A small, dull kitchen was transformed into an on-trend green haven for less than £400

We’re impressed with the £3 scaffolding board shelves...

It’s so tricky to transform a dull, tired space when you’re renting - do you risk upsetting your landlord by ripping everything out, or endure the misery that comes with a bad room?

Gemma Louise, 27, from York threw caution to the wind and decided to indulge her kitchen ideas and entirely transform her dull and dark kitchen on a budget of £400. She documented the full transformation on her Instagram and Facebook.

'I get a lot of my inspiration from the beautiful homes shown across social media, mostly Instagram and Pinterest,' the Instagrammer and blogger told Ideal Home.

before and after images of kitchen renovation

(Image credit: Gemma Louise Ellis / @gemellisx)

'I was constantly envious of other beautiful kitchens, especially when mine was so dark and dull.

'I wasn't sure how to give it a makeover on a budget as I rent and didn't want to just rip the entire kitchen out, but thanks to my boyfriend and him being pretty handy around the house, together we managed to do it up on a pretty small budget.'

Gemma was determined to keep transformation costs low, without professional help (or the cost!), so she browsed budget-friendly, high-street shops for supplies.

white kitchen with grey cabinet and drawers

(Image credit: Gemma Louise Ellis / @gemellisx)

'I sourced tiles from B&Q at £10 a square metre which is dirt cheap, I made my own shelving with £3 scaffold boards.'

The MDF panel was a clever trick to fake a luxury shaker-style kitchen. Once the wood pieces were in place bordering the cupboard Gemma inspired by some green kitchen ideas, painted them an on-trend green. To complete the look all the kitchen handles were replaced. These small change that can make a huge difference when working within a budget.

'I got kitchen handles and laminate worktops from IKEA which totalled less than £150,' Gemma revealed.

white kitchen with wooden shelf and worktop

(Image credit: Gemma Louise Ellis / @gemellisx)

When it came to her realistic marble-design kitchen worktops, Gemma discovered the word surface was 'pretty easy to replace'- and paid a bargain £50 for 2.4m.

'It's pretty cool how much money you can save by doing things yourself and sourcing the materials instead of forking out from these expensive kitchen retailers,' Gemma added.

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, and Gemma’s stylish makeover on a budget definitely has our heart.

Emmie Harrison-West is a freelance journalist that lives in London with her husband and any cat that walks through the door. A fierce advocate for women's rights and good beer, Emmie specialises in women's lifestyle, travel, and culture. She has had words in Cosmo, Stylist, and Time Out, as well as most national newspapers, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @emmieehw.