Asked on Oct 11, 2017

I live in New Zealand, any cheap kitchen redo ideas.

Jinson K VPatti Ann HenkeGinny


Fill view of kitchen, I thought of removing peninsula and knocking down wall into laundry and between fridge. Making it a larger kitchen. The last picture is the pantry.
14 answers
  • Delle
    on Oct 11, 2017

    Are you tired of white? If so, start with splashes of your favorite color, like maybe shades of turquoise and teal. I goes well with the cobalt blue I see in the second picture. Wall paint is often the cheapest and easiest, but you can do a dynamite backsplash for very little money. Try stencils on the white tile. Or cover with materials you normally wouldn't try. Vinyl flooring planks, for example. Your white tile could be painted, or covered with a contact paper, or a more heavy duty covering that is intended for countertops or appliances. The white cabinets could be the place you want to start. Painting just the doors and drawer fronts in a bold color would be striking. Or try stenciling on a large design. Follow up with curtains and towels in matching colors.
  • Cls29904968
    on Oct 12, 2017

    I would just paint the cabinets a gray or navy, put up a new curtain with a splash of color (maybe matching ones over the open area under the side bar), and maybe new handles and pulls on the cabinets. That's the cheapest fix. Go one step further with a new backsplash.
  • 17532838
    on Oct 12, 2017

    I agree paint would be the cheapest way to add some color and unity to the space. I would add some open wood shelving to the area above the counter (where the calendar is) and display some colorful bowls, glassware and plants to warm up the space. New curtains and kitchen towels would be nice too. If you want to go a step further you could use tile decals on the backsplash to change the look. Here is a link to a company that sells inexpensive decals -
  • Delle
    on Oct 12, 2017

    I agree on op en shelves. You might find you only want some open, like dish shelves and hide things that aren’t so pretty. I think usually all open shelves aren’t as decorative as as mix.
  • Kelli Wheeler Wilson
    Kelli Wheeler Wilson
    on Oct 12, 2017

    you could paint the counter tops. I did this with paint and sponges and it looks like granite. People are surprised to find out its paint. I did it 6 months ago and still looks great. I bought a kit from Home Depot online $80 well worth the money
  • Adrienne Sajecki
    Adrienne Sajecki
    on Oct 12, 2017

    you could put moulding on the cabinet door fronts before painting. Try doing the lower cabinets in a dark color and the uppers in a white or offwhite. Put a narrow shelf above the stove that you could put cooking utensil on and spices for easy reach.
  • Carey
    on Oct 13, 2017

    Tracey, a lot depends on what you like in your kitchen. Obviously, your kitchen is small. If you wouldn't mind having your laundry also in the kitchen that would make the kitchen larger. I would hate having the Microwave over the Frig. SO I think that the first thing that I would do is to sit down and draw a plan for what you really want your kitchen to look like. I designed a kitchen, it took me 2 years of research and designing because I didn't want to make any major mistakes. It turned out to be exactly what I wanted. I designed a peninsula that held my microwave, with a pull out shelf so that I had a place to set the hot things that I took out of the Microwave. I would put a cabinet over your frig and arrange to put the microwave as near to your table as possible. Things usually go from the microwave to the table (at least at my house), so it is better to not have to carry it a great distance. Drawers or pull out shelves make the space much more easily used and the back of the cabinets are being efficiently used. Personally, I would decide how much money I have to spend and then research the cost of making my plan a reality. Even if you have to do it in stages, it is better to come out with something that you truly can use and enjoy! A small kitchen needs to be as efficient as possible. IF you have a corner that you cannot access easily, and it can be accessed by a cabinet door in another room, do that. It is less expensive and can be an excellent use of your space. By the way, I had lived with 27 different kitchens in the years prior to designing my own, so I did have a idea of what I wanted when I started. Looking at your small kitchen, I would be tempted to put in a floor to ceiling pantry in if you can find a small area that is not efficiently used.. I don't know a lot about life in New Zealand, if you are in a community where you go to the store daily as they did when we lived in Germany, that might not be something that would be something that you would be concerned with, but I like it for both food items as well a a good place to put my canisters that hold so many of my stored things-Flour, Sugar, raisins, ..., as well as larger pans that I use for cooking for larger family get togethers. A pantry, even a small one provides a lot of extra storage space. Do you want open shelving or closed. Do you want a lot of color in your kitchen or just a splash? Do you want to do a full make over or just a facelift. Then lastly, once your dreams have been put together, you have to match them with your reality and go for the nearest option that you can do. Have a fun time as you dream and plan for your special kitchen. My research: I asked every lady that I met, what she liked best about her kitchen and what she likes least. That helped me avoid mistakes and helped me choose the things that I would really like in my kitchen.
  • Julie Medved
    Julie Medved
    on Oct 13, 2017

    Take away all the fridge magnets for a cleaner minimalist look. Remove cafe curtains and change to timber venetians. Minimalise down to a few utensils for display and put the rest away.
  • Julie Medved
    Julie Medved
    on Oct 13, 2017

    Paint all your cabinets one colour, put a microwave shelf where the calendar is and get the microwave off the fridge.
  • Connie
    on Oct 14, 2017

    i hate open shelving. Dust, clutter. Add color by painting cabinets. No curtains or window treatments unless needed for privacy. Can't see enough to further comment.
  • Jodie Woods
    Jodie Woods
    on Oct 14, 2017

    If your budget is really small, I'd say go with what you have and just "polish" a few spots. Like in the 1st photo; I can see a pretty wreath of greenery hanging from a burlap ribbon. Remove the doors from under your sink and replace them with some curtains that match or coordinate with your window curtains. Buy or construct a pot rack for over your stove. Switch out all your hardware (door hinges and drawer & door pulls) to something that match. Oil rubbed bronze is a beautiful contrast on white cabinets. Some folks just buy paint for metal and use that. In the 2nd photo : I think some open wood shelving stained in a rich dark color would brighten and add precious space and may provide a better spot for your microwave. For sure do some fresh paint on the walls. I'd definitely reduce the amount of magnets on the refrigerator to a few and if you can find a new spot for your microwave put your cook books between book ends up there or some plants or maybe a nice canister set. Hang up or paint on a chalkboard on your pantry door and attach a key rack below it. Or stencil a word (like PANTRY) in big letters down the length of the door.
    I hope I've given you some ideas you'll like! 😊
  • Ginny
    on Oct 14, 2017

    • Get ride of cafe curtains and install shutters, either natural wood or painted a color
    • Remove magnets from the refrigerator and keep it free of "stuff" except maybe an erase board for family reminders/messages
    • Reverse door handle on refrigerator to make it open from right to left
    • Pick a primary paint color you like and keep woodwork/trim white or off-white
    • Take down calendar (ugly) and plant (takes up too much eye room)
    • Buy linens that tie in with your new kitchen color
    • Clear as much "stuff"off of your counters as you can
    • Get rid of utensils you never, ever use in the kitchen
    • Pots and pans I use constantly are hung on a pegboard on an open wall and framed to look like a picture frame. Store other utensils in a cupboard in the laundry rm.
    • Buy a large storage cupboard at WalMart or similar store in New Zealand; put it in laundry rm. to store infrequently used items from kitchen and laundry so both rooms can be clutter free
    • Good luck. Decisions are hard to make.

  • Patti Ann Henke
    Patti Ann Henke
    on Oct 15, 2017

    I took my all white cabinets and got some red car pinstriping. I pinstiped my cupboards doors and the drawers also went a bit further and srtipped around the dishwasher, and the fan above the stove. Then got some red handles. And put splashes of yellow around.
  • Jinson K V
    Jinson K V
    on Jul 21, 2019

    I would just paint the cabinets a gray or navy, put up a new curtain with a splash of color (maybe matching ones over the open area under the side bar), and maybe new handles and pulls on the cabinets. That's the cheapest fix. Go one step further with a new backsplash.

    Most Kiwis are doing in that way.

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