Buying a kitchen as new can be cost a fortune. You spend hours in the store picking out every aspect, only to find yourself paying it off for the next decade. One way to save money on your kitchen is to buy a used one. However, this can lead to you panicking that it won’t work in the space that you have, or that you can’t personalise it as you would if you were ordering it from a shop. But transforming a used kitchen to make it your own is easy, you can still put your own stamp on things and it doesn’t have to cost the earth – which let’s face it, if you’ve just bought your first place, is always going to be bonus.

Buying a Second-Hand Kitchen

If the idea of trawling eBay for a kitchen doesn’t appeal to you, why not go directly to a seller of second-hand kitchens? Used Kitchen Exchange has a vast selection of both used and ex-display kitchens, some of which have appliances included to save you even more money. Once you find the kitchen that you love, it is removed from its current home and you can choose to have it delivered or collect it yourself. The company will help you every step of the way and can even offer qualified fitters to re-install the kitchen in your home.

How to Make it Your Own Kitchen

So you’ve bought a used kitchen and now you want to personalise it. Take inspiration from your favourite interior magazines or Pinterest, and don’t be afraid to get creative with some DIY.

Start with the Walls

Giving your kitchen walls a colour refresh is always a great idea. White always looks crisp and clean, but pastel colours like mint and blush pink can really make a statement. If you have space, why not create a feature wall with patterned wallpaper?


Refinish or Replace the Worktops

If you’re not a big fan of the worktops that arrive with your used kitchen, the good news is that you can easily replace them. If the worktops are wood, you can sand them down and refinish them with a glossy coating or stain. Marble always looks incredible in the kitchen, and the good news is that you can now buy laminate worktops that look like marble, but don’t carry the same price tag.

Jazz up the Cabinets

Changing up your cabinets is one of the simplest ways to transform a used kitchen. You could paint them a different colour, clean them up with a coat of white paint or change the handles. Scour online for unique handles – vintage-looking handles are great as a contrast to contemporary units.

Create a New Backsplash

If the backsplash behind your stove is a little tired, why not transform it entirely? When you’re installing your new kitchen, the chances are that you’ll need to pull the stove out anyway, so take that opportunity. Subway tiles look modern and cool, but if you want to make a statement, go for a patterned tile like this floral tile by Ted Baker.


Upgrade the Sink

If your used kitchen doesn’t have a sink, or even if it does – upgrade it. Chrome taps look incredible, but so does old fashioned copper. There’s nothing better than a crisp white sink with metallic statement taps.


Lighting is an easy way to transform your kitchen without touching the units. You’ll want focus lighting above cooking areas, and mood lighting to create ambience in seating areas. Recessed LED lighting looks great and it means your lampshade won’t gather dirt from cooking splashes.


You’ve painted the walls, changed the cabinets and installed great lighting, so now all that’s left to do is accessorise your used kitchen. Blue and white china is timeless, and looks great on display in your kitchen – and we all know how much I love a blue and white printed plate. Alternatively, if you’ve gone for metallic cabinet handles and taps, keep the metallic theme running throughout. Accessorising your kitchen doesn’t have to be expensive – go to local car boot sales to find trinkets, and buy vintage furniture from antique stores. You could create a breakfast bar from a spare bit of worktop, and find cool bar stools that you can re-upholster.

If you can’t afford to buy the brand new kitchen of your dreams, there are many alternatives out there. With a little bit of patience and an eye for a bargain, you can really transform a used kitchen to make it your own.

Image Credit | Studio McGee / Jennifer Hughes. Partnered post with Used Kitchens Exchange.

About the author
Victoria is the editor and founder of award-winning interior design blog Apartment Number 4. When she's not scouring Pinterest for the latest in home decor inspiration, she's out shopping trying to recreate the looks herself.


  1. This is indeed all good advice. We are in fact about to install a used kitchen in our new kitchen…the one from our old kitchen! I am having to revise the layout and plan carefully where the units will go, and we need to get a few new panels and perhaps one or two carcasses, but we can reuse most of them, and crucially keep the stunning solid wood doors. I was going to get a new kitchen, but when I realised it would cost me £7k for basic mdf units and doors and a laminate work surface, I just could not bring myself to do it! Now I will have a much higher spec kitchen for a fraction of the price, and I cannot wait! x

  2. I bought my kitchen second hand from eBay and I would 100% do it again tomorrow:

    For £800 we got the kitchen with solid granite worktops, as well as the built-in fridge and freezer, range cooker and built-in extractor fan and the Belfast sink. We had to do some touch ups, but we got loads of spare materials and door handles so everything still matches. I could never have afforded a kitchen like it, probably couldn’t even have afforded the cooker by itself!

    My partner also fitted it himself, which saved us a further £1500.

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