly utilized space and can completely refresh the room, making it into a place you’re proud of.