How I Styled My Kitchen

AD | I was kindly gifted the blinds featured in this post.

All other items were purchased myself.

How I styled my kitchen - Laura standing in her kitchen in relaxed pose with a cup of coffee

It’s been a whole year since I moved to Peterborough and into my lovely new build home. Happy 1st Birthday House!

What you might not know about newly built homes is that they take about a year to fully settle and dry out. The builders don’t recommend investing any time or money in redecorating during this stage to save money in the long run. Luckily my house had been painted from top to bottom in fresh matte white, giving me a blank canvas to build upon.

In today’s post I’m taking you on a tour of my kitchen to show you the small affordable changes I’ve made to add personality into the space… without a paintbrush in sight!

My Kitchen

I was able to choose the kitchen units as part of the new build agreement. I opted for glossy white kitchen cabinets as they’re versatile and look fresh. However my old kitchen had more units than this one which posed an immediate storage issue. In addition to this, the overall white palette the room looked quite clinical so I felt some colour and warmth was needed.

Adding A Picture Rail

There was a large wall space above the radiator and understairs cupboard which felt wasted. I decided to make a feature of it by adding a picture rail.

Picture rail above a white understairs cupboard
Picture rail above a white understairs cupboard
Picture rail above a white understairs cupboard

The rail is from Ikea and only cost £9, but it makes such a big difference to the room. The splash of colour helps draw the eye away from the radiator below it. I’ve used it to feature my prettiest books and a favourite framed print.

It’s so easy to switch up the look when I want to since it’s all freestanding on the shelf.

Swopping the taps

Unless you pay for upgrades the likelihood is that your newbuild will only come with basic fixtures and fittings. My ‘stainless’ (aka absolute bugger to keep clean) steel sink and draining board aren’t great but do their job. The sink tap was another matter as it just wasn’t practical. I couldn’t fit a kettle underneath it and it sprayed water everywhere.

Before the change: chrome kitchen taps
Kitchen Tap Before
Kitchen Tap After

I found a matte black tap from Cooke & Lewis in B&Q for £47. By making this one small swop it completely changes the look of that area.

It’s a cheap job too if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and have some basic plumbing skills. Unscrewing the previous tap took some serious elbow grease, but plumbing in the new one was nice and simple.

Feature Blinds

MakeMyBlind Roman Blinds

There are three windows of various sizes in my kitchen which let in lots of lovely natural light. Over the Summer however my kitchen started overheating. Make My Blinds kindly offered to send me some blinds so adding blackouts in the kitchen was my top priority.

I find it really hard to visualise how a pattern or material will look in real life so I ordered lots of free samples from their website. These were posted straight out to me. Eventually I picked the Prestige Silk Delicate Teal Roman Blinds. The beautiful pastel tone perfectly complements the other feature items in my kitchen.

MakeMyBlind Roman Blinds
How I styled my kitchen - MakeMyBlind Roman Blinds

The blinds were easy to measure for. There are even easy to follow video instructions on the MakeMyBlinds website to take you through each step. Oliver put them up in less than 10 minutes and said they were nice and straighforward to do. (I’m taking his word for it, DIY queen I am not!)

This might also sound a bit weird but I was very impressed by the quality of the roller and chain mechanism. These run smoothly and I don’t feel like I’m going to yank the whole thing down.

Installing A Storage Saving Spice Rack

I love cooking with herbs and spices and have built up quite the collection. For such small items, they sure do seem to take up a lot of storage space!

One of the units in my new kitchen had a deep shelf inset, so I decided to install a space saving spice rack on the inside of the door.

Spice rack installed inside a cupboard door
Spice rack installed inside a cupboard door

It’s one of my favourite features in my kitchen now. Who doesn’t love the satisfaction of an alphabetically organised shelf hey?

The Statement Dresser

Welsh Dresser from The Cotswold Company
Welsh Dresser from The Cotswold Company

Ever since setting eyes on a dresser in a The Cotswold Company magazine pullout I’ve dreamed of owning one. In this house I knew it was the first thing I wanted to save up for.

I waited patiently until they had a sale on and managed to save a few hundred pounds on the Chester Grey Dresser. It’s a beautiful soft grey colour and there’s ample storage space inside.

My Kmix takes pride of place in the centre of the display but I’ll confess: it’s a two man job to lift it out!

Fridge artwork

So that’s how I styled my kitchen on a small budget without committing to any actual redecoration. I hope it gives you a few ideas of how you can personalise and make the most of your space.

My next task? Finding a new (and affordable) table and chairs to go in the dining area. After a year I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. Maybe that will be my 2nd birthday update!


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Peterborough | UK
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