Lusting after a new kitchen? These affordable design ideas go to prove you don't have to spend a fortune for a radical transformation. 

garcia gloss kitchen from B&q's good home range -

Image: B&Q

We all want a beautiful kitchen, whether it's a space you use solely for cooking or you're planning to turn it into the social hub of the home. But let's face it – they're one of the more expensive spaces in the home to make over. 

While there are some brilliant budget brands out there that can offer a stylish new kitchen for less than you'd think, sometimes the purse strings are a little bit too tight to justify a complete renovation. With that in mind, we've pulled together some of our top tips on making the most of what you already have in the kitchen, from simple DIY projects to the companies that can help you spin straw into gold. 

1. Re-paint kitchen cupboards 

kitchen repainted in johnstones cupboard paint shadow slate ochre dreams and pale grey - kitchen -

Image: Johnstone's 

Something like a classic Shaker kitchen will never go out of style, especially if you opt for a quality kitchen in the first instance. Re-painting a kitchen is a great way to give your cabinetry a new lease of life – whether it just needs a freshen up or you want to debut a radical new look by changing to a bold colour. Opt for specialist cupboard paint where possible as you need it to be a hardwearing finish - Johnstone's Cupboard Paint is suitable for both MDF and melamine kitchens, which have traditionally been trickier to paint than real wood cabinets. 

2. Change cabinet handles

ikea osternas leather pull tab handles - kitchen -

Image: Ikea

The style of handles is one element that can instantly date a kitchen, and changing them is a relatively low-cost way to make a big impact. Cupboard handles may not be as affordable as you'd necessarily expect them to be however, and some lust-worthy door hardware might prove out of budget. A style like these leather pull tabs from Ikea will set you back £10 per pair, which can add up over the whole kitchen, but will instantly transform cupboards doors from drab to designer. 

3. Opt for open shelving 

garden trading country style kitchen with open shelving -

Image: Garden Trading 

Many home owners are replacing top-heavy wall cabinetry for stylish open shelving, and if you've got storage space to spare in your kitchen, it's an easy-enough DIY project. Removing kitchen cupboards is a far easier job than installing them, and then it's just a case of filling and smoothing any holes in the wall before repainting walls and installing shelving. After that comes the fun part – styling up your new open shelving! 

4. Refresh your worktop 

maxtop quartz honeycomb kitchen worktop surface -

Image: Maxtop 

If your current cabinetry is salvageable for your upgraded kitchen, one place you may want to invest is in a new worktop, and this renovation isn't necessarily as disruptive as you imagine. The likes of Granite Transformations offer a clever top that can be made to fit over an existing work surface, meaning the process is super quick and easy. A full worktop replacement can be completed in around one day, and costs from £3,000. 

If you are considering fitting a new surface, but you have your heart set on a luxury, yet durable Quartz worktop, consider a product such as Maxtop. These surfaces are made from solid Quartz on the surface, around a unique honeycomb centre, which brings down the cost to just £180 per linear metre. 

5. Re-fit new doors 

before kitchen shot from trend transformations -

after kitchen shot from trend transformations -

Image: Before and after kitchen transformation from Trend Transformations 

By choosing not to re-arrange your kitchen when upgrading it, you can make big savings on materials and labour. Perhaps surprisingly, this kitchen makeover uses the same original cabinetry frame, re-fit with new doors. For an average size kitchen, Trend Transformations kitchen makeovers cost from £3,000, and the whole process takes between 1 and 2 days. 

If you are looking to add more storage or work surface space, consider adding freestanding pieces, such as moveable kitchen islands, to supplement your existing cabinetry. 


Are you trying to give your kitchen a makeover on a budget? Tweet us @goodhomesmag, or post a comment on our Facebook page!



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