Before and after: country kitchen makeover on a budget featuring up cycled furniture

This renovation saw the patio doors replaced with a window to create a family-friendly kitchen

'Moving into this house was the beginning of a whole new lifestyle for us as a family,’ says the owner. ‘Growing up in a small 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.'

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 idea, in particular, wasn’t to her taste.

The kitchen layout was impractical, with double doors eating into valuable storage space, broken tiles and mold.

Kitchen renovation: before and after

Country kitchen makeover before and after photos

(Image credit: Future PLC/Philip Lauterbach)

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.'

The upcycled furniture ideas meant the renovation was manageable on an affordable budget.

A country style kitchen with French grey cupboards, metro wall tiles and mosaic floor tiles

(Image credit: Future PLC/Philip Lauterbach)

Even though she lives in a city, traditional decor is more her style, so she used this as a starting point for the country kitchen scheme.

'We went for patterned 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.' Using the best furniture paint for the job means upcycling in the future will be a breeze.

A beautiful cream cooker reinforces the theme, as does the Belfast sink, which the owner confesses was 'non-negotiable'.

Country style kitchen with grey cupboards and white kitchen counter

(Image credit: Future PLC/Philip Lauterbach)

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.

New window replacing patio doors

kitchen with shelves

(Image credit: Future PLC/Philip Lauterbach)

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.

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.'

Quirky feature wall

Dining table in kitchen next to decorated white wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/Philip Lauterbach)

'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. Speaking of the fun kitchen wall decor idea she says,  'It’s so unique. Wooden spoons will only set you back pennies, and can easily be transformed into a fun display.’

Upcycled decoupage chairs

Up cycled kitchen chair with floral cushion next to white dining table

(Image credit: Future PLC/Philip Lauterbach)

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.’

 '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.’

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.