How I plan to update our kitchen on a Budget
For the first 2 years of living in our flat I managed to convince myself that the kitchen was the one area of the flat that I didn’t need to do anything to. However, now that we have no plans to sell the flat any time soon (thank you Brexit) we’ve decided to invest a small amount of money and give the kitchen a mini revamp to make the space work for us better. The budget is very tight (about £250!) so we won’t be doing much, but fingers crossed that by doing this I might actually want to spend more time in this area of the flat and actually cook food rather than relying on Jim to do it!
To give you an idea of what it currently looks like I’ve taken some very uninstagrammable photos that show you what I’ve dealt with for the last 2 years…brace yourselves…
1. I painted one of the walls in Railings in the first 6 months and liked it at first, but over time I’ve realised this was a mistake. Partly because I used leftover Estate emulsion which isn’t suitable for kitchens (and now the wall is covered in so many marks from splashed oil!) and partly because the dark walls combined with the dark worktops and riser meant that the space just feels very dark.
2. Lack of cupboard space vs having too much stuff means that we’ve had to store things on top of the cupboards making the whole space feel messy and crowded. Not even festoons could make it look better…
3. I bought this cheap shelving unit from IKEA (a bargain at £13 to try deal with the lack of storage but ultimately it has made the entrance to our flat cramped and cluttered. The recycling bin is big but ALWAYS overflowing as it is in this photo so takes up too much space and makes the space feel messy.
If you’ve followed me on Instagram for a while then you’ll know I first started planning a kitchen makeover in Spring last year. Initially I wanted it tiled from counter to ceiling with metro tiles and then open shelves but over time I’ve come to realise that we really rely on the wall cabinets to store all of the things we don’t want on display (i.e. ugly food packages, appliances, tupperware etc) so I’ve admitted defeat and decided to keep the wall cabinets. Here’s what I’ve decided to do instead…
STEP 1 - Remove black riser and install tiles
Rather than going for the metro tiles that we originally planned, we’re opting for some 3D mosaic tiles which will go under the cupboards and replace the stainless steel hob splash back . We haven’t taken many risks with the decor in the flat as we wanted it to be easy to sell (unless you count painting half the walls dark and covering them floor to ceiling in art prints) but we’ve decided to go for something we love (thank you Brexit) on this occasion!
Photos used with permission from Lisa @loft208 who has the same tiles that we’ve decided to go for.
STEP 2 - Take down noticeboard and IKEA shelves and replace with open shelves on wall
I really love our notice board (bought from Rose & Grey 2 years ago) but given the limited space I’ve had to make sacrifices and sadly the notice board is one of them. We’ve ordered this shelving unit that I spotted on Katie @hello_haus’s instagram feed to go in its place. It’s from Wayfair and we’ll use to store jars of food, alcohol and glassware. I’ll trail some plants from it too (of course!) and might have to go to IKEA to try get one like in the background of Katie’s shot.
STEP 3 - Marie Kondo the shit out of our cupboards
I’ve been a big fan of the Marie Kondo way of decluttering ever since I bought her book 4 years ago. It helped when we downsized from our 2 bed rented flat into this 1 bed flat when we bought it almost 3 years ago. I also have a habit of buying too much stuff (something I’m trying really hard not to do this year!) so I tend to do the ‘spark joy’ test once or twice a year. The kitchen is an area that I haven’t done properly so I plan to spend a Saturday emptying the cupboards and donating things to the charity shop that we don’t use or don’t spark joy.
I’ll also be clearing out on top of the cabinets too and putting some plants up there so that it can’t get filled with crap!
Some things we won’t be doing / haven’t figured out what to do about yet are:
The worktops - as much as I’d love to replace them with wooden worktops we haven’t got the budget for it so the black ones are staying put.
Likewise with the sink - if we were changing the worktops then I might have got away with replacing the sink but for now the one we have is staying put.
The microwave - we were sent the Hotpoint microwave as a gift from AO.com and love having one however it’s too big to sit on the worktops. Instead it sits on top of the fridge and I’d love to hide them both away in a cupboard. I still need to figure out if we can integrate our current fridge (because I definitely could’t convince Jim to swap our fridge for anything other than a Smeg) or else I might just have to put up with the current situation.
I’m hoping that we’ll get the kitchen tiled in the next few weeks and the new shelving unit due to be delivered next week too we might actually get this space finished by Easter! Famous last words…?! Hopefully I’ll have some pretty kitchen pictures to share with you soon!