Saturday, 26 July 2014

Kitchen reveal...

So here it is : My new look kitchen!!
What do you think??
I Love it!!
Gone is the horrid blood red walls, grubby wall tiles and mismatched fittings! See the before pictures in this post!
This transformation happened quickly: It started when my mum bought me a pot of paint (Homebase silver mist, If you want to know!!) with the instructions to "sort out the kitchen!" back in June...
Not that I needed instructions to do it, as I had been planning this makeover for quite some time, but the paint was the "kick up the backside" that I needed...
It has been a lot of hard work, but I can honestly say that I have loved every minute of it!!
And I've learned some new skills along the way.... tiling! 
Of course I got my metro tiles for cheap: Firstly I got hold of a box of tiles for nothing on freecycle , then I phoned up the company on the box, walls and floors, explained the situation, and they where very helpful and advised me on the most economical wall adhesive and grout to choose!!.....And they gave me a 15% discount and free delivery on the rest of the tiles that I needed....IF YOU DON'T ASK YOU DON'T GET!!
Anyway: I now tile like a demon!!
Even if I say it myself: I did a pretty good job for a "first-time" tiler: Even Mr was impressed!!
It was a messy job: I first had to chisel the old tiles off the wall, and most of the plaster came off I had to patch up the walls and re-plaster as well ( also a new skill!!) I was thinking of doing a "novice guide to re-plastering a wall and tiling....but I think I'll leave that sort of advice to the experts!
I found some really useful advise on tiling at the walls and floors website and on re-plastering walls here!

So with the kitchen painted ad re-tiled, I was ready to add some finishing touches to complete the look:
Like hanging up some curtains (Some old IKEA ones that I already had) to cover the washing machine!

I also made my own DIY cement diamond cupboard pulls, to personalize and refresh the old kitchen units!

I love IKEA for practical yet stylish solutions: I already had the IKEA fintorp dish drainer and cutlery stands on wall rail , but had never got around to hanging up: Of course I had to drill through my tiles to hang it up  (another new skill) which was a bit daunting, but actually really easy....see my post here to find out how!!
And it really is so useful to have this wall mounted storage by the sink, as it keeps my recently re-surfaced wooden worktop free from clutter and makes it easier to keep it damp free!

I have used a giant ceramic serving platter, that I picked up in the sales in my local supermarket, as a draining board next to the sink!

I also wanted a shelf on that wall, and had had my eye on some lovely ones with hooks for your mugs underneath from a local antique shop....but they came a rather hefty price tag (nearly £200??!!) So I decided  to compromise: So when I found an old scaffolding plank in the skip, I instantly knew that this would be my new kitchen shelf! And I am so glad I did...I love the way they look against my metro tiles!!! See how I did it here!

A feature I've always loved in my kitchen, is the built in wooden shelves in this corner: I just gave them a tidy up and use them to display my small collection of white bake ware! 
And the butchers trolley is now clear of all my unfinished projects and has become the new home for all my plates etc. - freeing up some much needed cupboard space!

I did splurge on some new accessories for the kitchen, like this Betty Jackson fruit bowl and the little faceted bowl in the back ground, from Bloomingville....but as ever: I waited until the sales, then snapped them up at bargain prices!!

I also used copper spray paint throughout the kitchen to add some details, like in the cubby holes and on the mini chest of drawers  in the pictures above...
The copper idea all started when I found this wonderful copper pendant shade from Dunelm mills at a bargain price of £14.99.It was perfect for over our kitchen table! I simply used a cord kit from Claes Ohlson, and hung it up from a hook in the ceiling! (To save forking out for an electrician to come and install it!!)

I just love it!
And with the little shots of copper throughout the kitchen, like on my upcycled kitchen chair, below...

....and the details on this piece of slate, left over from when we had our roof redone recently, used as a table-top-saver....

The copper really ties the look of the kitchen together!

Another thing I splashed out on, was a new kitchen table!! Our old one was just a bit too big, making it  awkward to squeeze past to get into the kitchen! I was going to DIY one, but when I found this one ,for a bargain £95, the perfect size, with rounded corners (to avoid bumps and bruises)  and just the right nod to mid-century scandinavian design, I went for it!! And as I sold my old kitchen table for near enough that,  I felt I could justify it!!  And I love the white more need for a tablecloth!!

Other than the new table and pendant shade there is not much change on this side of the room....

The window dressing is still the same, with the addition of Mr.'s bowler hat that he wore on our wedding day! And I love my Thai sweeper, given to me by a friend!!

A new basket fits perfectly on the corner shelves, another bargain from TK maxx, and provides storage for all the paper that always seems to pile up in our kitchen. 

The blackboard organizer I made here has been given an update with a free printable calender from Jasmine Dowling, A wire storage basket from housedoctor is perfect for incoming mail, and the "concrete geoball bowl", part of my new, more sculptural range of concrete home accessories, provides the perfect spot for keys and change!!

I am really pleased with my new , and updated kitchen ceiling spotlights! Again the shots of copper helps tie the look together!

I treated my self to a new kettle and bread bin in the sales.....

.... and updated our old wooden knife block with some copper spray paint to fit in!

Everything just looks so much fresher now , set against the white metro tiles...

I adore my new condiment tray,with the amazing Jonna Saarinen print, courtesy of my luxe, a fab online homeware shop, that specializes in unique and affordable home accessories! I love small online shops, like My Luxe, that promotes small and up-and-coming designers!!

It is perfect for keeping those cooking essentials in handy distance by the cooker whilst saving the worktop from stains left by oils etc!! I was also given a matching Jonna Saarinen print tea-towel, that I love so much I have banned Mr. from using it!!

I bought some cheap glass storage jars, that I've made some simple labels for, for my cooking and baking essentials, displayed on my new kitchen shelf they not only look great but also saves me some more valuable cupboard space. I will show you how I created the labels in my next post!

I have also set my mind to keeping some living salad, fresh herbs and a few potted green plants in my new kitchen- for a fresh look!....God bless them,  for I  have black thumbs, and have in the past been known to kill anything green within a week!! But in my attempt at keeping the greenery in my new look kitchen, ,I have hung a jug in handy distance from the kitchen sink, ready for a daily watering session!! Wish me (or rather: My poor plants) luck!! 

I am soo pleased with my new look kitchen, and the fact that I've managed to complete the transformation for less than £200!

I have compromised, begged, stole and borrowed, used what I had, upcycled, updated and found some creative solutions to achieve the look....but most of all: It was hard work and determination ....and a clear vision of what I wanted that got me there in the end!!

Read my guide to redecorating your home on a budget and my post on decor and furniture on a budget for more tips and tricks to get the look you want for less!!

So what do you think about my new look kitchen?
Let me know by leaving a comment below!
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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Kitchen spotlight update....

give a girl some spray-paint....

Remember my post here about choosing the right ceiling spotlight for my new look kitchen??
I had my heart set on some industrial style ones!

In the end I didn't go for any of them...
....because I found these from B&Q at a bargain £35!!

They had that right look with an industrial feel....
....OK, so they didn't have the right finish: That brass look wasn't quite what I'd had in mind!!
But then I remembered my own advice in my post decor and furniture on budget : "a quick makeover with some spray paint can change the look of a bargain buy to fit with your decor!!"

This instantly sprung to mind...


So I decided to take my own advice and set off to acquire my bargain kitchen spotlights!


As I am going for shots of black and copper in my new look kitchen (See my full reveal on Saturday)
I set to work , armed with spray-cans, in the said colors:

I masked off the outside of the lights...

And sprayed the inside of the shades copper..
...when the copper had dried, I masked off the inside of the shades, removed the previous coverage on the outside and spray-painted the light fitting matte black!

And, voila: The transformation was complete!!
The perfect ceiling spotlights for my new look kitchen!!

I have used spray paint a lot in my kitchen makeover to tie in the details....
...never underestimate the power of spray paint: It really can transform the look of just about anything!!

Get ready for the Full reveal on Saturday!!

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Friday, 18 July 2014

Reclaimed scaffolding wood for new kitchen shelves...

How do you like my new kitchen shelves?'s the reason why I needed to drill holes in my tiles (see my previous post here to see how)!!
Nice, hey??
And do you know what the best thing is about my new kitchen shelves??....I got the wood for free....fished out of a skip!! So apart from the 2 IKEA brackets, at £2 each...I made this shelf for practically nothing!!

Today I will show you how I reconditioned the wood to make these rustic looking kitchen shelves!!

I swear people think I'm mad around here! I am always looking through skips and bringing home items in various states of distress : Lugging home pieces of wood on the bus etc....
My husband certainly thinks I've lost the plot, as my shed is slowly filling up with rubbish....useful things for future projects!! Anyway, I had been on the lookout for weeks for a piece of wood to make some kitchen shelves with!! Actually: I did want to make a table, but lets start with the shelves!!
The other day, as luck would have it, I passed a skip: Lo and behold: the holy grail!! A dusty plank of old scaffolding board!! OOOH...the joy!! (And not too far from home either!! Result!!)
I pulled it out of the skip...getting covered in dust in the process (and some serious strange looks from passers by...) Brought it home and set to work immediately!!

First: I gave it a good scrub with bleach and water! (after all who knows where its been??....Oh! That's right: a skip!!)

Then I pulled out any old nails and staples...

Cut it to size with a wood-saw. (I chose the area of the plank that had most interest in the wood, in form of knots and cracks and damage etc......the more the merrier!!!)

Then I got out my trusty old palm-sander + 40grit sandpaper, and set to work!!
I wasn't after a very smooth finish, as I wanted it to look quite rustic (!!) But I sanded it back just enough to smooth down the surface and get rid of any splinters etc! I paid particular attention to the edges of the wood, using the palm sander to round off the corners a little!! 

When I was satisfied with the surfaces, I dusted it down and applied 1 coat of Danish oil to seal the wood!!
This darkened the wood initially, but later faded to reveal the beautiful patina of the old plank!! 

I left the plank overnight to soak up the oil, before attaching the IKEA brackets the following day!!

My new kitchen shelves were ready to hang up!!

I love how they turned out...better than I had imagined actually!!
(Oh! by the way: If you like my labelled glass jars, I will show you how I made the labels soon)

I love the way the rustic wood looks against my crisp new tiles!!

What do you think?
From a skip to your kitchen: Yay or nay??

I am so-nearly-there with the whole kitchen reveal...just waiting for the neighbor to come and fix up my new spotlights in the ceiling (There's another post, coming soon!!)

I am soo pleased with how it looks now!!
If you are curious, you can see how it used to look here
Cant wait to show you guys!!
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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

How to: drill through tiles maybe not the most exciting post ever, but very useful!

When I finished tiling my kitchen the other week (Oh boy! that was a BIG job!!!), I was very pleased with myself: It looks great!! But then to my horror I realized that I would now have to drill through my beautiful (If I say so myself...blush)new tiles!! 
This filled me with utter dread: I suffer from "hole-in-the-wall phobia" anyway, but drilling through tiles....!!! What if they crack and I ruin all my hard work??
But it had to be done!!

After consulting with anyone I could think of....(and Mr Google) i took a deep breath, and got to it!
And do you know what? It was easy...not at all scary, and I didn't damage a single tile!!

Turns out this is one of those jobs that simply requires the RIGHT TOOLS!!

A small masonry drill bit(2-3ml), some masking tape, a fully charged drill...
....and most importantly: A tile cutter drill bit!! (that's the one with the arrow head!!) They come in different sizes according to what you need! They cost between £3-4, and its definitely worth the money!!
...Oh and a bowl of water(?)

First mark where you need to drill the holes with a marker pen on the tiles, then cover each spot with a cross of masking tape.(This will give the drill bit something to grip into, instead of sliding around on a smooth tile!!)

Then use the small masonry drill bit to drill a pilot hole in the tile...Go slow with an even pressure!! This WILL take longer than expected!! Every now and then dip the drill bit into the bowl of water, to cool it down! (the friction will make it red hot, and could cause it to melt!!??)

That's all the hard work done!!

Next: Using your arrow-headed tile bit, place it into the pilot hole and watch it drill through the tile like a knife through butter!! Soooo good!!

When you're through the tile,  swap to a drill bit (same size) suitable for whatever your wall is made from (I used a masonry bit as my wall was bricks) and drill the hole deeper!
Job done!!
Remove the masking tape to reveal your perfectly drilled holes in the tiles!!
Now just add wall plugs and off you go!!

Not so scary after all!!??

On Saturday I will show you the reason why I needed to drill these holes...
...and I promise you: It looks amazing!!

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