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MAINTAINING A HOME

How to ‘Make Change for Less’ in your kitchen makeover

25 March 2020

Lucy Glade Wright

Lucy Glade-Wright
Designer and Director of Hunting for George

With a background in design and creative direction, Lucy worked for a number of high profile brands before starting her own brand, Hunting for George. Founded in 2010, Hunting for George is an online publication that is your go-to inspiration for all things Home, Design and Lifestyle. As the raconteur behind Hunting for George, Lucy is passionate about design and this self-proclaimed ‘homebody’ is driven to create unique and engaging stories to educate and inspire.

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When it comes to renovating, there’s no denying that the kitchen can often be the most expensive room in the home to upgrade. I have been desperate to update my kitchen but I also wanted to make sure I still had money leftover to afford groceries! I spoke with Suncorp before my kitchen renovation and, as it turns out, they also care about my money. Encouraging me to be smarter with my kitchen makeover, they challenged me to make a big change for less, and I’m going to share with you how I did it! Hopefully these tips will give you a few ideas on how you can Make Change For Less at your place!

If I could sum up my kitchen in one word before the makeover, it would be RANDOM. There was a lot going on, it was very dated, and ultimately it was not an effective, functional space. So I gave my kitchen a major overhaul to take it from zero to hero and I’m going to share how I did it.

My top tips for saving money when renovating your kitchen

First of all, when it comes to budgeting for your kitchen renovation, you really need to think about what is most important to you. Perhaps you love to cook but you really need to upgrade your appliances, or maybe you’re addicted to coffee and want to invest in a new coffee machine so you can stop spending money at your local café. Either way, work out what is most important to you in your kitchen. It’s okay to invest and spend money on key pieces, as long as you’ve considered them and done your homework first. Once that’s done, work out how much budget is left over for the rest.

1. Choose off the shelf

Custom made cabinetry is incredible, but not everyone can afford the premium price tag that comes with it. Find a kitchen supplier that offers semi-custom or off-the-shelf cabinetry solutions. This means that the cabinets will be made to a standard size, such as the cabinet depth, size and height of doors and drawers. You can choose from a standard selection of sizing in order to create a combination that works for your space. You can also select different finishes and types of cabinets, however you will need to choose from the supplier’s predetermined range. This is the most cost-effective option when it comes to new cabinetry!

Hot Tip: Personalise your off-the-shelf cabinetry with hand made elements. We opted to add timber shelving to bring more warmth to the cabinetry. Opt for open shelving so that you can style your favourite cook books, vases or even a plant. This will help bring more personality into your design.

2. Use ‘At Home’ services

Choosing cabinetry for your kitchen can be a bit of a minefield, and if you’re selecting off-the-shelf cabinets to fit into your space, you really need to make sure your measurements are correct. Opting for an in-home measure and quote is a great idea to ensure you make the right decision. Shop around and see if your preferred cabinet supplier offers an in-home service.

Hot tip: Most of the time there is a small cost to pay upfront – maybe a hundred dollars or so – however this can often be redeemed against your order. Make sure you ask if you’re unsure.

3. Do it yourself

Custom shelving doesn’t have to be expensive… if you DIY, that is! If you’re handy with the hammer or know someone who is, try creating your own storage solutions. For my kitchen renovation, we chose to customise our own shelves for the pantry, building it with leftover plywood we had in the garage. This was a great option as we were able to design our shelving exactly as we wanted. In doing so we were even able to create the look of a butler’s pantry by adding in power points and extending the height and depth of the shelving in order fit our appliances.

In the end, the cost of this pantry was $0 because we already had the plywood and used leftover paint from our renovations. But if you were starting from scratch, you’d be looking at a couple hundred dollars to create something of a similar size.

4. Fake it

Truth be told, I would have loved a natural stone benchtop or perhaps a polished concrete. However those natural materials come with a higher price tag! If you’re selecting a benchtop and you want to save money, opt for a laminate option. After all, if you fake it with laminate then you might be able to afford that Italian style terrazzo benchtop you’ve always wanted.

Hot Tip: The finish and quality of laminate benchtops can vary a lot so it’s always a good idea to make sure you see them in the flesh before making your decision.

I hope you found these tips helpful and are now inspired to Make Change For Less at your place. Good luck!

Watch the behind the scenes footage

Read more from our Make Change for Less series


Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product.

Image Credits:
Art Direction & Styling @lucygladewright
Photography @summer_slay for @huntingforgeorge

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