Have a good clearout
Kitchens receive a lot of use, not just from cooking, but from being the daily place to gather and often to dump things. Empty cupboards of old food, clear surfaces of things you don’t use or things that have accumulated and scrub surfaces clean. Deep cleaning can make a real difference, and once you have cleared the space it feels much easier to contemplate a quick paint refresh or to see what else could make the biggest difference on a budget.
Over the summer our kitchen felt absolutely trashed – it’s where everything happens, from food, to family catch ups. It’s the dogs favourite place to snooze and its where we fold and sort washing. The room off the kitchen is where all our Airbnb linen and equipment is stored.
I do get sick of the sight of our kitchen, but when we came back from holiday to find our house sitter had cleaned the entire kitchen, tidied every surface and lit candles, we immediately fell back in love with the room.
Upcycle with Furniture Paint
I went on a fantastic furniture painting course this week which immediately filled me with ideas for furniture to give a new lease of life to. One of the other participants was planning to update her kitchen by painting it, something I did in our last house. We gave the cream doors an update with Farrow and Ball’s Green Grey and it really made a difference when it came to enjoying the units for a few years more, and selling the house.
Replace cupboards with junk shop finds
Like the picture above you can create a really gorgeous look by replacing modern kitchen cabinets with dresser units or plate racks. These items are in demand so be prepared to put some time into scouring for them – try facebook market place, car boots and furniture recycling shops. They quickly add character to a kitchen and make it look much more expensive than it is. We did this in our Airbnb caravan and it’s a lovely look. Open shelves are another solution if you tend to move and use the items on them daily, otherwise they just become dust magnets!
Change the knobs
Sometimes the little things can make a big difference, I have a gorgeous cupboard which I changed completely by repainting and then adding globe door knobs. There are so many kitchen knobs to choose from and they can really change the style of more simple units.
Paint the tiles or walls
Tiles dates quickly and brightly coloured styles can become hard to live with. You can paint tiles though with specialist paint. Walls quickly became stained in a kitchen so be prepared to repaint more often, go for paint designed for kitchens that is wipeable.
Replace the flooring
Quality flooring can make even the cheapest furniture look impressive. If the flooring is tired, hard to keep clean or looks dated maybe you could just refresh that.
Invest in a new kitchen, on the cheap
If you have a small kitchen or a very old kitchen, or like our first kitchen, a layout that just doesn’t pull off that all important food prep triangle – then maybe it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Cheap kitchens are out there, but it helps to have some expert input before you start shopping.
When we designed our kitchens for our Airbnb barn and caravan I planned them in the space with the joiner who was actually going to install them. We worked out a plan for what was needed and then broke it down into a list of parts. Keeping the design really simple kept the cost down and once we had made a plan I wasn’t tempted to add features I didn’t really need. Once I understood how it was going to work, I felt confident to shop around to find the best deals, and even buy off the shelf or online, rather than being at the mercy of kitchen planners.
Look beyond the obvious high street choices, Kitchen Warehouse UK have an extensive range of kitchens for sale and claim to have the best and the cheapest kitchen units and cabinets on the UK market.
Another top tip would to be to opt for the simplest doors possible, it makes repaint and refurnishing updates so much easier, and it keeps the cost down.