Kitchen make-overs are daunting, I know. But they don't need to be complicated or expensive.
When we first moved in, the kitchen was my least favourite room in the flat. And no wonder... Because although it was a great size, with space for a proper dining table, and lots of light, it was also - well, just a bit ugly.
The pine cupboards weren't just any old pine - they were eye-wateringly bright. They also clashed with the paler pine of the counter-tops. And paired with terracotta floor tiles, it was a bit of an orange-overload.
But the thing is, having replaced the bathroom as a priority (could NOT live with a pink bathroom suite), we didn't have enough budget to also tackle the kitchen. So I cheated.
Instead of replacing the cupboards, I decided to paint them. Now, I'd read a lot online about painting kitchen cupboards before I embarked on it, and the main thing I took away was that this was not going to be quick. And that was totally true.
In all, it took about three weeks - working on them in the evenings after work, and on the weekends. But although it wasn't exactly speedy, it was pretty easy - and the results speak for themselves!
I might do a step-by-step guide on how to paint kitchen cupboards another time, but for now I'll just cover the basics.
I gave all the cupboards a good clean to begin with, and then a light sanding with medium sandpaper. Then another clean to get rid of the sandpaper residue.
Then the fun bit - choosing the paint. We decided to go for Farrow & Ball. Not only because they have a shop just down the road in Stockbridge, but also because I figured I would need to do a fair few coats, and that paying a bit extra for a good quality paint would make the job that bit easier.
And I have to say, the paint was great. It went on easily, the finish is smooth (no ugly brushstrokes showing through!), and the cupboards wipe-down beautifully when they need a clean.
In terms of finishes and colours, we started off with a base layer of the Interior Wood Primer and Undercoat in 'mid-tones'. And the top coat is Estate Eggshell in French Grey. It took three coats of this to get full coverage.
I was initially worried that the colour might be a little dull, but I love the way it turned out. It's definitely more of a green than a grey, and far from being dull or dark, it's a beautiful neutral, that changes with the light.
And with the cupboards painted, somehow the countertop and the terracotta tiles - with the help of a flea market rug - don't look so offensive any more!
We've gone from rarely hanging out in the kitchen, to it being the real hub of our home. We love having people over for dinner, and they can happily hang out with a drink while I'm cooking, or in the evenings I can be working on the laptop at the kitchen table while Harry makes the tea. Perfect.