A budget makeover for a classic kitchen with white units and oak worktops
A budget makeover for a classic kitchen with white units and oak worktops
A budget makeover for a classic kitchen with white units and oak worktops
A budget makeover for a classic kitchen with white units and oak worktops
All done
All done
A budget makeover for a classic kitchen with white units and oak worktops
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Updating A Large Kitchen On A Small Budget

Author: Lauren Coleman

Kitchens are hot topics for the team over at RMS. Charlotte is also making over the heart of the home and we’ve just put our kitchen project to bed so there’s been a lot of chat about tiles, cupboards and handles recently.
Over the last year James and I have been working to add more personality to our kitchen on very limited funds of around £500. Admittedly we ended up going over budget as we had to replace a broken radiator but up until that point we had over £100 left in the pot. I hope the snaps below show how you can make a big impact on a small budget.

What did we do? Well here goes. Nearly a year ago we had an electrician do various jobs on the house, one of them being the removal of the three pendants from the centre of the kitchen which only really succeeding in lighting up the crumbs on the floor. He replaced them with nine LED spots and two retro pendants over the peninsular so we could finally see when prepping and eating.
Then it all went quiet until November when James and my Dad painted the kitchen cabinets with Farrow and Ball All White Estate Eggshell. Next came the walls, painted with Dulux SuperMatt in White for a crisp and bright finish and then we took a break for Christmas but not before we knocked up a few shelves from wood off-cuts positioned on some reclaimed brackets we thought we’d lost in the move.
In the new year we removed the trim from the top of the cupboards, replacing it with a more detailed plinth to add extra interest and painted it white to match the units.

Then we came on to the tiling. I decided I didn’t want to introduce another colour so needed a design with white and charcoal grey which would be impactful amongst the rest of the plain decor. After ordering what felt like 10,000 samples, the Heritage Star tiles became the frontrunner. Luckily for me the lovely team over at Porcelain Superstore gave me a discount, however at £6 per large tile they’re extremely reasonable to begin with. We only used twelve in total to cover the back wall and split another in four to add an oversized coaster runner to the peninsular unit.
By this point were were doing really well with the budget and had only spent about £350 on the tiles, lighting, trim and paint and then the ruddy radiator broke. Enter the Volcanic Column Radiator from Screwfix which blew the budget entirely but as far as I’m concerned was utterly essential 😉

Next came the faffery. I’ve sung the praises of Wilko many times on these pages so was genuinely chuffed to be gifted various kitchenalia to finish the project. The copper effect utensils and cafetiere are all from their copper range and I love how they complement the other splashes of chrome.
A low budget meant we were unable to replace the wooden worktops which are frequently prone to staining. The Wilko chopping boards and paddles have been really useful to use as counter protectors too.

We also added a blackboard by simply painting a piece of MDF with chalkboard paint and I then added the baskets from our old house. My niece added the cocktail menu at Christmas and I haven’t had the heart to remove it.
The wire unit on the wall is an old one from La Redoute which they don’t seem to do anymore, however Cox and Cox have a very similar one.
I’ve used an old H&M tray to collect together my John Lewis storage jars and for sugar still use one of the apothecary jars I found in Paris which was part of our wedding decor.

The wire floor standing rack from Loaf was originally purchased for our old house but fits the area leading to the dining room perfectly.
Even after the recent rug discussion I did decide to add one to the room. This smallish jute one from Dunelm escapes the perimeter of the cupboards and instead acts as a large doormat and a welcome place to stand while I wait for the kettle to boil. The metal stools around the peninsular were originally in the courtyard at our last place around the outdoor bar.
As many people mentioned on Charlotte’s kitchen post, slatted blinds do get grubby so I’m still on the lookout for potential window treatments. For now I’d say we’re pretty much finished in here. On to the next project…

  • Farthing Wire Shelf
  • Amazon Pendant Lights
  • Copper Effect Cafetiere
  • Octopus Mug
  • LiteCraft Lamp
  • Peg Sign
  • Anthro Espresso Candle
  • Wilko Copper Effect Utensils

I received a discount from Porcelain Superstore and was gifted items from Wilko, but as ever, all opinions are my own.


Photography by Adam Crohill

Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
This post may include affiliate links.

46 thoughts on “Updating A Large Kitchen On A Small Budget

    1. Thanks doll. I had put off bringing in any of my trinkets and stuff until it was decorated. They make all the difference!

  1. You never fail to amaze me. Seriously you have such an eye for detail Lauren, small changes right through a room and you’ve transformed it.

    The tiles are a dream and the little touches are ?

    Now, is it too early for a Fancy Flamingo?

    1. Aww, you’re always too kind Karen.
      She had a pretty extensive cocktail knowledge for an eleven year old, I have to say 😉

  2. Your kitchen doors, what material were they as I wish to paint mine but feel these laminate style doors may be a problem

  3. I was lucky enough to see the finished kitchen in all its glory recently and I have to say it’s even more glorious in the flesh. As you say Karen, Lauren has such an eye for detail and whenever I visit it’s like visiting a treasure trove picking your way through such a wonderfully curated collection that reflects both her and James perfectly. Well done you…I’m not sure I could have managed such a transformation on the equivalent budget. I’m off to pin!!

    1. Aww you little sweetheart. It’s all the gin bottles isn’t it? That reflect James and I?!
      Chomping at the bit to get round to your gorgeous pad and see your bathroom progress.

  4. Such a gorgeous kitchen and a really impressive transformation for £500! I love all the little details – that little chalk holder – so cute!! Your styling is just beautiful xx

  5. Such a gorgeous kitchen Lauren, you’ve done so well transforming it for £500! I just love all your trinkets and detail, so much to look at in the pictures, all those cute little bits and bobs. I am not sure how you do it – it looks so beautiful without looking cluttered in the slightest. Definitely something I am hoping to achieve more in my house xx

    1. Thanks Sarah, with that flipping radiator we did go slightly over but it seemed like a good time to replace it with something a bit fancier. We were only at £350 before then!
      On the trinkets, I do think people can shy away from having photos and other bits and bobs in kitchen spaces but I’m a bit believer in adding your personality to every room x

  6. Well, I have to confess that originally I thought you were mad to even want to change the kitchen! It looked pretty good to me and I was so envious of the size of it. But, you have for very little money utterly transformed it…..for the better. It now reflects your style and looks far more contemporary. Those tiles are glorious and really make the kitchen.
    Well done – a fantastic transformation.

    1. Thank you Kate. Appreciate we had very good bones to start with so it was just about making it more ‘us’.
      Thanks for the kind words x

  7. This is a stunner. We will be doing a Kitchen overhaul on a small budget (for a kitchen – looking at 5K) so obviously going to be going for a cheapish kitchen from Ikea with just shelves at instead of top cupboards. Its all the little extras that will make it look a bit more special. Thanks for this… Definitely going to be pinning this.

    1. Hi Abi, my sister’s kitchen has Ikea units and reclaimed shelving – it looks fabulous. Hope the project goes well x

      1. Thank you! We’ve been there 2 years in May and cannot wait to get the kitchen sorted. Will submit some before and after when we are done! Also love the Wilko buys. Bought the the grey ottoman box for £14 after your recommendations. Also have purchased a few of the wooden paddle type chopping boards which will be hanging up on the kitchen walls. Once completed, looking for a few copper finishing touches too. 😉

  8. Lauren – your kitchen is fabulous! Now I want to make a few changes to my own. I’m absolutely loving the little chalk holder, can I ask where it is from? x

    1. Hi Lucy, it was from Anthropologie quite a while ago but unfortunately I don’t think they do it anymore x

  9. Oh dear. Just checked out the porcelain superstore after falling in love with your tiles. So many gorgeous designs! How long did it take you to settle on yours?! I can’t chose!! Maybe it’s a good job I have 2 bathrooms, a kitchen and a utility room to refurb!

    1. And now just had the same issue with the radiators… reading this today has been very inspiring and very expensive!! ?

  10. Your kitchen is stunning! Want to come and sort mine out??! Will definitely be taking inspiration/stealing ideas from this. We have a large kitchen that is perfectly fine, just not really my taste. The cupboards have a brownish wood vaneer shell with vanilla high gloss doors so I’m at a loss on where to start to tszuj* them up. The worktops and floor are both dark which I’d also like to change somehow but may be beyond my budget! Alternatively, after seeing your kitchen, I may just use accessories, decorative touches and pictures to help make do with what I’ve got until I can afford a new kitchen completely. * I think that is the first time I’ve ever written the word tszuj!

  11. Your kitchen looks incredible! What an amazing job, those tiles are beautiful. We are in the process of selling our current house and buying a new one and none of the kitchens work for me. The series of posts on your kitchen have really made me feel as if we don’t need to rip the whole thing out and start again, so for that I (and my husband, and my bank balance…) thank you!

    1. Oh Sian, that’s so good to hear! I think my F-I-L thought I’d gone crazy when we viewed the house and I said I wanted to paint the kitchen, but it just didn’t float my boat. Glad to have helped your bank balance 🙂 x

  12. It looks so beautiful! We’re just planning a new kitchen and this has inspired me to hit up Wilkos. And also caused me to fill a virtual basket at anthropology.. beautiful!

    1. So exciting to be planning a new kitchen Jennifer. Hope you’ve found lots of lovely buys today x

  13. Stunning, have total kitchen envy! I was wondering if you had to cut your tiles yourself seen as you self tiled, and if so is there a tile cutting maching you can recommend please? Thanks so much x

    1. Thanks Rachel. James has an electric tile cutter for straight cuts and an angle grinder that he used to cut out all the holes for the power points. The angle grinder is a worx one and the disc cutter is really old so not too sure of the brand x

  14. Oh and I forgot to ask where do you hide your washing up sponge and jay cloths? Mine is always draped very inelegantly over the tap! xx

    1. Thanks so much Kitty!
      Washing up liquid under the sink and I’m not allowed a dish cloth! We usually use those sponge things x

  15. Oh it all looks so lovely – those tiles WILL find a home in my home, that’s for sure. I’m a bit breathless from swooning over the wire baskets – where were they from? I fear they may no longer be available but it doesn’t stop me from imagining them in my office …

  16. This post has inspired me to makeover my own kitchen, although our cabinets are incredibly shiny gloss (very on trend, but not my taste at all) so we are going to have new MDF doors made by Jali, which we will then paint. Can I ask – as I don’t see it mentioned in the post – where did you get your cabinet handles and what is the finish on them? They are lovely!

  17. Lauren – I have to ask where are your kitchen floor tiles from? Doing a kitchen extension at the moment and they are exactly what i am looking for? Thanks

    1. Hi Lucy, there were in when we bought the house but I think they were from Tile Mountain or Tons of Tiles. They’re really nice but they zap all the light but it might be because it’s quite a big floor space. x

      1. Thank you. AH okay good to know – are space is quite big and not going to be super light, so may need to go for a lighter colour but I love the texture.

  18. This looks amazing, we’re using the same tiles in our kitchen but I am so confused over grout colours! What colour/brand of groutdid you use? I can’t decide if it should be black like the star pattern or some shade of grey to match the background of the tile.

    1. Thanks Sarah. We used a mid grey grout from Screwfix. I didn’t want anything too dark in the end.

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