Nigel Robinson

WE always know when Channel 9’s The Block starts on TV.

Watching these renovation shows tends to increase enthusiasm for home makeovers and repairs.

Throw in a lockdown or two and it’s time to tackle that drawer that won’t open and close as smoothly as it should, or that door that’s continually falling off its hinges.

Without having to put in a new kitchen, there’s a few quick and simple ways you can update it by just repairing, replacing or improving critical pieces.

If your kitchen has seen better days, its style is a thing of the past or it’s a hideous colour, as long as you are happy with the layout and it’s structurally sound, you will be able to freshen it up for the fraction of the cost of replacing the entire cabinetry.

After the “handle-less” trend, the good news is, kitchen handles are back. A popular choice are the half moon handles available from Cabinetmakers Choice in bamboo, oak or any solid timber.

There are three standard sizes, or people often request super-sized handles for maximum impact.

When replacing handles, the easiest option is to find new handles that are the same size as your existing ones.

However, if you want handles that are entirely different, you could plug up old holes, then sand and paint the doors ready for new ones.

If you’re painting over timber panelling or laminate, you’ll need to use suitable paint for kitchen areas.

However, rather than painting, which can be a daunting task and prone to DIY disasters, there’s a wide range of quality door and drawer fronts readily available.

Most kitchen cabinets are a standard size, so replacement doors can be easily fitted to existing units.

Profile options are endless, from traditional shaker style to modern panelling, available in white, greys and the latest favourites, blues and greens.

Another idea is to remove doors completely from existing over-bench cabinets or replace them with simple, open shelving for an airy, modern look.

Kitchen benchtops can really be a feature. Laminates have improved significantly over the years and it’s often hard to distinguish between it and the real thing.

You could go all out with a new splashback; glass or mirror are popular. New tiles or the use of tile paint over existing tiles is also an option and consider upgrading your tapware.

Finally, spend a little on new power point covers, light switches, window coverings and light fittings.

You can spend a fortune on a new kitchen, but maybe you don’t need to.

As seen in GT Magazine.