This couple saved thousands on their dream kitchen by going second-hand

You'd never know this kitchen was 13 years old

green kitchen with wood panelling
(Image credit: Future PLC / Paul Craig)

A couple from Dorset has transformed the heart of their home with a second-hand kitchen refit, saving themselves thousands. The pair bought a used kitchen to create their dream space at the fraction of the price of a new one, replacing their tired old kitchen.

They repainted the cabinets, created a banquette seating area and sourced a classic dresser from Facebook Marketplace. The result is a functional, sociable space full of green kitchen ideas that look very DeVol.


kitchen before makeover

(Image credit: Future PLC / Paul Craig)

The old small kitchen layout wasn't working for this family, with an awkward layout and nowhere to sit. It had a wide window and back door, so they removed the door and centralised the window in order to run the sink, dishwasher and washing machine across this wall.

'We bought second-hand cabinets and appliances from The Used Kitchen Exchange, a classic design that reminded us of the DeVol kitchens we’ve always loved,' say the homeowners. They were unable to reuse their old granite worktops, but this was a small price to pay given how much money they saved (the whole project cost £8,000).

green kitchen dresser and cooker

(Image credit: Future PLC / Paul Craig)

While the used kitchen was a bargain at £4,000, it could have been an expensive mistake. They'd never bought a second-hand kitchen before, so weren't sure what to expect in terms of its condition. 

'There was a moment of panic when it turned up,' the homeowners admit. So when it all began to take shape a week later, they could breathe a sigh of relief.

green kitchen with wood panelling

(Image credit: Future PLC / Paul Craig)

The used kitchen was much larger than the homeowners needed. But this gave them room to play and change the layout. The second-hand kitchen had an island, which they didn’t need, so they took it apart and used the cabinets.

Originally a bathroom, this area at the back of the kitchen is now the breakfast nook. They use hidden kitchen storage ideas in the banquette seating for extra cooking equipment.

green kitchen with wood panelling

(Image credit: Future PLC / Paul Craig)

They used easy-to-install cladding to add texture and character to the walls. Classic tongue-and-groove panelling echoes the traditional detailing of Shaker kitchen ideas, as well as providing plain walls and single-colour kitchens with added pattern and visual interest.

Wall panelling ideas are the perfect quick fix for walls in less-than-perfect condition. As long as there’s no damp to contend with, you can simply glue the pieces to the wall for an instant transformation. It works for splashbacks and dining area walls alike. 

green panelled kitchen with gold hardware

(Image credit: Future PLC / Paul Craig)

Available in a variety of patterns and sizes, MDF wall panelling is an affordable and easy DIY project. Try a panelling kit from Traditional Wall Panelling & Interiors, which comes ready-primed and can be attached using a suitable adhesive.

So, would they do it again? 'We would recommend buying a used kitchen, but do find a good joiner to fit it,' they say. 

Not only is buying a used kitchen a more affordable option, it's also eco-friendly. This family's ‘new’ kitchen is 13 years old and still going strong.

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less. 

With contributions from