How can I save money on kitchen cabinets? Kitchen experts advise

How can I save money on kitchen cabinets?

How can I save money on kitchen cabinets is a question many people ask when designing a kitchen on a budget.

A new kitchen is one of the biggest costs people face when renovating a home. With so many elements to consider, from appliances and countertops to fixtures and fittings, costs can easily spiral out of control. But with a little clever thinking and careful planning, there are ways to create a practical and stylish kitchen that doesn’t cost a fortune.

Cabinets are often the most expensive part of a kitchen, so we asked the experts for their tips on how to make kitchen cabinet ideas more affordable and rounded up a host of inspiring designs.

How can I save money on kitchen cabinets?

There are many ways to save money on kitchen cabinets, from budget kitchen cabinet remodeling ideas like reviving kitchen cabinets with a coat of paint, to streamlining the cabinets you need or replacing them with alternative kitchen storage ideas. Here we share our favorites along with advice from kitchen designers.

1. Plan your layout carefully

Olive and Barr Shaker kitchen with a mix of dark and light worktops

Olive and Barr Shaker kitchen with a mix of dark and light worktops

Having tons of closets may be appealing, but there’s no point in spending money on closets you don’t need. It goes without saying that limiting cabinets to those that are essential will help keep costs down. To make sure you have enough storage, take stock during the planning process of what to store.

“Ask yourself what things you really need and use on a daily basis,” says Al Bruce, founder of Olive & Barr. ‘Clean out the extra baking trays that collect dust. Whether you have a large space or a smaller kitchen, creativity with your storage solutions will ensure that your kitchen remains clutter-free, while saving on the amount of necessary cabinets.’

Similarly, Dave Young, the founder of Husk, suggests ‘thinking about how much storage you need and dividing your kitchen equipment into ‘every day’, ‘sometimes’ and ‘hardly used. You should have the everyday items close to the cooking area, perhaps on open shelves, the ‘occasionally used’ items should be within reach, and the ‘hardly used’ items may be further away, perhaps in a free-standing cupboard.’

2. Invest in quality

The classic English kitchen in yellow from deVOL

The classic English kitchen in yellow from deVOL

While it may not save you money on cabinets from the get-go, investing in high-quality custom cabinets, constructed from durable hardwood and designed specifically to meet your individual needs, will ensure your kitchen stands the test of time and can help save you money in the long run. .

“When you buy something, it is always important to buy locally produced products if you can. It’s also good practice to buy high-quality things, things that last and don’t need to be replaced, things that are really well made with good materials by skilled craftsmen, says Helen Parker, creative director of deVOL.

‘We’re going back to the way we used to live, where we bought things once and we used them every day and didn’t think about or need to keep replacing them. This is a good way to live and although the initial outlay can sometimes be more expensive, it is worth considering that once bought it will serve you well for many years, if not a lifetime.’

Michael Sandsmark from Design West agrees, commenting that ‘when valuing kitchen cabinets, it is important not to compromise on overall quality. This can easily be done by choosing standard finishes and designs,’ suggests the interior designer.

3. Choose standard cabinets designed for self-assembly

Ikea STENSUND Drawer front, beige

Ikea STENSUND Drawer front, beige

For competent DIYers, a great way to make a kitchen more affordable is to ‘use stock cabinets (pre-fab cabinets in a limited range of sizes) and install them yourself,’ suggests Amy Forshew of Proximity Interiors.

There are many companies such as Ikea that offer flat-pack or ready-made modular kitchen cabinets ready for self-assembly in a wide range of styles. If you’re not familiar with how to install kitchen cabinets, ‘there are plenty of “how to” videos to walk you through it,’ says Amy Forshew, but she suggests ‘leaving the countertop installation to the professionals ‘.

4. Adapt a standard kitchen

Ikea kitchen with Plykea doors

Ikea kitchen with Plykea doors

Fitting standard sized pre-fab cabinets with bespoke doors is a wonderful way to create a stylish designer kitchen on a budget.

Ikea offers standard flat pack cabinets as part of modular systems that can be arranged in endless ways to suit your space and needs. The robust and flexible Ikea kitchen cabinets are a good base for customization, and there are many companies that offer custom-made elements. For those looking for a smart, Scandinavian look, Plykea offers bespoke birch plywood doors in a range of styles specially designed to fit Ikea METOD cabinets.

‘Ikea ​​kitchens are well designed and have great functionality. Their kitchen storage organizers and accessories are carefully considered so you can adapt the kitchen to your needs, making cooking and meals more efficient. By combining an Ikea kitchen with our fronts, there are so many possible combinations to create a kitchen that will be uniquely yours, says Anne Clouston, designer at Plykea.

‘A budget-friendly way to hide the underside of the IKEA cupboards is to use our invisi-pull handles. For this we make the doors about an inch longer (30mm) and we shape the bottom of the door to create a pull which opens from the back,’ adds Anne Clouston – it also saves on the cost of cabinet handles.

5. Mount wall shelves

Kitchen with wooden base cabinets and open wall shelves

Kitchen with wooden base cabinets and open wall shelves

When it comes to saving money on kitchen cabinets, think about exploring alternative storage ideas. ‘One of the ways to reduce the cost of kitchen cabinets is to reduce how many you need. Your favorite tableware doesn’t need to be tucked away, why not consider creating a display on the shelves, says Al Bruce of Olive & Barr.

Limiting your cupboard to base cabinets and introducing kitchen shelving ideas can be a good alternative, which will also make your kitchen feel lighter and more spacious – perfect for small kitchen ideas.

Storage of items on shelves is a good idea for items you use often and need close at hand, such as tea, coffee and mugs. They are also a lovely space to display beautiful ceramics. “Another option for more unsightly cookware is to store in rattan baskets, again these can be beautifully styled on shelves and over cupboards,” adds Al Bruce.

“If you have an island, you can suspend storage above it on open shelves, this is perfect for storing glassware and crockery that you use every day,” adds Dave Young of Husk.

6. Choose freestanding over mounted

Kitchen with removable Ikea island unit

Kitchen with removable Ikea island unit

Choosing a kitchen made up of portable parts can be a great way to save money on kitchen cabinets, as it allows you to spread the cost and add to the kitchen over time.

Another advantage of a freestanding kitchen over built-in kitchens is that the kitchen layout can be easily reconfigured if you change how you use your space, plus the furniture can be taken with you if you move, saving you the need to buy a brand new kitchen.

“You don’t have to renovate the kitchen to make room for more storage, Ikea has some great pieces you can add to your home quickly and easily and affordably,” says Clotilde Passalacqua, Ikea UK and Ireland interior design manager .

For example, the RIMFORSA workbench, pictured above, is a perfect addition to a busy kitchen. ‘You can use the lower shelves for frequently used items such as pots and pans, while the bamboo worktop is easy to use and clean, perfect for all the prep work that goes into making delicious food.’

7. Choose a used kitchen

Used Shaker kitchen in green, including white goods, Used Kitchen Exchange

Used Shaker kitchen in green, including white goods, Used Kitchen Exchange

Buying a second-hand or pre-owned kitchen is a wonderful way to save money while reducing your impact on the environment, and there are a growing number of companies specializing in this service, offering sustainable kitchens for all styles and budgets.

While this route allows you to get designer kitchens at a fraction of the original price, the downside is that you’re limited by available sizes. To help customers make an informed choice, most sellers will provide a full breakdown of individual cabinet dimensions as well as the overall dimensions listed.

Here, a used shaker kitchen from Used Kitchen Exchange has been given new life with a fresh coat of paint and beech worktops.

8. Revive existing cabinets

Green kitchen with painted kitchen cabinets in Little Greene deep purple paint

Green kitchen with painted kitchen cabinets in Little Greene deep purple paint

If kitchen cabinets are structurally sound, they don’t need to be replaced if you’re just looking for a new look. Painting a kitchen or refinishing kitchen cabinets is a quick and easy way to give a kitchen new life that can be done over a weekend. Most cabinet doors can be painted, including vinyl and mdf – the key is to use the right paint and to use a primer, says Ruth Mottershead, creative director of Little Greene.

‘Kitchen cabinets need special consideration as they require a tough, durable, washable finish – we’d recommend using Intelligent Satinwood, which will withstand all the knocks of a busy home.

‘Our All-Surface Primer (“Intelligent ASP”) allows you to use Little Greene finishes on a wide range of surfaces, including kitchen cabinets, porcelain and ceramic tiles, giving any area of ​​the kitchen an instant refresh.’

Alternatively, updating designer handle hardware is another easy way to instantly elevate the look of existing cabinets, giving you a high-end look for less.

9. Incorporate vintage pieces

Kitchen with units with vintage vegetable boxes

Kitchen with units with vintage vegetable boxes

There are many used or antique furniture available on internet auction sites that with a little imagination can easily be converted or upgraded into practical kitchen units, plus decorating with vintage is a wonderful way to bring uniqueness.

Here, homeowner Sharon Hunt had custom units incorporated to incorporate vintage elements to complement the character of her historic Georgian home. ‘Nothing in the kitchen matches; everything is made from salvaged wood, often from furniture that cannot be repaired. I absolutely love the drawers made from old vegetable boxes.’

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