Belfast Telegraph

Give your kitchen the star treatment


By Tamsin McCahill

There are now more cooking shows on TV than you can shake a large electric hand whisk at.

 And, while the dishes they produce may make our mouths water, celebrity chefs have given us something else to salivate over: their gorgeous-looking kitchens.

Whether they’re cool and contemporary, country-cosy or just plain cute and quirky, many may give you some kitchen envy, especially if yours is due for an update. But with the average new kitchen costing £8,000  , is it really worth giving yours a celeb-style makeover?

Even in a property slump, an inspirational kitchen can be a major selling point and a potential draw card to discerning buyers.

Not looking to sell your home in the near future? If so, a beautiful new kitchen can improve the practicality and enjoyment of your home, especially as we spend so much time in them. Kitchens are no longer the place to perform life’s mundane chores like washing up; they are the hub of the home. A snazzy renovation could transform your kitchen into a multi-functional living space for dining, watching TV, doing homework and entertaining.

Whether you decide to give your kitchen a major overhaul or a quick update, the chances are it will still represent a considerable investment. Putting more money into your kitchen will give you more choice for a higher specification, so one option might be to apply for a personal loan to contribute towards the cost. 

Here are a few tips to give your kitchen the star treatment, with or without the A-list budget.

Pushing the boat out…

For major conversions, and to get a return on your investment, consider extending the kitchen, adding skylights and folding doors to really maximise space and light. For that high-end look, an option could be to go for a glossy finish on units, add some brightly-coloured splash backs and go for higher spec appliances.

Mid-range budget

Of course you don’t have to cook up a masterpiece design in your head to achieve your dream kitchen.  If your units are already in pretty good nick, consider just replacing the doors. Always buy the best you can afford, especially when it comes to new worktops and unit, as they are more likely to withstand rugged and achieve an attractive finish.

Changing the lighting can also make a huge difference in how you use the space, allowing you to go from bright and cheery to atmospheric at the click of a switch. Spotlights can help, as can internal lighting and underneath units.

If you’re able to save money on units, consider putting in some bespoke features. Ideas include using soft-close drawers, pull-out pantries or adding an attractive looking cooker range.

For a cheap and cheerful budget…

A-list design ideals, Z-list budget? No need to worry. First de-clutter counter tops and empty cupboards to see what you can work with. Refresh old cupboard doors by painting them an attractive shade and replacing old handles with something more modern. Consider replacing your kitchen blind, flooring or buy a new tablecloth to match.

Changing the flooring can improve the look of the space, and it needn’t cost the earth. Vinyl flooring is inexpensive, relatively easy to fit yourself and is available in bold, bright shades for a contemporary look. 

Ultimately, who cares if your budget does not stretch to the swish kitchens used by TV celebrity chefs. Just think, your kitchen is all about your personal taste and others who will use it. There's nothing to stop you attempting a little Cordon Bleu as exquisite as made by those who pose on television.

This guest post was written on behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury's Bank blog. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.









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