An imaginary kitchen

I was chatting to my mum about a mutual friend's house renovation, which led to talking about different strategies to save money on a kitchen.  Mum's attitude has generally been that the kitchen is the heart of the home and worth spending a reasonable sum of money on.  As with most things, it's all dependent on budget.  I would always expect to spend a reasonable amount on trades and get the best ones going!

I do accept that sometimes the best thing is to demolish a kitchen and start again.  Often people waste money on renovations that detract from the whole house.  There's nothing wrong with keeping expenses down by being intelligent with resources but sometimes people take it too far and expect a thirty thousand dollar return on a fifty dollar investment.  Equally, an old house which may have a limited price point regardless of renovation spend, is best renovated for minimal expense and maximum sweat.

This conversation led to me looking for articles that people have written on ideas to save money on a kitchen.  There's nothing lost with me educating myself before I buy myself a shack in the city.  The prices really will have to crash before I will find myself considering a renovation.  At present, vendors expect more for their fifty year old renovators delight than brand new builds!  It's obscene, irritating, unethical and asking for financial strife if they are relying on those kinds of returns!

Ideas to save on a kitchen include:


  • Thinking outside the square with black splashes - you do need to be careful that flammable materials are not near ovens etc.  This article is worth thinking about: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/beautiful-budget-backsplashes-made-from-simple-sheet-materials-217527
  • Keep existing cabinets if you can.  You can paint them, or get them professionally resurfaced.  From going to house inspections, most kitchens older than a twenty years that are not solid wood are not worth resurfacing or painting.  
  • Buy your kitchen cabinets from a factory outlet (my idea though I am sure other people have thought of it).  You can buy European standard cabinets in Australia for discounts up to fifty percent if you are willing to be flexible and work with what factories have available.
  • Buy a used kitchen that can be easily done up.  This can be a brilliant idea for older houses that you want to do up cheaply while staying in style.  It's remarkable that some people demolish a year old kitchen because they want the latest fashion kitchen.  Check out ebay and gumtree and prepare to be amazed at what people are happy to sell!
  • Watch programs like Selling Homes Australia and pay attention to what they do.  
  • This article by Houzz has good ideas: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/43793446/list/9-ways-to-save-on-your-kitchen-remodel
  • Cleaning, painting, new bench tops and flooring would transform most kitchens for minimal spending.  Remember fresh flower and pretty blinds/ curtains can make a big diffence to a space.
  • Minimize clutter on bench tops 
  • Clean your kitchen window and consider adding a sky light to add natural light into your kitchen

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