We have big ambitions for Kester Road which will I anticipate will take us a long time to reach. Until we achieve these goals I still want my house to feel homely and welcoming without throwing away valuable money.
I love nothing more than having friends over for food & drinks so ensuring our spare room was functioning and practical was one of my first priorities when we moved in. For me personally there is nothing worse than staying at someone else’s house, missing your home comforts and just feeling like you are treading on eggshells in the morning.
I set myself a budget of £100 to furnish the spare bedroom. We already had a bed from our previous house and found a full tin of Farrow & Ball Elephant’s Breath in the shed when we moved into Kester Road – win win! So my £100 budget was literally for soft furnishings, to make the room feel more ‘hygge’ (yep I have just discovered the ‘Little book of Hygge’)
Off I went to my favourite place – Ikea. Armed with my trolley and £100 budget I set off on a mission to transform my unloved guestroom into a warm, welcoming space. My purchases were as follows:
- Lenda Curtains in white – £20.00
- Discontinued Cushion & cover – £10.00 est.
- Tejn Sheepskin style rug – £10.00
- Skurar Tea light holders – £2.00 each
- Angland Table Lamp – £12.00
- Bild Print – £5.00
- Ribba frame – £9.00
Total spend: £70.00
The mirror is from Home Sense and Bedding from Next Home.
Here is a shot of the room as it is now vs. the room before its mini makeover
The room has a calm, relaxed vibe and I also have two bath towels hung behind the door so my guests can help themselves to a shower when they please.
In time both our guestrooms will be receiving a larger makeover however until that time comes, I am so happy with how the first bedroom has turned out on such a small budget.
My OH has always been a fan of having a 5 year plan, I on the other hand am very easy going and almost go with the flow of whichever way life wants to take me (within reason as I need a routine and think I also have mild OCD!)
After a slight blip in our relationship my OH decided we needed a 5 year plan for Kester Road in order for us to have focus, a tick-list almost of everything we want to achieve within 5 years. I was interested to know what his 5 year plan was as he is fairly reluctant with anything when it comes to the house or him forking out money.
I was pleasantly surprised when he came out with this:
Goal: To focus on one room/garden in Kester Road per year
Tick-list of sub goals to achieve within 5 years:
- Log burning fire in the living room
- New boiler and radiators throughout the house
- Re-plaster and decorate the living room and landing
- Re-plaster and decorate both spare bedrooms
- Custom bath panel for our teeny Bath
- Plant and re-turf the front and back gardens
- Replace the decking in the back garden
- Reclaim 2 metres of ‘no mans land’ at the end of our back garden.
- Raised veg beds, patio area and Pergola for our third garden
- Reflag the garden path with Indian Stone
Hopefully a few of these sub-goals we should be able to achieve this year especially in the garden, which I am hoping to focus on once the kitchen is complete.
Watch this space, it seems like there are exciting times ahead at Kester Road!
p.s. don’t forget to follow my journey on Insta @4_kesterroad
In order to keep costs as low as possible we have decided to do a lot of the renovation work ourselves, plus the fact that my OH loves nothing more than going hard at a wall with a sledgehammer(!) On the contrary my OH is also extremely lazy and if there is no sense of urgency i.e. 12 hours before the kitchen fitters are due – then he sees no rush to get anything done.
The Kitchen fitters were due at 7.30am on Saturday morning and at 7.30pm on Friday my kitchen looked exactly the same it has looked for the previous two years apart from I had emptied all the cupboards, taken the dining table into storage and taken everything down from the walls.
Prior to carrying out any renovation works I had done a lot of research into how to expose fireplaces as the last thing I wanted my OH to do was to start braying the plaster off the wall and damage the hidden fire place. Thankfully he took his time and the fireplace came up beautifully.
Since this picture I have scrubbed the chimney breast down with wire brushes which have removed most of the dust now I’m currently looking into the best way to remove the plaster stains. Brick acid is highly recommended but so far I haven’t found one suitable for indoor use so am still deciding whether to bite the bullet and try it on a small area of the wall and ensure the room is well ventilated and the dogs are out of the way. I will keep you posted on the verdict, unless I die from toxic inhalation whilst trying to beautify my wall.
Luckily the existing plaster on the walls had literally turned into sand and was effortless to get off, the stud wall took a lot longer to take down than I expected but luckily a great friend of ours helped us out and made it look almost effortless. Whilst the boys were taking down the stud wall I was designated cleaner and completely underestimated the amount of dust and rubble I would have to contend with. After doing my research into stud wall removal and general kitchen renovation I was led to believe to expect a lot of dust however I don’t think these people were realistic. It looked like a tornado had hit Kester Road. Everything (literally) garden, me, dogs, sofa, tv, carpet, sofas were covered (I did have the living room door closed). Due to my OCD I found myself trying to dust every night to try and prevent the build up – it was impossible and I have noticed that I have actually discoloured the windowsill in the living room by cleaning so much. Nice one.
All in all it took us about 6 hours to rip out the kitchen, take down the stud wall and take the plaster off the dining room walls. Not bad going even if I do say so myself, but will still never understand why men like to leave everything until the last moment possible.
After what feels like an eternity (3 days) the kitchen is now starting to take shape, the units are in and I can now cook again – yaaaay!
Now to choose the flooring & paint colours.
After the traumatic news that I could no longer use my second hand kitchen, I finally pulled myself together and met the Joiner at Howdens to have a look at other ideas for the kitchen – none of which were Royal Navy Blue may I add.
I had already pinned a few more ideas onto my Pinterest board but after already having my dreams crushed I didn’t want to get my hopes up on another style of kitchen. I am aware I sound slightly pathetic but I am a very passionate foodie & feeder and I love nothing more than cooking dinner every night and holding dinner parties for friends whenever possible – this kitchen has to be perfect (no pressure Joe the Joiner) and I wont/cant settle for anything less, soz.
After my visit to Howdens I fell in love with two kitchens – both complete contrasts to each other, of course. The first was the traditional Burford Stone with an oak worktop, french/farmhouse style in a muted tone which fits in theme with the toned down, cool vibe I am trying to achieve within the house.
The second kitchen was the Clerkenwell Gloss Graphite with a white marble style worktop – super modern, minimalist and grey. Also fitting in with the theme of my house: minimal and grey.
I had plans drawn up and quotes done for both and was pleasantly surprised to find that both kitchens were were around £2k each excluding fitting. Bear in mind that I am in love with the idea of open shelving so I only need floor cupboards and worktops.
Whilst I was 100% in love with my idea of the Navy Blue kitchen there was one pin that had always been at the back of my mind throughout the whole kitchen inspo process…
This pin is actually a ‘laundry room’ but I just love everything about it from the the subway tiles to the Belfast sink.
I have always trusted my gut instinct and the decorating I have done at Kester Road so far has literally been based on how I felt when I got the paint aisle at B&Q. Therefore it only seemed right that I listen to my gut whilst making the life changing decision for the Kester Road Kitchen. Burford Stone it is.
Let the kitchen demolition begin.
(you will also be pleased to know the Rioja market revenue has since halved)
A revamp in the Kester Road kitchen is massively overdue. I am a self-confessed foodie and I have been confined in too small a kitchen for too long so I have made the executive decision that it’s time we invested in (what I see as) the pivotal room in the house. Que a new Pinterest board – ‘Kitchen Inspo’
Currently our kitchen and dining room is separated with a partition stud wall. The kitchen is very dark with one tiny window and a freezing cold floor and the dining room features a large window and a hidden fire place to the left of the door so I am led to believe.
The only way forward for the Kester Road kitchen to become fully functional is to take the stud wall down and create a lovely open space.
I have spent the dark winter evenings with a bottle of my favourite Rioja – I genuinely dread to think how many bottles I have polished off – and my iPad endlessly searching Pinterest and other blogs for inspiration for my new kitchen when I finally stumbled across this beauty:
My plan was to use a second hand kitchen we were given for free and upcycle it. I had already decided on the colour I was going to paint the cabinets – Little Greene’s Royal Navy Blue and my head was literally in the clouds dreaming of my new Navy Blue open plan kitchen/diner.
I knew that in order to fit the kitchen I would need a good joiner. My search for joiners began and I coincidentally stumbled across an old school friend who had a workshop in our village which I had never even noticed before.
I met the joiner to go through the renovation of Kester Road kitchen, he went away to think about how he could make the second hand kitchen fit and called me the next day with some bad news…. It wasn’t feasible to fit the second hand kitchen. It felt like my whole world fell apart – dramatic I know but I am a woman and that’s what happens when you absolutely have your heart set on something.
The next few days were a blur. My bottle of Rioja a night went up to two, and became paired with numerous large bags of Walkers Sweet Chilli Sensations and I sulked as much as it was possible. I decided I needed to pull myself together and finally plucked up the courage to ask the joiner what my other options were as our budget was a modest £5k and I was 100% certain it would be impossible to buy a kitchen and have it fitted within our budget. I was wrong and that doesn’t happen often.
Que more reclusive nights with Rioja and my iPad looking at different kitchen styles, I think I was starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
In December 2015 myself and my other half, Rob became first time home owners (yay to us!) and received the keys for our beautiful house at Kester Road in the lovely Yorkshire suburb of Birstall.
Whilst our house isn’t the most appealing from the outside – I must admit however that I am a Red Brick lover after spending 3 years of my life living in the beautiful city of York – our house is flooded with natural light and reasonable sized rooms with high ceilings, complete with three lovely gardens, a huge driveway and situated up a private road. For me it was a no-brainer and after our first viewing I knew this was the house I not only wanted but needed to live in.
The house was literally a blank canvas decorated in muted tones, lacked so much character and had so much potential. At the time we bought the house I was working as an Executive Assistant for an independent upmarket restaurant chain and spent a lot of my time working with the managing director fitting out new restaurants and delis which is where my passion for interiors began.
4 Kester Road is still a work in progress in which I have high hopes and big ambitions for.
I would love nothing more than for you to follow my journey as I take on the challenge of revamping my home on a relatively small budget.