I’ll let you into a little secret.
I’m obsessed with cookery shows… second only to my love of home renovation programs!
It turns out I’m not alone, and this surge of interest is fuelling amazing kitchen remodelling projects everywhere we look.
The way we live has also changed.
We are spending more and more time in the kitchen as both a family and social space.
We are redesigning our cramped, dark, solitary kitchens, flooding them with light and reintegrating them with the rest of the home.
You’ve heard it said – ‘Kitchens and Bathrooms sell houses’
Remodelling your cooking space is no longer an indulgence but a worthwhile investment in the value of your home – and it doesn’t have to break the bank.
We’ve all been there, sitting at the kitchen table, looking around you as you sip your mug of tea, thinking ‘I wish we could afford a better kitchen’.
So we’ve put together a bit of a Before/After Case Study of our favourite budget-conscious kitchen remodel projects to inspire your own kitchen plans with of course the all important before and after photos.
1. Flatpack Vintage
The major changes to this kitchen (apart from a good scrub clean obviously) are the addition of more bench top and a small island unit. Having the space to spread out when you cook can feel quite luxurious – but it is also important to make sure you have enough space to move around and open cupboards and drawers.
The clean, crisp white cabinets are simple ikea flat-pack products. The new bench tops are from Ikea too – though they have stained them dark to add a touch more glamour.
For me, though, the standout addition is the reclaimed vintage chandelier. Adding a central feature like this really draws the eye up towards the ceiling and has the affect of making the whole space feel bigger.
2. Timber Turnaround
The amount of stained pine cabinetry on show here was the kitchen equivalent of double denim.
In contrast to many of the other projects in this list, this kitchen actually had ample sunlight accessing it, allowing the owners to opt for a sleek, dark colour scheme.
Again, they have added an island unit to increase that element of social interaction in the kitchen. They have also greatly reduced the amount of wall cabinetry – opting instead for full height cupboards and appliances built into the wall.
This can be a great way to reduce the amount of visual clutter in a kitchen, making it feel minimal and modern without the price tag.
3. Mean, Lean and Green
These photos show what a dramatic difference removing visual barriers can make.
The kitchen itself is no bigger but by opening it up, so that it feels part of the adjacent space, it feels much more spacious This connection is further reinforced by the continuous timber flooring between the two spaces.
This project was a complete DIY build (another good way to save money if you have the time and the skill). The brass pendent light fittings and unique wall tiles add a touch of class to what is otherwise a pretty budget make-over.
They have, however, opted to splash out on marble bench tops in the revamped kitchen. There are some things are that worth spending a bit more money on and kitchen bench tops are one of them. Stone, Marble & Stainless Steel are all great options that can make a cheap, high street kitchen feel high-end and luxurious.
4. Opening The Avocado
Another great kitchen transformation making the most of cheap Ikea cabinetry.
This is really quite a small kitchen and as an enclosed space it is dark and cramped (sound familiar?). Opening it up to the adjacent living space has had a dramatic effect, and the shelving to the rear of the island unit adds some much needed declutter.
The have also wisely kept the appliances in pretty much the same place as the original layout. Sometimes this is just not an option but, if you can, not moving the plumbing or gas connections too far can really help save on the labour costs of your kitchen renovation.
5. From Darkness To Light
Before & After:
This example just goes to show what a different colours and finishes can make to the feel of a space.
Very little has changed but the transformation is pretty dramatic.
The dark timber cabinets were actually pretty solidly built (often the case with older kitchens) and a lick of paint has brought them back to life. Another cheap and easy option, if the cabinets themselves are OK but you don’t like the style, is to simply replace the doors with something new.
I also really like the DIY concrete bench top they have created for this kitchen, and for next to nothing!
6. A Pattern Language
I like this kitchen remodel, I just cant understand why they got rid of that wallpaper (!)
This is another great example of how a lick of paint can go a very long way. Painting the dark timber cabinets and replacing the pull handles makes this look like a completely new kitchen – they have hardly even changed the layout.
Putting the money you saved by painting the existing cabinets into getting good quality bench top and decent lighting is always a good idea and something that easily bring you a return on your investment.
I also like how the pendent lighting over the island unit doubles as a convenient space to hang pots and pans.
7. Budget Bling
Another DIY Ikea special, this kitchen looks a lot more expensive that what it cost in reality.
They have managed to fit extra bench space into the window alcove, which I think is a really smart move, and the poured concrete bench tops make for a really interesting (and cheap) alternative to stone.
This project also makes extensive use of strategic lighting. Putting light where you need it, such as underneath the cabinets or over the island unit (this is called task lighting), is a great way to avoid unwanted shadows or glare when you are trying to cook.
8. Turn Up the Volume
Urgh.. this kitchen was so dark and ugly! Have a look at the faux stone wallpaper…The 1970s really was an interesting time for kitchen design.
Another seemingly dark cramped space, but this time the owners have cleverly extended upwards. Removing the false ceiling to increase the volume of the space, while actually reducing the size of the kitchen to some extent, makes it feel so much more spacious, light and airy.
9. Galley Greatness
This is a pretty classic example of the kind of kitchen we often find in terraced house – long and narrow.
Again they have cleverly opted not to move the services too far and have connected with the adjacent living space by opening up the joinery and installing continuous timber flooring.
They have also added additional bench space with the new island and (thankfully) have plastered over that hideous feature ceiling!
10. A Very Retro Remodel
True to form, I have saved a slightly weird one till last…
Where all of the other examples in this list are bringing old, dated kitchens into the 21st century – this one actually goes back in time to the 1950s!
Whatever you think of it, there is some good attention to detail – from the minty green cabinets to the American Diner bar stools.
I do like the glass fronted wall cabinets – they make a feature of the contents rather than hiding everything away, and reduce that blockiness you get with masses of high level cupboards.
Want To Know How Much Your Renovation Will Cost?
The most common question we get on this site and from our clients is “how do I get a ball park figure for my building work so I have an idea on how much it will cost me before I start?”
And there hasn’t really been an easy answer to that…
Well if the question above also applies to you then you need to check out our Terraced House Renovation & Remodelling Pricing Toolkit.
Basically we’ve tried every pricing tool both offline & online and we’ve put together this toolkit which shows you how to use what we consider the best 3 free online pricing tools that exist for the UK market.
We break down each one and give you step-by-step instructions on how to use them and you’ll be shocked with how ridiculously easy to use they are.
We’ll also show you what info you need to fill them out and how to get this info if you don’t have it, again it’s really simple to do.
This is the best resource on the big bad interwebs for getting a pretty good ballpark figure for your renovation.
And the best part is that you can do it all online, there’s no calling anyone or booking an appointment or being hounded by sales people!
- Discover the 3 free & super-simple online pricing tools made for terraced house renovations & remodelling projects
- Get an accurate cost for your potential renovation in 5 minutes or less, yes it’s really that fast!
- Make sure you don’t get over-priced and ripped off by builders on your dream renovation
And this is just a sample!
So to find out more all you have to do is click the link below:
Mark is an Architect with over 15 years experience in the construction industry. He has also taught Architectural Design at a number of prestigious universities around the globe.