Are you thinking of remodelling your kitchen? Be careful—what seems like an easy project can easily turn big and expensive. The good news is that there are ways to update the look of this space even if your budget is limited. You can certainly make a major impact in your kitchen without spending a lot of money by combining some elbow grease, creativity, and patience. Here are some ideas for your kitchen renovation in Singapore.
Some general tips
- Have a plan.
Perhaps the most important rule with updating a kitchen is to take time to plan things out. You can start by getting ideas about kitchen interior design in Singapore in organizing them in one digital folder, or using Pinterest. If space is a consideration, then be sure to look at magazines and interior decorating websites for ideas on how to do small kitchen design in Singapore.
Think about your priorities as you plan. What do you really need? What features and amenities are non-negotiable? Having a clear list of priorities will help ensure that your project does not balloon to twice its size, keeping you within budget.
Have an honest look at your kitchen. Step back and try to be as objective as possible. What bothers you about the space? What about it do you like? Are their features that you can live with, even if you don’t love them? For example, maybe you really need a new countertop, but your cabinets are okay as they are. Perhaps your current kitchen layout is not so bad, so you don’t have to relocate the kitchen sink and do major replumbing. The more elements you leave untouched, the cheaper your remodelling project will be.
Once you have a clear idea of what changes you want to make, get advice and a quotation from several contractors. You don’t have to sign a contract with them right away, but getting a quote can give you a rough idea of how much you can expect to spend on your project.
- Save money on materials.
Keeping what you have when possible is the best way to cut costs on materials. In most cases, all you need is a fresh coat of paint to give dingy cabinets, counters, or kitchen walls a fresh new look. It’s also a good idea to check other rooms in your home for pieces that you can potentially reuse in the kitchen. Maybe that tired old bench in your foyer is perfect for creating a new breakfast nook. Or maybe an unused outdoor lamp can be repurposed as kitchen lighting. Websites that feature creative kitchen design in Singapore will give you more ideas.
Take time to shop around. It can be tempting to buy things that you like as you see them, whatever the cost, just so you can’t take them off your list and move on. But more often than not, you will see them again for much less—sometimes at half the price. You might also see better alternatives that are cheaper.
Don’t be afraid to shop second-hand. You’ll be amazed at all the things you can find and reuse centres—from kitchen sinks to appliances to hardware all the way to lighting fixtures, at bargain prices. You can also try looking for used items online.
It might also be a good idea to sell some of your old stuff to make money that you can put or it’s your kitchen renovation. Who knows? That old microwave you hate might be the perfect piece for someone else who is also doing a kitchen remodel.
Finally, think about mixing it up. You don’t have to go low end or high and all the way. Use just a touch of luxurious accents and then go for affordable materials elsewhere. For instance, you can splurge on fancy cabinet doors for your upper cabinets and choose a more basic model for the lower cabinets.
How to save money on specific items
- Kitchen cabinets
Kitchen cabinets can quickly eat up your remodelling budget. Fortunately, there are several ways to keep costs down in this regard.
- Repaint or refinish your old cabinets. Take all the doors off and clean them with a degreasing agent. Give them a light sanding before applying primary and repainting them. To refinish old doors, sand them thoroughly and then apply some fresh stain and varnish.
- Reface your cabinets. This means replacing all the kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts, and then applying new veneers to the boxes. It’s a great way to really change up the look of your kitchen for less.
- If you want to replace your cabinets entirely, go for stock models instead of having them custom built. Stock cabinets vary widely in terms of quality. Most of them are made of particle boards and veneers instead of plywood, but don’t worry—well-made ones will hold up to wear and tear just fine.
- Choose open shelving. Modern kitchens in Singapore these days beach cabinets altogether and use open shelving instead. It is a great small kitchen idea because it tends to make the space feel airier and more open.
- Kitchen counters
The total price you have to pay for a kitchen counter renovation will depend on the material you choose. Here are some budget-friendly options:
- Laminate – Made from a core of compressed paper or particle board covered in a layer of hard plastic, laminate is not only easy to install—it’s also very affordable. This material comes in a wide range of patterns and colours. Don’t cut on it though, as it scratches easily.
- Solid surface – Made from polyester acrylic or a blend of the two, this material a stain resistant. Small scratches and nicks can be sanded out.
- Butcher block –This trendy countertop material is actually made of thin wood strips that are bonded together to form a slab. It’s fairly easy to install and can give a modern kitchen a warmer look. However, it’s vulnerable to scratches and stains.
- Granite – This is a bit more expensive than the materials previously mentioned, but it’s also more durable. Granite resists heat, scratches, and cuts. It looks great, too.
- Quartz composite – Also called engineered stone, this material provides the hardness in the look of a natural stone slab but is much cheaper because it’s made from quartz chips bonded together with epoxy or acrylic. Like granite, it is resistant to stains, scratches, and heat damage.
Here’s another great way to save on your countertop renovation: fake it. Get cheaper granite tiles and set of a solid slab of granite, and then install those tiles over a plywood base and tile backer board. Use dark grout to camouflage the grout lines and make everything look like a single piece.
- Kitchen appliances
It sure is tempting to splurge on professional kitchen appliances from brands like Wolf or Viking, but unless you are a chef or in a very serious home cook, you really don’t need them. Here are some ways to keep costs down:
Replace only appliances that truly need replacing. Don’t toss something if it’s still in good shape. If you’re worried that they won’t match the new appliances you are bringing in, consider repainting them. These days, you can easily by appliance paint in a wide range of colours and can even mimic the look of stainless steel. You can even paint your refrigerator with chalkboard paint to give it that trendy look that also makes it functional as a message centre.
If you’re buying new appliances, make sure that they are energy star models. They cost so much less to run, thereby saving you a lot of money over the long term.
Patience is key when embarking on a kitchen remodel project in Singapore. If your budget is tight, you don’t have to do a head-to-toe renovation all at once. Proceed in stages. For example, you can replace your kitchen cabinets this year and your kitchen counter next year.