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Small kitchen ideas on a budget

Whether you’ve inherited a dated space, or your existing kitchen is looking worn and tired, these ideas for small kitchens are extremely pocket-friendly.
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Is your small kitchen in need of an urgent face-lift yet you don’t have the funds for a big overhaul? Don’t fret. Whether you’ve inherited a dated space, or your existing kitchen is looking worn and tired, it’s still possible to make big changes on a tight budget. The secret to success is to make inexpensive design choices that will make an impact.

Read on to discover clever updates that will give your kitchen that much-needed refresh it deserves without denting your bank balance.

If you want to find out how much these updates might set you back, check out our kitchen remodel cost guide.

Small kitchen decorating ideas

1. Statement tiles

Small kitchen ideas on a budget

Boldly patterned tiles are your secret weapon for adding buckets of unique character and style statements to your small kitchen. Source cheap ceramic or porcelain tiles with a vibrant design to create a big impact – the louder the better.

Create a lively splashback to energise the walls, and if your budget can stretch further, tile the floor to heighten the look.

Discover more cheap kitchen splashback ideas.

2. Scandi monochrome

Cheap kitchen ideas

Unsure how to update your dull white kitchen? Create a timeless look in an instant by injecting it with some classic monochrome touches and cool Scandi style.

Simply pop in an inexpensive black and white runner beside the white cabinetry, add monochrome prints to bring interest to plain walls, and pull the look together with touches of pale timber to evoke a true Scandi feel

3. Clever storage

Inexpensive kitchen ideas

Transform mundane kitchen storage into an interesting wall display by making it the focal point of your space. For example, hang an inexpensive utensil rack above the worktops and then elevate its interest by adding open wall shelves above. The result – a trendy display area that will catch the eye.

Houseplants and fresh herbs are a quick and cheap way of bringing colour and texture to your space, while stacks of your favourite tableware and glasses lined up on the shelves will also add a dynamic touch.

4. Feature wall

Small kitchen makeover on a budget

Don’t underestimate the impact of painting a statement wall in a striking colour – even in your kitchen. Just be sure to choose a paint specifically formulated for the steamy kitchen environment that can be wiped down easily.

This cheap, low-cost decorating idea is a brilliant solution for tired walls that need pepping up.

Why not hire one of our professionals to get the look?

5. Repaint cabinets

cheap kitchen design ideas

Giving cabinets a new lease of life with a fresh paint colour can make an outstanding difference to a small kitchen without spending a fortune. The secret is to choose a colour that will not only complement your worktops, flooring and splashback but will also make an eye-catching difference.

6. Butchers block/kitchen trolley

butcher block counter

If you haven’t got room to incorporate a kitchen island into your small kitchen design, a moveable butchers block is a fantastic option.

A butchers block will offer additional storage and it can be moved around and stored away in a corner when it isn’t being used.

7. New handles

Switching your kitchen door handles can change the look of your entire kitchen. It’s important for small kitchens to amp up the style factor to make up for its square footage.

Brass and copper handles are contemporary choices that contrast well with neutral or dark kitchen cabinets.

8. Patterned wallpaper

kitchen wallpaper ideas

Just because your kitchen is small, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to express your personal style with pattern and colour.

Use a loud wallpaper design to cover a kitchen splashback or small kitchen island to make a statement.

9 . Open shelves

Kitchen open shelving

Opting for open shelving opposed to traditional wall units is a great trick for opening up the space in a small kitchen.

You can use open shelves to display all of your favourite cookbooks and kitchen accessories.

10. Bold lighting


Think outside of the box when it comes to choosing or changing your kitchen lighting. Wall lights are a contemporary solution for a small kitchen that looks stylish and bang are bang on trend. Place them above your worktop to act as functional spotlights.

Alternatively, a statement pendant light or two is always a design winner.

11. Unique flooring

kitchen flooring

Show your small kitchen some love by paying attention to your flooring. Choose a patterned design inspired by the Victorian era to make a stylish statement.

Changing your floor doesn’t have to break the bank. Look around your local vintage and second hand stores for antique tiles or use tile stickers that look just like the real thing!

12. Go dark

Quartz kitchen worktop surfaces

We’ve always been told that small spaces need to be light and bright however this rule is definitely outdated.

If you love dark colours but have a small kitchen then go for it! A top tip would be opting for dark cabinets but lightening up your scheme with light quartz worktops.

13. Add artwork

Colour block kitchen wallpaper

Liven up your small kitchen with original framed artwork. Introducing art into your home doesn’t have to be expensive, how about trying your hand at photography and printing out your favourite landscape photos?

Or, opt for digital downloads that are much more affordable.

14. Breakfast bar

Bright and light breakfast bar ideas

Do you have a kitchen worktop that you could turn into a mini breakfast bar? This is a great solution to add seating to your kitchen space.

Choose a pair of elegant bar stools that suits the rest of your kitchen.

15. Pops of colour

Kitchen cupboard colour ideas

A simple but effective way of adding interest to your small kitchen is adding pops of colour.

Choose small appliances in vibrant shades to make your worktops feel bright and colourful. Display colourful ceramics and a patterned tea towel will cost you as little as £1.

16. Vertical design

Use height to your advantage when decorating a small kitchen. Can you bring vertical stripes into your design? Perhaps through your choice of wallpaper of tiles.

Also, consider long thin cupboards when designing your small kitchen as it’ll draw the eye upwards and make it feel more spacious.

17. Small pantry

set up a coffee nook in a kitchen pantry

Dedicate a space in your kitchen to having a pantry. It feels like a real treat and keeps all your dried goods in one space.

Even if you don’t have enough space to create a walk in pantry, create your own on a smaller scale.

18. Lots of texture

Decorating a small kitchen can be a tricky task however the littlest things often make the biggest difference.

Make sure to introduce lots of different textures to your kitchen design. If your’e planning a kitchen from scratch, consider textured tiles and cabinets (steer away from gloss).

Or, if you want to reinvigorate your current kitchen, add texture with your accessories and dressings.

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