Our economical hand painted bespoke kitchen


Good Morning All

It has been a busy week here in Natural Calico - we've been shooting lots of lovely new stock - watch this space !!

But for now, I thought I'd chat a little about an economical way I've discovered to achieve a bespoke hand painted kitchen. This is a long one - so strap yourselves in :)

I absolutely love hand painted 'in frame' kitchens - there's something almost nostalgic when the doors are set into the frames with the hinges showing. But the reality is that this is an expensive option. The "in frame" aspect is labour intensive and that means the costs are understandably high.

When Himself and I renovated our last home, the bulk of our budget went on the major things like removing walls, new wiring, plumbing and so on.

Just to explain btw - we've renovated 5 homes in as many years ..... we caught the renovation bug big time !! But you know what, moving house is darned hard work so I think we'll stay in our present home for a long time. Apart from anything else, my big sister has asked me to please stop moving as she has no room left in her address book :)

Anyway, we actually loved our last home and had there been room to build a large garage for our respective businesses, I think we would have stayed put there. It was a very pretty 1950's cottage where the ceiling in the living room went right up to the rafters ....

But as I said, this post is about creating a bespoke kitchen on a budget - so here goes .......

I started off doing a rough design myself - now then, I don't claim in anyway to have the expertise of a professional kitchen designer - but I know the things that work for me personally. And I do try to achieve a workflow that doesn't mean walking back and forth every time just to make a cuppa or empty the dishwasher.

Having played around with various designs, Himself then converted it to proper scale drawings - there are several online design tools to help with this. He's good at that stuff :)

Top of my wish list was a range cooker and a large larder unit. No matter how small the kitchen, I always try to squeeze in a larder unit - they seem to hold a million times more stuff than wall or base units and everything is so easy to see and reach for.

Style wise, I wanted a 'Modern Country' style kitchen with hand painted shaker doors, wooden worktops and a Belfast sink.

The big challenge was finding affordable doors that we could hand paint - and that's when I had a brain wave!! We had done a load of advertising shots for a massive company over here who manufacture 'vinyl wrap doors' which are basically MDF doors coated in a vinyl foil. So I asked the guys if they could coat the inside with vinyl in the usual way but leave the exterior "neat" so as I could hand paint it !!

MDF got a bit of a bad name years ago but truthfully I think it is actually a great product - especially for doors as it doesn't warp.

Well ...... long story short - the doors painted up a dream in my favourite Farrow and Ball paint - this time I used 'Shaded White'. This is a beautiful soft neutral tone with just a touch of beigey green.

A few weeks on, thanks to our wonderful team of tradesmen, our DIY kitchen was finished.

For the worktops, I went for solid beech - I asked the guys to run them up into a little curved lip around the sink wall - absolutely brilliant to keep clean - nowhere for crumbs to hide !!!

And for the flooring I opted for unfilled Travertine. I've used this flooring before and can honestly say it is so easy to keep clean.

I even had a perfect little space for something I'd always hankered after - a retro fridge !!!

We took down two walls to create an open "L" shape - which meant we had space for a little TV snug.

And also a dining area.

The success of any project like this is undoubtedly having top class tradesmen to pull it all together - and we have been very fortunate with all our projects ..... we have a brilliant team - they're a lovely bunch of guys and nothing is ever too much trouble.

So there you have it folks - our modestly priced DIY hand painted kitchen.

Have a lovely weekend. The sun is shining here in Natural Calico land so I'm off for a long walk to the shore :)

Marie x