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Try These Budget Tricks for Super Stylish Kitchens

From open shelving to colourful accessories, there are lots of easy and affordable ways to transform your space

Andreia Shelley

Andreia Shelley

interiors writer, theROOMedit.com

Add an affordable island

Turn your dreams of having a cool island unit into a reality by choosing an affordable, freestanding wooden unit or transforming an old table. Bear in mind that, in order to work as a breakfast bar, the unit will need to be high enough to accommodate bar stools. Consider adding shelving for extra storage and use paint to tailor it to your scheme.

Fill your walls with art

Hang a selection of pictures on your wall for a personalised, eclectic look that will make your kitchen anything but boring. This collection of wall hangings may seem like a random mishmash, but the use of similar black frames ties everything together and stops the wall from looking chaotic. If you prefer a more minimalist approach, pick just one large piece of art and give it pride of place.

 
Country kitchen with distressed vintage dresser
Photo credit: Brent Darby for Country Homes & Interiors

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Source second-hand furniture

Mix old and new together to achieve a truly individual look. If you have the space, look out for an old vintage dresser and you could be on to a winner - it will give you lots of extra storage and somewhere to display your favourite pieces. Plus, if you go for a distressed painted finish, it will provide the perfect contrast to some of the more sleek pieces in your kitchen.

 
White Modern Kitchen with Chalkboard Stickers
Photo credit: David Giles for Style at Home

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Write it up

Hang chalkboard stickers on your walls for an easy way to jot down shopping lists or other reminders. Not only are they super handy, but they look great, too, especially in an all-white scheme where they will stand out and add interest to otherwise plain walls. Why not try allocating one to each family member, so they can doodle to their hearts' content?

 
Kitchen-diner with Blue Dresser and Exposed Brick
Photo credit: Richard Gadsby for 25 Beautiful Homes

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Customise mismatching pieces

Search antiques shops, flea markets or online to find a bargainous rustic wooden table and chairs. Don't worry too much about whether they match or what the finish is like, as you can varnish or paint the furniture to suit your scheme - whether you prefer neutrals, pastels or bold shades. Leaving the table top in its natural state, but painting the legs white is a great way to 'lighten' the appearance of wooden furniture. It's a look that will go with anything, as this kitchen, with its eclectic mix of colours and fittings, shows.

 
Modern Kitchen with Built-in Pet Bed
Photo credit: Carolyn Barber for Homes & Gardens

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Make room for Fido

Keep your pet's bed safely out of the way by making the most of a handy space under an island worktop. Dogs will love having a cosy spot to retreat to after a long walk and are sure to enjoy having their own 'house'. The other bonus is that you will save on an extra cupboard door or shelving.
 

 
Tonal grey kitchen-diner with painted farmhouse furniture
Photo credit: David Giles for Style at Home

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Paint a feature wall

Choose one wall and give it a coat of paint to make it a focal point. Paint is a relatively low-cost item that can have a huge impact on a room. The dark grey here is striking, while retaining a neutral feel that works well with all the other neutral tones in the room, from the wooden worktops, doorframe and floors to the white units and even the pale-grey table. If you are a fan of brights, be brave and opt for a bold colour instead.

 
Country-style kitchen with shelving
Photo credit: Jason Ingram for Ideal Home

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Hang a rail

Fit a rack to the ceiling and use it for storing pans. This will mean less demand for expensive cupboard space and will add a rustic, country look to your scheme. This kitchen is also a great example of a freestanding layout, which is more affordable than a fitted version and allows for new items to be added as and when it suits.

 
Country kitchen with Union Jack accessories
Photo credit: Lizzie Orme for Style at Home

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Accessorise a theme

Get creative and introduce colour and pattern to a neutral kitchen with fun accessories, such as these cool Union Jack pieces. From bunting to teapots, jugs and mugs, there are so many great buys around. The possibilities are endless - for example, pastel shades would work well, too, as would polka dots or stripes. Anything looks good in a neutral scheme and, if you eventually tire of your accessories, they can easily be changed at a later date.