DIY kitchen ideas – 12 ways to revamp your space for under £50

These smart DIY kitchen ideas demonstrate how small changes can make a big difference, from painting cabinets to hanging new blinds
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  • These DIY kitchen ideas will help you show the heart of your home some love without breaking the bank.

    Full-on kitchen renovations are the dream, but can be very expensive. Many households don’t have the budget to blow on extensive changes, and perhaps don’t want to splash out during such uncertain times.

    If you count yourself in either category, fear not. There are simple, inexpensive kitchen ideas you can use that can go a long way to revamp the space.

    These DIY kitchen ideas are quick and easy to implement so you can revamp your kitchen in no time – with all ideas for under £50.

    DIY kitchen ideas

    1. Repaint existing units

    A grey kitchen with pink walls and a small wooden dining table

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    If you’re wondering how to paint kitchen cabinets, it couldn’t be more simple. It’s a phenomenon taking over kitchens as homeowners decide to improve rather than move. And as we see more shining example of how effective it is, thanks to social media, we’re feeling braver with paint to do it ourselves.

    Pro tip: Always use the correct paint type, or ensure the cupboards are primer to make the paint last as kitchen cupboards are used every day, so it needs to be durable. Ronseal One Coat Cupboard & Melamine Paint is a super-efficient, affordable option for this job.

    Buy now: Ronseal One Coat Cupboard Paint, £15 for 750ml at Wickes

    2. Fake a splashback

    Wooden kitchen cupboards with a marble effect splashback

    Image credit: IKEA

    ‘For a more obvious change to your kitchen, splashback panels are a really great way to add your own sense of style,’ explains Becky Martin, interior design leader at IKEA UK & Ireland.

    ‘The Lysekil double sided white marble effect wall panels are a quick way to get the effect of a splashback without needing to have a go at tiling.’

    Pro tip: As the wall panels can be fixed with adhesive, they can easily cover an existing splashback for a speedy and painless kitchen update.

    Buy now: Lysekil Double Sided White Marble-effect Wall Panel, £35, IKEA

    3. Change the handles and fittings

    A small kitchen with white cupboards and small grey white and black wall tiles

    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    Another key element for completely changing the look and style of fitted cabinetry is changing the fixtures and fittings. This comes at even less cost than replacing the doors.

    You can pick up stylish new handles, like the ones in this small kitchen, for not a lot. We recommend IKEA where there are over 50 different styles to choose from, with prices ranging between £1 to £15.

    ‘When it comes to updating your kitchen, a quick and affordable way is to change your door handles,’ explains Becky Martin, at IKEA. ‘For an additional and stylish change, you can also update other hardware, such as your tap, to match the new handles. Little touches like these can make a big difference to your home!’

    Pro tip: ‘To make the change as stress free as possible, try and choose handles where you can re-use the existing screw hole,’ Becky advises.

    4. Use the wall for storage

    A close up shot of orange and cream patterned wallpaper with copper pans hanging on a rail

    Image credit: Paul Raeside

    Free up extra cupboard space with vertical storage solutions. This frees up space and creates an interesting focal point for the stunning kitchen wallpaper decor, too. Hanging saucepans and utensils from a rack is an affordable way to add a new design feature. Use S-hooks to stylishly hang up the pans, etc.

    Pro tip: Secure each end of the rack with sturdy brackets to ensure it supports the weight placed upon it.

    5. Switch the blinds

    A kitchen sink area with blue cupboards and a soft blind on the window

    Image credit: Kasia Fizer

    It doesn’t have to cost huge sums to change up the window dressings. As a dominant factor, this simple yet effect window treatment can add a splash of fresh colour, pattern and texture to instantly refresh a tired kitchen scheme.

    Here, a texture linen fabric helps add a touch of sophisticated rustic chic – perfect to enhance a navy kitchen. You can pick up a small blind very cheaply from most retailers. We’d recommend Dunelm, where the prices  start from as little as £8, and go up to £30.

    Top tip: Frame windows with lightweight fabrics to prevent the presence from overpowering, especially in small kitchens. Avoid pattern if you have small windows, for the same reason.

    6. Opt for open storage

    Open wooden kitchen shelving storing tea towels, oils and crockery

    Image credit: IKEA

    A great way to revamp our kitchens is to ensure we are using every space possible, as best we can. This trick is especially important in small kitchens, where we need to use smart kitchen storage ideas.

    ‘Adding a small section of open shelving lets you show off your favourite pieces whilst keeping clutter neatly stored away,’ says Becky Martin at IKEA.

    ‘Modular systems and wall shelves are great options, and can be installed on the wall so you can access your go-to cookbooks or spices easily.’ They’re also super affordable – you can easily pick up a shelf and brackets for under £10.

    Top Tip: Have a cupboard and kitchen overhaul before you think about buying storage solutions. It may be that you can save some room just in the way that you are already using the space. Once more organised you’ll be able to see which smart solutions are best suited to your needs.

    7. Lay down a rug

    A white kitchen with a black range cooker, mosaic wall tiles and a rattan floor rug

    Image credit: Simon Whitmore

    Rugs can improve the decor in an instant, and that goes for every room. The kitchen may not be the first place of choice for adding a rug, but it can go a long way to add a decorative element, particularly in more neutral white kitchens and cream kitchens, like the scheme above.

    Rugs can be a great way to add colour and pattern to a kitchen without having to replace or alter the existing flooring. A great way to do this on even more of a budget is switch things up: rather than buy new, simply swap rugs from another room.

    Top tip: As the kitchen floor is often tiles or wood make sure your rug has a backing, to make it non-slip for extra safety.

    8. Inject a splash of colour

    A navy blue and orange painted kitchen living space with a round wall mirror

    Image credit: Fiona Walker-Arnott

    A new coat of colour is always a brilliant way to instantly transform a room. This trendy modern kitchen and living space is lifted by the bright colours. You can do this on a budget – simply shop around for the best price on paint and opt for a feature wall, to save on the amount you need to buy.

    Even thinking about a clever use of paint, such as around windows, door frames or storage alcoves to highlight key details, meaning even less paint needed.

    Top tip: Choose an accent colour that ties in the rest of the kitchen decor – from appliances to textiles. A clashing colour will jar and may not have the desired affect of creating a harmonious scheme.

    9. Paint the ceiling

    If you’re feeling really brave, why not take that splash of colour up onto the ceiling. Just as this adventurous DIY-er has done, creating a masterpiece on the ceiling is a great way to distract from other design elements you might not be so keen on.

    Top tip: When painting the ceiling our resident decorator says never overload your brush, to avoid any paint spills.

    10. Cover up with curtains

    A small grey and white kitchen with a curtain to hide appliances

    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    A cover up job is a great way to hide a multitude of sins in a kitchen. Don’t like the look of the washing machine? Is the front of the open shelving starting to irritate you? Simply cover it over with a chic curtain.

    Top tip: Save on costs and simply cut some fabric to fashion your curtain. Tack a hem along the top to thread onto a piece of cord at the top to act as the runner on which to pull it over.

    11. Pull in new textiles

    A cream Aga with lots of oven gloves hanging off it

    Image credit: Dan Duchars

    Sounds so simple, but trust us when we say it’s so effective! From tea towels and oven mitts to aprons and washing up gloves, the everyday textiles and accessories we use in the kitchen are always on show and can help to add decoration.

    Simply changing these can have a small but valuable impact on making the space appear refreshed.

    Top tip: Keep all textiles matching to create a cohesive look. Interchange the accessories seasonally to continuously refresh the room.

    12. Add sprigs of nature

    A close up shot of a kitchen worktop filled with vases and flowers

    Image credit: Nick Pope

    Plants hold a powerful presence, never felt more than right now in our homes! An element of nature has been welcomed in more rooms than ever recently, with bathroom plants and bedroom plants both hugely on the rise.

    Kitchens are a great place to embrace an element of nature as this room is often adjoined to the outdoors, therefore creating a sense of extending the indoor living space to the outside.

    Top tip: Incorporate an element of ‘grow-your-own’ into your plant selection to be totally on-trend.

    It’s sometimes the little things that can make the biggest impact. Don’t disappear if you’re tired of your kitchen decor – all of these factors can go a long way to improve the look and feel for next to nothing.

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