Kitchen Renovations

9 ways you can improve your kitchen without breaking the bank

Updating your kitchen doesn't have to cost a fortune 
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If you’re on a limited budget, but still hankering after a more modern space, here are some clever ideas for quick, easy and affordable updates.

1. Stick to the existing kitchen layout

If it ain’t broke… Keeping the current kitchen layout will reduce your costs considerably – moving cupboards, plumbing, walls, electrics and so on takes a kitchen renovation into big money. And the more you can do yourself, the more you’ll save.

2. Re-use your appliances

Before you throw them out, give your appliances a thorough scrub inside and out with a gentle abrasive cleaner and look at them from the fresh lens of a kitchen makeover. If your appliances are still in good working order, re-use them – including your kitchen sink. Then spend the money you save on a fabulous new mixer tap!

Make the most of your current layout with new fixtures and fittings as seen in this Avalon beach cottage. (Photography: Brigid Arnott / Styling: Lisa Hilton)

3. Paint you kitchen

The simplest way to begin a budget reno is to paint. Instantly lighten up a gloomy, tired space by giving the walls, ceiling, door and window frames a couple of coats of a bright, neutral colour or crisp white.

If you’re painting over timber panelling, you’ll need to apply a stain and tannin blocker first – your local hardware store can advise on this, as well as on the most suitable paint for kitchen areas.

modern scandi style kitchen with vj panelling
A fresh coat of paint is sometimes all that’s needed to make a kitchen look like new. (Credit: Alex Reinders)

4. Upcycle existing furniture

And while you’ve got your paintbrush out, you can spruce up an op-shop table and a few mismatched chairs into a dining suite – they all match if they’re the same colour!

5. Cabinet makeover

The next thing to consider is the kitchen cabinets. If they’re structurally sound but just dated or a hideous shade, you can paint or replace the doors, drawer fronts and hardware for a fraction of the money that it would cost to replace all of your cabinetry.

Whether your cabinets are timber or laminate, there is a paint product to suit. Most kitchen cabinets are a standard size, so that replacement doors can be fitted to existing units. If you feel daunted by the idea of painting all the cabinet doors yourself, check out the cost of having them painted by a specialist spray-painting service – this might even be less than replacing the doors, and the finish is hard-wearing and professional.

Budget kitchen renovation
(Credit: Getty images)

6. Remove cupboard doors

Another quick fix is to remove the doors completely from existing over-bench cabinets or replace them with simple, open shelving for an airy, modern look. You can even paint or line the back of the shelves with colourful paper to add colour and interest. 

7. A new benchtop

If your benchtop and splashback have seen better days, you have several options. You can replace them, of course – there are thousands of low-cost alternatives to choose from and many are perfect for DIY. You can also resurface them, using the range of clever products now available at your local hardware or Bunnings.

8. Paint a tiled splashback

Give a tiled splashback a whole new look with tile paint and transform your benchtop with a resurfacing kit that offers a variety of ‘stone lookalike’ finishes.

9. Renew powerpoints & light fittings

Finally, spend a little on new power-point covers, light switches, window coverings and light fittings.

You can spend a fortune on a new kitchen, but maybe you don’t need to!

This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens

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