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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

Planning a Kitchen Makeover on a Budget

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

I'm planning a kitchen makeover on a budget as it would really benefit from a style overhaul. I feel bad for saying this, as there's nothing actually terrible or hideous about it but... I hate our kitchen (sorry kitchen). It's a bit dull and definitely doesn't fill me with joy or inspiration when I'm in it (which with two kids and WFH is A LOT!).

As there is nothing actually wrong with it, I can't justify spending a wedge of cash on improving it, so the revamp needs to a)be completed by me,  b) work within a tight budget and c) bring all the joy!

I've been gathering inspiration, which I've saved to this Pinterest board.

As you can see, I'm hankering after a fun, fresh, modern feel, lots of texture and some bright, uplifting colour.

Why are you planning a kitchen makeover on a budget?

Before we go any go any further, I better show you some 'before' pics, again to clarify it's not awful, it's just needs a bit of love (& a lot of paint)...

I'm going to document the process of planning a kitchen makeover on a budget with regular updates, so apologies if you are reading this soon after I posted it and were hoping for some 'after' pics and lots of tips, but don't worry, I'm feeling really in the zone so will pull my finger out and wont keep you waiting ages for progress updates!

How to add texture to a kitchen

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I love sticking wood on things (& if you dont...why not??!) I've customised our sofa with half dowel rods, hacked an IKEA coffee table with the same decorative mouldings as the sofa and I went through a phase a couple of years ago where if something stood still in our house, it got panelled! Here's how to install beadboard panelling in case this is a useful DIY tutorial for you.

When it comes to interiors, if something is reeded, ribbed or fluted I love it more, so it's no surprise that this is the bit I'm most looking forward to panels

3d wall panels

I'm trying to resist the urge to buy a stack of prefabricated 3d wall covering due to budget restraints, but also because I enjoy sourcing materials and the process of actually using them to create the desired finish myself.

For this project, I was originally thinking I'd like a wider diameter than the half dowel rods that I used previously, something a bit more tube-like and rounded as per the inspo pics at the start.

So a quick research trip to B&Q was in order, where I was hoping I'd find the perfect material (perusing the plumbing aisle is not exactly glam, but I was as happy as a pig in.. well you get the idea).

Below is a summary of the pros and cons of the materials I found...

Wider half-dowel rods

Wooden half dowels are a sustainable option. They are strong and once painted will be easy enough to clean.


At £2.97 each (2.4M long) it's going to be really expensive to cover the whole run of the back of the cupboards and the wall behind the hob.

Pipe insulation

pipe insulation sleeve

Pros of pipe insulation

- Cheap and easy to get hold of and was exact shape i was looking for.

Cons of pipe insulation

- Soft so would be which would be ok for the higher walls but not the back of the cupboards but wouldn't be easy to clean once painted and wouldn't be suitable for anywhere near the hob

- made of Polyethylene foam so not very good for the environment, which is another factor I'm trying to keep in mind through this project.

I actually bought a piece to test with paint at home and it looked really good when it was cut and painted which made me determined to keep searching for the right materials.

All the plastics

I then went on to look at clear perspex shed roof sheeting, plastic pipes and guttering, but they were all discounted as I'm trying to avoid plastics

Cardboard tubes

In parallel with planning the kitchen revamp, I've been working on another IKEA hack in the Living room on which I've been experimenting with cardboard postal tubes as textured cupboard door cover. This has basically meant having all the fun with a vat of PVA glue!is peninsula isn't it?!), but would not be ideal for behind the worktop area, even after priming and painting due to the need for extra cleaning so I'm thinking that maybe Tongue and Groove panelling might be the way to go as it would still give a linear, textured vibe and can be painted so it’s easy to keep clean and is really cost-effective, with a minimalist single shelf, some posh wall lights and lots of beautiful colour. I've ordered some long cardboard tubes for the peninsula and they should be here in a couple of days so will bring you the next update then.

Where next?

Click the underlined words to go straight to the relevant page!

Shopping Page - Curated shopping guides and shoppable mood boards.

DIY tutorials - Step-by-step tutorials on DIY projects for your home

Seasonal Styling - Interior styling tips and tricks to get your home looking its best, whatever the season.

Online Courses - Self-paced, affordable online courses on DIY, Home styling, upcycling and styling with flowers and foliage

Foraging - Guides to help you save money by foraging for flowers and foliage to style your home

IKEA hacks - transform basic IKEA flatpacks into bespoke-looking furniture to elevate your interiors

DIY Kitchen makeover on a budget - money-saving DIY and styling ideas

Real home tours - take a tour of a beautiful home and get inspired by reading the owner's story.

Home organisation - tips and tricks for organising your home with minimum fuss & maximum impact.

DIY tips and tricks - Advice to save you time and money and reduce the chance of mistakes on your DIY projects.


I’m in my 70’s so not very good with the internet, I try and sometimes things work and sometimes they don’t. In other words - I don’t really know what I’m doing, hope you get my post and are able to help this ole dear with my kitchen thoughts!


I adore your billy makeover - you’d NEVER know it was originally a flat pack. Amazing job! So sorry, but I’m a newbie to your blogs and I’m very curious how you made the wooden dowels on your couch to still be comfortable plus did you paint the whole couch? I LOVE the mossy green colour and your very clever use of colour in your billy shelves, SO STYLISH! now I’ve been thinking of trying to disguise our council kitchen cupboar doors - please can you give me some tips because they’d need to be washable, we have a VERY hairy cat.! My lovely husband has Parkinson’s disease so we need any very easy update ideas, thanks! thanks for all your…

Unknown member
Feb 12, 2022
Replying to

Thanks for your lovely message! The sofa is still comfy because I was careful to only put the wooden beading in places where you don’t sit, so along the armrest and the kickboard bit by your feet. All the comfy cushions are still in place so you don’t notice the reeding. I painted the reeded area only and the green is a colour match for Farrow and Ball - Bancha. I’ll write a detailed post on how I did it as I’ve had a few questions from people and I’ll let you know when I have. Re the cupboard doors, a simple coat of paint can make quite an impact and can freshen up the space without much effort. I’m going…


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