With the right ingredients you can make this key room more stylish and functional, whether you spend $100 or $10,000
Even without reconfiguring the layout of the space, there’s a lot to consider, from small items, such as new cabinet hardware and lighting, to major changes, such as new benchtops and appliances. And whether your budget is $100 or $10,000, it can be a challenge to decide what to prioritise and what to put on the back burner.
Use this kitchen refresh plan as your starting point, and customise it to work with your space and budget.
Change the wall colour. Between cabinetry and appliances, kitchens generally have limited wall space – which means it won’t take much paint to cover it.
If you do the painting yourself, your only costs will be a tin of paint (four-or-so litres will probably do it, though definitely measure your space to work out the right amount) and basic painting supplies.
If you have cash left, use it to pick up a new art print and pop it into a ready-made frame to decorate your freshly painted wall.
Change the wall colour, put up a new art print and then swap out a light fixture. One swap for tired lighting can make a huge difference in how your kitchen looks and feels – and there are so many great budget lighting options available, you don’t have to break the bank to get an on-trend look. If you have more room in your budget, replace all of the kitchen lights, or splurge on a fancier pendant over the island.
Paint, hang art, get new lighting and add open shelves. Open shelving certainly has its fans – and its critics – but one thing is certain: it does wonders for small spaces. Even replacing one small upper cabinet with a set of open shelves can make your kitchen feel more spacious, and provides an opportunity to display favourite dishes and accessories.
What’s next? After the fresh paint, art, lighting and open shelves, consider springing for a new tap. Replacing a kitchen tapware costs less than doing the whole sink (that’s next) and can be a DIY job for handy homeowners.
If your budget is around $1,000
If you have more wiggle room in your budget, splash out on a new sink to go with that new tapware. Keep in mind that if your new sink is a different style than the old one, you may face additional installation costs to fit it properly into the cabinetry and benchtop.
Paint, art, new lighting, open shelves, a new sink and then a makeover for your cabinets. Brand-new cabinetry is one of the higher-cost items in a kitchen renovation, so if you can avoid it, do. If your cabinets are in pretty good shape, repaint them, following the necessary steps to prepare them for their new finish. Then replace the old cabinet knobs and pulls. Know that if your cabinets need to be refaced – which involves replacing rather than just repainting the doors – the cost will be significantly more.
Along with updating the cabinets, installing new benchtops is one of the biggest-impact changes you can make to your kitchen. There’s a wide range of options when it comes to great-looking kitchen benchtop materials – there’s a huge cost difference between, for instance, a timber benchtop from Ikea and marble – so hunt around until you find something you like that fits your budget.
If your budget is around $10,000
Paint, lighting, open shelves, a new sink, refreshed cabinets, new benchtops… what’s left?
If you have more room in your budget, it’s time to choose new appliances. To avoid extra installation costs, select appliances that fit in the same space the old ones occupied.