‘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

Style at Home (UK) - - Inside -

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.

Get­ting started

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.

Fin­ish­ing touches

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’

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