How to give your kitchen a brand new look on a budget

You don’t need to remodel your kitchen to completely transform it – get inspired with these budget kitchen ideas and save yourself thousands

Kitchen makeover: 'I’ve combined old and new design elements for a vintage vibe'

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s the place where we cook, eat, and congregate with friends, but it’s also the one place that can look especially tired as trends change.

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If you’ve been dreaming of giving your kitchen a well-deserved update, the good news is that you don’t have to plan an expensive remodel to achieve maximum impact.

Here’s how you can transform your kitchen, without spending thousands of pounds!

Neon light by Cult Furniture

Cabinets

A simple, cost-effective way to transform a dated kitchen is to paint the cupboard doors. Even if you have old fashioned cabinets, you’ll be amazed at what a lick of paint can do to brighten up your space and hide scratches and scuffs.

Kitchen makeover: 'We saved money by using what we had'
Real home: Claire painted her kitchen units in Harley Green intelligent eggshell, £31 per litre, Little Greene, to save money

You don’t have to have real wood units to be able to refresh your kitchen with paint – simply use a laminate primer before you start painting to give it an instant update. If you’re looking to make big changes in a small amount of time, you can even try using paint that doesn’t require a primer – we love Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint as a no-prep, no-fuss option.

Expert tip!

If you really hate the cabinet doors in your kitchen and think painting them just won’t do, remember – you can easily change the doors without having to fit a whole new kitchen. Why not try sanding them down and adding new handles to give them a whole new look? 

 

Real home inspiration: 'Using a select palette gives our house continuity and flow'

Shelving

Removing wall cupboards and replacing them with shelves will totally reinvent how your kitchen feels.

Real home: 'I made my own happy place'
Real home: Liz transformed her kitchen by adding open shelving and dressing them with her favourite books and trinkets

Not only will removing bulky cupboards make your space appear bigger, but open shelving will allow you to update the overall look of the kitchen regularly, with stylish accessories, plants, glassware and crockery.

Expert tip!

Hang kitchen utensils like chopping boards on your kitchen walls to free up cupboard space and create a unique display 

Real home inspiration: 'We’re so thrilled we’ve kept it in the family'

Tiles

Grubby tiles can be completely rejuvenated by re-grouting. Simply run the sealant along the tiles and the back of the worktop to freshen it up, or use a coloured grouting to create a new look completely. Using dark grey grouting around your subway-style tiles is an instant way to make your kitchen look modern, while light grouting will make it appear fresh and airy.

Kitchen makeover: 'I’ve combined old and new design elements for a vintage vibe'
Real home: Claire opted for marble-effect tiles with fresh grouting to add a high-end look to her kitchen scheme

Remember, if you don’t love the current colour of your tiles, you don’t have to replace them completely… simply re-paint them! You can buy a 250ml tin of tile paint from as little as £8 from B&Q, or if painting isn’t your thing, why not experiment with tile stickers? SirFace Graphics has some great Moroccan-style designs, and a pack of 24 is just £15.

Expert tip!

Don’t fancy the DIY approach? A grout pen, which brightens grout and removes mould, will provide a quick fix!

Marais burgundy, Porcelain Superstore

Flooring

New vinyl flooring is another quick and easy way to achieve a big change for a small outlay.

Home makeover: 'I’m inspired by boutique hotels’
Real home: Amy chose patterned vinyl flooring from Atrafloor for her kitchen

Fitting costs are so much lower than having tiles laid, and the latest high definition printing technology can make vinyl replicate materials like wood, stone or cork if you’d like a natural look!

Expert tip!

Bear in mind that you’ll need a smooth and even floor to lay vinyl, and remember that it can be prone to tearing if heavy appliances are dragged over it. Try companies like Zazous and Burts to find striking designs!

Real home inspiration: 'It took me nearly two decades, but now I finally have my dream home'

Worktops

Replacing your worktops can dramatically alter the look of your kitchen.

Real home inspiration: 'We’re so thrilled we’ve kept it in the family'
Real home: Sarah chose white worktops to enhance the feeling of space in her new kitchen

Installing laminate is a cost-effective method, but if you want to save even more money, look for companies that fit overlay worktops on top of your existing ones. This way, you can even achieve a marble or quartz effect for a fraction of the price!

Expert tip!

Looking to save money by installing your own worktops? Here’s how to fit a kitchen worktop in 8 easy steps!

Home makeover: 'I’m anything but minimalist'

Storage

Investing in smart storage will make your kitchen into a better functioning space, ultimately ridding it of clutter for the long run and keeping it looking fresh.

Real home: 'It was the ideal doer-upper for us'
Real home: Sophie chose clever storage in her kitchen, concealing her washing machine with a secret door to ensuring there’s more room for drawers and cupboards

You’ll be amazed at how different a kitchen can look when there’s nothing cluttering the surfaces – why not try putting a lazy susan in your cupboards for easy access to spices and essentials?

Expert tip!

Hang kitchen utensils like chopping boards on your kitchen walls to free up cupboard space and create a unique display 

Kitchen makeover: 'We saved money by using what we had'

Accessorise

When it comes to accessorising your kitchen on a budget, it’s worth thinking outside the box. You never know what you can find at charity shops, car boot sales and vintage fairs – they’re the perfect place to find beautifully coloured glassware, or retro storage tins!

Kitchen makeover: Mustard colour pops set the tone
Real home: Jemma displays a mixture of old and new accessories to create a unique, authentic look in her kitchen
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Look out for vintage crockery and tea sets that could inspire your entire colour scheme… you can even find some extra storage in the form of a wall-mounted fruit crate!

Expert tip!

Existing accessories can be instantly trasnformed with a can of spraypaint. Click here to find out how to upcycle bargain buys into chic accessories!

 

Home makeover: 'We discovered our unique decorating style'