Whether you are inspired by making caramel crunch cupcakes, or whether cooking is just a case of feeding the family, there is no doubt, the kitchen is where it all happens. This is where the heart of the home is and it is not just for the cook, but family members will bump into each here at one point or another.

The atmosphere you are in changes everything. A kitchen may have looked good 10 years ago, but it is probably looking a little tired by now. You don't have to spend a fortune on this. There are really fantastic affordable options which allow you to redesign your kitchen.

  1. The cheapest way to start off is with is a fresh coat of paint. If you are repainting and touching up, that is all well and good, but if you are going for something completely new, make sure you test it out first. You will be amazed what this does for you when you stand back once the job is done.
  2. Make sure you have enough storage space and that your kitchen is not cluttered up with odds and ends. You can get great organizers, which are not badly priced.
  3. Some kitchens look great, but they have no character. Use open shelving and be creative about what you display, based around the theme of your kitchen. You could add some texture here or color with your favorite plates.
  4. Think of a new backsplash. You can do something creative with your favorite photo, enlarged and protected. This may cost you $100, but it will completely change your kitchen around.backsplashcredit:flickr.com/photos/naz66/8072389831
  5. Use your lighting in your kitchen cheaply in a creative way. If you have a plain white kitchen, then you may want to think of contrasting this with something big and bright that hangs above you as you cook. You can also find something different, like baskets placed in different areas.
  1. Lights can also be used in a decorative way to bring out certain elements and to add a little atmosphere to the area. You can place small spotlights under the cabinets. You can also use halogen floods because this will also save energy.
  2. If there is nothing, other than a slab and a protective floor, you may want to think of ripping everything up. After you have sanded this down, you can use a stain, along with a sheer color, which will go with that modern look.
  3. Just by updating the knobs on the cabinets, you will be adding some sophistication to your kitchen. There are lots of designer items out there, that can really suit your budget. You don't have to go out and get brand new cabinets.kitchen cabinet knobs photo:flickr.com/photos/rjhuttondfw
  4. You can also add to your cabinets and the whole loook of your kitchen, by painting your hardware. This will obviously depend on the theme. Remember, that for someone who is always in the kitchen, black is not the way to go. However, you can complement this by having an all over black counter, with white cabinets. It is always handy if you know various painting techniques, such as lime wash or marbling.
  5. If you really want to save money, then you have to invest some time on a couple of tutorials. You can learn to make custom, hand made ceramic tiles, for example. This would save you a ton, and it would be fun at the same time. This is one way of creating that unique look.
  1. Any wood can be stained easily for a couple of dollars and a little effort. This will definitely make a difference, just like the paint.
  2. Maybe you are someone who has persevered with an old stove. Well, no need to go out and get one just yet. So long, you can buy a couple of switch plates and possibly have the knobs changed.
  3. Anything really grubby will bring the appearance down, and you need to change that immediately. Something like a blind which the dog has chewed on or a plastic rug in front of the stove. If blinds are too expensive you can always learn how to make your own. This is a great way to create a new look for a kitchen on a tight budget
  4. Clear counter tops always look so much better, so make sure you pack the salt and pepper as well as all of the other spices in the right places. All that extra space will make a big overall difference. You should also do a big clean out. There must be things that have expired and other products which you just don't use anymore.
  5. Treat yourself with a new appliance for blending or baking and make sure this goes with the rest of your kitchen. You can budget to get one of these every so often and it will really do the world of good to the look as well as your cooking, of course.kitchen appliance                                                  photo credit: flickr.com/photos/aidanmorgan
  6. Linoleum is still in and as practical as ever. You can use just a little piece in one area or completely cover the floor. This is where you can really save because it is more affordable than anything out there.