Six ‘quickest and cost-effective’ updates to ‘improve’ your kitchen

Many people spend a lot of time in their kitchens, whether they want to or not. When buying or selling a home, the kitchen design and features are one of the most important factors to consider. For those who want to update their kitchen on a budget, there are a lot of “quick and cost-effective” options that will make a big impact, according to Elliott Fairlie, product manager for kitchens at Bushboard.

He said: “You don’t need to completely renovate your space to get that new kitchen feeling. A few relatively simple changes can make a noticeable impact on the look and feel of your space, whilst being a cost-effective alternative to a full renovation.”

1. Perfect your paint

According to the expert, “there is no better way” to freshen up a space than adding a lick of paint. Whether households opt for calming neutrals or striking bolds, re-painting the walls in a kitchen can “transform the space without breaking the bank”.

Elliott explained: “A fresh lick of paint can really freshen up a room, giving it a new lease of life. If you’re working with a small space, or prefer to keep things neutral, dove grey or light caramel hues can provide the perfect backdrop for cooking meals and spending time with the family.

“If you’re looking for a bolder change, why not opt for a brighter hue, or something darker like a forest green or midnight blue? Making a drastic colour change can completely change the feel of the space, but make sure the colour you pick compliments your current kitchen fittings if you’re not planning to update them.”

2. Switch up your kitchen splashback

For “instant impact” the designer suggested replacing or installing a new kitchen splashback behind the sink and hob. He said: “Tricky tiling and grubby grouting can easily be avoided by opting for an aluminium kitchen splashback, such as the Alloy range from Bushboard, which is available in a variety of beautifully patterned designs and finishes.

“The benefit of opting for this type of splashback is that they can be easily cut to fit your desired size and shape, meaning they’re easy to install in any area of the kitchen – regardless of its shape and size. They’re also simple to clean and maintain, making them perfect for busy households.”

The joy of aluminium options is that they can be cut, drilled, and shaped to fit required measurements using standard tools – making them “the perfect DIY update”. 

The lightweight design also means they are easy to manoeuvre into place and because the panels come as solid, opaque pieces, they can be effortlessly fitted over unfinished surfaces. Elliott said: “This makes for a much quicker update than a tiled equivalent, without involving too much disruption.”

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3. Work surfaces with the ‘wow’ factor

The expert claimed that households can bring their kitchen “back to life” and “add the wow factor” by replacing tired work surfaces. He said: “Compact laminate worktops are a great option if you’re looking to achieve a high-quality look for less, as they can have a huge influence on the look of a kitchen without ripping it out and starting afresh.

“Compact laminate worktops are fully waterproof and boast realistic stone textures for a fraction of the price of the raw materials they emulate. An ideal solution for family kitchens, this type of surface is hardwearing and easy to care for, too.”

4. Accessorise with style

Often it’s the little touches can often have the “biggest effect”, so for those who are time-strapped, they should consider paying attention to the smaller details, such as soft furnishings, artwork or furniture.

Elliott claimed that accessories are a great way to add a pop of colour to the space without any commitment. Households can recycle into another room if they fancy a change next year.

5. Instant illumination

Lighting in kitchens is very important and to make it “easier” to install and control, the expert suggested going for wireless options.

He said: “Rearranging existing sources or incorporating additional features will improve the ambience of the space.”

Households can include under-cupboard spotlights to not only set the mood but illuminate spaces that they may want to draw attention to, such as stand-out work surfaces or strategically-placed accessories.

Strip LEDs are another handy addition to create impact under worktops or shelving, with plinth lighting providing the opportunity to layer illumination in all areas of the kitchen.

6. The devil is in the detail

Often it’s the smallest of features that can improve a kitchen, one of which is updating kitchen cabinet hardware. Elliott said: “Swapping out the hardware on kitchen cabinets and sinks can transform your kitchen in moments. 

“These small changes can have a large impact, elevating your kitchen to create a cohesive and well put together scheme.”

He said that he always recommends co-ordinating these elements for a consistent look through the room.

The designer added: “Whether you opt for brushed brass, stainless steel, matt black or copper – ensure this finish is the thread that ties together any metals in your kitchen’s design scheme.”

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