Before and after: a dated kitchen is now bursting with country character

We know you'll enjoy this Shaker-style kitchen makeover with modern grey walls

kitchen area with shaker style kitchen units and tiles floor
(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

'When my husband and I first moved in, we were more than happy to take on the task of updating a rather tired and run-down home,’ says the owner. ‘But as soon as we discovered that I was pregnant with our son, our priorities changed!'

We've got so much inspiration in our kitchen ideas channel

Work to replace the rotten windows and remove the old lean-to was already well under way. But the arrival of a baby biy meant they had to put our more ambitious plans for the kitchen on hold. However, this did give them time to think about what they actually wanted from the available space, and also how to make the most of our now limited budget.

'Six months down the line, and with our inherited clapped-out cooker on its last legs, it was time to put our plans into action,' the owner explains.

kitchen area with grey wall and kitchen cabinets and stove

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

'We decided to stick with the existing layout in order to save on expensive new pipework and installation costs, but I think it was spending a long weekend clearing the room that really made a big difference to our budget,' says the owner.

Removing the old units and wall and floor tiles ready for the professionals meant they were able to save hundreds of pounds on labour costs. Of course, getting rid of the old lean-to had instantly improved daylight levels, but simply removing a build-up of dirt and debris from the existing skylight also helped.

kitchen area with shaker style kitchen units and tiles floor

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

'As I wanted a country feel with a modern twist, classic Shaker-style units were high on my list of must-haves. Thanks to an existing walk-in pantry that now houses bulkier items and our old fridge-freezer, we only needed limited cabinetry so were able to splash out on quality units.'

Opting for a primed, ready-to-paint kitchen gave the couple the flexibility of choosing their own finish. It also offers longevity, as they can easily be updated with a fresh coat of paint.

Enquire online: Midsomer units, £282 for a 600ml base cabinet, Crown Imperial (opens in new tab)

kitchen area with grey stove and oven and tiles floor

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

'Although we may have played it safe with our choice of a soft stone hue, I’ve never shied away from bold hues, so was happy to team the stone-coloured units with dark-grey walls and a little pattern in the form of eye-catching wall tiles. They were a last-minute addition inspired by an online brochure.'

The owners are keen cooks, so a large range was always on the cards. It fits perfectly into the old fireplace.

Get the look
Buy now: Belling Farmhouse 90 range cooker, £839, Kensington Appliances (opens in new tab)

kitchen area with washbasin and bespoke blinds

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

The internet definitely became the couple's first port of call when looking to save money. 'By sourcing items such as the Belfast sink, the tap and the worktop online, we were able to offset more expensive items, such as my lovely range cooker,' they explain.

'Even our bespoke blinds were ordered online – although I did measure the windows a hundred times before placing the order.'

Get the look
Buy now: Franke Belfast VBK 710 Ceramic White 1.0 Bowl Kitchen Sink, £356.18, QS Supplies (opens in new tab)
Buy now:
Franke bridge lever tap, £189, Tapstore.com (opens in new tab)

kitchen area with flagstone floor and wooden basket

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

Thinking of going for a new look? See Kitchen flooring – everything you need to know

We did, however, have to ditch our plans for a flagstone floor, as it would have seriously blown the budget. Instead, we opted for a practical porcelain lookalike.

Get the look
Buy now: BCT Concrete Mid Grey floor tiles, £22.95 per sq m, Tilers World (opens in new tab)

 

grey wall with fruit bowl and wooden worktop

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

Cladding a problematic wall in tongue-and-groove panelling for under £50 also proved cheaper than replastering. The chalky finish made a big difference to the final finish of the worktops. It was achieved with a special oil.

Get the look
Buy now: Oak worktop, from £95 for 2m, Worktop Express (opens in new tab)
Buy now:
Chalked Oak IsoGuard Oil, £58 for 500ml, Neptune (opens in new tab)

kitchen area with wooden worktop and pull-back curtain

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

'To hide our washing machine and dishwasher, I made a simple pull-back curtain from a tablecloth. It also enhances the room’s country look. I also oiled the new worktop using a tinted chalk finish, which looks lovely.’

dining area with grey wall and dining tables and chairs and tiles floor

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

Check out our dining room ideas, too

Get the look
Buy now: Walls in Scree Intelligent matt emulsion, £48.50 for 2.5ltrs, Little Greene (opens in new tab)
Buy now:
Nordmyra chairs, £35 each, Ikea (opens in new tab)
Buy now:
PS 2012 drop-leaf table, £140, Ikea (opens in new tab)

'The compact dining area came courtesy of my parents – they spotted the fold-down table at Ikea and you would think it had been made for the job, as it sits perfectly in what is now the ideal kitchen-diner for our growing family.’

Thea Babington-Stitt
Thea Babington-Stitt

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Assistant Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for nearly 10 years. 

She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.