How is your bathroom?

First, throw out all the old back scrubbers, drooping net balls, jaded toothbrush holders and anything that has been there too long and looks worn. Be sure to give all the surfaces a good wash down with sugar soap, while a good polish and some elbow grease applied to the taps will make a world of difference. Check the windowsills and bath surrounds to see if the paintwork needs redoing. If it does, choose gloss paint as it will look sharp and its reflectivity brightens the room, plus it’s hygienic.

Everyone needs good light in the bathroom, so have a look at your mirror. If it is damaged around the edges with the mirror backing breaking down, as often happens, replace it with a larger one. A big mirror will give the illusion of a much larger room, reflecting more light around. You can get one made to measure or purchase one from your favourite Mitre 10 store.

Quick ideas
• Alter the look of your bathroom with shower curtains – they are easy to clean and easy to change.
• Purchase fluffy towels with matching facecloths and hand towels.
• Put down a new floor rug in either a bath mat style or a rug made from man-made fibres, which will dry easily.
• Add scented candles and colourful scented soaps.
• Paint a stool or a chair to suit the colour scheme and place it in the corner with towels or a plant on it.
• Bottles of bubble bath, bath salts and body lotions can provide a wonderful aroma.

Windows and Curtains

Curtains can be difficult to keep clean in a kitchen and you do not want them anywhere near a cook top for safety reasons alone. If it is a sunny situation, choose a Holland blind or a sun filter blind. These will blend into any style of kitchen.

Taking your kitchen to a new level of space and style is easy and with the great range of products and ideas at Mitre 10, you’ll find it hard to resist some well-deserved DIY.

Simple extras

To gain more bench space, put up microwave support brackets or a microwave shelf. When selecting the position for the microwave support, remember that all microwave doors are hinged on the left. 

You will need 600mm of space, sometimes more, so read the manual that came with your microwave. Where there is some spare wall space, add a timber shelf in a country-style kitchen or a glass shelf in a sleek modern style for canisters and other items. If you have a breakfast bar, consider making a feature of the back panel facing out into the living/dining area.

Change it to another colour or glue on a series of horizontal timber batons or PVC-edged melamine of a contrasting colour. Add a toughened glass panel, back painted in a colour matching the highlight colour in the kitchen. 

Not enough bench space? A movable butcher’s table with chopping board and drawer from Hafele could solve that problem. Add a basket on the open shelf below for a country cottage look.

Maximising existing storage

Take one of your cupboards and change it to a set of three or four drawers. If the colour of the existing door is not available, look at a light-coloured, wood look melamine for this or some other contrast. It is always better to contrast than get a near match.

Use an extendable tea towel prong that screws onto the side or back wall of the cabinet.

Fix a cleaner slide inside the sink cupboard, which will hold brushes, detergent and other cleaning items, leaving extra shelf space.

A rubbish bin fitted to a door or the base of a cabinet is an asset. Ask at your local Mitre 10 as there are many styles to choose from.

How is your bench top?

Take an old laminate bench top and prepare with appropriate paint to get a good key then paint two coats of your colour choice, followed by 3-4 coats of polyurethane. The end result is robust enough to last years and will have cost you only your time and some paint. If you decide on a new bench top, consider the blank tops available from Mitre 10. There are three colours available, any one of which will suit most colour schemes. It is easy to take the next step into more expensive bench top material but always remember what your budget is and what you are ultimately trying to achieve.

Sink For Kitchen

Invest in some stainless steel polish and get the family to take turns with the elbow grease. You will be amazed to see the sink look nearly new again. Failing that, a new sink from Mitre 10 can be very cost-effective.
Sink For Kitchen

Sink For Kitchen

Sink For Kitchen

Sink For Kitchen

Sink For Kitchen

Sink For Kitchen

Taps For Kitchen

Dirty, corroded or old taps can detract from a kitchen. Give the existing taps a really good polish. If that isn’t good enough, look around for a replacement. Remember that if the existing tap has two outlets through the bench or the wall behind the sink, you will need to find a new tap that fits the spacing or face more work to modify the plumbing to suit. The range from Foreno is extensive, whichever way you decide to go, and their product is well worth investing in.

Taps For Kitchen

Taps For Kitchen

Taps For Kitchen

Taps For Kitchen

Drawers and cupboards

If the insides of drawers and shelves are unable to be brought back to new with a good wash then consider lining them with contact paper or non-skid matting. 

If you have an older kitchen where the shelves have been edged with iron-on tape that has lifted or broken off, you can buy new edge tape and iron it on yourself.

Buy a new cutlery insert if the existing one is stained or damaged. Mitre 10 have a range of these, including one that will expand to fit a 600mm wide drawer and it has a matching utensil insert too. 

For those with modest DIY skills, sanding back your cupboard doors and repainting them in contemporary colours is a real option and reasonably low cost. Always take your time with the sanding and preparation, as this is what will determine a quality outcome.

Cabinet handles

Revitalise the kitchen cabinetry with a really simple exercise, replace the handles with more stylish, up-todate ones. Go for a more contemporary look to appeal to you or potential buyers. Older kitchens will have handles with 96mm between the screw holes. It is important to measure this before going out to buy replacements. This measurement can limit the choice but there are many options in the Sylvan range. Hafele also have longer handles available with modern and sleek designs up to 136mm long, but with screw holes at 96mm For a country or cottage look kitchen, you could choose an antiqued drawer pull, bronzed and brushed, in gold or black, which will add real character.


Highly underrated and yet stunningly simple as a feature, covering a wall in an eye catching wallpaper gives you the benefit of easy installation and great cost benefits. Wallpaper can add class with colour and texture all in one.

Paint the walls

Paint the walls
Choose a branded paint designed for use in kitchens and bathrooms. All the right information is available from your Mitre 10 paint advisors. A light colour from white through to light beige will give an up-to-date look for any style of kitchen, using a light colour will give small rooms a feeling of space and large rooms a background to add a splash of colour. Adding colour can be achieved in many ways, like painting behind the cook top or stove, or add texture with a splash back of tiles; try a touch of modern with a back-painted piece of toughened glass. Glass painted metallic silver looks stunning, as does a rich red and even black in the right room.

Paint the walls

Centre of your home

It’s the heart of your home – where everyone congregates, where the kids drop their bags and make for the pantry and where great food is created and consumed.

Does your kitchen need a total transplant or just some tender loving care? Perhaps you want to enhance the look and feel of your kitchen because you plan to put your house on the market soon. This month we look at simple ways to modernise your kitchen with practical tips to maximise space and decorating ideas to blend in with the theme of the rest of your home.

There are many ways to freshen your kitchen and give it a new lease of life without it costing the earth.

Think about the general theme of your home; is it ultramodern, modern, country style, a cottage look, 1950s or something in between? You want to make the kitchen compatible with the style of the rest of your home and achieve a sympathetic look.

Consider your budget for this upgrade. How much you decide to spend will be affected by your reasons for doing this. For example, if you are planning to sell soon, think carefully about the return on your investment. If the kitchen is a blot on an otherwise good home, then make it look as fresh and new as possible for the minimum investment.

A good rule of thumb is: if you are planning to sell within two years (especially on the current market), do as much as you can to make it look good and stick to your budget, but do not replace the whole kitchen.

If you plan to be in your home longer, you need to weigh up the cost of revitalising your kitchen and compare that to getting a completely new kitchen. You could do the simplest and least expensive things for an instant lift and save your money for your ultimate dream kitchen a couple of years down the track.

Whatever the reason for a kitchen makeover, the first step is to de-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter.

Get rid of those old cake tins you haven’t used for years; cracked and chipped casseroles and crockery dishes can go; surplus plastic containers can be sold; the old dried flower arrangement needs to be binned; stained fruit bowls and baskets are history; duplicated utensils thrown out and old appliances traded for new.

If you can’t bear to part with them, then pack them in cartons and stow them.

As you go through each cupboard and drawer, wipe it out with cleaning product and give all surfaces includingcurtains, windows, light shades, shelves, stove and range hood a good clean then stand back and assess your kitchen.

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