This country kitchen makeover features upcycled furniture, high-street buys and a few investment items
‘Moving into this house was the beginning of a whole new lifestyle for us as a family,’ says the owner. ‘Growing up in a smallish home meant I was always after more space; room for us to eat together, play together and just generally enjoy each other’s company, and I finally found what I’d been looking for in this house.’
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With two reception rooms, three generous bedrooms, outside space and a kitchen big enough for a large dining table, there’s oodles of room for her little family. But while the property itself had plenty to offer, the decor left a lot to be desired. The kitchen, in particular, wasn’t to her taste. The layout was impractical, with double doors eating into valuable storage space, broken tiles and mould.
It took a huge amount of work to renovate. ‘We pulled up the flooring, ripped out the units and even replaced the double doors with a window looking out onto the garden,’ recalls the owner. ‘We also installed a stable door – something I’d long had my heart set on – and replastered.’
Even though she lives in a city, traditional decor is more the style, so she used this as a starting point for the scheme. ’We went for patterned Laura Ashley floor tiles, and metro tiles for the walls. I struggled to settle on a colour for the cabinets, but in the end I chose sage green. And I made sure that the unit doors could easily be upcycled in case I decide to redecorate later.’
A beautiful cream cooker reinforces the theme, as does the Belfast sink, which the owner confesses was ‘non-negotiable’.
A self-confessed charity-shop addict, the owner found most items in the kitchen from junk shops, car boots or flea markets, including the bread bin and cups and saucers. ‘Glass-fronted cabinets are ideal if you have a collection to display,’ she says.
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‘My favourite purchase has to be the beautiful dining table, bought for £22 at a local market. I just adore it,’ says the owner, who is also a keen upcycler. ‘I created the wall feature above the table using wooden spoons and second-hand saucers,’ adds the owner. ‘It’s so unique. Wooden spoons will only set you back pennies, and can easily be transformed into a fun display.’
Get the look
Buy now: Similar Falcon white enamel metal rectangular bread bin, £44.40, Love Tiki
The dining chairs were a gift from a friend. ‘I painted them in pastel hues to add colour to the scheme, and used a floral decoupage on one of the seats. It’s a doddle to do and an affordable way to add interest to plain furnishings.’
There used to be patio doors where the window is. The owners replaced them, which is more practical and gave them extra room for cupboards.
Get the look
Buy now: Similar Butler & Rose Ceramic Fireclay Belfast sink, £150, Tap Warehouse
Shopping for appliances? Read: Best fridge freezers for keeping food fresh and tasty
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Instagram was a huge source of inspiration for the owner. ‘ I love looking at other people’s homes and sharing my latest retro bargains on my account, @vintageirishkat,’ she explains. ‘I get so many great ideas and have made lots of friends who share my passion for interiors.’
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‘If I’ve learnt anything from renovating the kitchen, it’s that nothing worth having ever comes easily. It was stressful and there were days we wanted to give up, but we kept focused on the end result, and it was completely worth it. Now we have somewhere we feel cosy, relaxed and completely at home, and for that reason, I wouldn’t change a thing.’