How to update an old kitchen on a budget

The kitchen is one of the first places many look to change when they're renovating their home. For many, it's the heart of the home. But it can be incredibly expensive to do, putting it out of reach for many people.

One of the biggest hurdles for home renovation projects is costs. Having tight purse strings means people are looking for ways to be more budget-friendly with their home improvements.

Having a tight budget shouldn't mean not being able to have a beautiful kitchen. There are a number of great ways to make your kitchen perfect without the massive price tag. We're here to give you a few tips on making the most out of your kitchen on a budget.

Is It Really Possible To Renovate A Kitchen On A Budget?

It can be really challenging to know where to start, but yes, it is possible to renovate a kitchen on a budget. It's also much easier than you think!

While a full renovation to your whole kitchen might be out of the question, you can still make small but noticeable changes for a very reasonable price. You don't need to rip out your cabinets and buy a new oven to make your kitchen feel brand new.

From honing your DIY skills to shopping around for the very best deals, to even borrowing tools if you need to, there are many great ways to breathe new life into your kitchen for the best price.

How To Update An Old Kitchen On A Budget

While it's perfectly possible to update an old kitchen on a budget, it does require some out of the box thinking. We've compiled the most creative and original ideas to help you have the kitchen of your dreams. This handy guide will explain the most cost-effective measures that you can apply to your kitchen without being out of pocket.

Look for deals on kitchen appliances

White goods don't always come cheap, and while quality appliances are worth the investment, sometimes it isn't always economically feasible to commit to an expensive purchase.

Depending on what time of year you shop, you might be able to find some great deals both in-store and online (remember, many retailers have online exclusives, so don't always assume you are privy to the entire selection in-store).

Many British supermarkets now sell their own-branded kitchen appliances like coffee machines, kettles and toasters for a reasonable price.

You could look for a second hand appliance on somewhere like Facebook Marketplace or eBay too, but you'll just need to remember that you can't return it and likely won't have a warranty if you have any problems.

Make your kitchen pop with a kitchen island

Kitchen Island

Many of the most modern and stylish kitchen designs have a freestanding island. What's great about these is, not only do they look fabulous, they also aren't as expensive as you might first think; in fact, many come at a very cheap price.

Plus, many of them have lots of extra kitchen storage space internally. You'll have more room for preparing food, hanging cooking utensils or kitchen towels, or even having a separate compartment for cooking spices. There are so many different styles, options and colours to pick from.

Revive an old stainless steel sink

Sinks go through a lot of daily action, and, over time, they start to look less than their best. Often a good and thorough clean can make a world of difference to stainless steel.

If you are looking to change the aesthetics a little more, purchasing some new kitchen taps can be more than enough to spruce up a section of your kitchen alongside an attractive backsplash.

If your sink is on its last legs, then it might be time to buy another. Kitchen sinks come in a wide variety of designs, from the aforementioned stainless steel type to ceramic and composite sinks and, treated right; they can last you a very, very long time.

Upcycle your kitchen cabinets

Not only by replacing old handles and fittings can save you money, but it also goes a long way toward making your kitchen look visibly fresher and more exciting.

Cheap stick-on LED lighting also makes a big impact, adding modern charm and a touch of sophistication to your kitchen cupboards and kitchen worktops, the breakfast bar, and even cabinet doors.

Not only that but there are many companies offering paint specifically designed for painting your cabinets. Many of them don't even need a primer, just some simple prep. You'd be amazed how much difference a quick lick of paint to your old faded cabinets can do for your kitchen.

Make use of charity shops

Charity shops (antique shops, too) often have some great finds, particularly when it comes to freestanding furniture, such as dressers and bar stools. Admittedly, some of this furniture might be in better condition than other pieces, but a lick of paint and some creative flair can go a long way to totally transform your existing kitchen.

Don't forget the windows


You'd be surprised how different your kitchen can look when the windows are gleaming! Grease and dust of any type will block out a portion of light, even if you can't see the dirt.

Consider investing in some brand new blinds or curtains. They can will change your kitchen's aesthetic quite a bit - trust us. Thankfully, giving your windows a bit of a treat is much more inexpensive than it used to be. Today, roller blinds, shade and shutters are cheaper than ever and can easily be incorporated into your kitchen budget.

Say no to replacement doors

There's no need to think about replacing your existing doors with brand new doors if you are on a budget. Similar to upcycling kitchen units and cabinets, doors can look as good as new when they are sanded and have some gloss paint applied. New and exciting colours always make a welcome change to a room.

Changing up door handles is also an excellent way to change the look and feel of your room - subtleties such as these go a long way.

Painting walls and tiles

If you are prone to changing your decor regularly or think you might want to in the future, simply painting your walls an exciting new colour can go a long way to making your room look instantly different.

And, if you get bored of it? Paint it a different colour again! All for the price of a tin of paint, which is substantially cheaper than wallpapering and much more versatile, although not exactly cheap these days.

If you don't want to rip old tiles off the wall, you can paint over them too!

Mix & match

In order to avoid your new kitchen looking too mass-produced, try to mix it up a bit when it comes to cheaper items and more premium bits and bobs. If you can, you might wish to consider combining a fitted kitchen with cheaper freestanding pieces, which will help give a bespoke finish to the room.

If you've seen some really expensive wallpaper or tiles that you love but simply can't afford to deck your budget kitchen with it, one prominent feature wall would more than suffice, as would mixing more expensive tiles with cheaper ones.

The simplicity of open shelving

Open Shelving

Shelving is not only extremely practical in terms of extra shortage if you have a small kitchen, but they also look great. Stack books, jars, condiments, flowers, ornaments, framed photos - anything goes. They also add a rural yet modern feel to a kitchen while allowing you more work surface room.

Room for dining?

Creating a dining area in your kitchen, however small, is a great way to instil a bit more life into the heart of the house. This simple act of moving furniture around always makes a nice change.

A flatpack dining set is more affordable, and there is a huge choice of designs and colours, which can be a big project that delivers a big impact. However, keep in mind when it comes to saving money, solid wood furniture does cost more, along with super-sturdy unit doors and worktop materials.

Makeover your kitchen flooring

If tiling your floor is not an option, as this can be a costly project, you might want to consider laminate or vinyl flooring.

While this type of flooring won't last forever, it's one of the biggest and cheapest changes you can make to a kitchen to completely transform it. What's great is that many modern laminate and vinyl designs imitate tiles or wood, so you will definitely find a design that will beautifully suit your kitchen.

Discover your artistic side with personal touches

Personal Touches

You can be your own interior designer with a bit of imagination and a little bit of inspiration. Add personality and fun to your kitchen (and just about any room) with some unique ornaments, a gallery wall, photo collages of your family and friends, oversized houseplants - or any other elements that fit your style.

Let the kids join in

Never underestimate the creativity of young minds. Kids often have the best out of the box cognitive skills, and, as treasured household members, you may want to ask them to help you create your perfect kitchen.

While the thought of this might send many parents into feelings of abject terror, there are just as many mums and dads who love to have a permanent keepsake in the little touches of framed artwork or tiny handprints that can adorn worktop space or kitchen doors.

Get rid of old cabinets

Ripping out old cabinets can bring much more space to get inventive. Opening up walls will change the entire planning of your kitchen, making it feel lighter and much more modern.

Install your own kitchen

Installing your very own kitchen (particularly an ex-display kitchen) is undoubtedly cost-effective, paying out just a fraction of the cost than if you were using a kitchen fitter. While it's a big step for many, it is doable if you have the knowledge and experience to carry it out.

Understandably, this is not a viable option for many households and should only really be a last resort if you don't have the funds.

Shop smart

Finally, remember to shop smart. With such a huge range of options to choose from to make your dream kitchen a reality, it might be tempting to jump in feet first and purchase items that you can't afford. Take the time to do your research and know exactly what you want before buying.

How Much Will It Cost To Transform A Kitchen?

Depending on how much of a kitchen overhaul you want, it can really cost as little as a couple of hundred pounds to drastically improve your kitchen space. Of course, the more improvements you want to make, the higher the end bill.

But, you'd be surprised that a few simple (not to mention cheap) finishing touches can bring out the very best in your kitchen, all while leaving you with some well-deserved spare cash in your pocket.

Some of these budget-friendly ideas could even potentially add quite a bit of value to your property too.

Top Tips To Save Money

Above all else, the number one rule to overhaul your kitchen when funds are tight is to shop around. Look for bargains, never buy from the first shop you go into or visit online, always compare prices, ask family and friends for recommendations, and get ready to scour the internet for Black Friday and Boxing Day deals.

There's also nothing wrong with a bit of haggling to get budget-friendly items for your new kitchen, such as kettles, wallpaper, fridges, etc. If you've seen a more expensive item and want to avoid paying full price, haggling with shop staff is a perfectly acceptable way to try and lower your costs, particularly if you pay in cash.

Not enough people know about this trick, but sometimes you could get up to 10% off. High Street staff are often allowed to grant this discount at their discretion, so it pays to be nice.

But, above all else, don't be forced or feel obligated to buy right away. You might be tempted by super-cheap deals or a shop assistant giving you the "hard sell", but by stepping back and thinking about whether or not it's right for you and your kitchen, you can make a perfect choice.

Upgrade your kitchen plumbing with PlumbNation

PlumbNation can help you with a few key elements of a kitchen renovation. Whether you're after plumbing supplies or just want a brand new kitchen sink and kitchen taps.

We offer a range of kitchen goods at low prices to help you keep your costs down. You don't need a whole new kitchen to upgrade.