Simple and effective ways to spruce up your kitchen on a budget
The global pandemic of 2020 and the resulting lockdown meant that many of us have spent more time than ever before in our homes. This has given us the opportunity to really stop and assess our homes and to think about whether or not they truly work for us and make us happy. Hours upon hours of staying safe at home led us to reflect on all the jobs that we wanted to do at home and in our gardens if we are lucky enough to have them.
Throughout the lockdown, 20% of Brits have been cooking every meal from scratch, compared with just 12.5% before the lockdown. Many have rediscovered the joys of home cooking, and are now spending more time preparing their meals.
However, this increased time in the kitchen will have inevitably led more people to want to make improvements to their kitchen. Whilst a full kitchen renovation may not have been possible given people’s financial situations and the social distancing measures that made it difficult for tradesmen to work, there is no shortage of quick and easy DIY jobs that you can do to spruce up your kitchen on a budget. These quick and straightforward DIYs will make a real statement with only moderate effort and cost.
The bigger jobs in a kitchen like the electrics, plumbing, cabinetry, work surfaces or windows may require a professional, but the backsplashes are a perfect DIY project. There are so many backsplash options to choose from.
For starters, there are plenty of DIY backsplashes you can purchase from your local DIY store. Glass, aluminium, stainless steel or copper sheets are reasonably easy to fit and look very sleek. They make a nice change from tiles and are a lot less time consuming to fit. If you are feeling very brave and consider yourself to be a very clean and tidy cook, you could even opt for mirror, which has the added benefit of making small rooms look bigger and reflecting light around the room.
If you already have a tiled backsplash that functions well but you don’t really like the look of it, you could consider using tile paint to change the colour. Be as creative as you like and play with colours and pattern to make a real statement, or keep it simple and go for one colour.
Self-adhesive terrazzo tile stickers from Boubouki
If painting seems like too much of a faff, perhaps self-adhesive tile stickers are a good option to spruce up your kitchen on budget. You can get some really nice designs that can add a much cleaner and more contemporary look to your kitchen. This has the added bonus for renters that stickers are generally quite easy to remove should you need to. Make sure you invest in stickers that are designed to be used in damp areas as they may need to withstand the steam created in a kitchen.
If you have more time and a more healthy budget you could consider tiling the backsplash or retiling if it is already tiled. By replacing the tiles you can completely transform the look of the room.
You can get plenty of ideas regarding the latest kitchen tile trends from this post.
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash
One of the kitchen’s focal points is undutedly the cabinets. They add personality and give character to any space. So, if you are going for a bolder upgrade, opt to make changes with your cabinets. Don’t worry, these ideas won’t require any power tools and are easy for even the most novice DIYers.
Two-toned cabinetry is the latest design trend, yet you can easily make them in the comfort of your own home. The easiest way to achieve a two-toned scheme is to paint the lower cabinets in a darker colour and keep the wall cabinets in a lighter shade. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous you could add a modern pop of colour, or paint your cabinetry diagonally. Whatever you decide, this is a quick and easy way to give your kitchen an elegant upgrade.
Change the Handles
If you are happy with your existing cabinetry, then you may simply want to consider upgrading the hardware. This project is very practical if you have ready to assemble cabinets, as you can easily unscrew the fixtures. You can either paint your cabinet handles using spray paint or install new fixtures from your local hardware store. Just like that, everything old is new again.
Skyscraper Knurled Handle in Raw Brass by Dowsing & Reynolds
Upgrade the Lighting
Photo by Callum Hill on Unsplash
Kitchen lighting needs to be flexible in order to be effective but it needn’t cost the earth. You can create a really impressive lighting scheme on a budget by installing an under cabinet lighting system. LED tape lights are light-weight and have adhesive on the back, making it easier to install.
You can also easily plug them in without any hard-wiring required You can even control these lights using a standalone remote control or with your mobile device and choose from an array of colour combinations.
Upgrading the lighting is one of the most effective ways to spruce up your kitchen on a budget. You can get the look and feel of a higher-end kitchen with minimal outlay but maximum impact.
Changing the Tap
Photo by Chastity Cortijo on Unsplash
This one may require the help of a plumber depending on how skilled you are but a great way to update the look of your kitchen is to swap out an old or outdated tap and replace it with something more contemporary or modern. Over the past few years we have witnessed the proliferation of finishes when it comes to taps, from matt black and matt white to various metallic finishes including copper, brushed brass and antique bronze.
Update the Work Surfaces
One of the major changes we made during our kitchen makeover was changing the work surfaces. They were previously black and we found that they absorbed a lot of the light in the room which was bad news in such a small space. However, once we replaced the with white work surfaces it transformed the space. Whilst this wasn’t the cheapest option, it was definitely cheaper than changing the cabinetry which was our initial plan.
If changing the worksurfaces is not an option, there are other cheap and easy ways that you can change the look of them. Try covering the countertops in contact paper or peel and stick countertop film. This is more of a temporary solution though as wear and tear will be visible within a few years.
So there you have it. Six simple but effective ways to spruce up your kitchen on a budget. If you have time on your hands at the moment and you are looking at ways to improve your home, these ideas should be a step in the right direction.
Let me know if you have implemented any small, cost-effective changes in your kitchen that have improved the way it looks.