In terms of improving your home, getting a new kitchen is one of The Big Ones. Although not everyone's prepared to put up with the cost and upheaval of ripping out whatever's there and starting again, thankfully there are loads of ways to give your space a facelift without investing in a whole new kitchen.
If you're essentially happy with your layout, consider replacing just the cabinet doors. Several companies now specialise in this service, offering every style from colourful high-gloss to simple, uncluttered Shaker. New worktops, tiling and splashbacks take more work and may require some professional help, but really will give your kitchen a brand-new look. Alternatively, spray-paint existing doors: the paint goes on thinly and evenly, with no brush marks, and comes in scores of colours and finishes. Finish with new handles, and your doors will be unrecognisable.
Your counter-top gadgets – kettle, toaster, blender – are on show all the time, so why not make them stylish? Match them to your overall look for a really coherent finish, from 50s-retro for vintage fanatics to stainless steel for the minimalists.
The joy of these ideas is that they can be done piecemeal, over the course of a number of weeks. Less stress, less money, and a good-as-new kitchen in the end.
Plasti-kote paint, £5.98 for a 400ml can from B&Q www.diy.com
From £25, The Window Film Company www.windowfilm.co.uk
Paint, £25 for 750ml, from www.paint-paper.co.uk
Livaro monoblock tap, £99.70, www.justtapsplus.co.uk
Grundtal rails, £4,99, www.ikea.com
Lime green splashback, from £84.99, and upstand, £64.99, www.toppstiles.co.uk
Metro tiles, from 31p each, www.thetiledepot.co.uk
Hand-painted stripe dinnerware, from £2 a piece, www.tesco.com
Tefal Quickcup, £79.99, www.greenstamp.co.uk
£6.75 from www.objects-of-design.com