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Cosmetic kitchen renovation Guide: Ideas, Cost and More

Cosmetic Kitchen Renovation in Singapore

Have you ever felt like your kitchen could use a refresh but you don’t want to go through a full-scale renovation? If so, cosmetic kitchen renovation may be the perfect solution for you. 

What exactly is cosmetic kitchen renovation? It refers to small-scale updates and upgrades that improve the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen without significant demolition or structural changes. 

Things like painting cabinets, replacing hardware, adding new backsplash tile, installing new lighting fixtures, and swapping out countertops can make a big visual impact without breaking the bank.

Cosmetic kitchen remodels in Singapore are popular for those wanting to refresh their cooking space on a budget. There are many affordable ways to give your Singaporean kitchen a new look that transforms how you feel when you cook and entertain. 

Simple upgrades like adding a fresh coat of paint to drab cabinets or replacing outdated appliances can make the space appear brighter, more elegant, and more functional. 

Whether your goal is to boost your enjoyment of meal preparation, impress dinner guests, or increase the value of your HDB flat or condo, cosmetic kitchen remodel delivers stylish results minus the mess and hassle of a total overhaul. Read on to discover ideas and inspiration for renovating your Singapore kitchen on a budget!

Understanding Cosmetic Kitchen Renovation

Understanding Cosmetic Kitchen Remodel

When considering a cosmetic makeover in Singapore, it’s important to understand exactly what that entails. Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect:


  • A cosmetic kitchen renovation typically takes 1-2 weeks from start to finish.


  • The process involves applying new finishes and fixtures over your existing kitchen layout and infrastructure. This includes things like:
    • New cabinet doors
    • Countertop resurfacing/replacement
    • Backsplash tiling
    • Paint
    • Light fixtures
    • Hardware updates
  • There is minimal demolition and construction work involved since the underlying structure and layout remains the same.

How a Cosmetic Kitchen Remodel Works

  • It’s an affordable way to give your kitchen a fresh new look without the cost and mess of a full renovation.
  • The new finishes and features are applied overtop of your current kitchen, transforming its look.
  • You get an updated, modern kitchen in less time and for less money compared to a full teardown and rebuild.
  • Allows you to cost-effectively refresh the aesthetics and functionality of your kitchen
  • Great option if you generally like your current kitchen layout but want to modernize the style
  • New cabinet facades can update the look while retaining existing cabinet box

Things a Cosmetic Kitchen Remodel Won’t Do

  • It does not change the underlying structure, layout, plumbing, electrical, etc.
  • Issues like storage, workflow, floorplan, etc. will remain the same if you don’t make structural changes.
  • Damaged surfaces like rotting cabinets, leaking countertops, etc. will need to be addressed prior to new finishes being applied.
  • Does not address any structural or functional problems in your existing kitchen
  • Cannot change the footprint, shape or size of your current kitchen

Cosmetic Kitchen Renovation Ideas

Cosmetic Kitchen Renovation Ideas

When you consider a cosmetic kitchen renovation, you have several design ideas that can make a big visual impact without requiring major structural changes. Here are five cosmetic upgrades you should consider for your kitchen makeover:

1. Fresh Paint or Wallpaper

Painting or wallpapering is one of the easiest ways for you to give your kitchen an instant facelift for little cost. You could repaint your cabinets for a brand new look – white or neutral painted cabinets remain popular options to help open up smaller kitchens. 

Or you can opt for a bright, cheerful color on the walls to inject some personality. Wallpaper is also enjoying a resurgence for kitchen designs, letting you add some stylish prints.

2. New Cabinet Hardware

Replacing dated or boring cabinet hardware with modern handles and knobs is a simple cosmetic upgrade. You can also do some repair to make it better. 

Sleek metal pulls or knobs in black, brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze or even glass can update flat cabinet fronts. Or you can go for whimsical ceramic knobs if you want to add a touch of cottage style to your cooking space. It’s an easy switch that makes a noticeable difference.

Specifically, during BTO Kitchen Renovation, upgrading the hardware on your BTO kitchen cabinets with new handles and knobs can breathe new life into an older kitchen on a budget.

3. Lighting Fixtures

Good lighting can make or break a kitchen space. Overhead flush mount or recessed lights provide overall illumination while attractive pendant lights over islands or counters supply task lighting. 

For a cosmetic upgrade, you can replace an outdated ceiling fixture with a stylish linear chandelier or add pendant lights. Don’t forget under cabinet lighting which highlights workspaces nicely.

4. Backsplash Makeover

Outdated or damaged backsplashes detract from your kitchen’s appeal when considering non-structural remodels. Swapping in a fresh backsplash offers big style impact thanks to natural stone, ceramic tile, metal or glass options. 

You can accent the backsplash to tie into the overall color scheme or make it a focal point with eye-catching glass mosaic tiles.

5. Countertop Change

Countertops take a lot of abuse and wear over the years. One of the best ways to cosmetically refresh your cooking area is by installing new countertops without replacing cabinets. 

For a budget makeover, you can opt for reusable materials like plastic laminate, tile, butcher block or concrete. Or you can splurge on granite, quartz or marble for luxury appeal.

Do and Don’t for Cosmetic Kitchen Renovation in Singapore

Do and Don't for Cosmetic Kitchen Remodel in Singapore

Do’s for Cosmetic Kitchen makeover

Here are some things you should do:

  • Use durable and low-maintenance materials like quartz countertops, ceramic or porcelain tile floors, and wood-look vinyl plank flooring. These will freshen up the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank.
  • Paint or refinish your existing cabinets rather than replacing them. This is much cheaper but can still give your kitchen a brand new look. Stick to neutral cabinet colors like white, gray or black.
  • Upgrade your kitchen backsplash. Subway tiles, marble mosaic tiles or metal tiles are excellent cosmetic kitchen renovation options to make your backsplash look luxurious.
  • Improve lighting in your kitchen by installing under cabinet lighting and pendant lights over islands or peninsulas. Proper kitchen lighting can make the space appear larger and brighter.
  • If your budget allows, replace old kitchen appliances with energy efficient models. Sleek stainless steel adds a modern touch.

Don’ts for Cosmetic Kitchen makeover

When renovating your kitchen in Singapore, here are some things you’ll want to avoid:

  • Don’t make structural changes or knock down walls unless absolutely necessary. Structural changes can increase the timeline and budget exponentially.
  • Don’t simply overlay new materials on top of old damaged surfaces. This unlikely to produce quality results that will last. Address underlying issues first.
  • Don’t neglect ergonomics and workflow. The layout should maximize efficiency and comfort when cooking and prepping meals.
  • Don’t overlook details like caulking, lighting placement, cabinet hardware and drawer/door functionality. These small details make a big difference.
  • Don’t go overboard with trends like bold colors or heavily themed décor. Stick to a more timeless style for better long term enjoyment and resale value.

Cost Cosiderations for Your Cosmetic Kitchen Remodel

Cost Cosiderations for Your Cosmetic Kitchen Makeover

A cosmetic kitchen renovation generally costs between $5,000 to $15,000 in Singapore. This includes new cabinet doors, drawers, handles and knobs, sink and faucet, backsplash, paint, lighting fixtures, and minor layout changes. Costs vary depending on the size of your kitchen, choice of materials and appliances, and complexity of the redesign.

Here are 5 cost-saving tips for your cosmetic kitchen update:

  • Reface rather than replace cabinets and countertops if they are structurally sound. Refacing with new veneers and laminates costs a fraction of full replacement.
  • Use affordable materials like concrete, tiles, and thermofoil for countertops instead of granite, quartz, or marble.
  • Keep your existing sink and faucet if functional. Just upgrade with a spray faucet or trendy sink accessories.
  • Incorporate small layout changes like adding a kitchen island or converting unused spaces into a breakfast nook. Minor tweaks make a big visual impact without blowing your budget.
  • Focus on impactful cosmetic updates like painting the cabinets, upgrading lighting and hardware, and adding a statement backsplash. Splurging selectively stretches your renovation dollars further.



How much does a cosmetic kitchen renovation cost in Singapore? 

For a small cosmetic kitchen update like painting cabinets or replacing hardware, you’ll likely spend $2,000-5,000. More extensive cosmetic kitchen renovations like countertop refinishing or tile backsplash installation typically range from $5,000-15,000.

What is involved in a cosmetic kitchen renovation? 

A cosmetic kitchen refresh or sometimes also known as cosmetic refurbishment focuses on non-structural updates like cabinet refacing, new countertops, backsplash tile, Kitchen flooring, lighting and plumbing fixtures. It modernizes the look without moving walls or plumbing.

How long does a cosmetic kitchen makeover take? 

Most cosmetic kitchen makeovers take 1-2 weeks from start to finish. The work is less invasive than a full remodel so the timeline is shorter.

What design choices work well for small Singapore kitchens? 

For petite Singapore kitchens, bright colors, mirrored backsplashes, glass cabinet doors and open shelving visually expand the space. Multifunctional islands on wheels maximize functionality.

Should I repaint or reface my existing kitchen cabinets? 

Repainting cabinets can give a fresh facelift for less cost during a cosmetic kitchen remodel. But refacing cabinets with new veneers and hardware updates worn boxes for a full transformation. Talk options with your contractor before deciding.

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