Kitchen

10 inexpensive reno hacks that will make your old kitchen feel new

Renovating your kitchen doesn’t have to mean spending thousands – here are 10 easy ways to make the old feel new

10 inexpensive reno hacks that will make your old kitchen feel new


1. Bar stools

A bit tired of your breakfast bar seating? New stools will give your kitchen an instant lift. Skinny metal models in black, white or yellow are on trend, particularly with a soft squab cushion added for comfort. Or give your existing seats a new look with some easy-to-apply chalk paint.

2. Benchtop

A new benchtop is one reno hack that can really transform the way you feel about your kitchen. Changing out that chipped and scratched Formica top for a sleek stretch of modern engineered stone or concrete-look laminate will both look amazing and give you better hygiene and functionality in your food prep spaces.

Which materials give the best bang for your buck?
The benchtop is often the focal point of a kitchen, so invest in the best you can afford on your budget. Laminate or engineered stone are two good options for affordability, quality and style.

3. Flooring

Old lino, laminate or hardwood planks are relatively easy to lift and replace with a similar product in a modern finish. Tiles are a bigger investment as they’re harder to change – we think a concrete tile is a timeless choice. For timber floors, a whitewash treatment or darker wood stain will change up your look.

4. Splashback

A beautiful new wall surface in your cooking space is a great way to modernise the look of your kitchen.

What’s the best fix on a budget?
Tiles are a great, affordable choice for updating an old splashback. Picking a medium-format tile will keep the installation costs down.

5. Cabinet knobs

If you’ve got single knobs on your drawers and cupboards, this one is as easy as 1, 2, 3! Handles are a bit trickier as you’ll need to find new ones the same width as the old and use a bit of trickery to hide any holes. Inset handles are best installed by a pro.

6. Sink and tapware

As one of the most used zones in your kitchen, the sink and tap are key to feeling great about cooking, cleaning and entertaining. Elegant new taps or a mixer in a finish you’ll love looking at have the power to actually make you feel happy about doing the dishes, and a modern sink that’s easier to keep clean will bring joy to any busy house. We’re loving black finishes for the modern look, or gold and brass for a more luxurious vibe.

7. Display shelving

A floating shelf for your fave objects, photos and plants will draw the eye to things you love and away from less pleasant sights such as dirty dishes

8. Appliances and accessories

This one can be as major as a fabulous new stove, fridge and dishwasher or as minor as a new kettle or toaster in a glam finish. Your stove can also be given a lift with the addition of fresh new tea towels and oven mitts, or even just a modern new rug to define your cooking space.

9. Wall finish

Fresh paint on the walls can do a lot to distract from dated cabinetry or bits of Weet-bix glued to the counter – especially if you can afford to pay the professionals to do it for you. A new wall colour or wallpaper will change the way light moves around your kitchen and make it feel more modern. Pink and blush tones are bang on trend.

10. Cabinetry colour

Repainting your kitchen cabinets is a great way to cover up any damage sustained over the years, as well as refreshing a dated finish.

Any tricks for getting a great finish?
This comes down to the quality of your prep work. Laminates or wood need different prep, so be sure to get this right. Choose the best topcoat you can afford and take your time applying it. For the ultimate finish, remove cabinetry and get it spray-painted by a specialist. Updating hardware can bring your new look together.

Words by: Sally Conor.

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