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25 ways to update your kitchen on a shoestring – part 2

Image of the home of @stayinginstudio

25 ways to update your kitchen on a shoestring – part 2

We’ve already counted down numbers 1 to 12 in the 25 ways to update your kitchen on a shoestring. If you missed it, catch up here. Here’s 13 more top tips, accompanied by some stunning images, proving that you don’t need to break the bank to have a beautiful kitchen!

13. Refresh grout

It might not be the most glamorous of DIY jobs, but regrouting your kitchen is a brilliant way to spruce up your tiles. With plenty of coloured grouts to choose from, you can match the shade to your tiles or make a statement with a contrasting colour. If you don’t want to go to the expense of regrouting, grab a grout pen and use it to apply a thin waterproof coating directly over grubby grout lines. Not all grout pens are created equally, so always check reviews.

14. Part tile, part paint

Save money on your kitchen renovation by partially tiling it and combining this with less expensive paint. Design note: kitchens can be steamy spaces, so look for a specialist paint that can handle high levels of humidity and moisture as well as resist staining.

15. Snap up a tile stencil or sticker

Don’t despair if retiling is beyond your budget. Stencils exist for exactly this reason! Cheap, cheerful and available in a wide range of patterns, they work well on walls as well as floors. Top tip: if you’re new to stencilling, check out one of the many ‘how-to’ guides online.

Tile stickers (below right) are a smart way to make a big impression on a small budget. They’re super-simple to use – plus you can stick them over existing surfaces. Design note: tile stickers will adhere to every nook and cranny. If you have an uneven surface – for example, deep grout lines – you may want to fill the gaps before applying the tiles.

16. Paint splashback tiles

Hate your splashback tiles but don’t have the budget to replace them? Try painting over them using specialist tile paint. This offers a durable, waterproof and mould-resistant finish and often doesn’t need a primer (but always check the manufacturer’s instructions).

17. Look for a laminate worktop

Why splash out on wood or marble worktops when you can get the look for less with laminate? Just remember that you get what you pay for, so avoid super-cheap laminates because they’ll damage more easily. Design note: unlike stone worktops that are made in a factory and delivered ready to fit, laminate can be cut on site. If you have the skills and tools to fit it yourself, this is a good way of saving even more money.

18. Explore other worktop solutions

If you’re hankering after wooden worktops, it’s generally cheaper to buy online (try Worktop Express) rather than through a kitchen showroom. Design note: when calculating how much wood you need, always allow a little more than needed. You can always fashion the offcuts into chopping boards.

If there’s nothing wrong with your kitchen worktops apart from being outdated, why not cover them with self-adhesive film for a quick fix? Design note: when measuring your work surface, don’t forget to allow enough excess to wrap around the front edge of the worktop. I’d also recommend double-checking your measurements for accuracy and even adding a few centimetres to the dimensions – better to be safe than sorry! Another top tip is to thoroughly clean your existing worktop to remove any dust and grease before applying the film.

19. Stick on a splashback

A toughened glass splashback behind your hob will protect the wall from hot grease and food splashes. If yours is looking a little worse for wear, update it with a self-adhesive splashback that sticks straight to the wall with minimal fuss. Designs at Splashback.co.uk start from £60. This one (seen in the kitchen of @stayinginstudio, above right) is from the Laura Ashley collection.

20. Look for LVT or laminate

LVT (luxury vinyl tile) flooring is a practical option for those of you who covet the look of timber or stone but don’t want the expense (or maintenance issues) associated with natural materials. A good bet for allergy sufferers because it doesn’t harbour dust mites and mould, LVT is also easy to vacuum, sweep and mop, making it a popular choice for the kitchen as spills can be wiped up easily.

If you have a sharp eye on your budget, you won’t want to spend a fortune on new flooring. Laminate is a good compromise – it’s reasonably priced, low maintenance and made to emulate a range of materials including wood, stone and ceramic tiles. Good-quality laminate resists stains and scratches, so it’s ideal for a busy family kitchen. Design note: most laminates are suitable for use with underfloor heating, but check with the flooring manufacturer before installing.

21. Reduce the number of kitchen cabinets

A savvy way to save money in a kitchen renovation is to reduce the number of cabinets. For example, you could replace wall cupboards with affordable hanging rails or floating shelves (such as the shelves above right). If you go for the latter, be prepared to channel your inner stylist!

22. Add storage and prep space

Hands up if you dream of a kitchen island but don’t have the budget! Head over to the likes of Ikea, which offers a range of super-affordable islands and workbenches. Another idea is to invest in a large kitchen trolley – a simple way to create extra storage. Look for one with wheels if you’ll want to move it around. And if you’re a renter, you can take it with you when you leave. Design note: if you’re working to a tight budget, shop around for an affordable flat-pack kitchen trolley and put your self-assembly skills to the test.

23. Dabble in the designer look

Get the designer lifestyle for less by shopping around for lookalikes. For example, tap into an early 1960s vibe by hanging a couple of replica 1958 Artichoke lamps by Poul Henningsen over your island or beef up your breakfast bar with a couple of DSW bar stools, adaptations of Charles Eames’s iconic DSW chair. Sources include Mobelaris and Swivel UK.

24. Decide where to spend and where to save

Sticking to a budget doesn’t have to mean choosing cheap items. You can save in some areas to create more budget in others. For example, it pays to splash out on quality taps. Cheap ones are a big no-no – anything that’s used multiple times every day needs to be built to last. You can offset the cost with an affordable stainless-steel sink. Fitted flush with your worktop, it won’t show anyway!

25. Go freestanding

Last but not least, inject a generous dose of personality into your flat-pack kitchen by introducing a freestanding piece. It doesn’t have to be pricey: a second-hand statement dresser, for example, will give your kitchen a bespoke feel with a reasonable price tag. If your purchase needs a little TLC, you could always lift it with a splash of paint.

Don’t miss: 25 ways to update your kitchen on a shoestring – part 1.

Featured image: A cost-effective solution is a stick-on splashback, as seen above the hob of @stayinginstudio.

Want more? If you’re keen to get more tips, don’t miss our other blogs on everything from clearing kitchen clutter to what to think about when buying worktops.