Fewer things in life say “home” like a kitchen that speaks to your soul. After all, the kitchen is the heart of every house- it’s the place where families come together, where every house party eventually ends up and where we groggily meet with our friends and partners first thing in the morning, after a long night.
Unfortunately, the kitchen can be one of the most expensive areas to renovate in any home. There’s plumbing to think about, including gas pipes and heating, as well as the size and scope to think about -it doesn’t help that, when seeking inspiration for your next project online, supposedly every kitchen on Pinterest is the size of the average single bed apartment. All of a sudden, the whole thing to seems to be ballooning before your very eyes and you’re suddenly put off the idea- meaning you end up resigning yourself to the same old dingy, dull kitchen you’ve always had, with a view to saving up for a pro to do it for you.
Stop right there.
If you’re looking for tips and tricks as to how to update an old kitchen on a budget, you’ll be pleased to know it can (and will!) be done. Kitchen renovations don’t have to take up all your savings and a kidney while taking part in some dodgy back-alley deals. Read on, and we’ll show you exactly how you can remodel your kitchen on a tight budget.
Remodel Kitchen On a Tight Budget
First of all, let’s get some quick tips out of the way before we get into the heart of how to remodel a kitchen cheaply- the quickest and cheapest way to reinvigorate your kitchen and a new lease of life to the heart of your home, is through a lick of paint. If your quick isn’t tiled from top to bottom, you’ll be pleased to know that a fresh feel is only a quick trip to your local DIY store away.
Secondly, like all rooms, the right lighting can make a huge difference. If you aren’t too fussed about the actual look of your kitchen but feel it could do with a bit of a freshen up, then adding the right lighting can make all the difference. Add some spotlights to an alcove, use a strategically placed lamp, open up your window with the right blinds- all of these can have a huge effect on the vibe of your kitchen and can save you a bundle.
Finally, the biggest difference in how a kitchen feels is how clean it looks. If you’re struggling for space, there are some amazing ways to add some extra storage to your kitchen for a fraction of the cost of a full remodel. Cupboard clips can create more storage for food cupboard items, pots and pans or crockery, while magnetic strips or floating shelves can free up your countertop, giving your kitchen a cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing look.
Tips and Tricks to Remodel Your Kitchen on the Cheap
So, you’ve read the above, you’ve completed the basics, but you still know that your kitchen could do with more of an overhaul than a quick change? No problem, we’ve got you covered! Below we talk you through some of the effective ways to change your kitchen without breaking the bank. From minor changes to complete makeovers, we cover it all.
1. Create a Feature Wall
The feature wall has been one of the biggest crazes over the past few years- and for good reason. When you add in a feature wall, not only are you given your kitchen a quick redecorate, you’re playing with optical illusions to create space and using a dash of psychology to trick yourself- and your guests- into believing that your room is taller, wider, modern or rustic (depending on the type of feature you choose).
Choose wallpaper for the cheapest option, if you have a specific pattern in mind, or try out a plain but colorful wall with paint (choose anti-fungal paint designed for kitchens to stand the test of time and avoid the greasy look). Whatever your preference, this small change can have a huge impact on your kitchen.
2. Change Your Cabinet Handles
True, this is only a very small change, yet you’d be amazed at how such a simple difference can create such a dramatic effect. Change vintage cabinet handles for modern, square-cut types to give your kitchen a more modern look, or even look for some with a dash of glitz and glamour- perhaps with added sparkle- to pick your mood up every time you open a drawer or search your cupboard for whatever the kids want to eat that night.
Naturally, this is going to have the biggest effect when combined with No4 on our list- however, either way, this small boost to your kitchen can have a huge effect on how you feel when you walk into your room. Just be aware that novelty items can get old, fast- so stay away from any cutesy farm animals or “diamond” style handles that will easily become greasy in a busy kitchen.
Since we know that adding a little pop and glamour to a little black dress can make or break an outfit, it makes sense that using the right accessories in our kitchen can really make our room shine. Whether you decide to pick a theme, a color or add a little sparkle to your room, it can all have a huge effect on how the kitchen feels and even make it seem as though you’ve had a complete remodel.
To do this, you’ll need to treat your countertop appliances as though they are accessories too. For example, if you decide to go with a lime green or blue theme, then be sure that your toaster, sandwich maker, waffle maker- essentially anything that is in view, on your worktop- all matches that too. On top of this your tea/coffee/sugar pots should follow the theme too.
Don’t forget, that it’s not just the crockery and appliances. Adding a few soft furnishings to your room can create a soft effect that allow your kitchen to feel more homely. It’s all about having the level of visual comfort that you’re happy with. If you want clean lines and a sleek, modern look then you should stick with blinds. If you’re looking a little more rustic, with some home comforts, go with a roller blind, curtains or netted curtains/voile.
4. Paint Your Cabinets
The biggest change we’ve mentioned so far and yet one of the easiest things to do when it comes to renovating your kitchen on a budget. Rather than look to replace to your kitchen in its entirety, if you’re happy with the layout of your kitchen but feel it needs a quick makeover, then this definitely the way to go.
Dependent on the finish of your cupboards, you can either paint straight onto your current doors, or sand them down a little first to give yourself a better surface to work with. Choose your color and your finish (matt, gloss or eggshell) and have fun! You might need a few coats so be sure to get the right amount of paint (plus a little extra, in case there’s any mishaps that require filling in, once completed).
Another simple solution but this one requires a little more elbow grease. Tiles can easily fall out of fashion within a few, short years and anything that’s too garish or simply not to your taste anymore can leave you feeling unhappy with your kitchen as a whole, when really all it needs is some new tiles popped in.
So, if you’re feeling up to the challenge, bust out your hammer and chisel and don’t forget to cover up your surfaces, to protect them from any falling accidents. Of course, you can always get someone in to do this for you for a relatively cheap labor costs, once you’ve picked and bought your tiles. If you do feel up to it, don’t forget to get your adhesive and grout, as well as some separators, to keep the whole thing looking neat.
It’s not just the splashbacks and walls, by the way- you can always push the boat out and try a new look on your floor. Tiles are great in kitchens, due to their waterproof nature and capacity to handle the heavy footfall expected in the average kitchen. Bear in mind, of course, that tiles are a little colder than laminate and a dropped plate can sometimes result in a cracked tile.
6. Replace the Countertop
If you aren’t experienced with doing a little joinery, then I would recommend grabbing yourself a professional for this tip. Still, replacing your countertop is still a great way of saving money while giving your kitchen a clean, sharp remodel. All you’ll need to do is pick out your perfect countertop and find yourself a reliable joiner or builder to come and finish the job for you.
At most, it’ll take a day to finish and the new look will make your kitchen look brand new. On top of this, if you combine your new countertop with freshly painted cupboards (no4) and clean, new tiles (no5) you’ll have created a whole new kitchen for a fraction of the usual remodeling costs.
7. Change the Body- keep the Skeleton
Sounds a little strange but let me clarify; if you take away the cupboard and drawer doors but leave the layout of the kitchen itself, you’ll be able to change the “body” of the kitchen while keeping the “skeleton” of what has already been built. This way, all you’ll need to do is change over the doors in your kitchen to whatever you like!
It’s a simple solution that lets you spend a little bit of cash while saving you thousands of dollars in full remodel costs. You don’t have to get any bespoke work done and should even be able to find the doors and drawers for a bargain online. Speaking of which…
8. Shop Online
We all know that the best deals can be found online but did you know that some of the best places to check out are actually local sites? While you and I might be more interested in getting our kitchens done up for the best price, there are others out there who enjoy renovating their kitchen on a yearly basis- and where do those kitchens go, you ask? Why, the local builders, or perhaps even the house owners themselves, pop these “used” kitchens up on your local buy and sell sites.
Facebook, Craigslist and many others can all be great resources to utilize when you’re looking for your next bargain. As an anecdotal example, my brother-in-law is a joiner and actually acquired his kitchen through a client who wanted to get rid of theirs for latest fashion (their current option was cream, and they wanted grey). Well, they got a new kitchen and so did he! All he needed was some new tiles and a little hard work and he was ready to go.
9. DIY Where You Can
This is a somewhat obvious tip but so many people underestimate their own ability to finish work under their own merit. Tiling is a big example. This is something that, once you’ve got the hang of, can be extremely easy and much quicker- and cheaper- than hiring a pro. Yet there are many out there who feel that they’ll get it wrong or worry about what happens when something breaks. Get yourself a few extras in case and enjoy learning a new skill- once you get started, you’ll wonder why you ever worried!
That said, don’t go overboard- messing around with pipes (especially gas) is always a bad idea. Take care of yourself and use the money you saved from the DIY aspects to hire a licensed pro to sort out the fiddly bits for you.