Since posting details about our kitchen renovation in another blog post about decluttering I've received lots more questions so I decided to create a separate post just about the kitchen, and update it with lots more information, links, and exact prices too.
The kitchen is our proudest achievement in our rental house- we did it all for about £300! We wanted to update it as it was pretty grim, and we knew we'd be in this house for at least a couple of years as we save to buy a house. We cook and bake a lot and we knew that improving it would mean we enjoy living in the house much more.
Kitchen : BEFORE
Pitcure green plastic cupboard doors, pink plastic work tops, 80’s tiles and magnolia walls. Oooh. But we needed to update it as cheaply as possible.
The Kitchen: After
The landlord paid for the kitchen worktops from Ikea, but we did the rest to the strictest, tightest budget.
Here what we did: UDATED WITH PRICES, LINKS AND DETAILS after lots of questions!
- Bought basic white rectangular tiles from Tile Mountain (20p each!), Anthracite grey grout and mape grip which together with delivery was £68 My very lovely and super talented aunt tiled it for us.
- Painted the cupboard doors White. After doing SO much research, we prepped them first with Owatrol, £29 from eBay with delivery, then painted the cupboards with very basic White trade emulsion, then gave each cupboard a coat of clear floor varnish- left over from doing the floors. One year on and there is one small chip to the inside of one of the cupboards, but thats all. We're pleased with the results, the finish is very hardwearing in our tiny, high traffic kitchen.
- Replaced the work surfaces with HAMMARP Ikea solid wood counter tops. We bought 2 of the shorter lengths for £200, and we installed them ourselves, including cutting out the sink hole! (good work, Mr Bullivant). The landlord paid for these but I included them in the totals in case yours won't.
- Painted the walls bright white using cheap trade emulsion. You can buy a large tub for £20 from Wickes (although we needed far less of it in reality!)
- Replaced the squat taps with second hand arch taps for £6 from eBay which we installed ourselves using Youtube video's- not hard.
- Took the sliding door off and put a couple of little shelves there instead, using off cuts from the worktops.
- Built some cheap plywood shelves for our mugs using off cuts from another project and some cheap white brackets from our local hardware store- about £6 total
- Replaced the light fitting with a vintage shade- £10
TOTAL COST= £339
The landlords actually paid for the worktops and some of the paint, so the cost to us was far less than that. We did the work ourselves, using youtube videos to teach us if we didn't already know what to do (installing the taps and cutting out the sink hole in the worktop) and pulled in favours from family with the tiling.
Asking your landlord to make changes to your rental house:
Lots of people believe that by living in a rental, they cant make changes to the fabric of the house. This isn't always the case. My tip? It's always worth asking. You might be happily surprised. Put it to them that you'll be adding value to their house (choose a neutral scheme!), and if the work is extensive, they might even give you some money toward the work, like ours did. Sometimes, the simple act of replacing magnolia walls with bright walls drastically changes the feel of a house, yet is a small difference for the landlord. You could also ask to use brighter colours if you promise to paint them in a neutral shade before you move out- I have lots of friends who have agreed this with their landlords.
So, whilst this is far from the kitchen of our dreams, we are really pleased with the result. It feels good to cook in, and despite its tiny postage-stamp size, we feel like we've made use of every nook and cranny, and made a stylish space too. It helps a lot that I've chucked away SO much crap from here, and only have things that we either LOVE or use on a daily basis.