10 Ways to quickly and affordably update your kitchen
They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Well, that’s great when you have the kitchen of your dreams, but less so if you haven’t decorated since the days that magnolia walls and avocado bathroom suites were considered de rigueur.
If you’d love a complete kitchen renovation to herald in the New Year but don’t quite have the budget for it, then we have ten tips to update your kitchen without breaking the bank. We’ve also been chatting with the seriously stylish Stacey Sheppard from interior design blog, The Design Sheppard, and she’s shared a few of her favourite tips with us.
1. Replace cupboard door fronts
Forget getting entire units refitted; simply shop around and pick up door fronts instead. On updating cupboard door fronts, Stacey had this to say: “An outdated kitchen doesn't have to cost thousands of pounds to update and there is no need to rip the whole thing out and start again. If you really can't live with your current cabinets, consider replacing all the doors and drawer fronts for something more in-line with your style.” So, all the style of a brand-new kitchen unit at a fraction of the cost – thanks, Stacey!
2. Hang work
Think artwork is only for the lounge and bedroom? Think again. Whether you have the luxury of entirely blank walls or just space on your shelves to include a frame, artwork can truly lift your standing in the style stakes. There are loads of websites that do a huge variety of prints at affordable prices; try Desenio, Etsy, Not on the High Street to name a few. We’d highly recommend taking the time to frame them, though, to prevent curled edges or warping. Artwork can make a really affordable way to add splashes of colour to your kitchen.
3. Repaint drawers
We’re turning to our expert again for number three. Here, Stacey suggests getting the paint out: “If style isn't an issue, you can simply paint the doors and drawer fronts for a total refresh or consider using sticky back plastic instead. Sometimes, really small changes like replacing the handles can be enough to create a new look.”
Painting might be out if you’re renting, but stick-on contact paper could do the trick. And it’s the same with snazzy handles: they have the added benefit of making your kitchen units look bespoke. Huge impact, minimal cost.
4. Pick up some colourful appliances
We’ve all bought new cushion covers and used them to transform the look of our lounge, and the good news is colourful appliances can do just as good a job in your kitchen. There are tonnes of colourful sets out there. Consider a bright red toaster and kettle set to add a bit of dynamism to your all white kitchen, or add pops of pastels to give your soon-to-be favourite room a little country cottage appeal.
5. Tile stickers
Stacey is a fan of revamping your tiles: “If it's the tiles that let a kitchen down, change them if the budget permits, but if not, you can get tile stickers which can completely change the look of the tiles without damaging them. This is a perfect solution for renters.” It’s also the perfect solution for someone who wants all the glamour of Moroccan-inspired tiles at a fraction of the cost.
6. Hang a pendant light
If you’re not a fan of overhead recessed bulbs, you could invest in stylish hanging pendant lighting instead. You have two options: you can buy a plug-in pendant light and avoid doing anything that involves meddling with electricity, or you can look into pendant conversion kits which allow you to change your lighting entirely. You may want to call in the professionals to do this if you’re not experienced though!
7. Change colour of the grout
Working with an all-white space and want to add a bit of up-to-the-minute cool? Stacey suggests changing up the colour of your grouting: “If your grout is yellowing and past its best, consider using a grout pen for a refresh. Black grout or coloured grout can make quite a statement.”
8. Hang some shelves
Long gone are the days when shelving units were purely for storage; just ask any style-conscious Instagrammer. These days, a few well-placed shelves could be just the thing to add some elegance to your kitchen. Forget cramming them full of tupperware containers and half full bags of pasta, and instead lovingly arrange your favourite kitchen items and intersperse them with pieces of artwork. Now all that’s left to do is show off about them on social media.
9. Swap the worktop
If you have a little more budget to play with, then Stacey suggests swapping out your worktops for a change that will make a world of difference: “One small change we made in our kitchen was to swap out the worktop. When we bought our flat the worktop was black and it ate up a lot of the light in the small room. We switched it for a white worktop, and it has made a huge difference. It now bounces a lot more light around the room and has given the kitchen a much more modern look and feel.”
10. Invest in some plants
You really can’t go wrong with plants and they’re one of the cheapest and simplest tricks for making your home look like it’s been freshly renovated. Consider hanging English ivy over your sink or next to your window and getting a large pot plant such as a cast iron plant (or Aspidistra Elatior) for the floor. Aloe vera, spider plants and even white jasmine can all thrive in a kitchen environment, and if your green fingers are really lacking then there are some pretty good fake versions available these days, too.
Looking for more ways to update your kitchen? At Breville, our kitchen appliances are designed for kitchens of all styles, so you can complete your perfect look. For more information and to browse our complete product range, visit the homepage today.