We moved into our new house at the end of July 2015 and spent from then until just before Christmas “putting our own stamp on it” as they say. There wasn’t any major work to be done to it, in fact we could have just moved in and put away all our belongings and happliy gone about our business. But there’s something about buying a new house, espcially your first house, that makes you want to immediately change everything about it!
The room that took us the longest to finish was the kitchen. Again, there was nothing wrong with it, it was just a bit dated and dark. This is the before photo – oak cabinets, terracotta tiles, fabulous green and orange flecked counter top (you can’t see it very well here but trust me when I say it was only wonderful!) and white appliances.
We wanted to brighten the whole place up, without taking out the whole kitchen and paying for a brand new one. A new kitchen can cost anything in the region of €4,000-€10,000. We spent about €2,600 on ours.
The first thing I did was the cabinets – I sanded them all, wiped them with White Spirits and then painted them with Ronseal Cupboard Paint. It says “one coat” but because I was covering a dark Oak colour I found I needed to do 2-3 coats to give a enough coverage. I got the cupboard paint in B&Q in the shade “White Satin”. It was €26 a tin, and I needed 3 tins to do the inside and outside of the cabinet doors as well as the end panels. I kept the original handles as they were quite modern and went well with the overall look.
Next up was the counter top. There was no way that green and orange one was going to go with anything. I wanted to replace it with a solid wood one, but when we went browsing we found that the laminate ones can look just as good. Especially if, like us, you just want something that looks good but doesn’t break the bank. We got a laminate counter top from Irish Wire Products (IWP) in Limerick. We chose the colour Light Walnut and it was €250 for two 4m lengths. They deliver which is great as there was no way we would have got them home in our car! A family friend fitted the counter for us which was an added bonus, so all-in-all it was €400 for the counter, delivery, fitting and also measuring/cutting out for the hob and sink. We decided to downsize the sink as we rarely use a draining board – we got a small round sink (€50) and tap (€115) in B&Q.
On to the floor – those terracotta tiles were NOT staying. Now, you can do a floor as cheaply or as expensively as you like. We wanted large, cream times with no pattern on them, and we found these difficult to come by. We eventually found ones we liked in World of Tiles and they were €19 per square yard. As we tiled both the kitchen and the utility room with the same tiles, I think the total came to around €600 including levelling compound, adhesive and grout. Again, we had a family friend put them down, so labour wasn’t as much as it normally would be – this is a great way to save money if you know someone with a trade and trust them to do a good job!
Last but not least was changing the appliances. The original oven and hob were very dated so I really wanted to change them. We also wanted to get brands of appliances that were known for being long-lasting and well-wearing. We got a Zanussi hob in Harvery Norman for €239. Then we went to Soundstore and got a Neff oven for €700 and Siemens dishwasher for €500 (not 100% on the Soundstore prices as I can’t find the dockets, but I know they’re close enough).
So there you have it – our kitchen makeover! I’m so happy with the new look, it really changes the room, makes it look a lot brighter and cleaner. The wall tiles are the originals, they were a neutral colour and went with the newly painted cabinets so there was absolutely no need to change them.
If you enjoyed this post and want to see more of what we changed in the house, let me know in the comments!
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