Facebook isn't the place you think of when searching for a kitchen - but that's exactly where the owners of this property found their perfect units...
The owners of this 1960s semi knew exactly where they wanted to live in their pretty Herfordshire village. They’d had their eye on some houses for a while, but because of the huge gardens and the extension potential they offered, the properties were quite pricey. In January 2015, the pair got lucky and a place came on the market that was in need of modernising and decorating. ‘It was a great price, so we put in an offer, which was accepted straight away,’ they say.
Knowing it needed some attention, the owners rented a local home for six months to ensure they could get the work done before they moved in. ‘Luckily, all our family are in the renovating and building business, so we were able to call in lots of help,’ they say.
Initially, the couple had hoped to extend the kitchen, but aware of the time limits and cost, they decided that simply gutting the room and enlarging the window that looks out onto the garden would be a more budget-friendly way to improve the space. ‘Our nephew got to work stripping out the old kitchen, and created a gap for the larger window to be fitted,’ they explain.
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The owners called in a team of professionals to fit the new windows, then had the whole room replastered. They also arranged for a plumber to move the sink pipework so it could be positioned directly under the new window to make the most of expansive garden views.
Because work was being done to the the entire house, the owners decided that they didn’t have the budget for an expensive kitchen. ‘Even checking out the sales wasn’t much help and there wasn’t anything we really liked,’ they say. After a good few weeks of searching, the couple’s niece suggested that they try local selling sites on social media. ‘We went online and discovered a local lady on Facebook, who was selling a cream kitchen for £650. It was still fitted in her house, so we went to have a look and found it was in brilliant condition. All we had to do was take it out, which our nephew did one weekend. He then fitted it straight into our newly plastered space the very next day.’
‘Although we were happy to go with second-hand units, we wanted to install new appliances,’ say the owners. ‘Looking online, we found some great bargains, all for under £900. We also found some fantastic worktops in Ikea; they were soft grey with a darker trim, which complemented the walls and the units. They felt very modern, too.’ There wasn’t much room left for a radiator, so a compact one was cleverly fitted at the end of the units. The blue tone adds a cool hit of colour.
The owners wanted to avoid white in their kitchen, choosing creams, greys and off-whites for a warmer look. The only white they wanted in the room was on the wall tiles. ‘We found some that had foodie words on, such as rosemary, sage, stilton and merlot, which we thought was very us!’ say the couple.
White tiles were also used as a splashback behind the worktops. Keeping it two tiles high means that the white isn’t overwhelming and also allows it to fit neatly below the windows. Carefully chosen accessories and plants ensure that there’s plenty of colour, while grey grout picks out the colour of the worktops.
The flooring is a wood-effect vinyl from Karndean. ‘We’d had the same flooring in our old house, so we already knew it was easy to clean and suitable for heavy usage,’ say the owners. A clever wine rack at the end of the units provides a handy spot for storing celebratory bottles of wine, without taking up much space.
At the start of the renovations, the owners set out to create a practical space where they’d want to spend time cooking and baking – and that’s exactly what they have achieved. ‘We’re thrilled with the finished room,’ they say. ‘It looks so smart and stylish, and we can hardly believe it cost us less than £2,400.’
Get the look
Buy now: Dulux Polished Pebble emulsion, £14 for 2.5ltr, B&Q
Buy now: White bevel-edge tiles, £123.56 per sq m, and Script herb tiles, £49.95 per box, all Topps Tiles
Buy now: Stoves stainless-steel cooker hood, £107.98; stoves gas built-in double oven, £494; Belling gas hob, £209; and Astracast Alto 1.5ltr stainless-steel sink, £94, all Appliances Direct
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Buy now Ekbacken worktop, £40, Ikea
Buy now: Milano Capri Anthracite flat panel radiator, £79.99, Best Heating
Buy now: Pod 9339 fabric used for bind, £37 per m, Harlequin at John Lewis
Buy now: Icona Vintage kettle, £84.98; toaster, £70; and coffee machine, £189.98, all De’Longhi
Buy now: flooring in Aged Redwood, from £23 per sq m, Karndean
Buy now: for a similar kitchen, try the Eton in gloss Cream, price on request, Benchmarkx Kitchens
This kitchen originally appeared in Style at Home, May 2017.