Let's face it, kitchens are expensive! With so many components, plus fitting costs, the price can soon add up. If the bones of your kitchen are in good shape, there are plenty of ways to freshen it up and save yourself the cost and upheaval of a new one.

When we purchased our house, we knew the kitchen would eventually be moved to the large room at the back of the house. The current kitchen is not small, but it dates back to the 60s and is in a room by itself, so it's not the open, sociable space we'd like. However, we knew that would be a year or two away. It had broken worktops, a mish-mash of wall units and a not so nice lingering smell. Considering we use it a lot every day, we decided to give it an upgrade to see us through and make it a nicer and safer space.


  1. PAINT

A really easy update is to paint the kitchen cabinets. You can paint melamine if you use a suitable primer and give it time afterwards for the paint to cure. I used Little Greene All Surface Primer and Intelligent Eggshell in the colour Light Gold.

We also stripped the wallpaper (5 layers in some places!) and painted the walls.


Handles can really date a kitchen. A simple fix is to switch these out for something more contemporary. Alternatively, you could spray paint them if the metal colour is not to your taste.


If you have enough storage, you can remove the wall cabinets. They can sometimes feel overbearing and close in a small space, so switching them for shelving can make the room feel more open and spacious. We made the shelves from strips of plywood and a pack of cheap white shelving brackets from Screwfix, and painted them to match the walls. 

Alternatively, you could add shelves on one side only, depending on the layout of your kitchen. We did this in our previous galley kitchen to maintain a good amount of storage. We bought scaffold board shelves and black fan shaped brackets.


Instagram is full of amazing transformations using paint to update old tiles. I haven't personally done it, but if you'd like some inspiration, head over to @overatno18 and @colourfulmelissahome to see their bathroom makeovers.


Fortunately, the flooring in our kitchen had already been updated, but there are a couple of easy and cheap ways to upgrade a dated floor. Firstly, vinyl is a cheap and durable option. Available on a roll or as individual tiles, it's easy to clean and easy to fit yourself, too. It comes in a huge variety of designs such as wood, marble, tile patterns, checkerboard and solid colours.

If you have a tiled floor, you could paint them in either a block colour, or use a stencil to create a pattern. I would recommend sealing it with varnish to increase durability.


Vinyl is a versatile material and can be used in many ways to update your kitchen. I used a roll of vinyl from Jes Rose to add a splashback behind our hob. We changed our worktops as they were broken, however you can use it to wrap your existing worktops if they're not to your taste.


My favourite update in our kitchen is the end panel bookshelf. It was simple to make and you can find a tutorial here. I use it mostly for decorative purposes, but it would be great to store small spice jars.

I hope this has given you some inspiration if you're looking to upgrade your kitchen on a budget, however if you are in need of a little more help, drop me a message to discuss how we can work together.



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