By choosing to only update the doors of her cabinets rather than replace the whole kitchen, Lisa Moses gained a made-to-measure space on a budget. Here, she shares the story of her kitchen makeover…
A bit more about my home
How I made it work My main priority was to inject some colour into the room. Once we were pointed in the direction of Formica, we realised that we could almost have any colour we wanted. So, we decided to commission a kitchen maker to just make new doors, which suited our budget and completely changed the look of the room.
My favourite part I love the dining area. It’s so dramatic now that I’ve taken the plunge to the dark side and painted the floorboards black. Although to be honest, they’re hard work to keep clean and scratch-free, so I wouldn’t recommend it as an easy option.
When we first moved in 10 years ago, we chose a white and stainless-steel kitchen, but it never really suited my personality as I love colour and would call myself a maximalist.
The kitchen was in good working order, though and we couldn’t justify ripping it out just because I fancied a change. I’d seen images on social media of people replacing their existing cabinet doors as a budget makeover, so we decided to explore this.
Unfortunately, over the years IKEA had changed its cupboard sizes so we couldn’t just replace the doors with like-for-like ones, but we also couldn’t afford to install a whole new kitchen.
I stumbled across Matt Antrobus’s work on Instagram.
I loved the fact that he could make bespoke doors to our sizes without having to replace the whole unit. It saved us a fortune.
I wanted something classic that could last another 10 years, so we finally chose this gorgeous blue. I also painted the back wall a soft grey to replace the stark white and mirror the colour of the Victorian dresser and the dining table, which Matt also made for us.
Then we had all the doors stripped to add warmth to the look. I decided to add even more colour by painting some of the walls pink and adding bright prints and cushions to the dining area.
Then, finally I went really bold and painted the dining floor black. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but we love it!
My style advice
Make the most of original features
‘We thought long and hard about whether to replace this cupboard with fitted units to match the rest of the space. But I love the character it adds to the room and we thought it would be a shame to rip out the last of the original Victorian features.
‘I love to style the shelves with my favourite bits and pieces, and the cupboards and drawers are large enough to hide away ugly kitchen appliances. When we have parties I put our drinks and glasses on it and it becomes a help-yourself cocktail bar.’
Choose open storage
‘We decided not to have high wall cabinets as we didn’t want the kitchen to feel like a corridor. Open storage is great for keeping a sense of space and hanging different-sized pans, which can be difficult to get at when they’re in a cupboard.
‘We bought this Olivia shelf from Habitat 20 years ago and it’s as good as ever. It wasn’t cheap, but it proves that quality purchases are worth the investment.’
Mix your materials
A kitchen can often be a visually sterile place, but by combining different textures, colours and materials – blue Formica and birch plywood cupboard fronts, stainless-steel drawers and wooden worktops – Lisa has created an inviting, relaxed look.
‘My taste is eclectic at the best of times, but I think it’s curated well so that it’s cohesive rather than chaotic,’ she says. ‘I don’t just chuck ideas together. I spend time making sure everything complements rather than clashes.’
Shop the look
Birch ply and Formica kitchen cabinet doors, from £90; worktop for kitchen table, from £195 per m, Matt Antrobus. For similar pan rack, try the Black Antique kitchen rack, £34.50, Ironmongery World. Pearl Grey emulsion, £12 per 2.5L; Delicate Blossom emulsion, £12 per 2.5L, both Wilko. GoodHome Liberty multi-surface paint, £20 per 0.75L, B&Q. Strandmon wing chair, £199; Ektorp two-seat sofa, £299, both IKEA. For similar pink rug, try the Nourison Passion Fuchsia rug, £107, Carpetstore XL. For similar oval rug, try the Rozza oval rug, £112, La Redoute. Roberta round natural rug, £67.99, Wayfair. For similar armchair, try the Ghost Louis Armchair, £89, Cult Furniture. Hand wall lights, £85, Muck N Brass. Warhol I never read quote print, £280, King & McGaw. Selection of wall prints, from £13, InkAndDrop.