If your kitchen is looking a bit tired, you don’t have to spend a fortune to give it a fresh new look. All it takes is a little time, effort and creativity to pep up the heart of your home.
If your cupboards are a bit dated, in terms of style and or colour, why not consider just replacing the doors if the framework is still in good shape? There are a host of companies that specialise in providing replacement doors.
Alternatively, simply give your cabinetry a quick refresh with a few coats of paint. Both of these ideas are a lot cheaper and less hassle than replacing the entire kitchen. Paint in general is easiest and least expensive way to transform a kitchen. Look for a rich, yet calming shade that allow you to relax in your space.
Try to avoid anything that’s too extreme, as there’s already a lot of activity going on in the kitchen and you don’t want it to seem even busier. And always opt for a high-quality paint to ensure a durable finish. Finishing touches such as artwork, soft furnishings and shelving displays make open-plan schemes warm and inviting, and they are easy to replace and update seasonally or whenever you fancy a new look.
Vintage cookware adds charm to classic and country kitchens – antiques shops, charity shops and eBay are great sources. Affordable pieces such as a vintage dresser with glass doors, or budget kitchen furniture can be used to store and show off your favourite china.
There’s so much you can do with a little imagination – here are some more clever ideas to transform your scheme.
Painting your kitchen cabinets is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to create a new look. With a cream background, it’s easy to give your kitchen a fresh feel by choosing from the latest colours available.
Dramatically change the look of your kitchen by replacing your existing worktops. Laminate is the most cost-effective to purchase. If you have spare cash, consider extras, such as heat rods that can be fitted into the surface for a permanent pan stand or a built-in draining board.
Visit Laminate Kitchen Worktops for laminate worktops that come in a range of finishes, and start at only £59.
If your current kitchen floor is letting the scheme down, you don’t need to go to the hassle of taking it all up as you can lay new flooring on top. Most kitchen designers will advise that you can simply run it underneath the plinths, instead of wall-to-wall, which cuts your costs further.
Ideal for a classic or traditional kitchen, try pre-oiled structural engineered oak, from £43.33 per sq m at The Natural Wood Floor Company, or for a more modern look, try Rhinofloors‘ collection of cushioned vinyl.
It’s amazing how much we accumulate over the years. Try setting aside an afternoon to sort out your kitchen cupboards, then organise them so you have access to the things you use every day. Clearing your worktops can also instantly improve your kitchen and it won’t cost you anything at all. Alternatively, try rethinking your storage solutions. Pull-out drawers in a cupboard instantly make every spare inch of space usable.
Blum larder unit with pull-out shelves, from all good kitchen retailers. Price varies.
Wallpaper is a great way to add colour and vibrancy to an old kitchen. You can either cover the entire wall, or create a feature wall for a cheaper but equally stunning look. Make sure you choose wallpaper that is specially designed for the kitchen so it is heat and steam resistant.
Go to Homebase for a range of specially suited kitchen wallpapers, starting at around £10 per roll.
If the basic structure of your kitchen is in good condition, you can change the look of the room by simply replacing the cabinet doors and handles. You could even try a mix-and-match look by replacing just the wall or base cupboard doors of your existing kitchen. Sleek white doors and handles will give you a modern feel, while inexpensive wooden or distressed doors can bring a county look to the room.
Accessories will brighten your kitchen in an instant and you can choose a theme to bring the look together. Display selected items on open shelving and think about reorganising your worktop so you only have your favourites on show. If you have a dresser, this is the perfect place to show off neat stacks of crockery, cups and glassware.
Dunelm Mill has a lovely range of country-kitchen accessories with floral white crockery from just £1.49.
Try John Lewis for a wide range of fabrics, from floral prints to bold patterns. Prices start at around £4 per metre.
New appliances and can refresh your kitchen without changing any of the furniture. You’ll need to ensure that they will fit into the existing space, though,. Freestanding appliances can be replaced more easily. Also, consider upgrading to energy-efficient models to save on electricity.
Visit AO.com for a huge range of kitchen appliances.
Ideally, you should have task lights, such as spotlights, over the worktops, halogen bulbs on the extractor and overhead lighting with ambient light in a dining area. Always use a qualified electrician for anything complicated – visit the Electrical Contractors’ Association at www.eca.co.uk to find one in your area.
Kitchen Lighting have a range of lights, including spotlights that start at £14.
Painting the walls is a great way to give a kitchen a fresh, new look without breaking the bank – and, best of all, you can do it in a day. If you have wooden units, opt for a splash of colour and paint a feature wall, or all the walls, in one of the season’s latest shades.
B&Q sells a great range of kitchen paints, with prices starting at around £20 for 2.5 litres.
Sinks add distinctive character to a kitchen and you can change the feel of yours in a jiffy by adding a white butler sink for a country look, a stainless steel design for a contemporary feel or a distinctive copper one to make a real statement. Think carefully about how you use your sink – you might find one with a large double bowl or an integrated drainer is more practical if you don’t have a dishwasher.
Visit Wayfair for a good choice of kitchen sinks.
Integrating appliances can be a costly business but leaving them exposed sometimes means they can spoil the look of your kitchen. Soften the scheme by making a pretty curtain to conceal them and cover up any shelves or crannies that don’t have unit doors. Choose a bold print fabric that emphasises the theme of your kitchen and links with the colours of the walls and accessories.
Dunelm has a wide range of reasonably priced fabrics from around £9 a metre.
It’s easy to give an industrial slant to your kitchen and introduce a completely different feel with vintage furniture. Scour charity shops, car boot sales, reclamation yards and even skips (ask the homeowner first before you take anything) – after all, what’s one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure! Old stools teamed with a row of stylish pendant lights can be used to create an edgy breakfast bar.
Add playful personality to a scheme and introduce a retro vibe with eyecatching wall art. For maximum effect, display against a cool white backdrop and bring in blasts of bold colour with pop art and signage in a palette of primary shades that can be picked out in your accessories. Vary the way artwork is displayed by hanging some on the wall and propping other pieces casually against it for an informal feel.
Look at King & Mcgaw for a variety of artwork.
The kitchen is undoubtedly the heart of the home, and even more so if it has a dining area where family and friends can gather round. Even the most compact kitchen can usually squeeze in a table and chairs. Choose budget kitchen furniture, such as a small round table with stackable or foldaway chairs if you have the floorspace, or, if space is at a premium, position a drop-leaf table against a wall or fix a wall-mounted design. An extendable table is a good option if you entertain frequently.
Take a look at Ikea for a range of tables starting at around £30.
If you’re short on storage or simply want to have kitchen essentials close to hand, invest in a spacious ceiling rack for your big and bulky pans and utensils. It’s a great way of making a feature of a kitchen island and lending a period feel to a scheme. Soften the look by decorating with dried flowers and rustic baskets.
John Lewis sells a good range of ceiling racks.
Shed new light on a kitchen scheme by incorporating dramatic ceiling lights. Oversized metal pendants are the perfect way to make a statement and introduce an industrial feel. Hang them over a table or island to create a focal point and provide both task and mood lighting. If you choose a smaller design, follow the stylist’s tip and hang them in threes for maximum impact.
Visit Industville for a great range of industrial pendant ceiling lights starting at around £39.
Make a multipurpose kitchen space by adding in a comfy sofa to create a relaxed seating zone. You can use the sofa to emphasise the theme of the room – here, white tongue and groove units work well with the nautical feel of the blue and white striped sofa to create a stylish East Coast look.
Ikea has a good range of sofas suitable for a kitchen.
Splashbacks are perfect for protecting kitchen walls. Glass and stainless steel can be expensive options, but sometimes less is more and you can use a small amount to make a statement. Tiles, on the other hand, are a good budget buy and a great opportunity to add colour and pattern, although grouting needs to be regularly cleaned to prevent mould and mildew. Take your pick from standard size, mosaic or brick, and a selection of materials including ceramic, glass and stone.
Take a look at Topps Tiles for designs in a wide choice of materials.