Your New Kitchen – Where To Save And Where To Invest

By Hanna Stensland-Bugge

8 minute read

If you are planning to remodel your kitchen, but don't know where to start, you are not alone. It can be overwhelming to figure out the best way to navigate the remodeling process or determine how much it will cost. Our spend-and-save kitchen guide is here to help you. It provides useful tips on budget-friendly kitchen ranges, affordable kitchen features, and cost-effective alternatives to luxurious boiling water taps, high-quality kitchen cabinets, and premium kitchen worktops.

Planning a new kitchen? It’s an exciting project that you want to get right. The question is, where do you spend your budget, and where do you save? Whether you are replacing your existing kitchen or building an entirely new home – you need to know which areas are worth investing in and where you can opt for cheaper alternatives without compromising quality for an affordable kitchen. From essential cabinetry, worksurfaces, appliances, sinks and taps to decorative elements like handles, flooring, tiles and lighting.

Smile Kitchens Leende range in Chalk with compact laminate worktops. Adding metallic elements such as the splashback, brassware and end panel on the island immediately takes a budget kitchen to another level. The fabulous lighting arrangement also adds a stylish designer touch and a luxurious vibe

Where To Save

Researching brands that offer value for money is a great place to start. At Smile Kitchens, new kitchen cabinets can cost as little as £1700, far less than DIY suppliers – and much better quality. No deposit is required; we offer fuss-free remedials and price matching across all our ranges and have a 10-year guarantee. With free design advice and free samples, it couldn’t be simpler. But that’s just the beginning.

Firstly, you want to identify where it’s wise to mix high-quality investment pieces with more budget-friendly options. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of both worlds and ensure you get the best value for your money. Prioritise which areas of your home are worth investing in more expensive, high-quality items that will serve as a long-term investment and save you money in the future. At the same time, compare products that offer little difference as an opportunity to save money by choosing the cheaper option to get the same look for less.

Lykke kitchen in Clay. This kitchen makes great use of the space for a bespoke look. It’s an affordable range, keeping costs down, but the kitchen island adds extra storage and gives a luxurious look for less.

For example, you can make the island the centrepiece of your kitchen and opt for high-quality quartz worktops and stone or granite sink while choosing laminate worktops and a stainless steel sink for the rest of the kitchen to keep costs down. This way, you can enjoy a beautiful and functional space without breaking the bank.

Renovating Your Own Kitchen

If you want to save money, taking on your kitchen renovation yourself is a great idea. Most of our kitchen ranges are rigid built to make the assembly process as easy as possible. We also provide step-by-step installation guides and a dedicated aftercare team that helps you through the entire process so that anyone can easily install their own kitchen. If you feel intimidated by the idea of doing everything yourself, you can start by removing your old kitchen. This simple task can save you the time and cost of hiring a professional. You can unscrew old cabinets that can be resold and remove old tiles and appliances as necessary. If you are unsure of how you should approach this, Smile Kitchens is happy to offer advice. Call us for a quick advice call, or book a consultation and chat with our designers, who are happy to help you.

Customer kitchen in Hampton shaker range with a Grove finish.

Moving plumbing, electric and gas supplies is another process that adds to the cost. It requires a professional, so unless the layout needs to be changed to give a better flow or you are building a new kitchen extension, leave the services where they are to save yourself money.

Vinyl Wrapped Kitchen Doors

When it’s time to choose your kitchen cabinetry, consider vinyl wrap kitchen doors. These doors are made from MDF and covered with a vinyl wrap, giving them a highly durable, scratch-resistant finish that requires little maintenance. They also have a lifespan of about ten years. This costs significantly less than solid kitchen doors, making them one of the most cost-efficient alternatives on the market. They can be designed in a wide array of colours and designs, from traditional shaker cupboards to contemporary, high-gloss cabinets.

Hambleton Slim Shaker Kitchen in Onyx made in a vinyl wrap.

We offer various ranges of vinyl wrap kitchen ranges to make great design accessible to everyone, and both our Fnissa, Hjerte and Hambleton range are vinyl-wrapped in three drastically different styles that are budget-friendly, whether you are looking for a rustic shaker kitchen or a modern Scandi kitchen.

Laminate Worktops

Worktops are a big part of the kitchen and can take up a significant portion of the budget, especially if you need a lot of workspace. Choosing laminate over real stone countertops can save thousands whilst giving you practical and durable surfaces to work with for excellent value. We recommend our laminate and compact laminate worktops that come in a wide range of finishes with realistic wood, marble, and stone imitations that are indistinguishable from the real thing. These are optimal for family spaces since they are incredibly hardwearing and can easily be replaced with the years as your interior style changes or if you want to upgrade for something more upscale.

Our customers, Ella and Jack’s kitchen nook use our natural oak laminate worktop, creating a beautiful and natural worktop that looks just like real wood without the hefty price tag.

Kitchen Shelves

If you have a small kitchen and are looking for ways to make it look spacious and charming and keep costs low, then using shelves for a kitchen wall is one of our best hacks. By replacing extra wall cabinets with shelves, you can create zones in your kitchen where you can add some personal touches. For instance, you can add some rustic wooden shelves to create a kitchen breakfast bar that displays your favourite teas and decor.

Close-up of customer kitchen of our Hjerte range in Moon and Clay with wooden shelves.

Take the example of our customer Laura’s kitchen above, who opted for wooden shelves in her Hjerte range kitchen to create a breakfast station displaying her favourite tea and decor. The floating shelves added a rustic charm and personality to her kitchen and helped her keep that final price tag low.

Where To Splurge

If your budget allows it, spend more on your kitchen cabinetry. You will want your new kitchen to last, so don’t skimp on the most important part. All of our cabinets are the same high quality, so you know you are getting a great product for a good price and built to last. The cabinets themselves are adjustable, so you can choose your shelf height to suit, and we offer a range of kitchen storage solutions, things like cutlery inserts, internal drawers, pan and plate drawers and stackers, and even a spice tray insert for a top end look and valuable storage.

Leende range in Moon. There are options to personalise your kitchen with pull-out kitchen storage, including spice drawers and bespoke storage where you need it, just as you would with a more expensive kitchen.

Kitchen Corner Storage

If you want to keep your kitchen well-organised, smart storage solutions are a must. Among them, kitchen corner storage units are the unsung heroes. It’s worth investing in them to maximise your space and save time searching for kitchenware and appliances. They provide a secure place to store pots, pans, baking trays, and other oddly shaped items that can easily be taken out and put back in without cluttering your cabinets.

Jasper j-pull range in Doll with Le mans corner optimiser.

They should be well-engineered and sturdy so they won’t let you down, like our popular Le mans corner optimiser that lets you easily pull out your internal drawers, giving you a clear overview of all your kitchenware and lets you cook with ease.

It is likely to cost more to retrofit internal storage or wirework than installing it in the beginning, so if you have your kitchen installed by a fitter, you want to take this into account as another labour expense, so make sure you consider this at the design stage. You won’t regret it. After all, you can never have enough kitchen storage solutions.
Get inspired and explore more of our storage solutions.

The Luxury Of A Boiling Water Tap

Many people now include a boiling water tap in their new kitchen. It saves energy and means there is no need for a kettle cluttering the worktop. In addition to hot drinks in an instant, it makes boiling pasta, potatoes and vegetables easier too, and you only use what you need, so it also saves on water waste.

Our Quooker fusion round gold tap instantly adds a luxurious focal point to your kitchen.

Expect to pay more, around £1300 as opposed to around £100 for a basic tap, but they are a great investment, and you can’t put a price on speed and enjoyment that is made to last for years to come, like our popular Quooker tap pictured above.

High-Quality Handles

Chrome cup handles from our Mix handle collection

Lastly, don’t skimp on the details; good quality handles can make or break a kitchen. Kitchen handles are often compared to jewellery as the final touches that add elegance to your cooking space. When selecting handles, take the time to think about what style you’re aiming for and what hardware will complement your aesthetic. It’s often worth investing in high-quality handles that add visual weight and that can withstand heavy-duty use.
Not sure where to start with your next project? Try the kitchen planner to see what a kitchen might cost you, or book a design consultation for £25 – it might be the best £25 you spend if it saves you costly kitchen mistakes!