For many of us, the economic climate has impacted on the budgets we have available to spend on home improvements. But that doesn’t mean we should limit our imaginations. Today I take a look at what we can do to upgrade our kitchens and how with some creativity, design tricks and shopping around for the best deals, any of us can achieve a high end look on a budget.
Small Changes Make a Big Difference
We recently changed just our sink and tap and the difference it has made to the overall look of our kitchen has really surprised me. Because the sink and tap no longer look tired and worn out, the worktop and cupboards instantly look much smarter! So making smaller changes can definitely work. One great way to transform your kitchen affordably is to change the doors and worktop. If your cupboards are basically sound, why go to the expense and mess involved in ripping them out completely and installing new ones? Unless you are planning a new, better layout, there’s a lot to be gained by simply switching up the doors and work surfaces for a new colour or fresh design, meaning you can achieve the look of a whole new kitchen for a fraction of the cost.
If your cupboard doors are actually ok, but in need of a facelift, painting them can be an ideal solution and there are lots of different shades of cupboard makeover paints available. Even just changing your cupboard door handles can add a ‘wow’ factor in minutes, especially if you go for gold or copper to give an exclusive and glamorous feel.
Incorporating features such as gallery wall or chalkboard will add extra style and personality to your kitchen space and can be created very cheaply. Look for on-trend free printables off the web to place in inexpensive Ikea Ribba frames. Styling with plants is a hot trend right now and it’s easy enough to get cuttings from green-fingered friends or buy inexpensive plants at summer fairs and fetes.
Don’t neglect details like blinds at the windows; you can totally refresh your kitchen with some inexpensive bamboo blinds which will work well with your plants to give a chic, exotic feel. Another idea is to give plain, off the shelf roller blinds a more upmarket look using paint and a stencil for a unique, ‘designer’ touch. Imagine using gold spray paint on a white blind for a truly ‘luxe’ look. To accentuate the ‘high end’ feel further, add some smart accessories such as a glass dispenser for your liquid soap.
Making Your Budget Go Further
If your kitchen is beyond repair and you are able to afford to replace it, it is still possible to get some great deals from local kitchen fitters if you shop around. If you are struggling to decide on the style you like most, think about the age of your house. If it is an older property, perhaps a more traditional kitchen style, such as a Shaker design, may give it a timeless feel. However, a sleek modern kitchen can work to stunning effect in an old property if done properly. Why not head over to Pinterest for some high end kitchen inspiration and design ideas?
A modern flat or town house would suit a very contemporary kitchen – gleaming white or glossy black can take vibrant, colourful splashbacks for a bold look. If you are not going to be in your property forever, maybe you could think about buying a freestanding kitchen that you can take with you? Also think about what sort of floor you have and whether you will keep or replace it? What are your favourite colour palettes? Making a mood board of ideas can really help you visualise your final design.
When planning your kitchen, make sure you list all the essentials you want to incorporate, down to the number and position of plug sockets. Also have a ‘wishlist’ of features you would like to include, should the budget and layout allow, for example, you may long for a boiling water tap – as you allocate your budget, you may just be able to work in some of those little luxuries that will ensure you really enjoy your new kitchen.
It’s a good idea to scour Pinterest for design ideas and tutorials, and DIY as much as you can to keep down costs. But if you do happen to have a reasonable budget to work with and want to make some significant changes, you may find it useful to employ a designer who can help you plan out your ideas. Hiring someone with expertise can be more affordable than you might think and save you from making any costly mistakes later.
“Don’t be afraid to move the big things in order to get the layout that’s best for your space. Windows, electrics, plumbing for example. It may seem too big a job at the time, but may only take a couple of extra days work to sort. Spend a little extra and take the time to perfect the layout. This forethought will transform an ok kitchen space into one you’ll want to be in all the time. After all a kitchen is the heart of the home, I know it is for us!”
High-End Design Ideas
Including some of these up-to-the-minute trends will ensure your kitchen has the designer look:
Exposed brick – gives a cool, urban look. Generally the older the house, the prettier the bricks underneath the plaster will be. Exposing brickwork is a very messy, time-consuming job, though, so you may want to look at alternatives such as faux bricks or brick-effect tiles, or just expose a small area or original brickwork
Concrete – walls, floors or worktops can be created from concrete and it can be polished for a contemporary and stylish look. It looks stunning teamed with natural wood worktops or open shelving, instead of wall cupboards
Open cupboards – if shelving is a step to far, remove your cupboard doors and have open units – if you paint them inside or wallpaper they will look more bespoke
Use tile paint or fit glass or plexi splashbacks to cover up old, unattractive tilework
Bring in added glamour through accessories in bronze or gold
A dramatic feature light can give your kitchen designer looks
I hope you have found this useful – happy kitchen re-vamping!