Budget-Friendly Kitchen Upgrades: Tips and Tricks

May 24, 2024

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Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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Thinking about a kitchen upgrade but wondering whether you can afford it or not? Well, it might surprise you to learn that the average spend on a complete refit is now in the region of $15,000! For many people, that’s something that isn’t easily achievable.

Thankfully, there are ways in which you can make some great upgrades to the heart of the home if you’re on a budget – or have completely underestimated your current DIY fund.

Give your kitchen cabinets a fresh coat of paint

Perhaps one of the simplest ways of starting an inexpensive upgrade to your kitchen is to start by giving your cupboards and cabinets a fresh coat of paint. This isn’t a quick job – there’ll be a fair bit of prep:
  • removing the doors
  • sanding them down
  • undercoating
  • and painting

But, for a long-term investment that will really brighten the space, it is worth it.

A monochromatic moody green kitchen.

Look at investing in second-hand appliances

The price of new appliances can put some people off starting a complete kitchen renovation – and it’s true they can be exorbitantly expensive.

However, looking to the second-hand market for good quality replacements is a great way to refresh and revive without spending too much money.
Appliances on countertop.
And with regular appliance maintenance from trusted professionals, they can still last you a very long time. Going down this road is a great option if you’re into retro/vintage looks too.

Invest in some new flooring

Click-lock laminate flooring can be a relatively inexpensive way to upgrade your kitchen without costing a fortune. These can often be installed without the need for a professional flooring company.
However, if you don’t feel confident enough to tackle it yourself, then you may want to hire it out.
Girl's feet in flip flops on a light colored LVP floor for Vinyl Plank Flooring vs Engineered Hardwood post
If you’re not keen on laminate then there are many more eco-friendly and sustainable options on the market that aren’t expensive either. Such as bamboo and cork, which offer comfort, warmth, and a safe and sure grip underfoot.

Carefully considered lighting can add a new dimension

Sometimes, just changing the light fittings and bulbs can add a whole new dimension to the room – and create different moods. Take a look at your existing lights.
Does it feel too dark when you’re trying to cook, or chop ingredients? Then consider investing in LED strip lights to attach underneath your cabinets.
Lighting under kitchen cabinets.
Upgrading your bulbs from colder colors to warmer ones that will add depth and contrast.

Clear your worktops and invest in more shelving

Open shelves are hot property right now – and to be honest, having worktops that are less cluttered is a joy to behold for most people! Smaller kitchens will benefit from these, more than larger rooms.
But they’re really on-trend as a way to display your utensils and food items and make your kitchen look open and inviting, like a relaxed family space.
Open shelving
Give one or two of these a go and see how much they transform your kitchen. For a small investment, you can make some huge changes. Bon appetit!

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