Monday, 28 March 2016

How we renovated our ugly kitchen for under £1500

I thought I would share how we managed to transform our ugly kitchen on a budget as well as giving it some much needed personality. I set aside just £1500 to do up the kitchen including the costs of accessories and appliances which seemed like a tall order as the kitchen was pretty dyer! You can check out before photos here.

So how did we manage our money

We decided there were elements of the kitchen we could save or remodel without having to rip the whole room out and start again. We saved the cupboard fronts and units and just updated the handles, added end panels which George added groves to make them look the same as the original cupboard doors, the biggest change was getting rid of old laminated worktops and changing them for these beautiful oak tops which George cut to size and added oak up-stand this small change really made the whole kitchen transform.

For the oven area we just cleaned up the old tiles and re-grouted them keeping the oven and hob tops. The sink area was really bad with scratched stainless steal sink and peeling laminate top, after shopping around we decided on the white ceramic sink and Chrome tap from Ikea. I love the new sink area it looks so clean and pretty!

Invest in one or two statement pieces 

For us our oven was actually ok its not too offence to look at and it works perfectly so we decided to invest in the Swan blue fridge freezer as for until now we have been using a second hand fridge placed ontop of a second hand freezer. I really loved the retro feel but also after researching into many different brands this one had super good reviews and we knew it would be a worth spending a little more on something that we would take with us to our next home so we felt it was ok to spend a little money on it. 

Accessorize to make your makeover appear more expensive 

For me accessory's are one of the most important elements to styling a room and injecting in some personality. We decided on some open shelving so I could display some of my china and glassware, not only does this offer some much needed storage but it acts as the statement wall working alongside the pale blue perfect fridge freezer of course! 

Flowers and plants 

Its lovely to have fresh flowers and plants around and bring some colour and texture into areas of the room, it also balances out and helps to frame the different sections - for example adding the orchid to the left hand side of the sink helps to give a little height to balance out the clock on the right hand side but also adds another texture to the wood,glass,ceramic and chrome.


I decided on having clean white painted walls to allow the oak to take centre stage! but I did want to add some interest to certain areas and why not add artwork to your kitchen?! Grouping art is a good idea rather than having just one piece that can look lost. 

Lets talk money 

Fridge - £469
Oak worktops - £369
Oak shelves - £63
Flooring - £149 
Sink/tap - £145
Accessories (including small appliances/barstools/artwork) - £170

All comes to the total of - £1365! 

Which is actually under budget however I do still need to choose a microwave! Obviously one of the biggest savings was the fact that we didn't pay for labour and with the help of friends and family George was able to do everything himself, however I do have a few tips of how you can keep to a budget!

- Shop around - I know it sounds simple but seriously the price for one item can vary massively! I know when we were looking for our fridge/freezer I found it for sale for £150 more than what we actually ended up paying, so defiantly take the time to do your research!

- Set up a Top cash back account and buy everything through the website! Even if its something you want to buy in store you can pay through the website and click and collect. Basically you just type in the website you want to shop on in the search bar and it will redirect and log your visit so when you pay you will receive what ever cashback is rewarded at that time. For example we received £24.92 back when buying our fridge just by spending an extra second going through top cash back! It might not seem like a massive amount but when you are renovating an entire home it all adds up! and you can leave the money in the account to mount up or withdraw it to your bank account once the cash back has cleared.

- Use a mix of old/new/cheaper and more expensive items, this works really well if done correctly- for example we went for cheaper smaller appliances in the same pale blue but you would never know that the toaster and kettle were only £15 each because paired with the other items it gives a more expensive look. Also if your able to up-cycle elements for example the cupboard units then this can save you so much money but still completely transform the room.

I hope this might help some of you , as it is a super stressful time buying and doing up your first home and financially super scary but you dont have to spend a lot to make a huge difference. 

Monday, 21 March 2016

Chocolate fudge brownies!

Since the kitchen has been finished I've found myself spending more and more time baking and trying out new recipes.

 This recipe is super simple and also super easy!

You will need

- 1 cup melted butter
- half cup cocoa powder
-2 cups plain flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs


- Preheat oven 180 degrees
- Line baking dish with Baking paper
- Mix together melted butter and cocoa powder and blend until smooth
- Add flour , sugar then eggs
Be careful not to over mix! 
- Pour batter into tray
- Sprinkle some crumbled fudge all over 
- Cook for 20 mins 

Let the tray cool for ten or so minutes and Enjoy!

You can thank me later......

Monday, 14 March 2016

Kitchen makeover before and after

Kitchen is finally finished! 
I wanted to share before and after photos to show that the smallest changes have made the biggest difference. The kitchen before wasn't terrible it was just a standard kitchen, it was a little rough around the edges and flooring was in definite need of a change. We were also really keen to change the sink area!

I couldn't be happier with the finished result! I think the biggest change was ripping out the old worktop and putting in real oak tops, this made it look like we had installed an entire new kitchen when in fact we had only ripped off old tiles and changed the tops! We changed the flooring to a grey tile effect laminate and this seems to have really opened up the space and also ties the greys from the living room through. I knew I wanted some open shelving in a chunky farmhouse style so George used oak again and made some chunky brackets, this is defiantly my favourite area as I am able to display my collection of china and glassware but also its the perfect storage solution for a small kitchen. I also knew I wanted to inject some personality into the otherwise white room so decided on this Blue swan fridge freezer with matching blue accessories, I found the Blue kettle and toaster for £15 each! and the Radio was a birthday present from Georges family which also matches perfectly.

I wanted some artwork in the room too and had my eye on the flamingo for so long, I knew it would add the perfect little detail and pull together the eclectic mix of glassware and china ( can you spot the little pink flamingo glasses!?) Next I took to depop to search for the perfect artwork to work with the flamingo and decided on the Pineapple which is actually a greeting card and only £2.50!  I popped it in a frame and it just looks so beautiful. Lastly I found the Pizza print which was also a greeting card which I am actually in love with! I purchased a Super large chalk board planner to have on the back wall so I can start to meal plan but its also a nice way to keep track of what plans we have each week. The 'EAT' letters was a DIY I did when we first moved in! it was super easy I just used cardboard letters and spray painted them with metal effect paint. 

Anyway I hope you like the space we have created as much as I do! I have barely left the room since it was completed and I have been baking too! There are a couple of little DIYs we want to do for this room so I will be sure to share those too!

Thanks to everyone that helped out with this makeover - Dad Warren, Dad Guy, Leeroy, Scott Seal and Mum Warren we love you all! 

Monday, 7 March 2016

Super Easy caramel cookies

I wanted to take some time out over the weekend just to chill out and not stress about things. So I decided to bake! which usually stresses me out because I am the worst at baking, but these cookies are so easy and so incredibly delicious!
I found this recipe whilst on pinterest and adapted it ever so slightly, you will need-

- 125g butter
- 100g light brown soft sugar
-125g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract ( not necessary as I swapped this out for a splash of salted caramel flavour)
-225g self raising flour
- half tsp salt
-200g of chocolate chips ( or in my case a mix of buttons, chocolate and rolos!)

Next follow these five easy steps!
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
- Cream the butter, sugars and add one egg and the vanilla extract
- Add flour, salt and then the chocolate 
- Roll into balls 
- Place on grease proof baking paper and cook for 7-10 mins depending on how you like your cookie! 

I also added some caramel and rolos to a few to make salted caramel cookies and the others I used a mix of white and milk chocolate buttons. So super easy you must try!
comment below or link me if you give this recipe a go.