Any real estate expert will tell you that great kitchens help to sell houses and make homes a pleasure to live in. But you don’t have to spend a fortune and months renovating in order to give your kitchen a facelift. Here are some easy, inexpensive tips for giving your kitchen an updated look and feel.

Light it up

Good lighting is at the core of any good interior design scheme, as it can lighten up both the space and your spirit. By installing great light fixtures, home owners can add warmth, colour and personality to their kitchens.

Speak to an electrician or lighting expert about whether it’s possible for you to replace your lightbulbs and fixtures.

Whatever you choose, whether it’s ceiling mounts or pendant lights, remember that kitchens require both general ambient and focused task lighting.

Upgrade the hardware

New hardware, such as beautiful knobs and drawer pulls, will turn your cabinets into high-end fixtures, and subtly enhance the look and feel of the entire space.

Paint it

Painting is the cheapest way to update a space. Paint your kitchen walls in a light colour for an airy feel, or paint one wall in a bright or dramatic shade to create an accent wall.

If you want to try something a  little different paint the kitchen doors instead. This can help to emphasise the architectural elements. But there are a few things to consider before you start painting.

Sonica Bucksteg of Dulux says: “As most kitchens have a problem with steam and moisture, it is best to paint ceilings, walls and trims in areas where the cooking is done with a  product such as Dulux’s Pearlglo water-based enamel. Open-plan kitchens where moisture is not a problem can use a tough, easily cleanable paint, such as Dulux’s Luxurious Silk or Rich Matt.”

Cabinets and countertops

Countertops cover a lot of area in the kitchen and are one of the focal points.

Sergio Polito of Snaidero Cucine notes:  “If the kitchen is not in good shape and the doors and carcasses (frames) are not rotten, a good idea is to replace the countertops with an updated colour and material.”

If you don’t want to replace your kitchen cabinets but want to give them a modern appeal, consider painting or staining them.

Claier Bond of Plascon Brand adds: “Off-whites and mid-greys are currently the most popular choices. More recently I have noticed that fawn or mushroom-type colours are being used, with the top units being in the fawn and the bottom units in another complimentary colour.”

Shelf life

If your kitchen is short on storage space, consider adding wall shelving. In addition to providing you with more space, it will also add visual interest and personalise your room. Claire says: “Melamine kitchens can be updated by removing the doors and creating an open-shelved kitchen. Use a melamine primer, and repaint the open shelves and carcass in a natural or bold colour.”

Alternatively, if you want to open up your cabinets but not completely remove the doors, replace them with glass front doors.