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  • Writer's pictureDesigner James Treble

The Cost-Affordable Kitchen Reno

Beautiful as they are, brand new kitchens can be a costly adventure which we may not be able to afford right now, or which may not be worth the investment based upon our property price. It is possible however to get the look of a new kitchen without spending an arm and a leg. First of all let's assume that your existing kitchen is functional and in woking order, therefor practical to stay for a few more years. It's presentation however is showing the passing of time, feeling drab and uninviting and in effect bringing down the overall value of your property.

Apart from the obvious cost issues associated with a brand new kitchen, throwing away solid and functional cabinetry is never desirable, and definitely NOT something I advise. So, let's sit back for a moment and try to understand what it is we see when looking at those magazine pictures, what amazes us about a new kitchen? Is it that seemingly endless and clutter free bench-top? the sleek appliances? the streamline design? NOW, take another look at your existing kitchen and consider if the doors and drawers are in good order, what can be done by you, to bring it into the XXIst century instead of buying a new one, and without breaking the bank.

Where do we start:

  • De-Clutter: Get everything out of your cabinets and clear the bench tops, then clean and scrub the surfaces, putting aside only those items that you REALLY use. Get rid of all the appliances you have not touched for a long time like the popcorn machine, as you obviously don't need them. By the same token, take another look at all those beautiful plates and glasses that you store packed away in fear of breaking them. Keep them out and ENJOY them, if you buy quality why shouldn't you use them everyday!

  • Store: Now you have made some extra room in the cabinets, you can store what was out on view before or jammed in stacked up high and voilà! you have gained plenty of useful bench-space. Cabinetry was invented to store and hide all of that clutter out of sight. So use it!

  • Renovate: Giving your kitchen a dramatic makeover can be achieved with an affordable budget.

  1. Replacing or repainting your cabinetry doors with white, OR maybe an on trend deep charcoal will add that modern and sleek look you're after. There are products [click here] that are specifically designed for exactly this purpose and work extremely well to revamp any surface.

  2. A new stone bench-top will definitely update that dated look, and you don't have to rip the old one out. there are companies who can resurface your existing bench tops with a thin layer of real stone for a fraction of the price. There are also durable products to paint over your existing benches for an affordable and very effective transformation.

  3. One of the simplest and most cost effective changes you can make is to add a new set of handles for your doors and drawers, allowing you to add the shine of a modern look and finally of course a new shiny sink and tap is a functional and clever addition. Remember buying quality is always paramount, but it doesn't always mean it costs an arm and a leg, and often you must buy property appropriate items, whilst always watching the budget.

  4. Appliances? well, depending upon your taste and the property value, these may come with a high price tag BUT there are plenty of stainless steel appliances out there which allow you to add the bling of clean, brand new appliances, without breaking the bank. New appliances are always high on purchasers lists, and if the renovation is for your own home, its one new addition that will make your whole kitchen look and feel like new.

In this picture above, the kitchen has the same cabinetry but newly painted doors and new handles. The appliances, tap-ware and a contrasting splash-back are new as well, and of course new lighting and a new and impressive bench-top. You must admit that the difference is amazing and the result striking.

Of course, no change comes without cost, but when comparing the cost of a make over ,with that of a brand new kitchen, the price difference can be substantial. By holding onto your existing cabinets and remodeling where required, the saving can be in the tens of thousands of dollars, allowing you to add years of more functional life which is greta for your budget and the environment ... For more advice and ideas on affordable kitchen renovations, read my article in the May 2017 issue of HOMES+ Magazine available in store now!

James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James Treble has more than 25 years of experience in the Building Industry and Interior Design. His knowledge and experience in adding value to homes, through clever design & styling, is now published for all to learn and benefit from. Interior Design For Profit is now available online.


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