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Kitchens are right at the top of the household hierarchy, vital not just for cooking and entertaining but also for being able to say you have an attractive and valuable home. The most well designed kitchens pair function and fabulous decor in a single package. This is especially true in small kitchens, where each and every design decision will have much more of an impact.

Still, achieving this balance can be difficult, especially on a budget. Indeed, many of the cheaper options out there can seem tacky at best, or at worst will offer a false economy of tiny initial costs and severe long term expenses.

Luckily, there are several simple ways to revitalise a small kitchen on a budget. Even so, the best guarantee of long lasting top quality work will be to hire experienced local Pros for the job. Any new countertops, cabinet doors, frames or other units should be installed by a local kitchen fitter, while your decor should be left to a local decorator.

Here are a few of our favourite ideas for designing a small kitchen on a budget!

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Budget-friendly ideas for a small kitchen

Switch out your cabinet doors

Replacing the cabinet doors is a tried and tested method for reinventing a kitchen. Rather than completely taking out the cabinets and installing a fresh framework, you can simply buy new doors for what you already have. Most cabinet doors will have standardised measurements, but even if your doors do not fit the norm you should have little trouble finding plenty of mass-produced options to choose from. The impact can be huge as well: changing the materials or colours of your doors could be the only step required to completely switch out the style of your kitchen.

For an even cheaper option, you could simply paint your cabinet doors. This can make it easy to utilise the trendiest colours and design schemes, or you could even give yourself something truly unique! Be sure to buy high quality kitchen paint, however, as normal paint will not be able to withstand the moisture levels in an average kitchen.

Statement wall

We love statement walls here at Plentific! They are perfect for drawing the eye and setting the tone of a room. Better yet, keeping the rest of the room plain can actually add to the effect!

Statement walls are easy to create and offer tonnes of variety, especially when using wallpaper. Now, you might think that wallpaper would be a bad idea for a kitchen, given the amount of moisture in the air, but over the last few years a number of kitchen-friendly brands have appeared, making wallpaper a much more viable option for creative kitchen decorators.

Maximise your layout

One of the most important parts of a kitchen is its layout. Your kitchen might look nice, but if you are constantly tripping over yourself and struggling to find what you need to actually cook then you will struggle to score any points with homebuyers. In an ideal kitchen, everything will have its place and getting around will be easy. A u-shaped kitchen is generally the best layout to accomplish this, or a galley kitchen in a particularly narrow room. However, if you cannot afford to restructure your kitchen completely then you should instead start thinking about how you can get the most out of what you have.

Start by looking at your primary prep area: what tools and appliances do you use? What do you need close at hand? How much space do you need to keep clear in order to be able to work?

Your goal should be to ensure that everything you need is within easy reach. Under-cabinet utensil hooks can be good for this, as can open storage like shelving. Pull-out storage can be an excellent way to get the most use out of narrow spaces, or you may even want to consider a wheeled kitchen island. If something near your prep area rarely gets any use, move it somewhere else and devote the space to something more important.

Another important aspect of maximising your space is to get rid of any obstructive furniture. There is no law, unwritten or otherwise, which says that every kitchen has to have a dining area. If your seats or stools are getting in the way, freecycle them and get replacements which won’t interrupt the flow of the room.

Prioritise natural light

When you are working on a budget, it is important to get as much use as possible out of what you can get for free, like natural light! As well as offering health benefits, natural light will make your kitchen seem more open and airy, even granting the illusion of additional space.

To enjoy the benefits of natural light, refrain from covering up your windows and focus on lightly coloured decor. Remember, warmer colours will help to bounce light around the room, giving your kitchen a pleasant glow and helping to prevent the area from feeling claustrophobic.

Handles and accents

One of the best things about working on a budget is that you will inevitably pick up some valuable tricks to remember for the future. Here’s our favourite: ‘Little things have a BIG impact!’

Switching out the handles and accents around your kitchen can have a surprisingly large effect on the overall decor. Options like brass or coloured plastic will stick out and accentuate the ambiance of the room. If you take the time to look for ideas online, you will find a wealth of inspiration.

Of course, for something truly unique you could choose to mix and match! A more eclectic style will really make your kitchen stand out and can also work out cheaper than stringently sticking to a single material.