10 Ways to Give Your Kitchen a Makeover on a Budget
The kitchen should be the heart of every home – from sitting around the table with your family at dinner time, to cooking up a storm for close friends on a Saturday night; it should be a place to make memories and somewhere to unwind after a long day at work.
However, relaxing in a kitchen which is old fashioned and in need of a makeover can be a tough job, and with lower range kitchens now costing thousands in labour and materials, you can be stuck with a room that you hate for years! But fear not, getting an updated look does not have to mean sacrificing that summer holiday and draining your bank balance. Simply follow our top 10 tips below to transform your kitchen into a cooking paradise – and all on a shoe string budget!
CLEAN & DECLUTTER
Is your kitchen full of old cookbooks, post it notes by the phone and other clutter you have collected over the years? Rule number one for updating your kitchen is to have a sort out – and don’t be afraid to be ruthless. Ditch that old cutlery you haven’t used since you first moved in, and chuck out those chipped dishes which no longer have pride of place at the table. By sorting out what you need and don’t, you’ll create more space for the items you do want to keep. With clear surface space and tidy cupboards, your kitchen will automatically look less dated and used.
If you want to make you kitchen look more modern, spacious and lifted, create as much light as possible. Get rid of chunky curtains and replace with a simple neutral blind. Replace bulky, light-limiting ceiling fixtures with simple spotlighting. This will automatically give the illusion that you kitchen has bigger dimensions and is more airy. Bringing more light into the room will give old cabinets a lift, and will make the space feel less claustrophobic.
And we don’t just mean the walls. If you have dated kitchen cabinets, rather than replacing them with thousands of pounds worth of new fittings, simply re-paint and apply varnish. You can pick up a can of paint from Homebase for around £20 and you’d be surprised at how much this will transform the look of your room. For the best results, we would recommend taking the time to find a neutral, thick colour (like light grey or cream) and to really take your time painting each cabinet perfectly. Although this might be a DIY solution, it doesn’t need to look like one! You just need to be patient and take your time.
One of the most dating things in a kitchen can be the smaller items – like cabinet handles and taps. A great way of revamping the look of your kitchen can simply mean going to your local B&Q and picking up some new fixtures. Once you have re-painted your cabinets in a light neutral colour, replace old plastic or wooden handles with stainless steel, sleek alternatives. You can do the same with your taps too – chuck out that plastic draining board and sink unit with a new, stainless steel version. You would be surprised at how cheap these come – from just £50 at most major kitchen retailers!
TILES & FLOORING
If your cabinets look ok but your tiles and flooring look tired, don’t be afraid to change them. Old fashioned splashbacks with chintzy patterns can be easily replaced with simple white brick tiling to create a more modernized and clean effect. Similarly, grubby lino flooring can be ripped up in a matter of moments and replaced with slick, granite-affect tiling for a sleeker, more luxurious feel.
If you don’t have the budget to give your kitchen an all-over makeover, simply change some of the smaller items, like your kettle, toaster and microwave. With so many options now available on the highstreet, you can grab a style which fits your taste and bring a little bit of life back into the room. By matching these appliances, you will bring some modern consistency into your kitchen, which will give the effect of a showroom kitchen.
…and go vintage! If you have an old fashioned kitchen which is well made and clean, yet a little dated, embrace it! The vintage look is one of the key trends for homeware this year, and achieving the look with new furniture and hardware can cost a small fortune. Instead, take a leaf out of Kirstie Allsop’s book, and make your kitchen your signature style. If your sink looks like it’s seen better days, pick up an old Butler sink from a scrapyard and pay for someone to install it. Rather than chucking out old tins, use them as cute little herb pots for your window cill. Similarly, don’t ditch your granny’s old tea set – proudly display it for all to see!
CREATE YOUR OWN BREAKFAST BAR
If you have an island or some workspace which you don’t tend to use, why not create your own breakfast bar? Simply remove any cabinets under the workspace which you want to turn into your bar (replacing the flooring if needs be with a simple, modern alternative) and purchase 2 stools of your choice. Breakfast bars are a relatively new feature for most kitchens and so will automatically make it look more modernized and refreshed. Replacing the flooring will also give the impression that your kitchen has had a huge makeover.
ADD SOME GREENERY
You would be surprised how much a little bit of Mother Nature can lift the vibe of your kitchen. By adding in some brightly coloured flowers or even just some fresh herbs, your kitchen will automatically look more loved and maintained than it did before. It will also keep the room smelling nice and will create the illusion that it’s brighter and less dreary.
CHANGE YOUR FABRICS
If you have old fashioned curtains, table cloths and tea towels, then don’t underestimate how much a new design will affect the look of your kitchen. Fabrics can easily turn dull and dated, and can often carry in them a stale smell, so if your kitchen linens have seen better days then get rid! Replace dated designs, with new, modern patterns which will complement your style.