Earlier this year, I was watching Medina Grillo‘s Stories (check out her #diystories hashtag on Instagram) and was really inspired to redecorate my kitchen. Having moved into our house a couple of years before, we had decided to live with the existing kitchen for the time being as we planned to put in a new kitchen later, possibly as part of a bigger building project. As part of this makeover, I was kindly provided with tile decals by Bleucoin, who make premium wall and floor decals.
We had previously had our old kitchen painted and were really happy with the result so thought we could do the same again. I’ve included a couple of pictures of my old kitchen below (it used to be dark brown wood and country style tiles). I noticed after I started writing this post that I actually chose very similar colours at the time too! The paint colour is Little Greene Traditional Oil Eggshell in French Grey.
Our current kitchen was also plain wood with greenish floor tiles and a light grey worktop. It was quite tired and old fashioned, and just a functional place to cook really. I also disliked all the pine woodwork on the skirting, window frames and the huge window on one side of the kitchen.
I was lucky that my good friend came to help me for a day, and we managed to get a fair bit done. We had to clean and sand the surfaces of each cabinet first, then apply primer (I used Coovar as this was recommended for good adherence, some of the side panels were melamine). As we were changing the floor, we didn’t need to worry about keeping it clean. A fair bit of paint ended up on the floor by the end!
Things got very messy halfway through! I initially decided to use a Crown Trade eggshell paint but after it dried overnight it was very shiny (although I was assured it would become more matt with time). I decided to go back to my original choice of Little Greene paint, but they have now discontinued the Traditional Oil Eggshell. They do still offer Tom’s Oil which is an eggshell paint so I used this in Aquamarine Mid. I did add a small amount of the pastel turquoise Crown paint to the Aquamarine to make it a bit brighter which was a bit scary as I didn’t want to make it shiny or ruin the paint. It worked out quite well in the end and I’m happy with the pastel mint colour I achieved.
The kitchen is an L shape with a long thin section leading to a squareish kitchen space, as a result its quite hard to photograph! It does get lots of light from the big window frame which looks out onto the conservatory. You can just see the pink plant wall I posted about earlier in the year in the corner and the large blackboard we use as our family noticeboard.
I added some copper accents with the door knobs from The Handle Studio. I originally ordered cup handles but they were the wrong proportions, and the Handle Studio were very helpful when dealing with the exchange. Copper is a big trend in interiors currently but I couldn’t really justify replacing everything to match!
The tile decals from Bleucoin were the easiest part of the makeover! I simply ordered the correct size to cover the existing tiles we had, and they were quickly shipped by Bleucoin from India. The range of tile designs is modern and stylish, ranging from graphic designs to colourful Moroccan styles. I chose the Pacific tile in grey as I liked the simple Moroccan/Islamic style geometric design. The tile decals were easy to peel off the backing paper and could be rearranged a few times if needed. For any awkward corners, I simply measured and cut the decal to fit. We have had the tiles for around 6 months now and they have remained in place, no one notices they are not real tiles! I have a couple of spares if needed, and have replaced one at the back of the cooker as it scorched when a hot pan was against it (it did not burn, which is important for safety).
My beautiful clock is from Studio Emma and is made of concrete. I had been admiring it for a while so took the opportunity to make it mine when she had a birthday sale!
The flooring is vinyl from Online Carpets. This was very good value and a fraction of the cost and mess of laying real tiles. We had a floor fitter lay this over the existing tiles, and the floor is so much warmer and pleasanter now! I really disliked the old grubby looking tiles. On the downside, it is mostly white so needs a lot more cleaning, and it can get cut by sharp objects/stained with turmeric etc so I’m not sure how durable it will be.
Some of the tiles have a 3d grape design on the front which was hard to stick the decal over but the edges are smooth and flat so they seem to be holding up! You can see one in the lower corner of the above photo.
The whole project was extremely hard work as I did most of the painting on my own. My 10 year old helped me on a few evenings and I did get my husband to pitch in with painting the walls when I got a bit frazzled doing it before our Easter holiday! I took quite a long break before I finished painting all the woodwork but I’m pleased with the result. For anyone thinking of embarking on a similar makeover, I would advise them to enlist plenty of help if possible!
I think the total spend was about £500, which I think is quite good value for a complete transformation! The kitchen is much more welcoming now and I’m proud to have done most of this work myself. Thanks to Bleucoin for providing the tile decals, please have a look at their range here.