When preparing our last house for sale, we needed a budget kitchen makeover. It was old, tired and ripe for replacement. However, it wasn’t so bad that it was worth ripping out. The doors were oak effect vinyl and a couple of them were starting to peel. The splashbacks were old fashioned and the worktops passable, but nothing to shout about. The kitchen walls, were a neutral off white – which with a north facing room looked very cold. Overall the effect was a bit dark and a bit ‘meh’. Anyone who ever watches TV makeover shows knows that ‘kitchens sell houses’. Well nobody was going to be buying this house for the kitchen!
So what to do with the kitchen? I decided to tackle the simplest thing first; I painted the ceiling and walls. This instantly gave the room a bit of a lift. The ceiling was hideously Artexed and then painted in silk emulsion – so the lumps were shiny! It also clearly hadn’t been painted in years and was yellow in places. There was definitely no budget for replastering, so I gave it a couple of coats of flat matt emulsion. This also helped to tone down the appearance of the Artex a bit. While I was on the ceiling I replaced the harsh spotlights with a set of softer lights that bounced light more evenly around the room. I then painted the walls with Dulux ‘Jasmine White’ – a creamy off-white that was much warmer than the old colour.
After researching, we realised that it was impossible to match the peeling doors, so we needed to replace them. I found a company that made to measure replacement kitchen doors and ordered doors with the same Shaker design as the existing ones. I went for a nice warm cream coloured door. Happily, I found some satinwood paint in the DIY store, that exactly matched the colour of the new doors. After applying undercoat to help the paint stick, I painted all the undamaged doors and the sides and edges of the cabinets to match. We re-used the door handles to save a bit of money.
The backsplash was one area that had bugged me since we moved in to the house . Most of the tiles were plain, but the tiles above the cooker had a really old fashioned brown squares design. We didn’t want to remove them – as this would be a lot of work when we planned to move house soon. So I had to think of another way.
While browsing on Amazon, I found some amazing ‘Peel and Stick’ tiles. These stick-on tiles are textured and look very real. They are also waterproof. I thought they were worth a try, so I bought a pack. They are amazing! Once on the wall, you wouldn’t know they weren’t real. They turned a pretty old-fashioned looking boring splashback into something much more bright and modern. The other good thing was that once they were on, they stayed on. I worried they might peel once steam and grease from the cooker got to them – but they held firm. To see more on how I tackled the backsplash area see here.
Once the tiles were on, we replaced all the sealant around the splashback – making everything look much cleaner and brighter. The kitchen was now looking 100% better than before:
When setting a house up for viewings, I like to create a ‘vignette’ or focus area in each room to highlight the best features. In this room, there was a huge window looking out of the front of the house. I therefore bought a colourful blind (again in warm reds and pinks) to highlight this feature. It also helped to add a pop of warm colour and personality into the room. An orchid on the windowsill and a pot of herbs in the corner also helped to soften the look and complete the kitchen makeover.
Budget Kitchen Makeover Costs
Overall the kitchen revamp cost about £600. The bulk of this was the cost of the replacement doors. If all the doors had been suitable for painting, we would have done this instead. Whilst not cost free, I think this revamp was worth it. I think viewers would have knocked more than £600 off the asking price if they thought they needed to replace the kitchen immediately. As it turned out, the house received multiple offers and sold for £10k over the asking price. I feel that prepping thoroughly was key in making that happen!
Click here to see details of our latest kitchen renovation in our new house!