10 Affordable ways to update your kitchen

10 Affordable ways to update your kitchen

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

The kitchen is the heart of the home and, as you’re likely to spend a good amount of time there making tasty meals, enjoying family time or entertaining guests, it’s important that it looks its best.


It can sometimes seem quite daunting thinking about updating an entire room, especially one that’s so crucial to our day to day lives but fear not, help is at hand.

Read on for some simple, affordable tips and tricks that can help you bring the spark back into your kitchen. From chic colour palettes to nifty storage solutions, we’ve got you covered.

Update your cabinet colour scheme

Painting your cabinets is an easy, cost-effective method of freshening up your kitchen without having to shell out on a full refit. This is especially effective against a neutral colour scheme, allowing your units to become a feature as well as a place for your pots and pans.

Don’t just rush into it though, make sure to get your hands on some furniture primer and suitable paints or you’ll not be wanting to show off your attempt at colourful cabinets any time soon.

Good Housekeeping has a great guide to ensure you’re getting the best possible finish. Vinyl wrap options are also available for those not overly confident in their painting skills.

If all this sounds like a lot of work and you’re actually happy with your cabinets overall, a simpler way to change the look and feel of your kitchen is to replace the handles with a more modern material or interesting design. This won’t set you back too much and can be accomplished with a screwdriver and a spare hour.

Bring a bit of the outdoors, indoors

Another simple way to freshen up an indoor space, kitchens being no exception, is to introduce some greenery into your home. Not only has this become very on-trend in recent years, but there are also numerous health benefits to having a nice collection of houseplants to hand.

The most popular indoor foliage choices include ferns, spider plants, lilies and aloe vera – all of which will freshen up your interior on the cheap.

However, be careful if you have pets, always make sure to check which plants are safe to have around the home to avoid any unnecessary trips to the vet.

If you can set aside a bit of time to sort through your cabinets, you should be able to organise everything in terms of how often you use it – prioritising everyday essentials.

Now it’s time to consider storage solutions that aren’t out of sight and mind. You can add additional shelving for the plates, pots and pans that see regular use or alternatively add in a hanging rail. The latter offers a practical, rustic addition to the appearance of your kitchen whilst keeping the important utensils close to hand.

Wall-mounted storage solutions

It’s no secret that kitchen cupboards can become a dumping ground given a few years of accumulating various appliances, cookware and general clutter. Thankfully, there’s a way to break this cycle while improving the look and feel of the room.

If you can set aside a bit of time to sort through your cabinets, you should be able to organise everything in terms of how often you use it – prioritising everyday essentials.

Now it’s time to consider storage solutions that aren’t out of sight and mind. You can add additional shelving for the plates, pots and pans that see regular use or alternatively add in a hanging rail. The latter offers a practical, rustic addition to the appearance of your kitchen whilst keeping the important utensils close to hand.

Accentuate your theme with appliances

Speaking of making practical solutions into design features, one way to introduce a bright flourish to your kitchen is to choose more colourful appliances that match the theme of the room.

This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to see the benefits – while some people are happy splashing out on a chic designer fridge, you can get the same effect from a colour-coded kettle and toaster combo – often available together in discounted deals.

Change up your fixtures

Swapping out your tired old taps can have a surprisingly big impact on the look and feel of a kitchen. Aside from letting you wash the dishes in style, your choice of fixtures can really tie the room together – looking for a more modern, angular design? Maybe something more rustic and bronze-toned?

We would recommend enlisting the services of a plumber to get the job done properly but, based on average quotes from trusted trade sites, you wouldn’t be looking at over £150 to get this sorted.

Consider a feature wall

Refreshing the colour of your kitchen walls is one of the more obvious solutions to redecoration, but one that’s worth covering all the same. While a neutral colour scheme will allow you more scope to bring in colour elsewhere, that doesn’t mean there aren’t options to have a bit of fun with the palette.

Feature walls are a high-impact, stylish way to draw focus using a bolder colour to complement muted tones. You can get good quality paint at a reasonable price, especially if you only need enough for your snazzy new feature wall.

An even more affordable option is to consider a patterned wallpaper which has become increasingly popular and, with newer peel and stick options, easier than ever. Homify has some great tips to help you get started.

Let there be (better) light

If you want to show off your new and improved kitchen, it’s important that people are able to see your handiwork. While allowing in as much natural light as possible, once the evening rolls around, you don’t want to be stuck with substandard illumination.

One of the more on-trend approaches to upgrading your lighting is a series of pendant fixtures above the room’s focal point i.e. a breakfast bar, the kitchen table.

The hardware itself isn’t going to set you back too much, with most of the outlay going towards getting these installed by a qualified electrician, although this shouldn’t cost more than £100 if you shop around.

Introduce splashes of colour with art

If you don’t feel like getting overalls and step ladders out to make your room more colourful, why not bring a little bit of culture into the kitchen instead.

From prints to ornaments, you’ll always be able to find a deal on some stylish pieces in popular home retailers or, if you’re looking for something a bit different, take a look in charity shops to indulge your retro side.

Framed wrapping and wallpaper off-cuts can also provide you with some great low-cost wall art, check out the fancier options in specialist or department stores and ask for a sample – you’ll often be able to get one for nothing. Then it’s simply a case of finding a frame which, if you’ve none to hand, are very affordable at a certain Swedish furniture retailer.

Style-out your splashbacks

Why choose between form and function? Whilst a splashback (or backsplash depending on who you ask) is an important feature keeping kitchen walls safe from inevitable stains and spills, that doesn’t mean they can’t also look good in the process.

Tiles themselves can be sourced reasonably with a quick bit of research online and for those not wanting to mess with grout, there are PVC stick-on options giving you more scope to bring a bit of colour around your countertops.

Sort the seating situation

Kitchen furniture isn’t all cabinets and tables, you need somewhere to sit down and enjoy the space. Don’t neglect your chairs in amongst all the painting and decorating, there are plenty of cost-effective ways of making sure a tired seat doesn’t bring down your décor.

Consider looking at reclamation specialists who stock all manner of interesting furniture, often much cheaper than you would get it like for like brand new. You could also try your hand at upcycling. Seen a fabric style you think would go great in your new and improved kitchen? Why not fire up the sewing machine and give your chairs and stools a new lease on life.

The Spruce has a great how-to for those looking to reupholster a dining chair – check it out to see f you’re up to the task.

If you’re after for more unmissable money-saving tips, look no further than the Ocean Finance blog.

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

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10 Affordable ways to update your kitchen 10 Affordable ways to update your kitchen