Cost effective kitchen upgrades

The kitchen is often described as the heart of the home. Given that it is also the room in which many of us spend so many hours of every day, it is unsurprising that “a new kitchen” is usually top of the wish list when it comes to home improvements.

Of course, ripping everything out and installing state of the art appliances, lighting and furnishings sound great, but unless you have a few thousand burning a hole in your pocket, the chances are it will remain on that wish list and in the world of fantasy. However, contrary to popular belief, there is plenty that you can do to make a real difference in your kitchen, without needing a millionaire budget.

Let there be more light

A dingy kitchen is a miserable kitchen, and if yours is lit by a single ceiling fitting or a couple of cold fluorescents that flicker on and off when they feel like it, upgrading the lights is the first thing you need to do. Adding LED kitchen lighting will make a world of difference. The great thing about LEDs is you can install them anywhere – under the worktops is great for perfect visibility and zero glare. There’s also the fact that they are far more energy efficient than conventional lights, and last far longer. Economists have calculated that they pay for themselves in as short a time as one year.

Upgrade the flooring

Old lino or carpeting is always going to make the kitchen look down at heel. Replacing the floor might sound like a major project, but if you opt for a low-cost and hard-wearing option such as laminate, it does not have to involve major expense or inconvenience. It’s possible to simply install it up to the plinths of the existing cabinets, so no need to start ripping things apart. If you are not a fan of laminate flooring, cushioned vinyl is another inexpensive option that provides comfort but is easy to keep clean.

Change the handles

If your cabinets are looking a little bit 1990s, you don’t necessarily have to take them out and replace them. After all, cupboards and drawers themselves are much the same today as they have ever been. A new set of door handles and knobs will transform their appearance and make them look like new – and all at a cost of a few pounds and less than an hour’s work!


It’s often the details that make the biggest difference. If you have serviceable cabinets, good lighting and a tidy floor, all the basics are in place. Simple accessories can then take your kitchen to the next level. For example, consider adding hooks at equal distances beneath worktops for hanging the family’s favourite cups and mugs. It turns them into a feature, and at the same time frees up much-needed cupboard space. If you have open shelving, use it to its advantage to show off your favourite pieces, and add a homely touch with a framed family photo or two.

Speak Your Mind