How To Do A Quick Kitchen Re-Model – On A Budget

How do I create a quick kitchen re-model on a budget?  That was my first thought we we moved into our Barn.

The second thought was……….

 ‘what an amazing kitchen, I can’t wait to get onto it…..’’ I had so many ideas about what I wanted to achieve; I was chomping at the bit to get going. Well….5-months into the project and I had still not decided on a cabinetry colour. You see, I had successfully designed and confidently worked around the rest of the barn, but the kitchen was just not clicking!

I dutifully followed my own advice and painted endless paint choices on the existing cabinets and left them to practically marinate (they were left for so long). 

Still to this day, I cannot pinpoint why it took so long just to pick two colours. Nothing about the doors were different or complicated.  The kitchen did not need to be pulled out, I just had to do a quick kitchen re-model and on a budget.


‘If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’. 



  • The Shaker style doors where a  great quality, just a little dated and the colour was not fitting with the rest of the barn.
  • The multi coloured tiles will be stripped out in place of a more modern and contemporary tile.
  • The tiles will be the same, which will streamline the kitchen and give the illusion of more space.
  • The handles will be replaced with a more contemporary look and feel
  • A warm grey for the bottom cupboards and a cooler grey on the walls. To off set the warmth in the terracotta floor tiles.
  • Some of the top cupboards will need to come down.
  • Shelves can replace the cupboards, adding to a more updated and Scandinavian feel.
Kitchen before
     Contrasting grout colours add drama and gives a contemporary feel instantly.
The story continues...........

Well, the tiles went up and were loved instantly. A tiny piece of me did a victory dance, this happens when my visual head comes to life.

Paint work commenced on the chimney breast and inner walls and the upper cupboards were removed to be replaced by the shelf.   It was now all coming together, however the cupboards still remained unpainted and I had still no idea as to what colour to paint them. 


Things were starting to get real though now, my builder had started to awkwardly skirt around the subject of the paint colour and ask about other jobs that needed doing.   I was on the brink of loosing him to other clients and running the risk of having to paint these cabinets myself!  Something I am absolutely rubbish at and do not enjoy in the slightest.  


Then after a night away, I returned to find my paint swatch cabinet had been removed –  something I had forgotten I had requested!

I suddenly had no reference point. To make matters worse I returned a few days later to find most of the doors had been removed and subtly left in a makeshift pile next to paint brushes and white spirit! Ok, ok. hint taken! A  decision had to be made and fast.   Not just because I needed to finish the blooming thing, I  had to give some dignity back to my very messy cupboards. Their  insides where on display for all to see and my crazy toddler thought all her Christmases’ had come at once.


  • The Walls have been lightened dramatically with a cool grey and a pearl  metro tile.


  • I choose a pearl finish on a dimpled exterior. This reflected the light and created more depth and interest. This was all finished off with a contrasting grout colour giving the overall effect a more contemporary feel.

    The tiles are the same throughout the whole kitchen.  This streamlines the  space and acts as  the nucleolus from which the rest of the textures and colours  sprout from.

  • ‘Farrow and Ball – Moles Breath on the bottom cupboards, warms the space up.

  • Retaining the timber bench tops helps maintain the country barn feel.

  • Elongated black powder coated handles gives the cupboards an updated and modern feel

  • Farrow and Ball – Skimming Stone’ on the top cupboards. This softens an otherwise  contemporary colour pallet and contributes to a more homely vibe.

Kitchen after budget make-over
Colours of Choice
Utilise what you already have….
How to do a make over on a kitchen on a budget

We found this amazing piece of timber in the old shed. A quick sand and a treatment of linseed oil was all it needed to become a fantastic shelf.  The top cupboards were not needed and the shelf breaks up the space nicely.   

Display your beautiful things……

At the end of the day a kitchen is there to be used and is normally the hub of the room.  Especially in an open plan set-up.


Having your cookery books out for all to see invites people into your home.  Display that amazing pestle and mortar on the bench, or stack your beautiful crockery on an open shelf.   


It shows that the kitchen is used and loved, many a meal has been prepared and enjoyed in the space. These accessories give it life and personality, they build on the foundations you have just laid with your paint choices, fixtures and fittings.



Glass of wine and book

I got there in the end and I am very pleased with the end result. The kitchen works for my small family, it is practical and homely for my everyday life. Yet it still looks good and inviting for when we  entertain the masses.  

Now don’t get me wrong, I am certainly no cook, but I do love beautiful spaces. If they can make me linger even though I have no interest in their function, then I believe it is a good design. 


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