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How to create a family kitchen for under £20k

Zopa’s hassle-free loans have helped 100,000s people do up their homes (Representative APR 17%). But while we make managing your money feel good, we’ve asked the experts to show you how to spend it to make your home look good. Here, Nicola Broughton, from The Girl with the Green Sofa blog, gives us tips and inspiration based on her own plans for a family-friendly kitchen renovation for just under £20,000 

The kitchen. The heart of the home. The place to cook and eat and, if you are lucky enough to have a big space, the place where family spend most of their time around a table doing homework, drinking wine, playing board games, reading or sitting on a soft, squishy sofa watching tv.

Kitchen design is very much about individuality in 2020. Take a look at my favourite inspiration on Pinterest and you will see an eclectic mix of kitchens-colourful, vintage, upcycled, wooden, a mixture of all of these-filled with family treasures and kitchen paraphernalia. 

Not a kitchen straight out of a showroom, but one that is created by homeowners who are expressing their personality and the items they love. Creating a space that is cosy and homely and more importantly unique to them. Because while this look is on trend for 2020, if you create a space that is uniquely yours it will also stand the test of time.

3 places to choose where to spend or save

Although we’re working to a £20,000 budget, the good news about this trend is that you do not need a huge budget to achieve it because you can pick and choose where you focus, especially if you already have the main parts of the room (cupboards and appliances). Even if you are starting from scratch, you can choose to buy your cabinets cheaply and create a more custom kitchen by focusing on the doors, the hardware, the work surfaces and lighting.

Perhaps you want to splash out on a new work surface for your current kitchen but save your old cabinets and paint them instead of replacing them. 

Perhaps you want to remove your wall cabinets or doors to open up the room or by adding open shelving

Perhaps you simply want to upgrade your lighting, taps, cupboard hardware, change the colour of your kitchen or upgrade your appliances.

There are a wide-ranging number of possibilities depending on how much you want to spend.

Staying on budget

The benefit of this trend of individuality in kitchens is also its downfall in that the kitchen is possibly the most challenging room to get right, especially if you want to create a unique space. It is likely to be the room you spend the most money on budget-wise, although there are many ways to create the kitchen of your dreams for less. It’s a room you are not going to want to change too often. It is going to take time to plan and to budget for and I would advocate not rushing these decisions. 

I am going to explain how to create a kitchen renovation for £20k. For this budget you will not be able to buy a new kitchen from suppliers of handmade kitchens, so while you may see them used as inspiration in my Pinterest Board these looks will have to be interpreted for it to work in your room for this budget. Pick elements of these rooms (the colour, the worksurfaces, the lighting) and add to what you have.

As it happens, I am looking to upgrade my kitchen this year so what better place to start to show you exactly how you can pick and choose elements to create a different kitchen on a budget.

This is my current kitchen.

Spray painting: £2,000

I plan on keeping the main structure of my kitchen but as it is 14 years old it is time to upgrade it. Rather than buy new cabinets and doors, I am going to keep the cupboards on the ground level of my kitchen and have them professionally sprayed to give a long-lasting colour. As much as I would like a green kitchen, I plan on going navy blue to fit in with the colour scheme I have already. If you have more time (and possibly patience) than me, you could paint your own kitchen cabinets. Just be sure to use a very good primer and I recommend eggshell paint, finished with a good matt varnish.

New shelving:  £350

I’m going to remove my wall cupboards replacing them with vintage scaffold board shelves on metal brackets. This will allow me to display artwork and my ever-increasing crockery collection.

My kitchen mood board

New handles: £700

I will add brass handles to my doors (I need 25 of them) and I plan on keeping my slate floor and splashback (assuming it does not get damaged as we take the wall cupboards off the wall). 

Sink and taps: £2,500

My butler’s sink has been chipped over time so one of the places I want to spend money is on my dream fluted sink and brass taps (including a hot water tap). 

Lighting: £1190 

I will remove my cooker hood and replace this with statement lighting, most probably Parisienne globes. 

New drawers and a granite worktop: £1,600 and £5,400

The island unit will become a feature as I want to replace the drawer fronts with brass/bronze covered metal ones to tie in with the lights, taps and handles. I will also replace the wooden worktop with a marbled granite one (the biggest cost to this renovation). 

Appliance upgrades: £3,700

Because I am removing the cooker hood, I will replace the hob for one with built in extraction.

It has always been a wish to own a cream fridge as you can see in my mood board and I will also upgrade my double oven. 

By picking and choosing what I spend my budget on, I hope to create a totally unique kitchen. By not replacing my whole kitchen, I can focus the budget on key areas such as a statement island unit, lighting, upgrading my appliances and sink. Here I can go for item that I might not choose to splurge on if I had to replace the whole kitchen. Because I am reusing what I have in a sustainable way I am also helping the environment which is another good reason for creating an individual kitchen in this way.

Equally you could choose to go for cheaper versions if your budget is smaller. The beauty of an eclectic individual kitchen is also that you can take your time. You could replace some elements now and others in the future. 

Are you ready to get started? See your home improvement loan rate in just 3 minutes. You can apply online, with no fiddly paperwork and your loan is easy to manage on the Zopa app. Representative APR 17%.   https://www.zopa.com/loans/home-improvement


Nicola Broughton is mum to two boys Alfie and Jack and wife to a long suffering husband Sam. They live in a Victorian house in Yorkshire where she juggles her love of interiors, Instagram and Pinterest “addiction’ and family, alongside a full time job growing and investing in high tech businesses. Interior design and blogging are her hobbies- a much needed stress relief in a very full life.