Revamp your kitchen on a budget: from rent-friendly vinyl to colourful taps

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She came second in series two of Interior Design Masters, and now Siobhan Murphy is sharing her top tips on how to create a happy, colourful, gorgeous home – that won’t break the bank!

From updating those tired rooms, to creating a happy home office to transforming a space with just a few key changes, Interiors With Siobhan Murphy will be all you need to ensure you have a happy home.

To read Siobhan’s weekly column, all you have to do is become an OK! VIP. It’s totally free! Just pop your email address below, and away you go. If you’re already an OK! VIP – then, congrats, you can already read this article in full!

Kitchens and bathrooms are often the most expensive rooms in our homes to redesign. But there are a few simple things that we can do to totally transform these spaces without starting completely from scratch.

When we moved into our house, the kitchen was one of the first things I wanted to change. The units were dark pine with 1990s style chrome handles, grey tiles on the floor and not a hint of colour in sight. If you know me and my interior style then you know dark wood or brown and grey don’t really feature in my interior designs! So obviously I was keen to inject some colour instantly.

OK! 1285 Siobhan Murphy at home
I am a lover of colour and so my kitchen is filled with bright paint and decadent pieces
(Image: OK!/Claire Wood)

There was one thing standing in my way and that was money! I dreamt of a brand spanking new kitchen but my budget simply didn’t stretch far enough to kit out what is a relatively large space.

Instead I had to think about how I could transform the room without spending a fortune. The existing units were solid and well made and the worktops were granite. I needed to inject a bit of colour to bring the kitchen up to date but keeping the existing fitted units.

Here are my top tips on revamping yours on a budget!

Change up your cupboards

Firstly, there is more than one colour to paint your kitchen cupboards, so think outside the grey box! I mean if you really genuinely love grey, then go for it! But does it really spark joy?

There’s a whole rainbow of colours that you can choose so have a think about the colours that you love. I’ve seen some delightful pink kitchens recently with brass handles and hardware. And pink goes brilliantly with shades of green, orange, yellow, teal, blue and even peach!

Once you have chosen your colour you then need to decide on the type of paint to use. It is vital that you choose a specialist wood paint that is durable and won’t chip. I used an eggshell for my kitchen cupboards with a hardwearing matt varnish on top for extra durability.

This paint would work a treat on kitchen cupboards!
(Image: CREDIT: DULUX)

Quick dry pink Satinwood metal and wood paint £19

Consider who will do the work… are you going to do the job yourself? Will you hire a professional decorator? Or will you have your cupboards removed to be professionally sprayed. These options all depend on your available time, painting skills and budget.

In my last home I did a similar revamp and painted the kitchen cupboards myself using Farrow and Ball eggshell paint applied with a roller. The finish was good but this time around, I wanted a super professional finish. So once I had chosen the paint colours, I had the cupboards professionally sprayed. This was done over the course of two days and ,for 26 cupboard and draw fronts, the price was approximately £1000 – a fraction of the price of a new kitchen!

Switching up hardware

Changing the hardware can really make a huge difference to the way your kitchen looks. Updating the handles is a fabulous way of dragging your kitchen out of the dark ages and getting it looking modern. There are so many lovely options on the market these days.

Firstly, think about the style and then the shape. Once that is done, consider the colour and finish. Brass is a popular option at the moment and this looks really lovely with a darker kitchen colour like the navy Hague blue.

(Image: CREDIT: PUSHKA HOME)

Pushka Home brass door knob from £12

These pink and green taps from Dowsing and Reynolds are giving me all the Miami vibes I need.

(Image: CREDIT: DOWSING AND REYNOLDS)

Dowsing and Reynolds coloured tap £139.99

Also these dotty switch plates are everything!

(Image: CREDIT: ANTHROPOLOGIE)
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Athropologue dotted switch plates around £15

Rent-friendly vinyl

If you don’t want to paint your cupboards or if you are in rented accommodation and can’t make any permanent changes, another option is to add vinyl to your kitchen cupboard fronts. Vinyl often gets a bad rep but it can be a really quick and cool way to really change the whole look of the kitchen. You may need a bit of practice before the first application to your cupboards but all it takes is a damp sponge, a Stanley knife, a squeegee and some patience.

There are so many colour and pattern options out there. Here are a couple of my favourites that I think would look great on kitchen cupboards for a quick and easy revamp:

(Image: CREDIT: JES ROSE)

How stunning does it look when applied!
(Image: CREDIT: JES ROSE)

Abstract Geometric black and white vinyl, Jess Rose from £22

(Image: CREDIT: JES ROSE)

I just adore this vinyl
(Image: CREDIT: JES ROSE)

Dalmatian green and pink vinyl Jess Rose from £22

Update the tiles or add a splash back

Updating the tiles in the kitchen can really transform the space, but if you need to update without replacing tiles then there are a number of options available. Tile paint is one of them and can be painted directly over existing tiles. There are also a number of vinyl tile designs that can be stuck directly over existing tiles.

There are also other ways to update your tiles and splash backs. I particularly love a copper splash back – you can buy copper sheeting relatively cheaply and have it cut to size .

Although if you did want to replace the tiles these ones are particularly lovely:

(Image: CREDIT: CA’ PIETRA)

Capietra mosaic cotton candy tiles £7 per sheet

Create a sumptuous table setting with colourful accessories

If you don’t have time to revamp your whole kitchen or dining room and have guests coming for a meal then a quick table makeover is all you need! I love styling a table when friends and family are coming for dinner. Adding beautiful linens, flowers, candles and delicious crockery just fills me with joy and it makes your guest feel super special and loved. Add some handmade decorations or name plates for a really personal touch.

Chalk Pink Linen Company linen tablecloth £90

(Image: CREDIT: CHALK PINK LINEN COMPANY)

Funky lilac and peach tea towels from Eleanor Bowmer £10

(Image: CREDIT: ELEANOR BOWMER)

Also, any of these plates will make your dinner guests feel extra special – how gorge are they!

(Image: CREDIT: DENBY POTTERY)

Den by Pottery £14

And so will this iridescent cutlery

(Image: CREDIT: ASDA)

George at ASDA £13

Don’t neglect the walls

You will have heard of a gallery wall but what about a plate wall?! I love a plate wall in the kitchen to add a bit of pattern and colour. These look best if you have a real eclectic mix of sizes, shapes, colours and style of plate. I love to mix new and vintage plates too.I attach my plates with these and they are so easy to attach in just a few seconds.

(Image: CREDIT: DISC / AMAZON)

Get these plate hangers from Amazon for £2.99

Anything with lips and I’m sold – this collection , from £14, from Anthropologie is super fun!

(Image: CREDIT: ANTHROPOLOGIE)

This set of four sea themed pastel plates, £50, would look fabulous as part of a plate wall!

(Image: CREDIT: YVONNE ELLEN)

I’m a huge fan of cabbage ware plates and these ones from Arket, £11.50 are simply divine.

(Image: CREDIT: ARKET)





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