If you feel like your kitchen is starting to look a little dated then it may be time for a refresh. Kitchens are quit often the hub of the home, a place to cook, eat, socialise (and demand that the kids do their homework) so it's important to keep this zone looking up-to-date, tidy and comfortable.
Updating a kitchen doesn't have to cost thousands of pounds either, and there are many areas where improvements can be made that have a big impact on a small budget.
Also, a new kitchen on average will add almost 5% to your property value, so whether you're looking to sell for the best price possible or simply want to enjoy cooking a little more, here are 8 ways to improve your kitchen on a small budget.
If your kitchen looks small, you can put a coat of lighter paint to make it look bigger and more spacious. Dark colors tend to give a depth that makes a room look small and tight. Try painting your kitchen ceiling first as it is usually the first part of the room that changes color with time.
Sand the walls to remove roughness and clear up the dirt. You also need to clean up the grease with TSP. Then you can paint the walls after you cut in the corners.
Painting will not cost you a lot, especially if you do it by yourself, but make sure you use a primer to seal the wall!
Adding colour to your kitchen is not limited to painting the walls. You can paint cabinets to make them stand out. You don’t necessarily have to remove the existing finish on the cabinets and drawers; you just need to do away with the shine.
To do this, you should sand the surfaces. Then use melamine paint. Make sure that you test the paint first before you apply it on the doors.
Once again this is a really cheap way to update the look and feel of your kitchen, and the only real investment aside from a couple of tins of paint is your time.
New handles and knobs can give your cabinets and drawers a new look. They are not too expensive either, and with so many styles available including ornate antique and modern handles, you can make a real impact with just a small investment and one evening spent doing the job.
However, be sure to get new handles that have the same drilling and installation pattern as your old ones. Most handles and knobs come in standard sizes but getting this right will save you time (and a messy end result) later.
A slightly more expensive yet with impressive end results, replacing and updating our kitchen surfaces can have a big impact.
On a smaller budget, you can use laminated tops that are plastic. They are very affordable and come in many different colours, edges, textures and finishes. You can even add them to counter tops that have natural stones.
Of course if you flex the purse strings a little more you can upgrade to stone, marble and other more premium materials, but remember not to install solid tops if you plan on replacing them every so often.
Just as wall paints can really freshen up the kitchen space, so can new flooring. Again on a tight budget, you can easily install plastic laminated floor tiles to save a lot of time and effort, or invest in other materials like ceramic, porcelain and vinyl flooring.
Another great way to improve your kitchens floor is to strip back a tiny piece of the current flooring and see what lies underneath. If you get lucky, you may have great wooden flooring hiding away that you can showcase again without having to buy new materials at all!
Just be sure to check the condition of the wooden floors as it may need treating, sanding, blasting or cleaning.
New lights and light fittings can make a big difference too. Adding LED bulbs for example will not only male your kitchen brighter but also save you money compared to using CFL bulbs.
Also look at table-top and floor-standing lamps to brighten up darker corners of your kitchen, as well as new fittings or shades for the ceiling lights.
Since microwave ovens take up quite a bit of space on the surface tops, you could look at getting a microhood instead that can hold two appliances together. These can be quite costly but a real space saver.
If all of the above sounds a bit too time consuming, or if you have a DIY phobia and a fear of opening the toolbox, then the best bet for you might just be to head down to your local furniture store and pick up a new table and chairs, sideboard, French dresser and some new crockery.
These can all liven up and refresh a dated space, but without as much of the time and hassle as would be involved in repainting, resurfacing or re-flooring.
There are many other things that you can do to improve your home kitchen that are frugal and effective. You can get kitchen cabinets from yard sales for example to keep the costs down. You can also purchase cheap but good looking floor tiles, counter tops and cabinet handles.
It is good to improve your kitchen not only to add value to your home but also improve the way you live in your house. Your kitchen should be comfortable but luxurious at the same time, a place to host, to relax, and a place to socialise and show off to your friends.