In the last few months, I’ve been writing a series of posts here on AO Life speaking to various homeowners who have refurbished their kitchens on an ‘average’ budget. While we may all love the aspirational designs we see in high-end magazines, the reality is those big dream kitchens can cost in excess of £50k-£100k – something that many of us may not find realistic. And so, the purpose of the series is to encourage you to think positively and creatively about what you are working with. With a bit of practical knowledge, design savvy and possibly the willingness to get your hands a little dirty, your dream kitchen may not be as far away as you think!
Today, I’m turning the tables and sharing my very own kitchen remodel, which we completed from start to finish for under £10k.
When we moved into our home in 2010, we decided to start with small updates on our kitchen. Over the course of a few years, we tiled, replaced the old tired laminate and installed slate flooring with underfloor heating. We removed a false ceiling which raised the height of the room by around a foot and we added plenty of storage by way of some open shelving units. We even DIY’d our own light fixtures and painted the cupboard doors white.
And then, as other priorities in the house came up, we put the rest of the remodel on hold. Alas, at this point, I didn’t love it but it was habitable and certainly functional.
So late this summer, we decided to finally take the plunge and sort out the last of those niggling problems. We were newbie DIYers when we’d tiled the first time around and as such, we’d made a few silly mistakes. We never installed tile trim around the edges so we decided to remove the tiles we’d chosen and replace them with a marble-effect porcelain tile and used a beautiful brass trim to finish them off.
We also finally replaced our inherited grey laminate worktops with a beautiful Carrara-effect acrylic and I decided to take advantage of the water-proof material to install an under mount sink. I do love a bit of glam and gold in my interiors and so incorporating bronze sinks and a bronze tap were the perfect finishing touch.
We also decided to re-paint our cupboards with a silky black finish and changed the handles to a simple brass pull in a contemporary style. The entire kitchen was given a fresh coat of brilliant white kitchen paint and I replaced the wallpaper behind the shelves with a new pattern that picked up the colours in the kitchen.
Finishing off the black and white look, we also purchased all new black appliances from AO.com. Our black fully gas cooker is the Canon by Hotpoint CH60GCIK Gas Cooker with Variable Gas Grill which has a handy double oven – perfect for Sunday roasts! It also has a flip up glass lid which protects the tiles behind the cooker from any cooking splashes. I love how easy it is to keep clean and when it’s not in use, it becomes an additional surface.
We also chose a new washing machine, the Hotpoint WMAO863K 8Kg Washing Machine with 1600 rpm, an upgrade from our previous 5kg load machine. I love that I can now fit so much more in one load which has reduced how many times we do laundry every week as well as saving water and electricity.
And finally, we decided to replace our previous white fridge freezer with the Indesit LD85F1K 50/50 Frost Free Fridge Freezer which holds a whopping 16 bags of shopping but still fits nicely into a 60cm gap. The 50/50 style suited us as we are keen cooks and now we have just as much room for fresh produce as well as room to freeze our leftovers.
Since we’ve completed our kitchen, I’ve had well-meaning friends ask if we actually use all the things I have on display or if they are ‘just for show’! The truth is, the kitchen is fully functional and everything you see we do use regularly. I firmly believe that even the most functional spaces can be beautiful!
I couldn’t be more pleased with the finished space. We saved a lot of money doing nearly all of the work ourselves (aside from the tile installation – we thought we’d leave that one to the professionals this time!) but even the worktop cutting and installation went off without a hitch.
All images copyright Kimberly Duran/Swoon Worthy Ltd. and used by AO Life with permission.