‘When we moved here, we painted throughout, but then decided to wait before making any big changes,’ say the owners, who bought the house back in 2007. Eight years later, when they were expecting their third daughter, they needed more space, so they decided to add an extra bedroom. It made sense to look at how they used the whole house and reconfigure some other elements of it at the same time.
As the kitchen is at the back of the house, the owners decided to put bifold doors across the end wall to open it up to the garden. There was a little-used patio to the side of the kitchen, so they built a snug in its place with an extra bedroom on top. And to create some unity and flow to the space, they chose ceramic tiles that look like wood and laid a new floor throughout the downstairs.
There was a good layout in the kitchen, but the doors and wall tiles looked too country. The solution was to change the cabinets to a colour that would complement the flooring. The owners found a company, ProSpray London, which, after a site survey, sprayed the carcasses in the room, while the doors were taken away and sprayed off-site. It was a surprisingly quick and easy process.
The kitchen was looking much better, but it was still a bit bland, so the addition of Moroccan tiles from Topps Tiles was perfect because they added pattern and colour in tones that work with the room. The next step was to bring some warmth to the walls and, after a long search, the owners chose Blackened by Farrow & Ball.
A teal blind and orange Eames-style chairs provide a wonderful hit of colour in the spacious kitchen-diner. The wood-effect flooring is a clever choice - it looks so realistic that you wouldn't know it's actually ceramic tiling until you touch it. Easy to care for, ceramic tiles are well suited to high-traffic areas and there's no need to worry about warping floorboards or water seeping down the cracks.
The owners wanted some built-in storage and came up with the idea of a unit that goes around the doorway to the snug - it has created a really striking feature, with cupboards to hide the more functional items that they don't want to display. The unit is bespoke and was built to suit the exact dimensions of the space.
A striking splashback can do so much for the look of a kitchen. Tiles are a good option, as they come in all shapes, sizes and shades, so you can have fun creating an individual scheme. Use plain tiles in different colours to create a pattern - a pretty Moroccan style like these teardrop tiles makes for an eye-catching effect.
A white kitchen is a good option for its freshness and versatility, and it's unlikely to date for many years in future. This kitchen has a monochromatic look, with the metallic-style grey tiles that complement all the stainless-steel fixtures, such as the range cooker, taps and door/drawer handles. The tiles add interest in themselves, but they're neutral enough to work with a hit of bold colour, such as the teal blind.
Kitchen cupboard transformation
Accessories are worth thinking about. The owners carefully decided where they wanted to add colour and where they wanted pieces to blend in and fit with their scheme. Anything grey or metallic, such as the clock, pots and dishes here, works well with the tiles and worktops. What you don't want is to have too many colours competing for attention.
The kitchen benefits from lots of space, so as well as the dining table, there's still lots of room for a couple of armchairs, which are in a similar colour to the blind and contrast with the orange dining chairs. Having such a big room is great for family life and, with three daughters, the owners are thrilled with their new set-up.
Similar tripod lamp
This image shows the kitchen as it was before its big makeover. The layout worked and the units were still strong, but it was dated and scruffy. The owners had a limited budget, so they couldn't afford to replace the cabinets. Spray painting them was the ideal solution and has given the kitchen a clean, modern look. The great thing about their decorating strategy is that fully functioning pieces have had their life extended, rather than being consigned to the junk yard.