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How to Refresh Your Kitchen on Any Budget

With the right ingredients, you can make this key room more stylish and functional, whether you spend £80 or £8,000

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Maybe you’re dreaming of a full kitchen renovation someday (but that day is a long way off), or perhaps you like your current kitchen but want to change a few components. If this sounds like your situation, a kitchen refresh could be just the thing.

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 worktops and appliances. And however big or small your budget, 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.

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If your budget is around £50-£100
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.

See 7 budget-friendly ways to ace an Ikea kitchen

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If your budget is around £200-£300
Change the wall colour, put up a new art print and then update 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.

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If your budget is around £300-£400
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.

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If your budget is around £500-£600
What’s next? After the fresh paint, art, lighting and open shelves, consider springing for a new tap. Replacing a kitchen tap costs less than doing the whole sink (that’s next) and can be a DIY job for handy homeowners.

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If your budget is around £700-£800
If you have more wiggle room cashwise, splash out on a new sink to go with that new tapware. Keep in mind that if your new sink is a different style to the old one, you may face additional installation costs to fit it properly into the cabinetry and worktop.

14 butler sinks you’re going to love

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If your budget is around £900-£1,500
Paint, art, new lighting, open shelves, a new tap and sink – and then a makeover for your cabinets. Brand-new cabinetry is one of the more expensive items in a kitchen renovation, so if you can avoid replacing the originals, do so.

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 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.

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If your budget is around £2,000-£4,000
Along with updating the cabinets, installing new worktops 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 worktop materials – and a huge cost difference between them. For instance, compare a timber worktop from Ikea with a marble one. So hunt around until you find something you like that fits your budget.

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If your budget is around £6,000-£8,000
Paint, art, lighting, open shelves, a new sink and tap, refreshed cabinets, new worktops… What’s left?

If you have more room in your budget, it’s time to choose new appliances. To avoid extra installation costs, select models that fit in the same spaces the old ones occupied.

Should you buy a black fridge-freezer?

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What would you most like to change about your kitchen? Share your ideas in the Comments section.
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