• Style Your Space

5 top tips for bringing style to your kitchen without costing a fortune

There is so much you can do with a small budget and a big imagination.

1. Rethink your space

For example, is there somewhere different you could put your dining table for the summer months so you can see the garden more easily. Or could you position a wall mirror to reflect a view of the garden into your kitchen?

If you aren’t lucky enough to have an island, could you add a small shelf with bar stool to provide an extra seating place or WFH area. A drop down hinged surface would keep it out the way if you are short on space. Or you can even find clever units with a small desk which fold up into a narrow cabinet containing office storage also.

2. Splash out on a paintjob

Top budget tip for a facelift would be to paint the kitchen doors that you already have - just be sure to use an appropriate primer to ensure the paint will stick and you use the correct paint for the door material that you have. Or you can hire a re-spray professional to do it for you, check-a-trade should have some local recommendations.

Then rethink your paint elsewhere - work out what features you would like to emphasise and use paint to do this (good way to use up leftover paint from other rooms, or you can even find part pots of paint at your local recycling centre):

  • Use above a worktop instead of a splashback

  • Paint up the wall and out over an island to frame a pendant light

  • Emphasise beams, interesting structural features/inside archways within the room

  • Highlight skirting boards and window/doorframes in a contrasting colour to smarten up your space

  • Paint a rectangle larger than a group of artwork using a colour from the pictures to make that piece of wall feel super special

  • Or if you need somewhere to jot down your shopping list, paint a rectangle on the wall or cupboard with chalk paint and you are good to go.

Make sure you use wipeable paint in areas that might need cleaning regularly or simply use a Decorators Varnish over any matt paint to protect the areas that you will need to wipe - it dries invisibly so you won’t even know it’s there.

3. Shop around

Look for new tiles in the clearance sections of tile suppliers both online and ask in store, or look for outlets/sales for designer tile shops and you can pick up some bargains. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different tiles within the same room, you can use more than one type.

Don’t feel you need to buy everything for your new kitchen from one supplier - you might be able to get cheaper worktops by going direct to a stone yard or purchasing online. You can also find bargains on eBay if you are clear about what you are looking for.

There are also several online companies offering second-hand/sample/ex-display kitchens such as the 'used kitchen exchange' or 'used kitchen hub' where you can filter search to find the style and condition of the kitchen you would like.

4. Wonderwalls

You don’t have to spend money on fancy splashbacks, some simple tiles in small areas above worktops can add a luxury touch. You don’t even have to tile all the way up to your wall cabinets, just add a wooden strip to trim the top of the tile and paint this the same colour as the wall.

If you’re thinking of tiling walls, don’t assume you have to tile right to the ceiling, the half-painted wall is very on trend at the moment and this look can very easily be achieved with a half-tiled wall which you can finish with wooden edging painted to match the wall above. Or you could use cheap MDF (moisture-resistant) tongue & groove panelling to add some texture to the wall – again either half-height or to pegrail height and run a pegboard around the wall at head height, great for hanging baskets or kitchen items to keep them to hand.

5. Glam it up

If you add interest and personality to your kitchen, people won’t notice if the cabinets/walls aren’t perfect. Add a shelf for books & accessories. Or if you have space find a second-hand (vintage if you prefer the word!) dresser or wall cupboard with glass doors to display cookware or your favourite china– antiques shops/fairs and charity shops are great sources or have a look online (eg. Vinterior ). Also have a look out for plates you can display on the wall, they are not just for your granny, a collection of funky plates from an era of your choosing look really on trend (check out Etsy).

Add lighting – a table lamp on an island adds atmosphere, a plug-in wall light adds light where you need it without needing an electrician. You could even adapt a pendant light to have a plug so you don’t need to hard wire that, then hang it from a ceiling hook wherever you’d like to add some ambience. But do use a qualified electrician for anything more complicated.

You don’t have to have green fingers to have plants in your kitchen, there are so many excellent faux flowers and plants available now that you can cheat! Find some wall planters, or upcycle tins/terracotta plant pots with wall hangers, and keep your herbs to hand – supermarkets have very cheap potted herbs available with the double benefit of attractive greenery that you can also eat!

Finally, my favourite way to rejuvenate cabinets on a budget is to simply change their handles, brass and leather are currently hot – try Ikea, Dowsing & Reynolds or Ironmongery direct.

Let me know how you get on, or if you’d like some advice on how to make this work in your space please get in touch : hello@styleyourspace.co.uk / 07906 574 336