Reader home: Helen Edward's kitchen refresh

Posted: 15th Jul 2015

We love seeing how our readers have channelled their creativity into their homes, so when Helen Edwards emailed us with pictures of her kitchen, we couldn't wait to share her story here. Read on to discover how she transformed the space with just £400. Hats off to you, Helen!


A bit about me
'I’m Helen Edwards and I live with my husband Simon in a three-bedroom 1970s bungalow in Buckinghamshire. When we moved into the bungalow we couldn’t afford to have a new kitchen fitted, Luckily, it wasn’t in bad condition, but I still wanted to freshen it up. I envisioned a mixture of pastels and brights, vintage and retro.'


Reader home 1


'The floral, sun damaged curtains and net curtain had to go. I had a white voile panel custom-made which, with a cream Roman blind from Argos, helped to lighten the room. I also made some bunting to hang across the top of the blind, just to add some detail.'


Reader home lights


'We exchanged an old-fashioned strip light for a retro cream 4 lamp bar spotlight from B&Q.'


Reader home floor


'The original flooring was beige tile effect vinyl. It was past its best, and so we replaced it with a modern slate effect vinyl. It made the room appear more spacious.'


Reader home floor


'The existing stone effect tiles were in good condition. The kitchen walls were originally cream, but I thought that painting the walls a very pale pink would pull everything together – it did! We used the Dulux MixLab at our local Homebase to get just the right shade of pink.'


Reader home oven


'The cupboards are a light pine effect, and the worktop a granite effect laminate. Again, they were in good condition, and went with the tiles.'


Reader home kitchen


'Although it’s not pastel, I couldn’t resist a copper-coloured kettle from Dunelm Mill. I also found a cute cupcake worktop saver in there. We asked for a lilac-coloured microwave for Christmas; it’s from Next, as is the pale blue toaster, the cream dish rack, and the wooden butterfly chopping board. I searched for ages for a cerise pnk washing-up bowl and I eventually found one on Amazon. I was delighted to find a blue retro-style bread tin in Tesco, and I found a cream retro-style clock in Debenhams. We’ve got two tea caddies, one for normal and one for decaf. The floral heart-shaped memo board was a present, and I couldn’t resist the ‘time for tea’ wooden block. I applied a fun blue transfer to the cooker hood.'


• 'I keep any interesting tins that I’m given as presents. I decided to make a feature out of them, and lined them up along the tops of the cupboards.'

• 'I hung some tin bird decorations on the plant on the windowsill, and arranged some spotty straws in a sweet jar.' 

• 'I made a mini cake stand by gluing together a pretty floral tea cup and saucer. They’re both from dotcomgiftshop.' 

• 'It’s amazing what a difference cleaning can make. I used some stainless steel cleaner for the sink and it came up a treat.'


'We spent approximately £400 on the kitchen, so it is possible to refresh a room on a small budget. I’m very happy with the results; somehow, it all works.'


Thanks for sharing your lovely kitchen with us, Helen! And if you'd like to see your home makeover profiled on our website, just email a few pictures and your story to