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Easy ways to jazz up your kitchen on a budget


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 looks or colour, why not consider just replacing the doors if the framework is still in good shape? Alternatively, simply give your cabinetry a quick refresh with a few coats of paint. Both are a lot cheaper and less hassle than replacing the entire thing. Paint is the easiest and least expensive way to transform a space. Try to avoid any colour 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.

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 or whenever you fancy a new look. There’s so much you can do with a little imagination and money, so, here are some easy, affordable ideas to transform your cooking space today.

Paint your cabinets and walls
Painting your kitchen cabinets and walls 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.

Install new worktops
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.

Update your kitchen floor
If your current kitchen floor is letting you down, you don’t need to go to the hassle of taking it all up as you can lay new flooring on top.

Improve kitchen storage
It’s amazing how much we accumulate over the years. Try setting aside a day to sort out your kitchen cupboards, then organise them so you have access to the things you use often. Clearing your worktops can also instantly improve your kitchen and it won’t cost you anything at all. Alternatively, try rethinking your storage solutions. Pullout drawers in a cupboard instantly make every spare space usable.

Create a feature wall
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.

Change your cabinet doors and handles
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.

Buy new appliances
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.

Install extra lighting
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.

Refresh the sink
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.

Create a kitchen diner
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 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.

Add a pan rack
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 space.

Alter the splashback
Splashbacks are perfect for protecting kitchen walls from cooking stains. 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 option and a great opportunity to add colour and pattern.

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