My DIY kitchen makeover, on a budget

Finally I’ve found some pictures of my kitchen before I decorated.  I know it’s appalling planning on my part, we made sooo many changes and I have ALWAYS taken lots of ‘before’ pictures even pre-blog writing. To my shame I’ve had to resort to using pictures from the estate agent brochure, which I have managed to scan and annotate for you (I know, sometimes I surprise even myself).

Enough of the excuses and preamble let me set the scene of my kitchen transformation. This for me is the most important room in the house as it’s the first room you walk into when you enter the flat, and I love to cook so happy to spend the day in the kitchen.  It was the main reason I bought the flat as it seemed like such a homely space.  Maybe subconsciously I was seeing the potential as when I moved in I hated the kitchen, the colours, the layout the lack of space, aghhh.   It needed to change and of course it needed to be done on a budget.

I guess you would describe it as an ‘L’ shaped /galley kitchen, and below you can see the view when coming in from the front door (top pic) and the view when entering from the rest of the flat (bottom pic)…. hope that makes sense to you.

DIY kitchen makeover

Below is a picture I did take when I moved in, it gives you an idea of how narrow the space is between the units and you can just see where the cooker is located.  Note the Christmas card on the side, must have been our first Christmas, bless. The only space for the fridge-freezer was in the larder and once it was in the larder was pretty much full; a large cupboard for a fridge-freezer – it made no sense to me either.

DIY kitchen makeover

So, three years ago we cracked on with the decorating. The first thing I wanted to do was to get rid of the work surface on one side to expand the gangway to the front door. Having work surface on both sides meant the space was very narrow and immediately gave the feel of it being a very small dark kitchen.  This required the relocation of the cooker.  In fact, we pretty much relocated all the kitchen to the far end of the space, which we were able to do by taking out the larder room. We then enclosed the boiler into a little cupboard using the door taken from the larder, this gave us tall storage for the vacuum etc. The whole kitchen was opened up and I had enough room for an island bench, which I use all the time, cooking prep, laptop, painting etc.  What was outside the budget was replacing the stone quarry tiles, instead we gave them a good clean. We had to search and buy 5 tiles to replace the missing strip created when the wall was removed.

I turned to tried and trusted IKEA for the units and work surface as Mr Husband had fitted many of these units in the past, so he’s getting quite good at it.  As ever I wanted the units to be plain and this time went for an off-white with very minimalist brush steel (timeless) handles, the sort you can NOT hang a tea towel from, which we all do if we get the chance.  Take a look and see what you think.

This is the view as you walk in from the front door, the larder is gone the boiler is hidden, the cooker has moved.

Kitchen makeover

This is the view from entering the kitchen from the rest of the flat

DIY kitchen makeover before and after at decorlasting.com

As you will see wallpaper and the tones of the wood bring the colour. How do you like the grouting, I did myself – the first time ever (v proud). I point it out to all my visitors, they really don’t appreciate my achievement! The wallpaper also continues through to the small entrance hall, linking the two spaces.

DIY kitchen makerover

So how much did this all cost….well to be honest I’ve not got the receipts.  However this is me and I don’t go crazy spending money on a kitchen for a place I know I plan on moving from in the next 5-10 years.  Meaning I didn’t splurge on granite or marble I went for a laminated wood surface instead (I do like a bit of sustainable wood) and the IKEA cabinets were the low to mid price range.  The most expensive thing in the kitchen was the Smeg cooker which we bought only last year as I made a big mistake buying a cheaper as basically inefficient cooker, lesson learned the expensive way. I did get a professional electrician into to relocate the electrics for the cooker and put in some spots over the cooker.  Of course couldn’t have done it without Mr Husband, but he gets paid in cider and peanuts 😉

If I ever do fancy a change (I will) in the future, all I would need to change is the wallpaper. Something more colourful and contemporary would give this kitchen a whole new feel for nothing more than a weekend’s work.  I’ll keep a look out for that must have wallpaper, any suggestions? send them my way. Maybe a blog for the future, my wallpaper wishlist.

What do you think of the transformation, how have you transformed you kitchen

 

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Get decor inspiration from Chatsworth House

The other weekend I finally got myself into gear and went to Chatsworth House for a look around.  In the past I’ve walked around the grounds and gardens but had never been inside the House, which is a bit shameful as it’s my local stately home, everyone should have one don’t you think.  Where I lived before my local stately home was Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, which I loved to visit – great for children too.

Now back to Chatsworth, which incidentally is also great for children, everything you need to know about the place you can find on the Chatsworth House website . In a nutshell Chatsworth House is located in Derbyshire, UK with history going back to the 11th Century, and Chatsworth being home to the Cavendish family since 1549.  The 12th Duke of Devonshire, Peregrine Cavendish continues to care for the house.

Home Decor Inspiration at Chatsworth House. Read all about my recent trip to Chatsworth House and get some inspiration for your own home

I have to say the inside of the House is very lavish (gold is the colour) and the free flow wandering lets you meander around at your own pace, lingering where your interest lies.  I did take a few snaps inside the house to share, it was quite dark so they’re not the best.

Home Decor Inspiration at Chatsworth House. Read all about my recent trip to Chatsworth House and get some inspiration for your own home

Home Decor Inspiration at Chatsworth House. Read all about my recent trip to Chatsworth House and get some inspiration for your own home

I particularly liked the compact ‘en-suite’ inside the fitted wardrobe, and the way the sumptuous bed had been hidden by a large scrolled bed end, creating a partition for a home-office. This is an idea I’m going to try and apply in my own home, without the bling of course.

Home Decor Inspiration at Chatsworth House. Read all about my recent trip to Chatsworth House and get some inspiration for your own home

 

Home Decor Inspiration at Chatsworth House. Read all about my recent trip to Chatsworth House and get some inspiration for your own home

Home Decor Inspiration at Chatsworth House. Read all about my recent trip to Chatsworth House and get some inspiration for your own home

Take a look at the wallpaper, very on-trend theme of  nature & wildlife. And there were many many chandeliers, of course.

 

There’s an exhibition exploring five centuries of fashion at Chatsworth, currently going on until mid-October, so if you are a fashion fan you will have fun spotting some classics gowns as you wander through the Chatsworth House.

 

For all the splendour of the House, the garden and grounds are still my favourite.

the vistas….Home Decor Inspiration at Chatsworth House. Read all about my recent trip to Chatsworth House and get some inspiration for your own home

Home Decor Inspiration at Chatsworth House. Read all about my recent trip to Chatsworth House and get some inspiration for your own home

the plants…..

Home Decor Inspiration at Chatsworth House. Read all about my recent trip to Chatsworth House and get some inspiration for your own home

the greenhouses &  vegetable garden……

 

On a sunny day the gardens and grounds lend themselves perfectly for getting that rug out and having a hearty picnic as part of a family and friends meet-up.

The other thing I like about Chatsworth is they have a great shop. I normally skip the visitor shop at these kinds of places but I do visit the Chatsworth shop when I’m starting my Christmas shopping as they always stock some nice quality decor pieces and jewellery, bags etc, which are within my price range (well mostly).  The courtyard outside is a great place to sit for a coffee, even in the cold if you are all wrapped up.

 

So why has it taken me 3 years before I visited the Chatsworth House?? To be honest I don’t know, we do sometime appear to overlook things on our doorstep, which is why I will soon be writing the ‘Ten things I love about Buxton!’

Is Chatsworth House your kind of day out?

Home Decor Inspiration at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire. Read all about my recent trip to Chatsworth House and get some inspiration for your own home

DIY vintage coffee table makeover

It seems a very long time since I bought an old coffee table from the local charity shop in downtown Buxton.  Checking my Instagram feed, it was April 28th!!  It has taken me ages to get this project completed.  This was partly due to the bad summer weather – I hate sanding and painting indoors, and the fact I think I fell out of love with it when I got it home and checked out how battered it actually was.  I paid £8 you know,  I was robbed!!

DIY Vintage Coffee Table Makeover. See the before and after results with decorlasting.com

Emotions aside, I persisted (slowly) as I did love the shape. My first instinct was to get the legs lighter but soon realised it was not doable in the time I have left on this planet so compromise was required.  Instead I decided to stain it all a bit darker, as I’m not a fan of reddy-brown, but I would paint the bottom shelf off-white just to lightening things up, cunning don’t you think.

You may recall I had stained some shelves for the Son’s kitchen so the same stain was employed Sadolin Extra Durable Woodstain, Rosewood.  In addition, I thought I’d try out a spray paint for the off-white colour just to experiment, so I chose Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch, Heirloom White (satin finish)

So here we go. You can see the poor condition of the table meaning there was lots and lots and lots of sanding – not my favourite pastime I can assure you.

First I painted everything except the base shelf with a black matt paint, just to subdue the reddishness of the current stain and the one I would be applying.  I then applied a couple of coats of white-ish emulsion I had in the cupboard to the base shelf, as when I did a little test with the spray paint the stain bled through. It was at that point I think I put it all to one-side for the next few months.

I must confess Mr Husband sprayed the bottom shelf, he was a car paint sprayer of sorts so it was a bit of damage limitation, and I just wanted to get the darn table finished. But hooray its was all completed last weekend and although not a masterpiece (I don’t think I’ve increased its value by much), its a usable table and I think it looks better than when I started.

Although I am running out of space to keep all these tables. What do you think?

DIY Vintage Coffee Table Makeover. See what it looked like before with decorlasting.com

 

DIY Vintage Coffee Table Makeover. See the before and after results with decorlasting.com

Why you should explore Seville

My recent holiday seems such a long time ago, so thought I’d refresh my memory by getting on with writing about my few days in Seville, Spain.  If you’ve already read my previous blog about the holiday planning and my few days in Faro you will know that Seville was a stop-off on the way to Cadiz, connecting my bus and train travel.  My route may all seem to be a bit convoluted but it was well worth it.

I wouldn’t class myself as someone who loves being in a busy city for more than a few hours so I was a bit apprehensive, thinking after being in Seville for a day (we had planned 2 days) I would keen to move on.   However……. I loved Seville.  Oozing in history, the pavements were not crowded, the traffic was restricted to the perimeter and the criss-cross of narrow streets balanced the expansive plazas giving the whole place an intimate feel.  It was one of those cities where every time you turned a corner you wanted to take a picture.  I have far too many to share and they really don’t reflect how impressive the city was.

The weather was fabulous, if like me you enjoy hot sun and blue sky.  But don’t be put off by the heat as all the elegant buildings provide much opportunity to walk on the shady side of the street.

It was our first adventure into the world of tapas, with delicious dishes being served whether in a prime-spot restaurant of a small snack bar down a narrow side street.  I must admit I struggled with eating so late as is traditional in Spain.  I’m early to bed but just had to stay up late (after 10 pm!) to see how the place came alive with families socialising, after 9pm was definitely the start of tapas time. I was also very presently surprised how reasonably priced the food and entrance fees to some of the major sites were… my comparison being the UK.

tapas seville

 

My highlight was a visit to the Real Alcazar, which apparently was used to film part of Games of Thrones. I’ve never watched Game of Thrones but this backdrop could have only have improved it.  It was much much larger than it appeared from the outside and far more impressive than I was expecting.  If you get a chance, you should go and stroll amongst luscious gardens and Moorish architecture, what more could you want.

Tiles and mosaics

We didn’t look around Seville Cathedral  just appreciated its enormity from the steps opposite.  It was undergoing a bit of clean but the scaffolding didn’t spoil the view.

The other tourist site we took a look at was the Metropol Parasol.  We couldn’t miss it as it was right outside the door of the hotel where we were staying.  It’s a massive wooden structure built to revitalise part of the City. We waited until the evening and then scooted to the top in the elevator where we strolled around the meandering walkway soaking in the panoramic views.  Underneath the structure is a large daily food market and many cafes and bars surround it. It has a friendly vibrancy in the evenings.

 

All in all 2 nights in Seville far exceeded my expectations (I love it when that happens) and definitely warrants another visit.  It was city in which to relax and absorb the atmosphere. I left feeling inspired rather than frazzled.  I hope I’ve given you a flavour of the city, but pictures can’t replace a real-life visit if you can.

Onwards now by train to Cadiz, backpacks attached, the beach was beckoning.

Accommodation details

We stayed room only for 2 nights at the Hotel Palace Sevilla, located in the Old Town so was an ideal base for 2 nights.  Rooms we elegantly furnished, quiet, air conditioned with a lovely soft bed and a roof terrace with splendid views across the Metropol Parasol.

Hotel palace sevilla roof terrace view