‘we made it work on a tight budget’ Sam saved up to create her large open-plan kitchen diner
Tackling some of the project themselves meant Sam and her fiance Matt stayed on budget for their kitchen renovation
When my fiance Matt and I bought this house, we knew we were taking on a huge project,’ says Sam. ‘The kitchen needed to be completely ripped out, rejigged and replaced, but we knew the end result would be worthwhile.
As we were first-time buyers and on a budget, we saved up for several years before tackling the project and did some of the work ourselves to keep costs down.
The existing kitchen was a mismatched room. Somewhere down the line, a previous owner had knocked through from the back of the house into the external coal shed. All of the appliances were crammed into one end of the kitchen and there was lots of wasted space in the bigger part of the room. We had plans drawn up by an architect to extend and create a big open-plan kitchen-diner, but the costs were creeping up and we had to look at whether it would be financially worthwhile when we came to sell the house. Ultimately, the maths didn’t work in our favour, so we decided to stick with the space we already had.
We looked at lots of different possible layouts for the new design, but decided that a simple galley-style kitchen worked best and the room was wide enough not to feel long and narrow. We had the back door moved closer to the garden to create more of a porch area and then fitted a lovely big window looking out
over the view. Having plenty of storage was high on our priority list. Matt works in electricals and so was confident to tackle the electrics and the plumbing too, which saved us lots of money and meant we weren’t relying on tradesmen all the time.
Making it our own
To help with the resale of the house in the future, we decided to keep the bare bones of the kitchen neutral and then add our own twist with the styling. I had my heart set on a painted kitchen and the one we found in B&Q is made from solid wood and came in a painted taupe finish. I love the colour against the wooden floor – I think the grey tone gives it a modern edge.
The original plan was to tile the whole wall around the worktops, but I fell in love with the Marrakech and Paris tiles from Fired Earth which were a little above our budget. We compromised and just tiled the splashback behind the hob instead. I love their statement design and, although they’re neutral in colour, they add a much-needed flash of pattern to the walls.
When it came to styling the space, I hid away unsightly appliances and decorated the open shelves and worktops with Kilner jars, faux plants and framed prints. I gather lots of inspiration from real homes on Instagram (I have my own account dedicated to interiors, @burrowandme) and from flicking through homes magazines.
Now that we have a brand-new kitchen, Matt and I love spending time in here. The mid-century-style rocking chair by the window is my favourite spot to sit and plan recipes for the week, or chat to Matt while he’s cooking. The whole room feels light and bright now.’
CLASSIC UNITS. ‘We learned you can get a bespoke look on the high street – don’t be afraid to ask for different options’
IDEA TO STEAL ‘Mix and match handles on your cabinetry for a bespoke lookõ KEEP IT COSY ‘I considered a tiled floor, but we opted for wood in the end, as this room gets very cold in winter and tiles would have needed underfloor heating’
GO INDUSTRIAL ‘I found these black wire cage pendant lights on Amazon’