It’s no secret that kitchen remodels can cost tens of thousands of pounds, so getting a high-end look on a budget can sometimes be difficult.

We’ve been in the process of remodelling our kitchen now for a while, just replacing and refreshing things as we could afford, and while there are still a few things left to do (new worktops being one of them), we have saved a lot of money by utilising some money-saving tactics that I thought I’d share with you.

Swoon Worthy Kitchen before

We’ve spent around £2.5k on the remodel so far and much of the saving came from doing the work ourselves. However, you can still save a lot of money by making a few decisions that still reflect the look of a higher-end kitchen without the hefty price tag.

Swoon Worthy Kitchen after

Keep Your Carcasses

If the basic layout of the kitchen is okay but you just don’t like the cabinets, consider keeping the carcasses. We simply repainted our cupboards white and changed out the handles. However, even if you need to change your layout, you can use inexpensive carcasses for the cupboards combined with a higher end cupboard door. Ikea do a good range of carcasses that many carpenters will swear by.


Paint Your Cupboard Doors a Contrasting Colour

If your cupboard doors are in good condition but you don’’t like the current finish, a new trend is having a two-toned look. Keep the upper cabinets light and airy but paint the lower ones in a darker hue – black, grey and navy blue are all on trend.

This kitchen remodel on The Inspired Room used this exact technique below and you can see how the light cabinets raise the height of the room while the darker cabinets ground the space for a high-end look on a budget.


Mix Open and Closed Shelving

Back to my own kitchen remodel, we used inexpensive MDF shelving to create open storage. Consider mixing both closed and open storage. Open shelving along one wall doesn’t have to cost much and looks fantastic (but you will have to be more fastidious about keeping things tidy – see my tips on Open Kitchen Shelving here!)  I’ve recently replaced the wallpaper behind the shelving with this floral design which has really brightened up the whole space.

After Kitchen 2

Reconsider Laminate Worktops

While we have yet to replace the worktops in our kitchen, I have to admit, my head was turned by what’s currently on the market. Laminate worktops have come a very long way and now you can get stylish designs that are a dead ringer for granite and marble with a ‘slab’ edge so they look like the real thing at a fraction of the cost. This particular design looks like Cararra Marble but it’s much less upkeep and certainly looks the part – a fantastic alternative to a very expensive stone surface.

Laminate that looks like marble

Install Butcher’s Block Worktops

Another consideration for us was a butcher’s block countertop, these are great value for money and look beautiful when cared for. This beautiful kitchen from Smitten Studio is warmed up considerably with the use of warm wood surfaces but still retains a high-end look.

butcher block countertops

Change Your Hardware

Replace your tired handles with high quality hardware to give a high end look without the high price. A simple change in cupboard hardware really made a big difference in the look and feel of our kitchen.

new handles

Consider Metro Tiles

Metro tiles (or Subway tiles as they are sometimes known) are quickly becoming a classic in kitchen design, being used in both high end and more affordable kitchens worldwide. The best news is that they are quite inexpensive, so even if you have quite a lot of wall space to tackle, it shouldn’t cost the earth. We utilised them in our own kitchen and you’ll see them in many examples including this one by interior designer Blair Harris.

kitchen hardware

Reconsider Vinyl Flooring

You can also get some really beautiful vinyl flooring these days which may be cheaper and harder wearing than expensive tiles or stone flooring. This kitchen from House to Home really makes a statement with this beautiful vinyl that mimics real tile.


So those are my 8 tips to saving some money on your kitchen remodel. Have you any tips to share yourself? Would you consider any of these tips in your own kitchen? Do share in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!


By Kimberly Duran on 16.07.14

Guest Contributor

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