As politicians warn that tough times could be on the way again, we are all reminded that we could live a bit more frugally. This becomes a problem if you are looking modernise your property, because often these kind of upgrades don’t come cheap.
But there are ways to achieve great results on tiny budgets. And the place where you can make the biggest impact is almost definitely in the kitchen.
Follow these four tips and make your decorating budget go further in 2016.
Go on a bargain hunt
If your budget is really tiny, as in so small that you wouldn’t get much change after buying a meal for two, then you can still make an impact but you just have to shop extra frugally. Visit charity shops, flea markets, auctions and anywhere else you are likely to get a good deal.
Often, you can make a noticeable difference in your kitchen by just buying a new dining set, or by replacing the fittings on cupboards. These kinds of changes can help give your kitchen a new lease of life and the materials can be sourced for less than £20 if you know where to look.
As the so-called ‘sharing economy’ gets bigger and bigger, the opportunities to find a bargain also get bigger. These days a lot of the action has moved online where you can get a good deal on apps like Gumtree or on Facebook ‘swapping’ pages where you can sometimes get cool items for free.
Some kitchens can begin to look lifeless because dark cabinets suck the energy out of a room. If this is the problem in your kitchen then a cheap way of fixing it is by repainting them in brighter, more vibrant colours.
This kind of work only takes a few raw materials and you probably won’t need a contractor to get achieve a great finish. Get hold of some wood cleaning product, sandpaper, some good cabinet paint and you’ll be ready to go.
White and off-white cabinets are always popular with homeowners but we have seen a number of more bohemian kitchens that work well with sunnier, more jarring colours and tones like yellow and even lime.
Make cheap cabinets look expensive with solid granite
This may be one of the oldest tricks in the kitchen makeover handbook, but it remains a solid way to impress visitors and potential buyers. You can source no-frills kitchen cabinets from warehouse stores like IKEA or B&Q, or visit your trusty friend the flea market if you are in the mood for a real bargain.
These cabinets don’t need to be fancy, just clean cut and functional. Granite worktops aren’t exactly cheap, but if you have scrimped and saved on your cabinets then you’ll have more to invest in the worktop.
If granite stretches your budget too much then a quartz kitchen counter will achieve many of the same results at a more affordable price.
Upcycle your kitchen
Finding old recycled pieces and upcycling them for use in your kitchen is kind to the earth as well as your bank balance.
The best thing about recycling is that the possibilities are almost endless, and heavily dependent on what you can get your hands on. Some of the most impressive finds we’ve seen were gigantic butchers blocks recovered from an old salvage yard, and old tatty scaffolding wood sanded down and transformed into a high quality table.
But upcycling doesn’t have to mean chasing down these big chunky features. You can turn old wooden crates into useful storage space. Used jam jars can easily become herb planters and even old wine corks can be turned into an interesting wall feature.