It is said that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses - probably because they are the most expensive rooms to replace. If you have inherited a kitchen from your previous owners or have grown a bit tired of your current kitchen, just by changing a few key things you can give your kitchen a total makeover without having to remortgage the house!
The kitchen is most definitely the hub of my home and if it wasn't a total reflection of me I couldn't stand it! That may sound like a diva statement but I spend a lot of time in it, I love to cook, so whether I am cooking for the family or an occasion of some sort (any excuse really) it would be my priority to change it if I had inherited something that wasn't quite to my taste.
For me I like the kitchen to be an extension of the rest of the house, of course it is, but what I aim to achieve is to make it look less 'kitcheny' and for it to be just as cosy as any other room and somewhere you'll want to linger longer than it takes to boil the kettle. To achieve this I would add cushions to dining chairs, rugs, lamps on worktops, and artwork. All these things make my kitchen homely and and I couldn't live without them, but you really don't need a palatial space to fit all of this in. The rug could be a slim runner or a sheepskin, which I have taken to placing near my oven recently. The artwork could be as small as a couple of postcards, children's drawings or special cards you want to keep, just secure them with some funky tape. The lamp could be in the form of fairy lights if you can't possibly spare the work surface space. Equally some flex with a cool eddison bulb could be wall hung out of the way by wrapping it around a shelf bracket. All these ideas help make your space much more interesting.
Now If your kitchen is a complete disaster I can completely understand you wanting to rip it out and start again. When we moved into our previous home there was no kitchen and with a tight budget we installed an ikea one for £1200 including the appliances and a solid oak worktop. This wasn't even a small kitchen but we were clever about what we put in. No wall units, and no fancy inner bits and larders, as great as all these extras are, they do very quickly add to the overall cost. If I was in the market for a new kitchen and had a tight or modest budget, I would still employ this same high/low method. Choose where you would like to spend and where you would like to save. For me a budget cupboard would suffice with a more expensive worktop. A standard sink bowl but with a smart tap. These are all personal choices but by thinking about mixing high and low items your overall effect will be that of a more bespoke kitchen without the bespoke price tag.
But for many there maybe a whole number of reasons why you don't rip out the kitchen and start again. Maybe you've stretched yourselves to the limit to buy the house, maybe you have grand plans to knock a few walls down or extend in the near future to give you a much larger kitchen/diner and living space so justifying a new kitchen for the the time being becomes difficult. Or are you renting and need to inject a bit of yourself into the space until your circumstances change.
Firstly I would say start with the budget as there are a whole host of options, you can spend tens of thousands or just a few hundred pounds. Decide what you have to spend and work backwards. What grates on you the most and allocate your budget where its most needed.
The cupboards for instance could get a makeover in the way of new doors. If your carcasses are in good shape it's a great way to alter the style of your doors and ultimately give your kitchen a different look entirely. Alternatively painting your doors is another good option. There are many companies that paint them for you either in situ or by taking them away, great if you feel it's a job too big for you to tackle, all you have to do is decide on the finish.
The door handles can be replaced with something more to your liking. Even if the new ones are a completely different shape to the existing ones, it's nothing a little bit of filler can't solve before painting. There is a vast choice of hardware for doors. Anything from traditional cups and knobs to leather pulls. Again budget maybe an issue. If you're lusting after the copper cup, why not purchase an inexpensive alternative and spray paint them?
Remove wall cupboards. What I hear you cry! Get rid of all the extra storage!! Honestly its a total game changer! I love open shelving and find you can fit just as much on a few shelves as you would a deep drawer or standard cupboard. If you opt for the shelves it gives you endless styling opportunities too, plants the odd photo, your Granny's fine china - endless! Or maybe that's just me?!
Change the work surface. By upgrading to a natural product you will add instant luxe to your budget makeover. Stores such as Ikea and Ebay offer real wood options and off cuts of stone for a fraction of what you can pay. If you have someone handy with DIY why not try a concrete work surface? I would love a polished concrete top. I've seen some very clever DIY alternatives on Pinterest.
Update your splash backs. If you're looking to re tile an area, look for discontinuing lines. An alternative to the very popular metro tile is the plain white square tile. The ever popular metro tiles were pushing our budget for a recent project so by tiling the square tile in a brick formation and using a dark grout I have the same effect but for 13p a tile!
Lastly I would say style your kitchen like you would any other room. Keep only worktop worthy items on show! Store the mundane away and if you need extra storage or work surface consider a movable island or butchers block. A stacked shelving system filled with crates, baskets storing your mundane items will instantly give your space that not so 'kitcheny' feel!
Have these images inspired you to make a change in your kitchen or given you ideas for a potential project? As always likes, and comments always welcome.
Have a great evening folks