Renovation expert: This is how you can update your kitchen for less – and the eight styling tricks that will add thousands in value
- Renovation expert Cherie Barber has shared how you can update your kitchen
- She said a simple ‘cosmetic refresh’ can often add thousands in value for cheap
- She shared the eight simple styling tricks to add value like choosing pale colours
- Cherie also shared her favourite homewares stores for shopping for kitchens
If you’re looking to add value to your home in 2023, one of the best places you can start is your kitchen, claims renovation expert and TV host Cherie Barber.
But, with the average kitchen reno in Australia costing between $25,000 and $50,000, spending on your kitchen will often result in a large bill at the end.
Recently, the renovation expert revealed how you can update your space for less, and the eight simple styling tricks that will add thousands of dollars worth of value.
If you’re looking to add value to your home in 2023, one of the best places you can start is your kitchen, claims renovation expert and TV host Cherie Barber (pictured)
1. Give it a cosmetic refresh with paint
The calculator you should use for your kitchen renovation
* Cherie said you should never spend more than three per cent of your current property value on a kitchen renovation.
* You should not use what you paid for the property as a guide.
* For example, if your current property is valued at $600,000, then you’ll want to spend around $18,000 total to make sure you get back what you put in.
Source: Renovating for Profit
The first way you can update your kitchen in a quick and easy way is to give it a ‘cosmetic refresh’ with a weekend’s worth of work and some paint.
‘If your kitchen is in sound shape, with no rotted carcasses or cracked splashback tiles, then one trip to your local hardware store and a weekend’s worth of elbow grease could be all you need for a complete overhaul,’ Cherie wrote on her website.
‘With this kind of cosmetic refresh, your kitchen tiles, benchtop and cupboard fronts can all be painted in fresh, modern colours.’
The expert gave the example of a kitchen she recently transformed for under $2,000 – where she added a pantry and reshuffled the layout on a shoestring.
She also painted it a modern pastel green colour, which Cherie said ‘stripped decades off those old timber cabinet fronts’.
She describes paint as ‘liquid gold’ for your kitchen in adding value.
BEFORE: If your kitchen carcass is in reasonable shape, Cherie said a quick trip to a hardware store and a weekend’s worth of work can add serious value
AFTER: ‘With this kind of cosmetic refresh, your kitchen tiles, benchtop and cupboard fronts can all be painted in fresh, modern colours,’ Cherie said
2. Update your cabinetry
The second thing you can do to quickly and easily add value to your kitchen is update the cabinetry.
However, it’s important to note that this will cost slightly more than simply painting your cabinets.
‘If you want the next step up but still don’t have anywhere near enough for a brand new kitchen, a great middle of the road option is to update your cabinetry with new cabinet fronts,’ she said.
BEFORE: Cherie describes paint as ‘liquid gold’ in how effective it is at transforming a space
AFTER: In one reno, she painted the kitchen a modern pastel green colour, which Cherie said ‘stripped decades off those old timber cabinet fronts’
Cherie recommends companies like Granite Transformations, who can manufacture and install new door fronts, drawer fronts and end panels in contemporary materials and colours.
‘This is a great way to save a heap of money, getting the look of a brand-new kitchen without gutting the entire room,’ she said.
‘This is because you simply keep all of your existing carcasses (provided they are still in good shape) and re-skin your kitchen with new cabinetry.’
New benchtops, splashbacks and appliances will also give the feel of an entirely new kitchen without having to put one in.
Cherie shared pictures of a recent kitchen she transformed for under $5,000. While it looks like a new kitchen, it actually utilises a lot of what was already in the space.
Cherie explained there are three key tiers for kitchen renovations (pictured), which all depend on your budget
Cherie Barber’s eight styling tricks to add value for less
1. Change your splashbacks to be glossy as this will help to bounce the light around.
2. Opt for pale colours as they instantly make a small space seem bigger.
3. Get rid of any clutter for a more streamlined look.
4. Go for smaller appliances as these will always look better in a kitchen and bigger is not always better.
5. Bench-top resurfacing, laminating and painting are all cheap ways of improving your kitchen.
6. Buy appliances in bulk to save money and don’t think you need to buy brand names.
7. Think about lighting as this can make or break a kitchen.
8. Negotiate tradies’ pricing before agreeing to their work at an hourly rate.
BEFORE: Cherie said pale colours work well in a kitchen better than bright as they give the illusion of space
AFTER: She demonstrated this to great effect with this kitchen renovation, where she used white to improve the look and feel
3. Project manage your own kitchen
Finally, if you want to rip out your kitchen and entirely start fresh, Cherie recommends trying to project manage your own space.
‘While it’s tempting to leave the management of your brand-new kitchen installation in the hands of a kitchen showroom or a licensed builder (who will take care of every step of the process for you), unfortunately, you will pay dearly for that service,’ she said.
‘Expect to pay at least a 25 per cent premium to your kitchen cost for this luxury.’
If you choose to project manage your own space, you will save some serious cash, but you have to make sure you’re organised and you would do well to do an online course like her own ‘Create Your Perfect Kitchen’.
‘Having done well over 50 kitchens throughout my renovation career, I know there’s more to know with most kitchen renovations than people realise,’ Cherie added.
‘Failing to design your kitchen well and not planning properly right up front is a fast way to unplanned hiccups and costs spiralling out of control.’
BEFORE: You might think that a kitchen like this needs to be ripped out, but Cherie said she spent just $5,000 on the transformation
AFTER: She said that by using some methods, you can get the illusion of a new kitchen while utilising a lot of what is there already
Cherie’s cheap go-to stores for kitchen renovations
* Bunnings – this is great for kitchen additions and decorations. Cherie said it’s also good for first-time renovators, as you can take things back if you change your mind.
* Secondhandkitchens.com.au – This is fantastic for lower-budget properties, according to Cherie.
* Go Flatpacks – also great for kitchen cabinetry.
* Kmart – this one is great for the decorative touches that really pull a kitchen together.
* IKEA – also great for furniture items and modern decorative pieces.
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