Before and after – switching the kitchen and dining room made all the difference

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  • It saved this owner from knocking walls down

    When the owner got married five years ago, it was decided that her partner would rent out his house and they would live together in hers. ‘It’s a nice, solid house, but it had got tired,’ says the owner. ‘We needed to go through it and work out what we wanted to do.

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    ‘We left the kitchen and dining room until last as they were a bit of a mess,’ she continues. ‘The kitchen was tiny and right at the back of the house. Meanwhile, the dining room was huge with an old wooden table I love and have had for years. But to be honest, it wasn’t used every day.’

    ‘Then there was a space between the dining room and living room that had been a playroom for my sons when they were young. It was a layout I’d inherited when I moved in, but now we had the opportunity to change it.’


    Image credit: Colin Poole

    ‘My husband is incredibly handy and also good at seeing what will work, and I love choosing the colours and picking furnishings,’ the owner says. ‘But we really had to think how we could make some radical changes on a budget. We decided the best way to update the kitchen, without needing any structural work, was to swap the rooms around.’

    The old kitchen would become a utility room, the the dining room would become the new kitchen and the playroom would become the new dining room. ‘Once we’d agreed that, I immediately felt so much better,’ says the owner.

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    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Having moved the dining table and any appliances that didn’t work, the couple set about the renovations. The old kitchen units were repurposed in the utility room, which is tucked out of sight anyway.

    ‘We decided to leave the washing machine and fridge freezer in the utility room to cut down what needed to go in the new kitchen,’ says the owner. ‘We did bring the dishwasher into the new space, though.’


    Image credit: Colin Poole

    ‘I love to mix and match old and new for an eclectic look, so we already had some nice old pieces for the new kitchen. I love colour, too, particularly pinks, which go so well with grey and copper. So I painted one big section of the kitchen a soft pink.

    ‘However, the key to transforming the space for me was excavating the chimney breast so we could fit in a range cooker. We set a plank of wood above the brand-new range to give the impression it had been there for years.’

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    Buy now: Delonghi D3VR908DF range cooker in black, £1,119, Marks Electrical
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    Image credit: Colin Poole

    ‘We’d chosen the black range cooker from Delonghi and some plain grey kitchen units when we got lucky,’ admits the owner. ‘My brother was replacing his kitchen and asked if we’d like his old black granite worktops. All we had to do was a get a van to collect it.’

    ‘It was really nice quality and we paid someone to recut and polish it, which cost £900, but even so it was a bargain. We also inherited my brother’s built in sink, and my husband fitted all the units himself, both of which saved more money.’

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    Image credit: Colin Poole

    The tiled floor didn’t need replacing, which was another pot of money saved. But the owner was determined to introduce some metallic highlights to the scheme. ‘I chose copper handles for the grey units, and I also found some great copper cutlery, lanterns, racks, utensils and pans, too.’

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    Image credit: Colin Poole

    ‘We moved a circular table, a couple of chairs and a dresser that we already had into the new kitchen to make the most of the new space. This is a great spot for us to have our breakfast in the morning and cat before we start the day. I’ve even found a special bamboo copper tray to put our mugs on.’

    The chunky white frame around the bold print really makes the colours pop.


    Image credit: Colin Poole

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    Buy now: Paisley Hot Pink wallpaper, £87 a roll, Barneby Gates at WallpaperDirect
    Buy now: Similar Ideal Home Parquet 150 cm dining table, £379, Very

    ‘The dining room back wall was already a vibrant pink, so to tie the two colours together, I painted the middle section in a pinky-grey. I also treated myself to a couple of rolls of designer wallpaper in pink and gold to cover one wall.’

    ‘Our new kitchen is a mix of contemporary units, second-hand granite, splashes of bright colour and funky tiles. Now it’s finished, we love it here.’

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