The kids are off school this week for half term and as well as enjoying some family time, it’s an opportunity to try and get a few DIY jobs done while the boys are busy playing (hopefully out in the garden if weather allows).
Because I’ve recently moved my desk into the extended part of our kitchen, while I’m working at my computer I’m also noticing all the things that need attention in here; from cleaning the kickboards to the walls needing a fresh coat of paint. This realisation has spurred me on to want to do a bit of a kitchen makeover. I can’t afford to rip out our existing kitchen and start again, but I know there is a lot we could do to improve the room. So here are five ideas for starters:
A new wall colour
Nothing makes a big, instant change like painting a room; it can completely revitalise a space and is a fairly quick and affordable project. I fancy giving a fresh, spring-like colour a try – something light but with a hint of yellow or green maybe.
Make a feature wall
Followers of my blog may remember I painted one of our kitchen walls in chalkboard paint and drew up a large wall planner in chalk to try and keep us organised. We used it for many months, but I must confess in the end I got a bit lazy about keeping it up to date and reverted to saving our appointments electronically. Embarrassingly, I’ve just realised that the dates on it refer to last year some time – how things can escape your attention when you’re busy with other stuff!
Although it may be time for us to paint over our chalkboard wall, I would still like to have some sort of visual record of the week or month ahead, so that each family member can see what is scheduled and when – and hopefully take some responsibility for remembering! A vinyl wall sticker planner would be a good alternative.
I’m personally a big fan of wall stickers; they are cheap and quick to apply and make an instant focal point. Our coffee wall sticker in the kitchen still makes me smile.
Paint the cupboards or remove the doors
I’m still mulling over whether to actually paint our kitchen cupboards or not. I switch between liking the cherry warmth of their wood to wanting a cool grey or off-white. Something like Ronseal cupboard paint which I’ve used before would work well for a quick update because you don’t have to do much prep and one coat is usually sufficient, but the jury is still out for us. Another way to change the look of your kitchen, especially if you hate your cupboards, is to simply remove the doors and add some pretty wallpaper or a nice shade of paint as a backdrop and arrange your best crockery on display.
Clean and clear the clutter – it may seem obvious, but removing letters and receipts from the fridge door, random boxes off the tops of your cupboards and piles of paperwork off the kitchen table can really help the room ‘breathe again’. Also clearing equipment off the worktops that you don’t use every day, giving the windows and blinds a good clean and replacing broken light bulbs can make a massive difference overall. If you have paperwork or belongings you need to keep close by in the kitchen, hide them from view by buying a few inexpensive baskets as they do a good job of containing clutter and also look nice.
Add some new accessories e.g. mugs, kettle and toaster – you don’t have to splurge on lots of new things for the kitchen, but I often like to buy new mugs when I see designs I like on special offer. If you can’t stretch to a new colourful kettle and toaster, bright or retro utensil pots or a new set of tea and coffee canisters can really lift the kitchen worktops.
So, this weekend I began with the first step of cleaning and clearing and even my husband noticed the difference once I’d removed all the messy paperwork off the fridge, put things back where they belonged, de-cluttered the windowsill and cleaned the patio doors. I lit a scented candle and it felt much more spacious and calm!
I’ve also been getting on with a few touches to make my little corner of the room more inviting to work in. I’ve spray painted a red Ikea wall rack in gold for a bit of added glam and I’m also thinking I might change the prints in the frames of our kitchen gallery wall for a quick and easy refresh this week.
Something we can’t ignore any longer is our leaking sink tap, so we may have a go at replacing it ourselves this week rather than getting in a plumber. It can’t be that hard, can it? (Fingers crossed!) I’d really love to get a three way tap which combines your hot, cold and filtered water in one (if you are considering getting a water softener system anytime soon, Kinetico are offering a three way tap when you buy one from them). Finally, I feel there might be a little shopping trip this half term for some new mugs to hang on our rail near the kettle…
Have you any plans for some half-term DIY? I’d love to hear!