How to get a glam kitchen on a budget

The New Year is a fitting time to be planning a new kitchen (especially if it didn’t live up to expectations over Christmas) but if your savings are looking lean, don’t despair. There are lots of ways to squeeze the cost of a new design or refresh your existing scheme to give it a shot of style.

Choose kitchen cabinets carefully

Your units tend to take up the largest part of your budget, so it’s important to shop around to find a design that suits your spend. For example, if solid wood is out of your price range, there are plenty of cost-effective door finishes, such as laminate and vinyl, which replicate the same look, complete with realistic grain effects and texture. Similarly, high-gloss foil-wrapped doors are a cheaper alternative to multi-layered lacquer. Most kitchen companies will stock a range of kitchens in different price bands and should be able to tailor the design to your budget.

modern kitchen

Image source: Magnet

Select smart surfaces

Combining inexpensive units with good quality worktops, such as marble or granite, is a great way to make your kitchen feel more costly overall. However, again, laminate lookalikes are a great choice if natural materials are too pricey. Hard-wearing and easy to install, they also come in a variety of realistic stone and timber finishes that resemble a bespoke product, right down to the edge profiles and matching splashbacks and upstands. They can even be adapted to fit curved cabinetry, breakfast bars and islands.

white stylish kitchen

Image source: Crown Imperial

Select your favourite kitchen lighting styles

Once just a functional aspect of your kitchen, lighting has huge potential to elevate your design. Backlit splashbacks, softly diffused lights underneath open shelving and wall units, plus shelves with integral illumination and plinth LEDs help to layer the light in your kitchen, add ambience, and make worktops and taps sparkle. If you’re feeling brave, try colour-changing LEDs that cycle through a rainbow of shades to give your kitchen a different look from one minute to the next.

You can also look for products with striking lighting built in, such as island and chimney extractors and small appliances or taps with LED details.

kitchen lights

Image source: Sensio

Accessorise your kitchen for that finishing touch

Sometimes, it’s the smaller accessories that have the greatest impact on your kitchen design. For example, a Belfast sink will cost more than the equivalent stainless-steel option, but it adds a recognisable country kitchen look instantly, leaving you to be a little freer in your cabinetry selection. Similarly, a statement designer-style tap can help your kitchen look more expensive, while one that’s sleek and angular will define a contemporary scheme as much as glossy units. Adding a set of more expensive handles or knobs to an inexpensive kitchen is an easy way to give it high-end appeal, too.

Anything that’s on display in your kitchen will affect its look, so think about what you want to show off. Shelves can be painted in your favourite shade and be home to pretty ceramics, framed family photos or even a set of gleaming pans or bakeware. You could also paint the rear wall of glazed cupboards, adding a pop of vibrant colour to a simple white scheme. Read also: Creating a colourful kitchen.

well organised kithchen

Image source: Coastal Living



    1. Hi Veronique,

      You can either use our Ask an Expert section for a rough guide ( or post a job on our main website, being sure to explain that you need a quote ( However, please be aware that our trade members pay for the chance to quote on works with the intention of being in the running to have the job carried out by them. So if you’re simply looking for the quote and don’t intend to have the kitchen fitted, our Ask an Expert section would be best for you.

  1. Or use a local company who will offer a refurbishment service to change your doors handles and tops and keep your existing carcass units.

    1. Hello, If you’re ready to have your work carried out, you can post your job on our main site at Up to three trade members can contact you to quote for the work and you’ll be able to decide which trade member you feel most comfortable working with. Best of luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *