How to refresh your kitchen on a budget

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Maybe you’re dreaming of a full kitchen renovation someday, 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 benchtops and appliances.

If your budget is around $150

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 your budget is around $350

Change the wall colour, put up a new art print and then swap out 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. If you have more room in your budget, replace all of the kitchen lights, or splurge on a fancier pendant over the island.

If your budget is around $650

Paint, hang art, get new lighting and add open shelves. 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.

If your budget is around $800

What’s next? After the fresh paint, art, lighting and open shelves, consider springing for a new tap. Replace kitchen tapware. If you have more wiggle room in your budget, splash out on a new sink to go with that new tapware

If you have a higher budget. Brand-new cabinetry is one of the higher-cost items in a kitchen renovation, so if you can avoid it, do. If your cabinets are in pretty good shape, repaint them. Then replace the old cabinet 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.

Along with updating the cabinets, installing new benchtops 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 kitchen benchtop materials – there’s a huge cost difference between, for instance, a timber benchtop from Ikea and marble – so hunt around until you find something you like that fits your budget.

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

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