Re-styling my kitchen

A couple of weeks ago I shared some ‘before’ pictures of my kitchen, which I hate. I like two things about my kitchen – the fact it has a window (a rarity in flats) and its size, which is relatively large for a central London flat. However, the units and worktop are not my thing and we are definitely going to try to replace some of it. In the mean time I set to work re-styling my kitchen as I plonked every piece of kitchenalia I owned in there when we moved in and then desperately tried to ignore it for as long as possible. The result? A very confused mish-mash that might be ok if set against a beautiful, old kitchen but not in a brand new one like mine.

Today, I would like to show you what I have taken away and a few of the things I have added in a desperate bid to bring a bit of cohesion to my kitchen.

Before

A bit of a confused mess that I’ve tried to ignore for a while…

Kitchen re-style | Apartment Apothecary

After

I stripped everything off the walls to make it feel cleaner and fresher and I wanted to remove all of the colour, use a neutral palette, ceramics, glassware, enamelware and add plants to the kitchen. I didn’t actually buy much, it was more a case of removing all of the colourful things, clutter and repurposing other things from around my home (a good bit of ‘home shopping’). I sold all of the Le Creuset I had in the kitchen (not the pans but butter dish, salt pig, sugar bowl etc) as well as the set of blue enamel utensils. This helped to fund a few new bits for this re-style. In total, I bought two chopping boards (£28.50), tea-towel (£15), hand wash (£14), large jug (£18) and the rest of the changes were made by a simple re-jig.

Kitchen re-style | Apartment Apothecary

I cleared the window sill and moved the vintage rolling pin, coffee pot and utensil holder (with an added succulent) to here. I also moved the small print tray to the right of the window, which is filled with shells that I collected whilst travelling.

Kitchen re-style | Apartment Apothecary

I removed all of the recipes I had stuck to the cupboard door above and added herbs to the DIY jelly mould planter. Adding green to any room helps to bring it alive.

Kitchen re-style | Apartment Apothecary

I debated with myself whether I should repaint this vintage shelf as it is the only bit of colour left in this room so it stands out a bit too much. However, it kind of feels wrong to paint it as it is genuinely old and I love the colour. Eventually I would like to move this shelf and replace it with open shelving as the blue doesn’t really work in here anymore, unless I choose tiles with blue in them. So instead, I replaced all of the colourful mugs with white ones to try to tone it down slightly.

Kitchen re-style | Apartment Apothecary

Small details like the linen tea towel from Labour and Wait helped to change the feel of the room. I even chose the hand wash from Workshop Living because the packaging blends well with the rest of the kitchen (I have to laugh at myself sometimes!).

I love the contrast of the Tom Dixon marble board (see my review of it here) with the wooden boards. I also added more pots of herbs to add texture and a dash of colour.

Kitchen re-style | Apartment Apothecary

I moved the old science lab stool that I salvaged (from a skip at the school I used to work in) into the kitchen. It’s actually quite handy as I can sit on it and chat to Jules whilst he cooks.

Kitchen re-style | Apartment Apothecary

I simply turned the enamel tea and coffee jars round to hide the writing on them so they look less fussy. I repurposed the mustard and marmalade jars, which I had in my craft room for paint brushes, and now use them as utensil holders.

Kitchen re-style | Apartment Apothecary

I put all of the kilner jars I had in my cupboards onto the kitchen surfaces, which is practical as well as adding cohesion. I bought this large stoneware jug from Habitat to act as a utensil holder but since I photographed this post, I found a couple of old earthenware pots in my local antiques market that are perfect and only cost £8 for both.

I have added a couple of really beautiful handmade ceramic bowls that my mother-in-law gave me purely for decorative purposes. I love the character they bring to the kitchen surfaces. I also bought these wooden chopping boards from Workshop Living.

Kitchen re-style | Apartment Apothecary

What do you think? When I feel really dissatisfied with a room, I always try to do my best to solve the problem before spending heaps of money. This re-style has made a massive difference to the feel of this room and I far prefer it to how it was. I’m feeling motivated to make bigger changes now.

Katy x

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13 Comments

  1. Kimberly Duran 25th March 2015 / 7:53 am

    Oh Katy, it looks amazing! It looks so fresh and simple and your changes have made all the difference. I’ve been eyeing up the same wooden chopping boards and seeing them in your kitchen makes me want to order them 😉 I’ve pared back some of the colour in my own kitchen recently and I like it so much better too. xxx

    • Katy 28th March 2015 / 6:26 pm

      Yes, I saw your post! Amazing how such small changes can make a lot of difference to the feel of a room x

  2. Igor 25th March 2015 / 8:45 am

    Such a beautiful, light-filled kitchen with soothing earthy tones and refreshing dashes of green – love it Katy!!

    • Katy 28th March 2015 / 6:27 pm

      Well, there’s lots of work to go before I will love it but it definitely feels better, helped by all the green 🙂

  3. Louise 25th March 2015 / 10:09 am

    Just a few simple changes and it does indeed look so much cleaner and fresher. Although I do envy your ability to have so little clutter – my kitchen has far too much stuff in it, every space is filled! (And I have thought about whether I need it all or not.) I suspect that just changing the cupboard doors on your kitchen would make a huge difference, when you get around to it. In the meantime, it looks great!

    • Katy 25th March 2015 / 10:38 am

      WHat makes a massive difference is I refuse to have appliances on the surfaces. We have a microwave in one of the cupboards, which works perfectly, we have no toaster (just use the grill if we need to and it also stops me stuffing my face with too much toast!), no coffee maker etc. I think this makes all the difference to how clutter free it feels. I definitely want at least new door handles if there is a way of filling in the holes that the old handles will leave. x

  4. Emma Jayne 25th March 2015 / 11:18 am

    Wow these subtle changes have made a real difference! The room now looks so much fresher and modern.

    I will be decorating my kitchen soon and will be doing this on a budget! I’d like a brand new kitchen, but hey ho, don’t currently have the money to do it, so will just replace things that look tatty and old fashioned i.e. work-surface, cupboard handles, flooring and paint over the kitchen tiles.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Emma Jayne x
    http://www.emmajayne-designs.co.uk

    • Katy 28th March 2015 / 6:28 pm

      We’re totally on the same wave length – I’d like a new kitchen too but smaller changes will have to suffice and hopefully will make a big difference x

  5. Kiran 8th April 2015 / 10:15 am

    Hello Katy,

    I am really enjoying seeing your room makeovers. I love the idea of subtracting for our spaces as opposed to adding. I am a fan of the white clear spaces, which is ideal for smaller rooms.
    p.s although you say the blue vintage shelf will be moved, I have to say I really like it!

    All the best,
    Kiran

  6. Jenny 31st May 2015 / 8:41 pm

    Wow it looks so much brighter and airy. I love the redecorating. I am doing a lot of it at the moment in my house just little things here and there but you have made a great difference with minimal stuff wish I was that creative. Love it Hun.

  7. Candy Pop 4th July 2015 / 8:44 pm

    Hiya Katy.. Just dipping into your blog archive, what a wonderful make-over! I did a similar thing last year when I removed everything floral from my kitchen, it made such a difference. 🙂

  8. Anna 18th November 2015 / 8:36 pm

    Hello Katy, thank you so much for the inspiration – our current kitchen is a quick fit make shift one for the time being as we are awaiting planning etc and I will God willing have a Handmade kitchen from my husband!! (probably in 20 years time!!) but you have spurred me on to make the most of what I have got now! Thats now my project next week – empty out the whole kitchen – a lick of paint and re organise my accessories.

    Thank you!

    Anna

    ps I love you IG feed too!

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