Buying a kitchen second-hand may seem unheard of, but it can be a great way to update your home on a budget. So many people think that their only option is a basic store-bought kitchen, but there are alternatives out there – purchasing a designer kitchen second-hand is the future. You can get great quality at a fraction of the original custom-made price. However, when a kitchen has been designed for a different home, how do you personalise it to suit yours? Here are some tips:
PAINT IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
When you buy a second-hand kitchen, paint becomes your best friend. You can use it to transform the entire room, from the cabinets to the walls. You will be surprised how much painting your cabinets can lift the entire room, making it brighter and much more pleasant.
CHANGE UP THE CABINETS
With cabinets making up such an important part of the kitchen, changing them can have a big impact on the design. You could paint them, as we mentioned above, or replace the doors with glass. If you’re feeling brave (and you keep your cupboards tidy!) you could take the doors off completely. Is that too much commitment? Just replace the handles – chrome handles instantly update a kitchen, or you could find quirky vintage ones.
REPLACE THE WORKTOPS
Since it is unlikely that the worktops of a second-hand kitchen will fit perfectly in your space, you might as well take the opportunity to change them! Replacing them with marble looks incredible, but it’s costly, so opt for a laminate material with a marble finish which is also much easier to clean. Granite and concrete worktops give your kitchen a sophisticated industrial feel. B&Q have plenty of affordable worktop options which will totally transform your second-hand kitchen.
CHANGE THE SPLASHBACK
Changing your kitchen splashback doesn’t have to cost the earth, and is another way to lift your kitchen. Bright white subway tiles look timeless and stylish, or a clear perspex splashback can protect a painted or wallpapered surface. Metallic finishes make your kitchen look more modern and create a great focal point to draw the eye.
FIND UNIQUE ACCESSORIES
Finding unique accessories for your kitchen is the ultimate way to make it your own. The end goal is to make the kitchen look like it was designed for your home. If you’re on a budget, scour eBay and second-hand markets for one-of-a-kind trinkets that you wouldn’t find elsewhere. Helen Lord, founder of Used Kitchen Exchange, a company who buys and sells second-hand kitchens, says that the most important thing to do is to ‘have fun’ with your accessories.
SAND AND RE-FINISH THE WOOD
If you purchase a wooden kitchen second-hand, one of the easiest ways to update it is to refinish the wood. Simply sand it down and coat it with a wood oil to protect it from future stains. Wood oil costs around £15, so if you can’t afford to replace your wooden worktops this is a pocket-friendly alternative.
FOCUS ON LIGHTING
Kitchens should have plenty of light. You want focused light around your cooking and prepping areas, with softer lighting around an island or seating area. Recessed lighting looks great, and pendant lighting can add atmosphere. Replacing your existing bulbs with LED bulbs can also save you money in the long run – they use less energy, and hardly ever need to be replaced.Don’t be afraid of buying a used kitchen and making it your own, it’s easier than you think. You’ll save money and have fun in the process as you learn new DIY skills and shop around for accessories! All these kitchen images are from the Used Kitchen Exchange – can you believe it?! They look fab, don’t they? You’d never know that they hadn’t been custom-made for the room. Let me know how you’ve revamped your own kitchen at home by leaving me a comment below and I’d love to see some pics of your DIY projects to tag me @cassiefairy in your Instagram posts.