talking interiors the blog

Update your kitchen on a budget

If you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen but don’t have the budget to replace it, why not have a go at a few of these simple but cost-effective changes.

Cabinet doors – replace, paint, ditch!
If the basic cabinet is sound, new doors can often be replaced easily, without costing too much. Look to mix and match colours and tones rather than trying to get a door to ‘match’ what you have. Unless you know where your original kitchen came from it will be difficult to get an exact oak door match with your existing oak kitchen – so go for a cream door for example.

There are also a number of good paint products on the market specifically for painting kitchen doors. If you have a nice panelled door which is a bit tired and scratched, this can be a very cost-effective way of upgrading – a pale grey door married in with a new white work surface can transform a previous oak kitchen.

Or – depending on the size of your kitchen – ditch the doors altogether to create the effect of open shelving. Display your favourite dishes to add a bit of interest to the room.

I was asked to upgrade this flat for rental in Edinburgh. The kitchen was in the original bed recess – very common in some tenements. With a few simple changes, new work surface, painted doors, new tiled splashback and a few accessories we changed from this to this for just under £1K. 

Replace your worktop and sink
This job is less expensive than you think. You can get a new laminate surface for less than £100 per run. Many kitchen suppliers have fabulous laminates in faux glass, faux concrete effect and a wide range of colours – you don’t need to go for the traditional speckled beige! Look also to replace your scratched, stained sink with a brand new SS one and a contemporary swan neck tap.

Paint an accent wall
Paint a single wall in an accent colour – try a colour that’s two shades deeper than the rest of your decor

Upgrade your lighting
Replacing an old fluorescent light or dated spotlight with a new contemporary spotlight track or feature pendant can make a huge impact on the space.

Replace window dressings
A colourful roller blind at a window can add a pop of colour particularly in an all white/grey toned kitchen – add a blind in a bright turquoise blue or fluorescent green. If your window sits behind the sink, make sure you get a side cord mechanism to avoid having to lean over the entire sink and tap to pull it up and down.

Replace your existing flooring with a new vinyl. Like work surfaces, you can now source a much greater variety of vinyl in fabulous colours and patterns and can be more cost effective than tiling.

If your budget is very tight then take a trip to your nearest superstore and pick up a pile of fabulous new accessories – washable table cloths can be picked for less than £20 and can instantly update a tired kitchen table. A large wooden chopping board can hide an ugly stain on your work surface and a large glass bowl filled with oranges can give a hit of colour.

If you’re thinking of updating your kitchen contact me to discuss how we can help you make changes to get the look you want, within your budget.