When we moved into our house it had just had a brand new solid oak kitchen fitted with new appliances. It had obviously been quite expensive and the new appliances were all good quality, so we decided to see if we could make some changes to make it more our style.
We were after the hand-built 'country-style' look that you can see in the brochure photo, and so the units were painted in 'Farrow & Ball's' Cooking Apple Green eggshell. The tongue and groove panelling was painted in F&B 'Tallow' and the walls in 'Pointing'.
We removed quite a few of the cabinets and the OH adapted the carcass shells we were left with. He made a faux stud-wall chimney breast to hide the ugly extractor fan, and that meant we could also have a mantelpiece to display things on.
Next to that (in place of the angled corner wall cupboard) he built a larder cupboard with fold-back doors on piano hinges like the style shown in the designer kitchen photo! The tiles were chipped off and covered with tongue and groove, and the worktops were all replaced. He made the worktops out of old tabletops that were then stained and coated with special oil.
We made the units appear more 'country style' by adding on an 'in-frame' (as they're known in the trade) around the carcasses with cock-beading and traditional brass hinges. This is what gives the units more of a 'bespoke' look. The OH made all of the doors and drawer fronts out of MDF-when painted it looks just like wood. So if you open up our cupboards they are still just melamine inside but who can tell when they are shut! A chunky cornice was added to the tops of all the cupboards along with black porcelain knobs. Most of my knobs are original Victorian ones I found cheaply on Ebay, but you can buy identical reproduction ones everywhere now in all different sizes.
If you look at the tenth photo down you can see the gap on the wall between the 4-door wall cupboard and the 2-door cupboard. There was originally an angled cupboard that went across this space (like the oak one in the 'before' photo) but I hated it. It was really wide and took away from the bespoke look I was after! So we just got rid of it which meant I could have a tiny shelf on top of the tongue and groove panelling that I much prefer. You can see this in the second to last photo-what I like is that the tiny shelf support brackets have the same design as the larger ones on the mantle.
The shabby yellow cupboard was bought for £30 at an antique fair-we just cleaned it and left it as we found it! It's one end of an old dresser top and I like the shape of the brackets on the bottom. The butlers sink was found in our garden with herbs in and the taps were about £90 from B&Q!
We covered the UPVC windowsill with a piece of leftover worktop wood and now I don't even notice that it's a new window. In our next house I fancy having grey kitchen units with Carrara marble worktops and chrome catches but that will be years away yet! In the meantime I'm toying with the idea of repainting our units grey like the photos I found on Flickr at the top of this post, but I just can't decide!If anyone would like more info just send me a message via Flickr!