Kitchen moodboard

Kitchen Makeover on a Budget: Inspiration

My dream kitchen has a big farmhouse sink, shaker style cabinetry, and butcher block counter-tops. It’s light, bright and airy with a just a few subtle pops of colour. So it probably comes as no surprise that the kitchen in our new house isn’t quite my style, with it’s rich, bold palette and modern motif.

Our Current Kitchen

But as new homeowners, with almost every room in our house still needing to be furnished, a full kitchen reno just isn’t realistic for us right now. However, I’m a big believer in being resourceful and working with what you’ve got, and I think there’s several things we can do to get our kitchen just a little closer to the farmhouse style I dream of – on a budget!

I started this project out the same way I always begin a new project – setting up a Pinterest board and pinning whatever inspires me. In doing this, I usually start to see common elements in the images I find inspiring, and this helps me narrow down how to achieve the style I’m striving for.

If you’re ever beginning a project and not sure where to start, I recommend this approach, because all you have to do is decide what pictures you like! I find it’s much less overwhelming than browsing through hundreds of products in stores and online and trying to figure out what would work well together. By gathering up lots of images that inspire you, you’re almost certain to start noticing colours, styles, materials, textures and objects that you favour. Then it’s just a matter of sourcing ones that are similar!

You can take a peek at my Kitchen Makeover Pinterest board here. I’ve further narrowed them down into this moodboard – which really helps me visualise how it will all come together (not to mention help sell my husband on what I’m about to do to our kitchen!).

Kitchen Moodboard
Image credits
1. Ballingslov
2. Tea Towels: Amazon
3. Heidi Piron
4. Plain English
5. Metal Jug: Amazon
6. Egg Basket: Amazon
7. Cult Furniture

Here’s the aspects that I found I liked most about my inspiration images, and how I plan to achieve them.


Image credit: Ballingslov

White backsplash tiles

Originally my plan was to remove our existing tiles, but as they seem very well adhered to the walls, I became concerned about the damage that removing them could cause, and didn’t want to risk the expense of having to do repair work to the walls. But over a conversation with my handyman dad, he recommended that I look into tile paint, which is specifically made for covering old, ugly tiles and making them fresh and new again. I’m going to be writing more about how to paint tiles in an upcoming blog post, so more on that soon!


Image credit: DIY and Crafts Magazine

White cabinetry

Again, my plan was to simply paint our existing cabinetry white, under the impression that they were either wood laminate or melamine. But on closer inspection, I realised that those blue fronts were are in fact MDF with a sort of plastic covering over them. I have a feeling it will be nearly impossible to get paint to stick to the existing cabinet doors, so instead we plan to replace just the fronts, with an inexpensive shaker style design in white. Then we’ll just paint the carcasses white to match, which are wood laminate. I’m currently researching cabinet front options, so will be sharing that with you soon as well.


Image credit: Devol Kitchens

Shell style drawer pulls

Even the smallest details like drawer pulls can really give your space the authentic vintage feel you’re looking to achieve. Design really is in the details. I plan to choose a simple satin nickel drawer pull, which are just £5 a pop.

Image credit: Kjerstis Lykke

Metal stools

Ok, while I’m all about ‘working with what you’ve got’, unfortunately I just don’t think there’s anything I can do make these existing stools chic! So given that we’re saving money everywhere else in the kitchen, we plan to purchase two Xavier Pauchard inspired metal stools, which in my mind embody ‘farmhouse chic’. I’ve been torn between whether we should get the galvanised metal or the white version, but in the end have decided the white are a little more refined and consistent with our palette.

Pale duck egg blue

I tend to love kitchens that are primarily white because I think it makes them look clean, bright and cheery, but to keep it from looking completely sterile, I plan to paint the walls the very lightest shade of duck egg blue. Because there’s actually very little actual wall space, with the tiles and cabinets covering most of them, it should add just a hint of soft and soothing colour.

Antique (or antique inspired) objects

Generally speaking, I like to keep my countertops fairly sparse, but I do think there’s a place for a few carefully selected objects. When it comes to decorating with objects, I usually tend towards things that are also functional, so have selected some glass canisters to store pantry staples, a metal jug to hold our cooking utensils, some grainsack style tea towels, and a wire egg basket.

Follow our progress

Over the next while, I’m going to be documenting my progress with this makeover – and will also be sharing how-to’s and product suggestions for painting tiles and replacing cabinets. And if you’ve done something similar and have any tips to share with me, I’d be happy to hear them!

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