Renovate your kitchen without breaking the bank

Many people I talk to ask me for advice on how to revamp their kitchen without breaking the bank. As we all know, installing a brand new kitchen can be a costly affair, even for the smallest of homes. Cabinets alone can cost £1000’s, and the larger your room, often the bigger the cost.

In an ideal world, a sparkling new kitchen the minute we want it would be wonderful to have, however, with a little imagination, some DIY and a paint brush in hand, there are some nifty little ways you can transform your kitchen for a fraction of the price.

First things first, what are you dealing with? Do you dislike the shape of your kitchen, the design? Perhaps you need more storage or want to totally modernise the look?

Depending on your taste and needs, some or all of the below could help!

Cabinet doors

Take a look at the doors on your kitchen cabinets; is it the colour you’re bored of or the design? You may be looking to brighten up an old 1990’s pine kitchen, into a shabby chic country mecca! If this is the case, it’s easy! Chose a colour, buy some decent paint brushes and rollers, and set to work. I can’t stress enough how painting cabinet doors the colour of your dreams can transform a room, you’ll be amazed at the difference. Just be sure to research the paint you use and prep your surfaces accordingly.

If you’re feeling really creative and up for a bit of DIY, then let me introduce you to plywood. You can totally transform a basic door by trimming strips of plywood to your desired thickness and using them to create a shaker style door. The plywood is pinned or glued to your original door then painted leading to incredible results.

cabinet doors

If you really can’t live with your door design and no amount of dulux or plywood is going to help, then I suggest replacing those doors. Obviously this is more costly than paint, however still drastically cheaper than buying everything new. Take a look on gumtree, ebay, preloved, or sites of a similar nature, you will nearly always find people looking to sell off cabinet doors be it homeowners or old stockists. Last year my wife and I sourced 6 new cabinet doors for £40, whereas the items new would have cost us around £400.

To finish off those doors, another little gem which is often overlooked is handles. These can completely change the look of a door, and just a simple swap from a wooden knob to a sleek silver pull handle can make drastic changes to the appearance of your doors. Just look online or in any home DIY store, you can pick up handles for next to nothing and they’re easy to replace.


Much like the cabinet doors, by simply replacing your worktops can have amazing affects. By changing an old veneer work top to a wooden country oak, or perhaps a marble finish, once again will change the overall appearance of your room. Worktops can vary in price depending on your taste, but again, this is a far cheaper option than a complete kitchen refurbishment.With shabby chic and industrial trends being so prominent at present, there are also some quirky ideas which people seem to be using in their budget kitchen renovations. Old flooring for example can look great if sanded back and treated appropriately. Take a look at the example below:



Often if you really ask yourself what annoys you about your kitchen, the common overruling factor is storage, or should I say lack of it. Today’s trends are very much centred around recycling rustic pallets, crates, or old pieces of furniture and transforming them into something which can look incredible in the home. I am a particular fan of pallet uses. With a bit of imagination and DIY, homeowners are creating rustic wine racks, shelving units, seating and much more. Take a look at the link below to my pinterest page for some inspiring examples of this in action. It’s easy to do, and if in doubt, you can often find handy DIY tips on you tube offering step by step advice on how to dismantle a pallet and the things you can do with it!

Pallet usesIf vintage or industrial is your taste, then there really is a lot to be said for transforming an old piece of furniture into a storage solution for your kitchen. I recently bought a pine dresser off gumtree for £40, and after 2 coats of paint, this was the finished product. The dresser looks great in our kitchen and breaks the room up nicely.dresser

If your kitchen is tiny to begin with, then take a look around your room and seek out natural areas that lend themselves to storage cubby holes. You may have an area In between 2 cabinets which has created the perfect inlet for some shelves to be placed.

Perhaps you have a blank wall of a cabinet which could be used as a hanging area for a basket of fruit and veg….




Or perhaps an unused wall which coupled with old pallets and a few hooks could be used like so:Pans on pallets

I am constantly looking for new ways to upcycle old wood and furniture, keep an eye on my pinterest page for further examples of this is in action!


Finally, last but not least, ugly kitchen tiles! Tiles are so down to an individual’s taste, and what one person may love, another may loathe. Tiles can be messy to remove, and hard to lay for an inexperienced tiler, so if you’re not about to try your hand at tiling soon, then a cheap option is tile paint. People are using this all over the world to paint over tiles, floors, even showers, and the results are great. There are a range of colours on the market to choose from and once again, the paint, a paint brush and a roller is pretty much all you’ll need.

If you’re not happy with the shape of your tile and can’t afford new ones, another splash back option can be tongue and grove wooden planks around your counter tops. These are easy to install, and once in place can be painted any colour you wish. Tongue and grove planks create a clean and finished look which I think could be applied to most kitchen types.

Tongue and grove

Top Tip posted in Home improvements & DIY, Renovate on a budget, Up-cycling & handy hacks on May 13, 2015