Couple gives kitchen a designer look-a-like makeover on a shoe-string budget

Minimal and serene with a designer edge, this scheme has an up-to-date look that oozes calm

kitchen with neutral floor tiles, white cabinetry and wood table with bench.
(Image credit: @fmh.ome / Green Lili)

Japandi is a calm and collected decor style that uses natural materials and sleek designs – perfect if you love a home that oozes tranquillity. Where better to bring that Japanese-meets-Scandi look through than into one of the busiest rooms in the home: the kitchen? 

If you need some inspiration or some budget kitchen ideas, this homeowner managed to not only give her kitchen a Japandi-style makeover, but complete it on a £1,200 budget.

Japandi-style kitchen makeover

Faye Hindle, who you can find on Instagram at @fmh.ome, lives with her partner Anthony and son in West Yorkshire. The couple bought their home earlier this year and couldn't wait to start decorating. 

'As it's a new build, the property had no character whatsoever,' recalls Faye, 'but the kitchen really sold the property to us with the exposed brick and metal girder – it gives the room a focal point and almost frames the doors into the garden.'  

With a love of Japandi, mid-century and minimal style, the couple wanted to inject this into their new kitchen. 'We really like the calming aspects of natural wood and clean lines,' says Faye, 'using the blank canvas of clinical white to give us the option to add colour pops with artwork and retro glassware, almost like a gallery exhibit.'


empty white kitchen with white brick wall

(Image credit: @fmh.ome / Green Lili)

The white kitchen was a completely blank canvas, with plain cabinetry and a white brick post next to a run of cabinetry. 'When we reserved our home, we were able to choose from a huge range of tiles, splashbacks, worktops and door finishes,' says Faye. 

'We decided to do everything ourselves in here when it came to the decorating and spent just over £1,200 to furnish the room to our taste, with most of the furniture from returns stores.'


kitchen with neutral floor tiles, white cabinetry and wood table with bench.

(Image credit: @fmh.ome / Green Lili)

Now filled with furniture and accessories, the room is transformed. 'Instagram was a huge source of inspiration, and we found we're both drawn to anything with the use of wood, angles and large open spaces,' says Faye.

'Anthony has a huge love for Americana, Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, postmodernism and natural elements, whereas I'm drawn to clean lines, mid-century furniture, traditional Japanese homes and unusual aesthetics. 

'We still have so many ideas for this space and it's far from “done”, but for now we're really happy with the result.'

large wood dining table with wood chairs and bench in white kitchen

(Image credit: @fmh.ome / Green Lili)

A sleek, minimalist-look dining table now sits centrally in the kitchen, with seating consisting of wood chairs and a long bench. The pendant lights, which hang on either side of the table, were originally meant to hang over the dining table. 

'It's a funny story,' says Faye. 'We had to shorten the lights right up to the ceiling as they ended up hanging directly over the walkways. And with Anthony being well over 6ft, this had to happen! It's a shame, but I think they still have an impact within the room.'

white kitchen cabinetry with floating shelf and accessories

(Image credit: @fmh.ome / Green Lili)

Instead of wall cabinetry, a long floating shelf runs the length of the units, and Faye has used it for plants and kitchen accessories. 'The shelf is made from an old scaffold board that was left on the building site,' she says. 'With a bit of sanding and wax it fits perfectly in the space.'

You can find Japandi-inspired artworks like the couple used at Green Lili.

The finished results have given the family a kitchen to be proud of. 'It’s such a calm, serene space and feels so spacious,' says Faye. 'Our next DIY project will be in the hallway, which leads into the kitchen, and then creating some wood slat radiator covers.'

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at