I’m so excited to finally fully reveal our kitchen now that we’ve added all the finishing touches!
We started this project back in March 2020 when we got the keys to our first home. After completely stripping the cottage back to the bare bones, we began designing our new kitchen layout. With most of the major work completed last year in 2020, we’ve spent this year slowly adding those all important final touches and accessories…
When we bought the cottage, this space was split into two rooms; a small square kitchen area, and a separate pantry running alongside it. We decided to take down this party wall to make one large open space for our new kitchen.
After taking down the party wall, striping back the vinyl floor and removing the plaster render, we could see that it was the pantry that had been causing a lot of the damp downstairs. Our neighbours told us that the pantries in our cottages were originally a few steps down. In recent years, the steps were filled in to make the pantry the same level as the kitchen. However, we soon realised that ours had been filled in poorly, causing moisture to rise from the floor and up into the walls.
This meant that we had to dig up this area of the floor and complete a course of damp proof before refilling – a cost that we hadn’t originally budgeted for.
As well as taking down the party wall, we also restored the chimney breast. After taking away the fireplace (as well as two others behind it!), we found the original brick chimney breast with stone mantel. We knew straight away we wanted to keep this as a feature to house our range cooker. As our house is fully electric with no access to gas, we had to source an electric oven, as well as electric radiators. After searching high and low, I came across some lovely electric column radiators which fit in perfectly with the style of the cottage. We also wanted to go for quite a traditional look with our range cooker, and luckily managed to find an electric version which has a similar look to more traditional gas ranges.
Due to the damp from the pantry, the kitchen units were unsalvageable, so we ripped these out and started from scratch. By May 2020, we had rewired, replastered and painted the kitchen and were ready to start installing our flooring and kitchen.
Ideally, we would have LOVED hard wood flooring, but our budget didn’t quite stretch to this! Instead, we opted for a cheaper laminate wood from B&Q throughout the downstairs, with a tile feature in front of the chimney breast.
These patterned cement tiles were one of the first things we chose for the house. I’d originally seen them on Pinterest a few years previously, but we managed to track them down and found them for sale at Best Tiles. We fitted both the laminate and tiles ourselves, and finished the feature look with a brass trim.
Once we’d fitted the flooring, we could start installing our kitchen. We always knew we wanted to have bold, statement kitchen cupboards, but couldn’t quite afford the price tag that came with them. We ended up making the decision to create a budget version of this look ourselves.
After taking a look at various kitchen companies, we ended up going with an IKEA kitchen. Not only did it mean we could fit it ourselves, it was also the overall cheapest option for us – and luckily we loved the IKEA Axstad range! We chose the white Axstad doors, which have a lovely matt finish and detailed inset panels.
We re-fitted units in the back corner, as well as tall units at the opposite end of the room (where the pantry once was) for our fridge freezer and extra storage. We also created our own kitchen island from two IKEA units. We used a mixture of end panels and plinths to construct the sides of the island, as well as making an open storage space for recipe books to the right of the chimney breast.
Instead of wall units, we made the decision to go for open shelving at both ends of the kitchen. I personally think it keeps the space light and open and means your favourite / most-used items can be on display!
At the end of last year, we had a custom corner bench made for us to fit into the space next to our tall units. This space is the entrance to our back door, making it the perfect place to sit, take off your shoes, or enjoy a morning coffee! The bench was made with double inset panels to match our IKEA Axstad doors and has handy storage for shoes!
Once we’d created the layout and built our kitchen, it was time for the fun part… the colours!
To achieve the coloured kitchen cupboards look on a budget, we painted our IKEA units and doors, corner bench and original pantry cupboard. We chose Lick Green 04 which is a beautiful warm blue-green colour that matches the green in our patterned floor tiles. You can read my full Guide to Painting an IKEA Kitchen for all the details on painting our kitchen units.
As a contrast to the kitchen cupboards, and to also tie in with the patterned floor tiles, we chose rustic pink wall tiles for our splashbacks. We then continued this tone of pink within various accessories including cushions, prints, crockery and our pink door that leads into the living room!
To keep the space bright, we opted for a marble quartz from Whitton Worktops for our kitchen worktops. This was one of the most expensive items for the kitchen renovation, but I think it was definitely worth it!
Instead of spotlights, we decided to go for wall lights and pendants. We came across Industville who have a range of hand-made glass light fittings, and we fell in love with their Brooklyn range. As we had a complete rewire, we chose our new electrical points, and went with wall lights either side of the window, and three pendant lights over our kitchen island.
And there it is… our full kitchen makeover! We’re so happy with the final result, and it makes it all that extra bit special that we created it ourselves…
What do you think to our colourful kitchen? Would you ever do something similar?