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How to beat the supply chain crisis, save money and get a designer look for less

Looeeze Grossman, founder of The Used Kitchen Company

If you’ve been working on a property renovation, there’s no doubt you’ll be feeling the pinch when it comes to materials and supplies. It is highly probable that everything has increased in price, not to mention utilities!

Considering the rising costs involved, here are some of my favourite tips that could potentially help you not only make some savings but also take steps in achieving a sustainable renovation.

1. Upcycle

While your immediate thought might be to just rip everything out and start afresh with that classic minimalistic look, trends are changing and the ‘lived in’ look is back. Trends like cluttercore and cottagecore were big in 2022 and as we move through 2023, the warmer tones they brought with them are still apparent. These warmer tones lend themselves to more traditional furniture, wood and even wallpaper over the stark whites we’ve been used to.

With this in mind, look at what furniture is in the property currently. Can it be upcycled or used in a different room or can some of the   materials be used to create something? By utilising what you have, rather than simply buying new, you’ll save considerable amounts of cash.

2. Re-finish and repaint

One of the easiest ways to make a space feel more expensive and luxurious is with a fresh coat of paint. With painting, prep is everything. Take the time to sand the walls down, fill in any holes and ensure you use quality brushes, paint, and rollers to achieve a professional finish. Remember a poor paint job can make even an expensive item feel cheap or low quality.

If you’re planning on re-painting the kitchen cabinets to give them a new lease of life, again, preparation is key. A good thorough clean down with sugar soap, a light sand, prime and then at least two coats of paint followed by a varnish will help to ensure you minimise any chips.

3. Optimise second-hand and ex-display

From high street stores like Next through to DIY giants and of course, The Used Kitchen Company, ex-display styles can save you hundreds if not thousands off the RRP. And it’s not just kitchens that you can pick up ex-display at TUKC. It’s now bathrooms, bedrooms and beyond, why pay full price when you can achieve a designer look and save so much money.

Track when the sales are happening, stay on top of social media and the #ex-display and see what bargains can be found. The Used Kitchen Company regularly have auctions where they sell further reduced kitchens.

High street brands will usually have their sales well-advertised and at certain times of the year so do your research and be purse-ready. Whenever you’re buying ex-display, there’s always a bargain to be had.

4. Sell or donate what you already have

While your new home’s current kitchen, bathroom or furniture might not fit into your new plans, they are more than likely worth something, to someone. From listing the sofa on a buy and sell page through to selling the old kitchen and making money towards a new one… every penny counts, and they soon add up.

And don’t forget to donate what you don’t want to sell. Check with your local charities if they’re collecting furniture, check it meets their fire and safety requirements and chances are they’ll collect everything from you.

5. Dress to impress

Dressing your property well will instantly make the space look more expensive and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Seek out second-hand and vintage bargains, check out your local community pages and optimise what you have.

If you’re looking to add small details which make a big difference, consider adding some chic open shelving to the kitchen space and display small vases of flowers and bowls of fruit (personally I’m obsessed with both). Update the cushions on the sofa and make sure the bed is always made with ironed sheets. All these little details instantly make a space look more expensive without costing the earth.