Budget Kitchen Makeover Tips

Kitchens can be expensive rooms to makeover, trust me, I’ve been there recently. So how do you makeover a kitchen on a budget? Is it even possible? The answer is, “it depends”. Let me walk you through some deciding factors as to how cheap or how expensive your kitchen makeover is going to be.

Kitchen makeover by Rustic Country Chic
Kitchen makeover – Rustic Country Chic

Does the Layout Work?

The first thing to ask yourself, and be careful how you answer as this could save you a LOT of money, is “Am I happy with the layout of the existing kitchen?” If you answered “yes” then congratulations! You just saved yourself a lot of money, mess and time!

If your existing kitchen layout does work for you, then you have a couple of options to save money:

  1. Paint the cabinets
  2. Reface the cabinets
  3. Redo the countertops

Paint Your Existing Cabinets

The cheapest way to makeover your kitchen on a budget is to paint your kitchen cabinets. Note, I didn’t say the “quickest” way or the “best” way, but definitely the cheapest way. Painting kitchen cabinets is not for the faint-hearted, or impatient (like me!) But it can look amazing with the right techniques, proper prep and care taken.

Painted kitchen cabinets - In My Own Style
Painted kitchen cabinets – In My Own Style

Check out some of these great tips from other bloggers:

Reface Your Existing Cabinets

If you don’t like the shape or design of the existing cabinet doors, or just don’t have the time or patience to paint them, then another budget friendly option for you would be to reface the cabinets with new doors. This is where you swap the old doors out for new, but keep the existing layout of the kitchen. Jenny from Refresh Living does a great job of talking you through the whole process from start to finish and the end result looks amazing!

Redo the Countertops

There are lots of ways to redo countertops. From painting them, to tiling them, replacing them with poured concrete, or the traditional way of replacing them for an upgraded material like granite or quartz. Hometalk does a great job of offering you 13 Ways to Transform Your Countertops Without Replacing Them. These are all great budget friendly options that cost just a few $100, however they will take more time and skill.

DIY marble countertop - Refresh Living
DIY marble countertop – Refresh Living

If you don’t mind splashing out, my recommendation would be to replace them for quartz if you can afford it. It’s hard wearing, stain resistant, scratch resistant and will last for years. To make it more affordable try looking for remnants that will fit your space, remnants can start as low as $40 per linear foot, so if you have a smaller kitchen it can really give the wow factor for around $1500-2500.

If the answer was “no” to “Am I happy with the layout of the existing kitchen?” then I’m sorry, read on…

Re-Purpose Old Cabinets

If you are lucky enough to know the source of your existing cabinets, then you could save money by re-purposing your existing cabinets and changing the layout of them, or adding more. You’ll have to do some investigation into what new stock cabinets you could buy to match your existing cabinets. However if you really can’t find any new ones that match, you could combine this option with the refacing option above, that way you could re-use the cabinet boxes (the frames without doors) and save some money by just buying new doors. Or even cheaper, re-purpose the existing doors, and new doors by adding trim over them so they match. Brooke from Cribbs Style did exactly that with her MDF kitchen doors, and the end result looks amazing. This is something I’ve also tried in our downstairs bathroom and can confidently say it’s cheap, quick and easy and the results are amazing!

Custom end panels on kitchen cabinets Thrifty Decor Chick
Custom end panels to existing kitchen cabinets – Thrifty Decor Chick

You can add smaller details to existing kitchen cabinets to make them look more custom too. Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick did an amazing job finishing the ends of her cabinets here and island here. With just a few pieces of wood and some paint, the end result looks so much better and more high-end.

Another way to get a high-end look with existing cabinets, is to extend the wall cabinets right the way to the ceiling. Lori from The Stonybrook House does a great job here showing you every step of her kitchen transformation. Laura from Inspiration for Moms also has a great tutorial for how to add height with trim here. This is a great way to achieve a high-end look from a budget kitchen makeover.

The Last Resort – New Kitchen Cabinets

If you’ve exhausted all options above, and you’re tired, busy, don’t know how to swing a hammer etc, then perhaps your only option is to get new kitchen cabinets, but it doesn’t have to cost $10,000’s. There are some tips for finding budget friendly kitchen cabinets, the first is to stay away from custom anything. The cheapest way to get new kitchen cabinets is to by stock cabinets. These are the ready-to-go cabinets from your local DIY store. The options are limited, and you may need to paint them yourself, but they will be cheaper than semi-custom or custom options.

IKEA Veddinge
IKEA Veddinge kitchen

A great place to find well-made cheaper kitchen cabinets is IKEA. They start out very affordably, and can run quite expensive, so to save money stick to the cheaper ranges like the Haggeby or the Veddinge but you can make them feel more expensive with quartz countertops, remnants of course, and upgraded handles. We’re actually going down this route ourselves currently in our new vacation rental property. We chose Oland White cabinets by Klearvue Cabinetry from Menards, which is very similar to the IKEA Veddinge, and upgraded it with white quartz countertops and modern pull handles. Follow our journey on Instagram to see the progress.

I hope this helped guide you through the daunting task of deciding which route to go down on your kitchen remodel. We’ve lived this decision process for the past couple of years with our own home kitchen remodel and now our vacation rental. And both times we opted for new cabinets, and new everything. For reference our vacation rental will cost around less than $5k all in. Even though it is a small space, there are ways to do a kitchen makeover on a budget with new cabinets by shopping around and saving in some places and splashing out in others.

Thanks for reading!

Jo

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Weekend Bedroom Makeover Checklist

Just in time for the weekend is this bedroom makeover checklist that you can achieve in less than a couple of days. Bedrooms are often the overlooked room in our houses, and yet they’re probably where we spend the most time. According to a research article pulled together by Dreams (a British bed retailer) we spend an average of 33 years in bed! So maybe we need to start paying more attention to how our bedroom looks.

The average person spends about 26 years sleeping in their life which equates to 9,490 days or 227,760 hours. Surprisingly, we also spend 7 years trying to get to sleep. That’s 33 years or 12,045 days spent in bed!

Restful bedroom

1. Declutter!

The first and easiest step to creating a restful bedroom space is to tidy up! Get those wet towels off the bed, the day old clothes off the floor, and unpack that suitcase that’s been sat there for weeks – I know we all do it! Clearing away the clutter is free and can make a big impact not only to the overall look of the space, but to your mental health as well. According to Psychology Today “Messy homes and work spaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed.” And being that bedrooms are a space for rest and relaxation, having a clutter-free space will aid a restful night’s sleep.

Messy bedroom

2. Make Sure You Have Storage

If you really can’t part with your clutter, then at least hide it away. A basket like this from Amazon is a stylish way to hide unused pillows and blankets, or those day old clothes that you really can’t be bothered to hang up. Wall shelves are another great option for moving the clutter off the floor. But be careful not to simply move the clutter, if it looks unsightly hide it in storage boxes on the shelves. Lidded storage boxes are great for hiding clutter and come in a variety of sizes and materials.

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3. Fresh Paint

The next thing you should do is to think about changing the paint color, or at least painting a fresh coat of paint. Paint can get worn and scuffed over time, so a fresh coat of paint will quickly and dramatically freshen up your bedroom. You can easily achieve this in a weekend, or if this is too daunting then just paint one feature wall behind the bed in a contrasting color. You’ll be amazed at how quickly and cheaply you can transform your room. Check out this blog post on how to Paint an Easy Feature Wall.

Painted feature wall in bedroom

4. Add Blackout Curtains or Blinds

Adding blackout curtains or blinds can aid a restful night’s sleep, and are commonly used in hotels to block out unwanted traffic noise and light. There are different degrees of light filtering, Blindster does a great job of explaining the difference “Blackout shades use a fabric that blocks 100% of all incoming light, while “room darkening” usually refers to almost any shade that uses a fabric that blocks between 95% and 99% of the light that enters your room. Anything that blocks less than 95% of the light is usually referred to as light filtering.” If you find 100% light blocking blinds disorientating (speaking from experience!) then try room darkening or light filtering options instead.

Blackout blinds

5. Create a Hotel Style Bed

Hotels know a thing or two about creating a restful night sleep, from the luxury mattress to the perfectly laundered white sheets with hospital corners. Now i’m not saying to go out and spend thousands on a brand new mattress this weekend, (although if you want to, don’t let me stop you!), but you can make your bed feel more luxurious with a few simple tweaks. Firstly, go out and buy fresh white bed linen. Have you ever seen a hotel with anything other than white sheets? Hotels tend to use percale bed linen for its easy care, wrinkle free appearance that can withstand frequent cleaning. Swapping out your sheets can really add instant impact to the way your bedroom feels.

Then there’s how you make it. This is an important step in making your bed feel like you’re in a 5 star hotel and only costs a bit of extra time. This video from HGTV shows how easy it is to do.

6. Swap Out Pillows / Cushions

Then there’s the ‘Great Pillow Debate’ – how many is too many? If you’re on my husband’s side, then he’d probably say “none”, if however you’re on my side, then “at least two” is where I’m at. I’m talking about decorative throw pillows, and not the kind you rest your head on. With the one or two white pillows you each need for your head, layer on top of that at least two decorative pillows to add color and interest to your bedroom. The great thing is, you can easily change them out to quickly change the style of your bedroom. Try changing them with the seasons, lighter colors and textures like linen for the summer, and cozier knitted or fur pillows for winter.

7. New Nightstands / Bedside Tables

If your room allows it, it’s always a good option to have two bedside tables around a double bed, with two lamps. You don’t need to go out and spend hundreds on a new set, you can try to pick something up second hand and upcycle it with paint and new knobs. Or try low cost retailers like IKEA, who have some great options from $10-$150 / £9-£129.

When choosing nightstands it’s important to consider a couple of things. Make sure it’s the right height for your bed. You want it to be around the same height as the top of your mattress, slightly above or slightly below is also fine, so you’re not reaching way down or up for things on them.

And then there’s scale. You want the nightstands to be in proportion with your bed. Don’t choose tiny tables if you have a California King sized bed. And if you want to create a more luxurious look, then opt for wider nightstands.

Bed with nightstands

8. Add a Rug

If you don’t already have one, try adding a rug underneath your bed. It’s a good way to bring in a new color, texture or pattern to your bedroom. You could go bold and add a brightly colored or loud pattern to your bedroom with the rug. Or you could make your bedroom feel more cozy by adding a shag rug or sheepskin. In terms of scale, you want the rug to be slightly wider than your bed, and position it so that you can see the end of it too.

Bed with rug

9. New Artwork

Another easy way to quickly update your bedroom is to add or change out the artwork. Again, you can bring in some color to the design, or pattern, or even texture. It doesn’t have to be a painting, it can be a more sculptural piece. One idea that looks great, is to hang an array of different size baskets on the wall like these ones from Pottery Barn. For a cheaper alternative, try finding baskets from your local thrift store or charity shop.

Basket wall art Pottery Barn
Image courtesy of Pottery Barn

10. Add Some Greenery

We’ve all heard that plants are good for us, not only do they look great, but they also reduce the carbon dioxide and dust levels in our homes. An article from Bob Vila goes on to say that certain types of plants can actually help you sleep better, so are perfect for your bedroom. Choose from these 8 plants for a more restful night’s sleep:

  • Lavender – reduces blood pressure and heart rate
  • Jasmine – improves the quality of your sleep and increases your chances of waking up with a better attitude and less anxiety
  • Peace Lily – reduce the microbe count in your home’s air, which can relieve allergy symptoms
  • Aloe Vera – promotes better air quality
  • Valerian – helps you fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer
  • English Ivy – can drastically reduce airborne mold
  • Gerbera Daisies – at night they emit oxygen and absorb toxins and carbon dioxide
  • Rosemary – reduces anxiety and stress
Aloe vera plant

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Thanks for reading! Until next time.

Jo

Paint an Easy Feature Wall

If you’re like me, you’ve got to have a house project on the go at any one time. I’m literally itching to get started on the next as soon as I complete the last! This week I’ll be sharing ideas of small Quarantine DIY Projects you can do with paint. This one focusses on how to paint an easy feature wall.

Tools You Will Need

This is a super simple DIY project, that I dare even the most inexperienced DIY-er to do!

You need:

  • Paint roller and tray
  • Paint brush (I’d recommend a 1″ angled brush)
  • Painters tape
  • Dust sheets
  • Paint
  • Spackling, fine sandpaper (I’d recommend 180 or 220 grit) and a spatula – only if the wall needs repair before painting

It’ll probably take you 1-2 hours to complete, depending on the size of your wall and your level of experience. Afterwards you’ll have a transformed room for less than $100! Worth a try right!?

My Mini-Makeover

For my feature wall paint project, I used the spare bedroom. These rooms have been somewhat neglected since we moved in. A lick of paint and the furniture from our old house and they were good to go. We kept the Golden Oak windows and trim, but after watching countless hours of HGTV, I’ve come to realize that white is definitely the way to go with trim. So we also replaced it during this mini-makeover.

Spare bedroom before
Spare bedroom before
Spare bedroom after first renovation
Spare bedroom after first renovation – definitely better
Spare bedroom with paint feature wall
Spare bedroom after mini-makeover with a painted feature wall and white trim – much better!
Spare bedroom feature wall before
Spare bedroom feature wall before
Spare bedroom feature wall after
Spare bedroom feature wall after

So that the wall decoration didn’t get lost on the dark wall, I chose to swap the existing decor for some white trophies which were unused from another part of the house. They definitely stand out on the dark wall.

Spare bedroom feature wall after
Spare bedroom feature wall after

Step by Step Guide to Painting a Feature Wall

Here are 7 simple steps on how to paint a feature wall. You can save this to your Pinterest board to find it easily in future.

Step by step guide to paint a feature wall

I’ve also compiled a handy Pinterest board of painting pro tips. You can check it out by clicking on the Pinterest link to my profile or here.

I’d love to see your mini-makeovers of easy painted feature walls. Share them with me in the comments below or on social.

Happy Painting!

Jo @britflipper