Our kitchen is an awkward shape, being “L” Shaped, with the shorter part of the L being the original kitchen and the longer part being an extension (from before we moved in). The original kitchen part is dark, with no windows and full of cabinets and the newer part has windows on three sides. It’s a room of two halves!
We wanted to do this on a budget, because kitchens can get very pricey and when we do this kitchen properly, we’ll make it more accessible. So we had to make some compromises.
The cabinets are about 10 years old but are solid and there was no real need to remove or change them for now. Ideally I would have loved to remove the country kitchen style extractor fan and replace with something modern, but after a conversation with builder brother in law, the costs would spiral as we would have lose two cupboards, replace end panels, buy new extractor hood and there would be some replastering and making good. So reluctantly, we left it for this refurb.
The tiles we painted a little while ago (see my post on how we did that here) and I’d started to get tired of the green. I wanted white on the backsplash. So that was the starting point for me. Also, the ghastly cheap as chips laminate worktop needed to go and I wanted a lighter, brighter worktop with some shine.
The cabinet doors are all in good order, I prefer flat doors rather than shaker style, but we have sixteen doors and to replace them all would be very pricey, especially as some are custom sizes! So I decided to paint them in two shades of grey, lighter for the top and darker for the bottom.
We’ve painted kitchen doors before, and we used cabinet paint to do it, which worked really well, but this time I wanted something a little more hardy as these cupboards get bashed by the wheelchair. So I chose Dulux Satinwood paint, Quartz Flint 1 and Quartz Flint 3 (in the end I mixed the two together for the top cupboards as on it’s own it was a bit too similar to white). I undercoated the cabinets and put three coats on.
For the tiles, we needed 4 square metres and that starts to get pricey when I pick out tiles at £40-50 per sqm! So I found some fabulous flat white tiles from Wickes that were only £12 per sqm and decided to have them arranged in herringbone style. So pleased with the outcome, they look much more expensive than they were. I also chose a black metal edging strip which just finishes the look. These strips were expensive (about £17 each) but we needed to go with it to finish it off nicely.
A word of caution though, it took twice as long to lay the tiles as would have done if we’d decided on a simple, straight brick design. The cuts around the sockets and hood are much more tricky on the diagonal and you’ll take tiles off and throw away when you realise it’s on the wrong way round. But it was his first time doing it and we were all very pleased with them!
The work surface was by far the largest outlay. We have two long stretches of work surface, one at 4.1m and one at 2.3m. Generally speaking, work surfaces are sold in 3m lengths, so we needed to buy three lengths and we have a load of leftovers in the garage!
Ideally I’d have real stone or wood, but again looking at the cost, I decided to investigate laminate options. People can be very sniffy about laminate, and don’t get me wrong, there’s a few nasty cheap ones out there, but we chose a high gloss white with sparkles in. It’s from Howdens, it’s fantastic. It shines like stone, feels cold like stone and looks likes stone. You really wouldn’t know it’s laminate. With VAT it came in at roughly £200 per strip. I love the shine of it. So if you’re worried about how cheap laminate looks and feels you might want to think again – this is a game changer!
We increased the length of the worksurface as we had so much left over, to incorporate a small breakfast bar area so that when the husband is sitting and preparing food he can get his legs under the counter and closer to the veg chopping!
We had new LED lighting under both sides of the kitchen as we had old tube lighting which wasn’t effective and hard to replace. However, one mistake I made with this kitchen was I went with the wrong colour LED and if I’m honest it bothers me every time I switch the lights on. They are fabulously bright and gives a lovely glow around the kitchen but I should have chosen a warmer white.
LED lighting comes in a few colours, cool white, daylight and warm white for example. I should’ve picked Warm White but at the advice of the local electrical suppliers I chose the ‘daylight’. And it doesn’t match my lovely new IKEA Sinnerlig Pendants, as those bulbs are yellow. And the lights on the extractor hood are yellow (and thus warm). I may yet get the strip replaced, it’s just the cost of a new strip and someone to fit for me.
I had a new electrical socket wired in once the old work surface was removed as we had a long stretch of work surface with no socket and it was crying out for one. We replaced all the sockets with plain, simple, cheap white sockets. They blend in nicely to the white tile and don’t scream out at you.
I chose to go with a black composite sink from B&Q (no longer on sale but similar here) and a fabulous Black and Silver tap from Screwfix. The contrast with the white tile, white worktop and the black induction hob, it all works really nicely together. The black and white of that side of the kitchen also works fabulously with my upcycled Sideboard from Muck’n’Brass and it ties the two halves of the room together.
The tap is my favourite thing in the whole kitchen. It come off and acts as a hosepipe and has two power settings. The other accessible feature is that the on/off lever is at the bottom of the tap, and not the top. This means it’s easily accessible from a wheelchair, less stretching and the hosepipe function helps him clean dishes as he can get closer to the water.
I put up some very budget shelves from IKEA – the shelves were £1.90 each and the black brackets were 50p each! Trouble is, our clock was in that corner and we keep looking up to that area for the time! The clock will go in the blank space above the table shortly.
I repainted all the walls with new, fresh Dulux White Mist paint (instead of the old Brilliant White). The White Mist has a very vague hint of pinky tones in and it does look slightly different than the bluey tones of the Brilliant White.
My other mistake was the IKEA Sinnerlig Pendants. I love these pendants. I love the black cord, the warm rattan and the simple shape. I just didn’t realise how BIG they are. I have about 3cm clearance above my head, and anyone taller will walk into them. They just dominate the room and I might yet move them to the bedrooms and replace them with something smaller and less head-bangingly low!
Kitchens are an expensive room to renovate and but the amount we paid for this kitchen refurb has given us a brand new room for a few more years. I’m thrilled with it.
The total costs for the renovation were like this (note this is not a sponsored post, this was all fully paid for by us).
- Worktops – £600
- Tiles, edging, adhesive and grout – £130
- Paint – £100
- Pendant Lights – £90
- Curtains – £50 from Next (but we had a voucher left over from Christmas!)
- Shelving – £5.80
- Sink – £160
- Tap – £79
- Sockets – £25
- LED – £60
Total (excluding labour) – £1300
Have you got any ideas for budget kitchen makeovers? Let me know in the comments!