Remodeling is a costly matter. And a kitchen may be one of the most challenging locations in terms of how much money you will end up investing. But giving your kitchen a new look does not necessarily have to break the bank – below are some budget-friendly kitchen remodeling ideas you might find extremely helpful.
Modernizing Your Kitchen On a Budget
It really does not matter that much what exactly you are planning to do – remodel some separate kitchen unit or renovate the whole kitchen – one thing you will always take into account. The thing is how much money it will take.
According to experts, on average, remodeling and modernizing expenses may range between £5k & £17k. To most people, these are really taxing figures. Having to raise that much money for kitchen remodeling may often mean that the whole endeavor will become a long-term project with no end in sight.
But cheer up – there are some budget-friendly ideas that guarantee impressive results without leaving your wallet empty.
Renovating an Old Kitchen
If you’re planning to update an old kitchen, the first thing you should do is decide which sections of the kitchen exactly you wish to take care of. The thing is that, as the practice shows, even the tiniest changes can make the difference giving a kitchen a brand new, fresh look.
Here’s an example: you can drastically upgrade your kitchen by only painting it in new colors, or maybe you would choose to change cabinets, renovate a cupboard or replace an old worktop. Whatever those decisions are, you know that your kitchen will look as new.
Another idea – if you are up to a larger project – is to divide your final goal into smaller achievements. Simply speaking, you will need a step-by-step plan. With this approach, you will know what to do right now and what to do next. You won’t waste your time and resources by taking up a different task and most likely failing to complete any of them. Not to mention, a strict kitchen remodeling plan will also help you in terms of keeping your expenses under control.
Finally, upgrading an old kitchen will also take installing modern kitchen devices. For instance, a cost-effective fridge, a power-efficient exhaust fan, an environment-friendly dishwasher, etc. While some of these appliances may not be the cheapest, they will get extremely helpful in the long run allowing you to reduce your energy expenses.
Upgrading a Small Kitchen
Many people have small kitchens. And with such a kitchen, you want to make the best of it. Unfortunately, upgrading a small kitchen is a real challenge. The reason for that is because small kitchens make you work under strict conditions of limited space.
One of the most popular approaches here is trying to make a small kitchen seem wider by using lighter colors. Choose cream, beige, high-gloss white for cabinets, walls, and a ceiling to make your kitchen look more spacious.
Retro and vintage are big these days. Wherever you look, you see that the-good-old-days-style approach. Kitchen remodeling is no exception. A lot of people choose to give their kitchens a retro feel. Are you one of them? Take a look at these expert tips on how to make your kitchen look stylishly “old”:
- Use second-hand devices;
- When painting, choose pastel color tones;
- Make use of chrome elements;
- Use a tiled kitchen splashback & a stainless steel sink;
- Use retro-styled fixtures.
And what is very important – don’t be afraid of experimenting and letting your imagination loose. When creating your own custom kitchen in a retro style, there is practically no way to do it wrong. Get creative and inventive, make use of old films and photos for inspiration and examples.
Since we’ve touched upon inspiration, let’s pay a bit more attention to it before we go on with other remodeling tips.
The moment a very thought of upgrading your kitchen comes to your mind and forms into a desire, your best bet is to see how other people renovated their kitchens. Drawing inspiration from other people’s experiences is a great place to start.
You will get some insightful ideas, see how people managed to stay within their financial limits, what approaches they used and how they coped with difficulties along the way. While reading posts or watching video blogs, you will not just get inspired. You will learn from them. So when it comes to creating your kitchen remodeling plan, you will know what to do.
Painting Kitchen Cabinets
We have mentioned kitchen cabinets a few times already. And there is a reason for that. When it comes down to a budget-friendly kitchen upgrade, many people will choose cabinets painting. It is not expensive, it is easy, and it will surely give your kitchen a newer look. If your kitchen is small, choosing lighter color tones will make it look wider. If your kitchen is too old, newly painted cabinets will refresh it.
However, to be satisfied with the results, you must know how to get the job done correctly. Read the following sections below to find out what kitchen remodeling professionals advise.
How to Prepare for Painting
Every task needs proper preparation. These are the steps you need to take care of when preparing to paint kitchen cabinets:
- If possible, remove loos old paint with sandpaper;
- Use wood putty to cover cracks and nail holes;
- If you are planning to paint with a lighter hue over a dark color, use primer first;
- You will also need a primer to cover spots of bare wood;
- To avoid paint drips and spills to mess your surroundings, cover all nearby objects;
- Consider using safety goggles and a respiratory mask. These items will protect your eyes and lungs during sanding, which may increase the amount of lead in the air from the paint.
How to Choose Colors
The color choice is essential because the chosen color will set the mood of your kitchen. As we already mentioned, with small kitchens, people usually choose lighter colors to make their kitchens look wider. The best options here are creamy tones and different shades of white. Besides, lighter colors will reflect more light making your kitchen brighter.
To find out what color shade will work best for your cabinets combined with the kitchen surrounding, you may ask for a paint sample. Usually, hardware stores provide them for free.
How to Choose a Paint Type
However, the tone of color is not your only concern. What you will also have to think of the type of color you’re planning to use. Why? Because different color types have different characteristics that make or don’t make them appropriate for certain tasks. Unfortunately, some tend to ignore this fact.
So when choosing paints for your kitchen cabinets, pay attention to the paints that will give a high-gloss or semi-gloss finish. Such a finish suits best for kitchen surfaces. Besides, it will give your kitchen cabinets a brighter look as they will reflect more light.
As alternative options, there are latex-based and oil paints. But they have their downsides. For instance, oil paint takes more time to dry, and both paint types are more expensive than acrylic ones.
Is There Another Way of Upgrading Kitchen Cabinets?
There are cases when painting a kitchen cabinet is no option. For instance, you wish to keep their natural look because they are made of beautiful woods like oak, mahogany, or cherry. If that’s your case, then you should go for a semi-transparent stain. You may use oil lacquer to not only keep the organic look of your cabinets but also protect them from moisture.
Kitchen Cabinet Lighting
Many people choose to add extra lighting in their kitchens. And one of the most popular lighting solutions is attaching LED lamps underneath kitchen cabinets. This is also one of the most affordable kitchen design ideas. LED lamps are not expensive. There are a lot of shapes, sizes, and color choices. The installation is simple.
Upgrading a Kitchen Worktop on a Budget
While upgrading kitchen cabinets by repainting or covering them with lacquer will not take excessive money investments, renovating a kitchen workshop may not be that affordable. The reason is that usually, kitchen workshops are made using heavy-duty materials like marble, stainless steel, and granite. And while these are the perfect options since they increase a worktop’s lifetime dramatically and look great, some would find them financially challenging. And when replacing an old worktop with the new one is not an option, you will need to find a way to upgrade it.
Here are a few tips from our experts:
- Use waterproof silicone to cover all the gaps between the kitchen workstation’s units;
- Use a stain-proof sealing for the worktop’s surface;
- Upgrade a backsplash with a peel-and-stick tile that will match the kitchen cabinets;
- Consider getting some heavy-duty stone cutting boards.
As far as other material options go, consider these:
- Engineered quartz;
- Composite materials.
Why these? Because they are budget-friendly and reliable at the same time. While not as expensive as their premium alternatives, these materials look no worse and have their unique advantages:
- Laminate is way better at water-resistance than marble or granite, which is extremely important in terms of sanitary safety;
- Engineered quartz boasts an insanely wide range of tone and grain options;
- Composite materials are very light. They are easily installed, and you can cut them in any configuration.
We encourage you to do your own online research on budget-friendly materials for kitchen remodeling after you have finished our guide.
Finally, when upgrading your kitchen worktop, don’t forget that it should match the overall kitchen style:
- Shades of white and grey work the best for a hi-tech and contemporary looking kitchen;
- For more “natural” ambiance, use warmer colors and round shapes.
The kitchen floor is another thing worth being taken care of. As you may know, there are flooring options that may seem too expensive. However, you can always find a more affordable way to change your kitchen floor. Consider covering it with vinyl or parquet. These flooring options are affordable, multi-functional, and heavy-duty. Plus, vinyl or parquet flooring matches most kitchen styles, so there is no way you can go wrong with the choice.
The Less Is More
In the final section of our budget-friendly kitchen upgrading guide, we will go through some ideas on the smaller details that can make a huge difference. After all, when you need to get creative – as you often do when it comes to budget-friendly projects – the less-is-more concept works to its full potential.
Light is Everything
And it truly is. If you want to breathe new life into your kitchen, why not give it some more light, for starters? Think of the ways you can make your kitchen brighter by letting more natural light in. While you may not be able to install a new window, you can always get rid of those old dark curtains.
Another idea (that we already mentioned) is repainting walls, a ceiling, and cabinets with lighter colors. Go for the high-gloss white that will increase the amount of light in your kitchen. To make things even brighter, add some mirrors. First of all, mirrors will reflect light. Besides, they will add some style to your kitchen.
Keeping Things in Order
Another thing people tend to forget is the importance of order. In many cases, kitchens seem uninspiring just because they are messy with all the stuff lying around randomly. This will not do. Get a couple of wall-hung holders. These organizing devices will make your kitchen tidy and efficient.
Tiny Changes – Huge Results
Finally, when thinking of ways to upgrade your kitchen, don’t forget that the big things always start small. To make your kitchen look newer, consider some of these tips:
- Apply a wall decal to invigorate the environment;
- Buy a throw rug and place it in the center of the kitchen to give it a cozier look;
- Make use of second-hand items as decorative elements;
- Add some plants and place them all over the place;
- Replace an old faucet.
These are the simplest and basic ideas on how you can refresh your kitchen on a budget before you come up with a full-scale plan for upgrading it.
As you can see, upgrading a kitchen is not always about substantial money investments. Quite often, it will take you to get creative and being able to think outside the box so you could apply new ideas and use unconventional approaches.