Design to make Visual

8 kitchen renovation ideas to help you get a dream kitchen within your budget

Redesigning a kitchen from scratch can be costly, but there are a number of simple tips and tricks that will help you to refresh your kitchen and give it a facelift without breaking the bank.

Many of us would love a brand-new kitchen, but it often means redesigning, replacing and redecorating your entire kitchen which can cost upwards of £8,000 – and often far more.

If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, there are smaller updates and upgrades we run through below that you could consider to get your old and tired kitchen feeling modern and vibrant again. 

Inspiring tips for improving the place you live in Get our Home newsletter – it’s free monthly

1. Paint kitchen cabinets

A lick of paint on tired kitchen cabinet fronts is a quick way to transform your room or add a splash of colour.

Cabinets will need several coats of paint, plus you’ll need to prepare them beforehand (usually by sanding them down and washing them to remove dust and grime, then using a primer or undercoat).

Check the type of paint you use is suitable for kitchen cupboards and cabinets, and that it’s the correct paint for the material. 

If your cabinets are made from laminate, look for a specialist multipurpose paint designed for wood, melamine and MDF. For solid wood or wood veneer cabinets, look for interior wood paint.

If you’re looking to paint your whole kitchen, check out our guide to the best washable paint. For help with painting your cabinets see our kitchen ideas: kitchen design and inspiration.

2. Replace kitchen cupboards and drawers

If your cabinets are still in good shape, replacing just the cupboard doors and drawers rather than the whole kitchen is a good budget-friendly option. 

It will give your kitchen a new look and avoid the hassle of a full kitchen refit.

See the cost of repairing and replacing kitchen cupboard doors and drawers to get an idea of how much it will cost you.

3. Change cabinet handles

Although kitchen handles are functional and essential, statement handles or knobs are a great way to dress up a plain standard-range kitchen.

Cup handles have become more popular in recent years, but T-bar and D-shape remain classic choices.

4. Replace worktops

Laminate kitchen worktop

Fitting new or replacement worktops is another option for dressing up standard units or giving an older kitchen a new lease of life.

It’s not just the material you choose that determines how much your kitchen worktop will cost. Fitting a granite or marble worktop is trickier than a laminate one, so it will often cost more to install as well as buy.

For a less expensive alternative, you can use vinyl wraps to give your old worktop a brand new facelift. 

Find out how much kitchen worktops cost including laminate, solid oak and granite.

5. Make the most of open shelves

If your kitchen cabinets are full, putting up open shelves is a cost-effective way to add more storage space to your kitchen. 

It’s a great practical solution if you’ve got a small kitchen or if you want to keep your worktops clear.

Mix up functional and decorative items – it provides a great opportunity to show off any design pieces.

Read our small kitchen ideas guide to find more advice and tips to help you make the most of limited cooking space.

6. Add a backsplash

Blue kitchen cabinets with white-tiled splashback

A backsplash protects your kitchen walls, but as well as having a practical purpose it can be a striking design feature and the focal point of your kitchen. 

Tiled options are popular, but there are many alternatives including self-adhesive tiles or vinyl options.

7. Set the tone with new lighting 

Try changing the lighting in your kitchen to give your space a new look. There are plenty of choices to help you create a new mood.

A statement piece would work as a focal point and add drama to a neutral kitchen, or you could choose integrated lighting to add depth to your space.

8. Change the flooring

Modern Magnet kitchen flooring

Changing your flooring doesn’t have to be a significant expense. 

Depending on the material you chose, you can create a striking effect with cheaper materials such as laminate or vinyl. 

Take a look at our guide to wood flooring to compare laminate, engineered wood, parquet, bamboo flooring and more.

Final considerations

With any renovation project, it’s important to know what you need and how much it will cost. Here are a few further ways you can save money when doing up your kitchen:

  • If you’re happy with your current kitchen’s layout, sticking to it will avoid paying to reroute electrics, gas and waste pipes. Remember that you’ll need a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit a new gas appliance or move an existing one.
  • If your budget stretches a bit further you might consider buying ex-display or second-hand kitchen cabinets, which can save you a significant amount. Retailers can offer 50% to 75% off the RRP on ex-display units, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and they will have been barely used.
  • Second-hand cabinets will also be much cheaper than new, albeit with some wear and tear. Before you buy, check exactly what condition they’re in, including any scuffs, scratches and missing pieces. You can see all of our tips for buying a second-hand kitchen.

If you’re not much of a DIYer, choosing an experienced and skilled kitchen fitter is crucial. 

Take care if you’re choosing a fitter purely because they’re cheap. This could be a false economy if you have to pay more to get problems fixed in the future.

Need a kitchen fitter? Use the Which? Trusted Traders website to find one local to you: