A brand new kitchen can set you back more than some people pay for an entire house. But you can still get that designer chic look without selling a kidney or being mortgaged up to the hilt until well into your 90s.
BIBO has found seven sneaky tricks that'll convince your friends that you seriously splashed the cash…
Even the cheapest cupboards are usually pretty solid and hard-wearing, so a new kitchen doesn’t necessarily mean new cupboards. Try taking off the doors to turn them into open shelves or fitting glass doors.
A fresh coat of antique white paint gives the illusion of more space and won’t ever feel dated, while sanding down the woodwork and applying a stain will really bring out the beauty of the wood. Use colourful plates or ornaments as design flourishes, or line the back of the shelves with bright wallpaper.
A free-standing island looks amazing, but the cost isn't for the faint hearted. It can also be tricky to track down a counter top that exactly matches your other surfaces. Instead, find a counter-height table and use stools instead of chairs.
Install two or three pendant lights above to complete the look.
READ MORE: Why the new BIBO² is the ultimate water bar
Sometimes, just replacing the knobs, hinges and pulls on cupboards and drawers with sleek, pared back modern ones can make all the difference. Hardware stores like Bunnings have huge selections that are every bit as good as those from upscale boutique shops. See if you can get them to match the light fittings or taps.
resin to be cheerful
A counter top is usually the most expensive element of any kitchen refit, but there are cheaper alternatives like resin, which could easily pass for pure, Italian marble.
Or scour discount granite shops for second hand tops that can be cut to your requirements. If you do hanker for the genuine designer surfaces from a genuine designer shop, then make sure your reno coincides with their end of season sale.
READ MORE: How to enjoy more 'me time'
Nothing makes a kitchen look more untidy than endless cables and wires criss-crossing your lovely white counter top. Installing new power sockets in cupboards with a discrete hole to the surface means the leads for the toaster, radio, virtual assistant and Thermomix can be tidied away. Or, if your counter is white, take them to an electrical shop to get the black cables replaced with white ones.
And having a kettle with a grimy power cord is a big no-no for on-trend food prep areas. Instead, get the stylish new BIBO². Not only does it look sensational, you get instant boiling or chilled water that’s been filtered and purified.
the light fantastic
If your kitchen looks tired and dreary, it might just need more light. Even brilliant white gloss can appear battleship grey if it’s lit by a single bulb smothered in a dense lampshade.
In short, you can never have too many points of light in a kitchen!
And before you add a stunning $2000 light fitting to your online basket, scan other sites and homeware stores for lookalikes. No one will know the difference!
Here's what else you can do...
- Hang a gooseneck barn light over the sink
- Spotlights hidden above cupboards produce a calming, ambient glow
- Fit strip lights onto shelves.
- Consider replacing the wall switches so they match the feel of the kitchen.
- Install dimmer switches so you can get the mood just right.
colour me beautiful
The biggest mistake in buying a brand new kitchen is choosing one that’s super trendy. Instead of making a bold statement with matt olive green cupboards with brass fittings or desecrating a wall with gaudy butterfly stencils, go strictly neutral and then accessorise with colour.
A pure white kitchen accentuated with colour-coordinated curtains, accent rugs, plants, backsplashes and artwork will look dazzling – and it’s super easy to revamp if the dayglo polka dot floor mat starts causing epileptic fits.
The BIBO² water bar is available in ten sizzling colours and will look fabulous if it matches shades you've used elsewhere.