Thursday, 22 April 2010

The beginnings of a shabby chic kitchen

Hello everyone,

I have been busy with our kitchen - so thought I would show you the work that has progressed so far. The kitchen has dark wood units and deep blood red walls which were not doing it for me, so we have started to repaint the units as well as the walls. I would say that right now it's 60% complete, take a peek at the photos to see what I mean. The photo to the right is very early on before we even moved in.

You can see the dark wood units, deep red walls, carpet tiles on the floor plus to the right and old Economy7 heater on the wall.

Once we moved in and the cold weather had become less frosty, we decided one Saturday to completely remove all the kitchen carpet tiles, not olny were they unsightly but I feel unhygeinic in a kitchen, they came up very easily but did leave traces of carpet glue which are very hard to remove. As we are planning to redo the kitchen floor, we have left the floor as is for now. Now we just have to think of colours and types of flooring to put down and assess how much this will cost and when to do it.

Then below you can see the start of repainting the cupboards - I bought 'champagne' colour cupboard paint from the Crown range of paints, and although it does say 1 coat, have learnt I should never have trusted that and although the results are ok, would use a primer next time. I washed each door, dried it, then sanded down and once sanded and cleaned, applied around 4 coats to the back panels and 5 coats to the fronts.

My next project was to find suitable handles, which i did by first checking the DIY shops, then seeing if I could get similar things online for less. Sure enough, ebay came through for me and I found some shabby chic handles which were ex-MFI stock.
You can see to the right what the handles look like once applied, they add more light to the dark kitchen and I do love how well they go with the cream. At this point the walls were still nagging me, as the colour was too dark for the kitchen and i didn't feel veryt relaxed when cooking, too sinister a shade of red I think!

So whilst we carried on painting the units and applying handles, I started to think about colours that might go with the style we wanted which ultimately was shabby chic. I looked at many colour charts and we did purchase some samples as well, painting them onto the dark red walls to see what the finish might be like.

I chose a sage green colour, as I have heard this works well in kitchens due to opening the appetite! However I was also aware our north facing kitchen might feel cooler with green, so I was careful to choose a relatively medium/warm shade rather than a bluish green or heavy green. As you can see more units have been painted and we have started on the walls, but the red is still showing in places!

So far we have spent around £70 on cupboard painting and brushes, another £15 on wall paint and around £35 on handles. I think that for £120, it's enabling us to live with the kitchen for quite some time yet without wanting a brand new one, plus we are learning alot along the way and living with it like this will allow us to discover in time what a kitchen really needs to be like when we do buy new.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Spring has sprung!

Hi everyone sorry for the delay in keeping in touch. I have family emmigrating, work has been busy, and works starting on our home so things have been very hectic.
However, we have managed to start planting - so far we have some lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, chilli, potatoes, onions and sunflower seeds. This year though I really want the lettuce and carrots to survive - hopefully I will do it right this time! The sunflowers have already started to peek through so the first 2 leaves are showing now... Then we also got some Jasmine, which I need to figure out how to take care of as it is delicate, but I do love them so much.
The main thing I have learned this month is that a) budgeting has gone out the window, my finance management skills need severely reigning in, b) car insurance quotes are a nightmare and all seem to have differing standards and c) don't beleive it when cans of paint say 'one coat'! I have learned that primer is almost always needed when repainting - I will share a photo on here soon so you can see what I have been up to in the kitchen.
The other thing I have done is joined a site called FreebieGB, who give you a free prize if you register, select a prize, then refer a few people (amount of referrals depends on the prize you choose). It may not be for everyone, but it sounds to me that if you club together with friends and family to sign up, you will get an item you can all share. For our family we will be doing the TomTom Satnav and I have followed the sign up procedure with FreebieGB. Then all of us can use the TomTom amongst us and it saves everyone some cash. Anyone with any feedback on these guys feel free to share, but it looks good so far.
I will add some photos here soon of both the seedlings and plants, DIY work so far and also some lovely finds we have come across second hand, to maybe inspire folks who are looking to change decor or buy items cheaply. I love the idea of recycling items and giving them a second lease of life, plus furnishing a house with mostly second hand items.
Enjoy and do drop in any comments on what you are up to now the sun is out!