Are you looking for easy ways to update your kitchen?
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Giving your kitchen a new look and feel doesn’t have to involve a major remodel or break the bank. In this post I’ll be sharing how I updated my kitchen focusing on the following areas:-
- Adding tiling and replacing the kitchen tap
- DIY upcycle of cooker hood
- Creative wall treatments
- Utilising wall space
- Finishing touches
I’ve recently completed the kitchen makeover and I’m over the moon with how it’s turned out. If I were to sum up the transformation in a few short words I’d say “SMALL KITCHEN, BIG PERSONALITY”
Read on to see if you agree…..
I had the pleasure of working with Rockett St George on this project and will be featuring a few key pieces from their collection. If you’re not already familiar with their array of stylish and affordable products, I would encourage you to check out their wonderful website. I’m a huge fan of this British, independent brand and I have yet to discover anything that I wouldn’t welcome into my home.
WHERE MY KITCHEN JOURNEY BEGAN
Before I get into the nitty gritty of the glow-up, it might help to give a little background….
My small u-shaped galley kitchen was fitted about 4 years ago and during that time, I’ve been very happy with it. My only regret however, was not tiling around the cooker and sink areas.
To be honest, there have been times, like Christmas Day, when I’ve wished my kitchen was a little bigger. But budget constraints ruled out an extension and it’s been a case of making the most of what I have.
When the kitchen was first installed, I chose to have a run of slimline cupboards fitted along the back wall. Full depth cupboards weren’t an option as they would have eaten into the floor space too much. Therefore, the best solution was to compromise on unit size. I was slightly concerned over how useful the shallow interior shelves would prove to be, but I needn’t have worried. They’ve turned out to be invaluable for storing dry foods and make a great little larder. It’s something worth considering if you have a small kitchen and need to claw back floor space.
WHAT THE KITCHEN UPDATE INVOLVED
Fast forward to the now. What I lack on square footage, I’ve made up for with a mix of magical ingredients from Rockett St George. I’ve cooked up the tastiest of makeover dishes, proving that small and compact, isn’t a limitation on style.
The Mood Board
Before I embark on any room makeover journey, I always pull together a mood board using the Canva App. An easy way to do this is by using the blank presentation template. You can drop in your chosen images and start to visualise the overall scheme and how items might work together.
Referring back to the mood board helps maintain focus on the style direction and elements of the design. I pin down the finishing touches at the start of the project, although that’s just my personal preference. I know some people like to see how the room looks once decorated, before choosing accessories. I work better having every element sourced and ready to go as soon as the paint has dried!
PHASE 1 – TILING, TAP & COOKER HOOD
Addition of wall tiles
First of all, a tradesman fitted matt black metro tiles along one wall and around the sink area. Metro tiles are very cost effective, so ideal if you’re on a limited budget. The matt finish option is slightly more expensive but mine still only came in at £115 for the area covered. Local labour charges were extra to that and included fitting the tap and fixing my groaning toilet!
Tiling has made a huge difference, not only aesthetically, but also from a practical point of view. It has solved the main problem I had – keeping the painted walls free from marks, especially around the hob.
If you already have tiling installed but don’t love the look of it, using tile paint can make a huge difference. I’ve seen some amazing makeovers where people have painted them white and then stencilled on top. Covering them adhesive tile stickers is another effective way to change their appearance.
Installation of new kitchen tap
Taps can add real character, so consider opting for something a little different. Statement colours such as brass, copper or black can completely elevate the sink area. I already had copper hardware on the cupboards and copper electrical sockets, so my existing chrome tap looked a little out of place. Replacing it was a no-brainer as it had been badly fitted from the off. If I told you it had a swing that Tiger Woods would be proud of, you’d understand my frustration!
I opted for the Vibrance Twin Lever Mono mixer tap in a copper finish which was part of a brand collaboration with Tap Warehouse. It’s a beautiful, sturdy tap, with an excellent water flow and the colour compliments the decor perfectly.
Painting the cooker hood – reuse, recycle
My cooker hood is a bog standard chrome one, that cost around £80 new. I was going to replace it but decided to have a go at painting the existing one first. I’m so glad I did, as it couldn’t have been easier and I’m chuffed to bits with the result. It was easily dismantled and just a case of taking it outside to spray. To do this, I used Rustoleum BBQ and Stove spray paint.
The black spray paint has a matt finish and took three coats to fully cover. I used two cans, which came in at just under £20. I can’t yet speak for how the finish will fair over time, but as a quick fix it’s worked out great.
PHASE 2 – GETTING CREATIVE WITH WALL PAINT
Are your wall looking a little tired? One of the easiest ways to update your kitchen is by repainting the walls.
Bold prints and pattern clashing are kinda my thing. And I had my monochrome flooring and window blind fitted a couple of years ago. As they both still have plenty of life left in them, I needed to incorporate them into the new scheme.
Black is a colour I’ve used consistently throughout my home, as I like how it adds a dramatic edge. For me, having too much can sometimes feel overwhelming, so I use it in small doses as an accent.
With the kitchen I chose to contrast the bold, black elements with something softer and introduced warm, earthy tones. I wanted the walls to pack a punch, but also compliment the colour of my neutral greige cabinets.
The wall finishes I used
Rockett St George have a longstanding partnership with one of the oldest established paint manufacturers in the UK, Craig & Rose. I used a rich, spiced earth shade called Emanuella, which is exclusive to Rockett St George. It compliments the black accents and adds a pop of radiant warmth.
Remaining walls were given a decorative chalk wash finish using the Craig & Rose 1829 Vintage Paint Collection. I used Craftsman’s White as a base and followed with their Artisan Chalk Wash in Pink Clay. The chalk wash is available from Rockett St George in three additional colour-ways; Flax Yellow, Blue Ochre and Terre Vert.
Chalk wash has the look of delicate broken colour and creates a subtle marble-like effect. The Pink Clay option is a soft, dreamy shade, with a hint of warmth, which marries perfectly with natural elements. I was immediately struck by the level of depth it created and by how the walls came to life.
The paint application process
This beautiful decorative finish is applied over a chalky emulsion and by using the Craftsman’s white I was able to achieve a noticeable contrast. For a more subtle effect Craig & Rose suggest using a similar tone to the chalk wash itself. It’s also advised to leave 7 days in between applying the base colour and the chalk wash. The chalky emulsion is applied the same way as any other emulsion, but the chalk wash has a specific application.
How to apply the chalk wash
- Start at the top left-hand corner of the wall and apply the Chalk Wash using a wide brush (50-75mm) in a random pattern.
- I worked in shoulder width sections and once I’d brushed on the chalk paint I then followed with a scrunched up muslin cloth. To create the broken pattern I used a light pressing action and kept turning the cloth in my hand.
- It’s really important to work quickly and not go back over completed sections and don’t stop until you have finished the whole wall!
As a newbie to using a decorative finish paint, I was pleasantly surprised with the ease of application. I’m thrilled with the end result and super impressed with the quality of the product. The combination of Emanuella and Pink Clay has given my kitchen the feel of a Mediterranean villa – I love that!
PHASE 3 – UTILISING THE WALL SPACE
Create an accent wall by adding open shelving
Adding open shelving is another easy way to update the look of your kitchen. With small kitchens, it’s important to utilise every inch of available space. I have a large blank wall and it was crying out for some character. I added these fabulous rustic shelves from Plane and Sanded. They offer additional storage and let’s face it, we could all do with that right. Shelving is a simple and easy way to give your kitchen a stylish and eclectic feel.
If you’re anything like me, you can spend ages styling shelves. I find it such a relaxing thing to do, I like to ‘shop’ my home to see which pieces I can incorporate. By my own admission, I’m a serial faffer and I’m constantly changing things about.
Shelf styling is such a great opportunity to let loose and demonstrate your creative flair. Try displaying decorative pieces alongside more functional items, such as food storage jars, bowls, crockery etc. By also including round objects, you can create a softness, which will cut through the horizontal lines of a shelf.
Plants, plants and more plants
Plants instantly brighten a space and inject life into a room. I’ve placed a large plant on top of my fridge and it’s added another point of interest to an otherwise empty corner. If you’re not particularly green fingered then just fake it as they have just as much visual impact as real ones.
Also try using dried/faux flowers and grasses, as these will add another layer of texture. I have orange faux Seterea stems placed in a statement vase, which add colour and height impact. Using trailing plants is another way you can break up the hard line of shelves.
Tips for creating a well curated shelf
- Create visual interest by using varying shapes and heights, as this will create a flow for the eye and stop the area from looking flat.
- Keeping your objects tonal will create a sense of calm and balance.
- Use a variety of textures such as smooth glass, ribbed vases, metallics, wood for added interest.
- The rule of 3, our eyes are drawn to odd numbers so try and group items in 3’s or 5
- Include at least one quirky, fun piece that makes you smile.
Rethink storage by adding hanging rails
A great way to free up valuable work space is to store your utensils on a wall mounted hook rail. I’ve transferred mine from a bulky container to this amazing Antique Bronze Finish Hook Rail. I love it’s practicality for housing mugs, tea towels or any other favourite pieces. It’s not only functional but also a fabulous feature in its own right.
PHASE 4 – THE FINISHING TOUCHES; THE ART OF ACCESSORISING
Finishing touches are my absolute favourite part of any project. It’s that sweet moment when all your hard work comes together and you can add personality to the room.
A few well chosen key pieces can make all the difference
The addition of functional, yet stylish storage and decorative pieces is an easy way to update your kitchen. This was one of my key goals when I started out on the makeover. Rockett St George offer a fantastic range of affordable kitchen and dining accessories that boast serious style credentials.
Organisers, a place for everything
This black metal organiser is a great example of when function meets style, I love having everything in easy reach when cooking. I’ve been using the organiser to store my essentials; oils, condiments, garlic bulbs, fresh herbs etc. I take it over to the hob and it keeps everything tidy – no bits and bobs all over the gaff.
Storage doesn’t have to be boring
Liven up your kitchen with fun accessories. One of the things I love about Rockett St George, is you can always find something interesting and quirky. Take these recycled ribbed glass storage jars for instance. They are just so cool and eccentric. The Sugar Tits, Caffeine Hit and Tea Total jars are also bang on when it comes to the current trend for ribbed glass.
Stylish and fun alternatives to everyday items can add a sense of lighthearted character to your kitchen. Definitely not boring; these tea, coffee and sugar jars will inject a touch of playfulness into your daily routines.
Fans of the British comedy, Gavin and Stacey will understand why I’m reminded of Nessa’s dulcet tones every time I make myself a cuppa!
Inject colour with Glass bottles
Colourful glass has been around for thousands of years. During the 50’s and 60’s it featured widely in home decor and I fondly remember my Nan’s collection.
Amber glass has recently become a popular choice again, thanks to the ‘Apothecary’ trend. Using decorative glass bottles to store oils and spices is another way to up the anti in the style stakes. This set of 5 Amber glass apothecary jars will add a sense of real vintage charm to your kitchen shelves.
Make a feature of Breadboards
I love to see wooden chopping and breadboards doubling up as decorative pieces. The rich, natural hues of wood add a lovely rustic warmth that compliments pretty much any style of kitchen.
The set of three teak paddle boards sit on my worktop and make a lovely eye-catching display. Plus, they’re way too attractive to be stored out of sight. It makes life much easier when you are able to grab things quickly, rather than fishing around in cupboards.
With the long awaited return of home entertaining – hooray to that, these boards will be getting plenty of use. They’ll look amazing as serving platters when I host my first cheese and wine evening for my girlfriends. Bring on the Brie!
EASY WAYS YO UPDATE YOUR KITCHEN – RECAP
So that’s all folks. I’ve shown everything that’s been done as part of my kitchen makeover and shared a few tips along the way. Hopefully I’ve demonstrated that you don’t need tonnes of cash to change the look of your kitchen
What I did to achieve the finished look:-
- Added tiling and changed the tap
- Upcycled the cooker hood
- Used decorative paint on the walls
- Utilised wall space by adding open shelving
- Added stylish storage and finishing touches
In addition to the above, if your kitchen units are structurally sound, hpainting them can have a huge impact. Even by changing the hardware you can achieve a noticeable difference, giving your cabinets a completely new look.
My aim with the room makeover was to stay true to my love of bold, monochrome decor. But I also wanted to blend that with softer, natural elements, to create a ‘bold meets rustic’ vibe.
I’d like to think I nailed it.
Till next time
Interested in more makeover projects? Then check out my latest post Budget Friendly Window Makeover