Kitchen

Inexpensive kitchen ideas to update the heart of the home

Even without the budget for a kitchen refurbishment there are still plenty of kitchen upgrade ideas that can make a big impact in creating a warm, welcoming and cheerful space. 

Practical guide - 5 February 2019

Tip 1

Replace the countertop

The simplest of all easy kitchen updates may not be the most economical but carries the biggest impact. There are some lovely laminates you can source that look like stone but come at a fraction of the cost.

Tip 2

Start with daylight

In any room your eye is drawn to the daylight source: one of the easiest cheap kitchen updates is to add a themed decal to the window, or decorative curtains that won’t mind the odd splash to add some colour.

Tip 3

Add some lowlight

It’s surprising how low-level lighting can make a kitchen feel warm and more interesting. Add a pendant light over the work surface or island if you have one, and small fluorescent strips under the cabinets.

Tip 4

Paint the cabinets

Some simple low budget kitchen designs can be achieved with very little outlay. A fresh coat of semi-gloss wipe-down paint will bring a new life and a new colour scheme to brighten up your kitchen.

Tip 5

New cabinet doors

Slightly more expensive but probably even quicker, replace your cabinet doors with glass doors to lighten up the atmosphere, or even do without them altogether for a country-style open shelf feel if you don’t mind your stores on display.

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Tip 6

Update your appliances

One of the most effective kitchen updates on a budget is to replace your small appliances like kettle, toaster, chopping boards and even washing up bowl in a matching bold colour like scarlet, royal blue or emerald green.

Tip 7

An antique touch

If you have a Saturday morning to spare, have a browse around your local antique market. You can often find really lovely plates to make an individual wall feature, or old-fashioned jugs to give character to your utensil pots.

Tip 8

Colourful tea towels

We often live with our old stock of tea-towels without realising how tired-looking they have become. A complete overhaul and replacement with brightly coloured fresh tea-towels will make a strong contribution to your kitchen colour scheme.

Tip 9

An accent wall

One way to give the impression of a complete makeover without doing very much at all is to paint one wall in an accent colour. Make it several shades darker than your overall colour scheme for the best impact.

Tip 10

Tiled splashback

Add a dash of colour with a new tiling splashback. It’s a small area to cover, so you can splash out on tiles that you love without breaking the bank. Choose them to tone with your overall colour scheme.

In a nutshell

Brighten your daylight source with colourful new curtains and include mid-level lighting under cabinets and pendant lamps.

Think small – new cabinet doors, new colour-coordinated appliances or a small area of new tiling splashback all add a fresh touch that will feel like a real kitchen update for a modest outlay.

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