Before and after – a dash of colour has breathed new life into this kitchen

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  • Stripping out dated details, then filling it with fresh colours and character, has made this space a happier place

    When the owners bought their five-bed detached house in Hertfordshire, they knew it needed top-down renovation. ‘The kitchen would be an important room for us as a family, as well as a sociable space to enjoy with friends,’ says the owner. ‘Everything was stripped out and the builders laid the new floor and constructed a false chimney breast from MDF to frame a range cooker.’

    Get started on your own makeover with our kitchen ideas


    Image credit: Colin Poole

    The owners wanted a functional space that felt fun and laid-back and discovered DeVol’s Shaker-style cabinets, which were just what they were after. ‘We also wanted open shelving for all our china,’ they explain.

    Old-fashioned units and fussy curtains had made the old kitchen feel dark and cluttered. ‘To create an unfitted effect, we chose soft grey for the units and blue-green for the island.’

    Get the look
    Enquire online: Real Shaker kitchen units, £600 for 600mm base unit, DeVol
    Buy now: Heythrop large woven tray, £75, Soho Home


    Image credit: Colin Poole

    ‘I knew the pink splash back tiles would work with the units – and I loved their handmade look. In fact, the tiles are the stand-out feature for me – they make me smile every morning, and 
they get a lot of compliments!

    Get the look
    Buy now: Pink Pradena tiles, £168 per sq m, 
Bert & May


    Image credit: Colin Poole

    The aged brass I’ve chosen for the taps and handles has the same timeless, weathered look as the colours and tiles, so everything works well together,’ says Sarah.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Perrin & Rowe Ionian tap in Aged Brass, £472, Just Perrin

    Don’t over-spend on swish appliances. I found a reconditioned range on eBay, bought a basic but functional dishwasher and our fridge is second-hand


    Image credit: Colin Poole

    ‘Removing a fitted unit left an alcove, perfect for the family dining table. I’ve given the area its own atmosphere with tongue-and-groove cladding and interesting lighting. It’s a great family and entertaining space,’ says the owner.

    Get the look
    Buy now: Baileys jar lights, from £45 each, Baileys Home
    Buy now: Hitchcock wall lights, £225 each, Tinsmiths
    Buy now: Bossy Beached chairs, £3300 for two, Loaf


    Image credit: Colin Poole

    ‘I’ve collected pieces from junk shops and jumble sales since I was a teenager,’ says the owner. ‘I’m drawn to colour, but I don’t always worry about them matching.’


    Image credit: Colin Poole

    More makeovers: Before and after: walls came down to create this light-filled kitchen-diner

    The units, sink and oven are in much the same positions as before,’ says Sarah, ‘but we added the island as the anchor piece.’

    Get the look
    Buy now: Egg of Columbus pendants (over sink), £30 each, Seletti at Made in Design

    ‘The trickiest bit was co-ordinating all the deliveries, but I kept track of everything on a big spreadsheet and while it was full on, it was exciting, too,’ says the owner. ‘The building work took two weeks and cost around £3,000, and the kitchen fitting cost around £2,000. I’m really happy with how it’s turned out – I love the visual variety and the colours.’

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