How I Turned My Small Kitchen Into A Practical And Stylish Space On A Small Budget!

Frustrated with the size of your Small Kitchen? Lacking Storage space? Is it bland and boring? I here ya! Been there! When we first bought our house, our kitchen was beige, uninspiring and lacked any Character or warmth. Something had to be done!

I spend an awful lot of time in my kitchen. In fact, every single recipe on this blog, was created in it! Its where I Knead my doughs, bake my cakes and feed my family of 6! My Kitchen, though small, needs to be mighty!…

moody dark kitchen

Our Kitchen Before

This is what we started with…the heart of the home was lacking, to say the least ! Our pokey little kitchen, measures 2.5 metres wide and 3 metres long. An extension was not an option, so we had to make do with what the property gods had given us! I’m ok with that, I like a challenge…

Kitchen before

The Small Kitchen Dilemma

The dream for many Homeowners is a large spacious kitchen with loads of storage and generous counter space. But when small is all you have to work with…you have to be a little more inventive!

Creating a budget friendly, aesthetically pleasing, organised and functional Kitchen in a tiny space, can be tricky…but certainly not impossible!

My Small Kitchen Makeover on A Budget

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Used Kitchen Cabinets

Like my other room makeovers, I have a budget to stick to! And I don’t let the fact that my budget is small, dictate the end result of my kitchen. Where there is a will, there’s a way, and where there’s an idea….there is my husband and I. We frequently work our asses off to save money!

vintage kitchen

In order to have the elements we want or need, we sometimes have to spend less on one thing, in order to spend more on another. For Instance- fridges, ovens and Ninja Air fryers don’t come cheap! So something’s got to give…

I wanted Shaker Kitchen Cabinets, and lucky for me, in the UK, it’s one of the most popular kitchen cabinet types. A quick Shaker search on Ebay yielded hundreds of results- Second hand kitchens for rock bottom prices .

We bid and won a small preloved maple ikea kitchen consisting of base units, a wall unit, doors and drawer fronts, for an unbelievable £98!

Before & After

We took the old kitchen out and put the new kitchen in and chose a new wood effect worktop from B&Q to complete it. We removed the old handles, filled in the holes, painted the doors and drawers and attached new cup handles.

The lower kitchen Cabinet doors were painted in Dusky Blush by French Chic

The wall cupboard was painted with Wholly moley French chic paint


What is my favourite thing to do in the kitchen…other than dance!? The answer is Bake! Most days I bake, whether that be Bread, Pastry or Cake I need to have easy access to my flours, spices and other essentials.

Baking for me, is not a chore. I find it a very relaxing activity, which can only be spoiled, by the stressful digging and rummaging in the back of cupboards, for ingredients that should be close to hand….

welsh dresser top small kitchen
welsh dresser kitchen

I opted for open storage in the form of A welsh dresser top, which was a Freebie offered on facebook. I painted it with French Chic Wholly Moley and got started on filling it.

I invested in lots of copper Glass Jars from Home bargains and some basic herb jars off Ebay, I then filled and labeled each jar and arranged them on the counter and on the shelves. The other shelves are packed with everyday condiments, plates, serving ware, herbal remedies and other food prep items.

The shelves above the Air fryer are old scaffold boards held up with affordable brackets from Wickes.


I had my heart set on Copper tiles, but they were a little pricey! So I opted for simple white metro tiles and painted them with Rustoleum Metallic Aged Copper paint. They turned out great! It’s been 4 months so far and they are still perfect and more importantly…wipeable!

painted tiles

The Wallpaper

The gorgeous wallpaper has copper tones and dusky moody hues that tie in wonderfully with the kitchen cabinets and tiles. And it was a steal, at just £14 a roll! Buy the Holden Decor Living Wallpaper crimson

Extractor Fan And Window

I wasnt a fan of the white upvc window or steel extractor fan. To keep costs down, instead of buying a new fan and window-I just painted them with Anthracite Grey paint from Paint nuts


I chose wood effect Vinyl Sheet flooring off Ebay and fitted it myself. The grand total was just £90 including Floor adhesive and caulk.

7 Top Tips For making the most of a small kitchen

1. Storage! Storage! Storage!

I cannot emphasise this enough! However much storage you think you need…double it! Unless you are a practicing minimalist (the polar opposite of me!) I suggest including more storage than you need, especially in the restrictive space of a small kitchen.

You will, over the life of your Kitchen, accrue many little things…Bakeware, pans, utensils, serving plates, dinner plates, bowls, side plates, linens…there will also be impulse buys, gizmos and gadgets! And there will be things that you may only use once, yet you will still refuse to throw away!

All these things, take up space and create clutter. So get ahead of the problem and provide a home for them beforehand. As Well as Kitchen Cabinets, include Shelves, Hanging Rails, Baskets and Hooks. Make the most of empty space on the side of cupboards, on the ceiling and below worktops.

Every nook in my Kitchen is maximised to give me as much storage space as possible!

2. what’s your style?

What are you going for ? Is your dream kitchen, Modern, Traditional, Country, vintage ? Do you want, farmhouse style Kitchen Cabinets, Shaker style cabinets, Modern and sleek kitchen Cabinets, Painted Kitchen cabinets, or do you favour vast Slab doors?

Whatever your preference, the style of Cabinetry you choose will be the foundation that will set the mood and atmosphere of your kitchen. So pick wisely :o)

3. Kitchen Cabinet Colour For Small Kitchens

Here in the UK the most popular Kitchen Cabinet colour today, is still white! Probably because, for most homeowners, it is the safest option. White is a neutral colour and fairly forgiving when paired with additional design elements in the kitchen.

White is not for me! It lacks depth, warmth and character. If you take a look at the other rooms in my house, you will notice my love of Dark, bold and moody interiors extends to not only the large rooms but the small rooms too.

My kitchen will not be the exception, nor should it be. Dark colours can still enhance a space, even in a Kitchen as small as mine.

It is true that lighter Kitchen Cabinet colours can work wonders in a small kitchen, but that doesn’t mean your only option is white! Creams, Pastels and Lighter shades that reflect light, can give the impression of a more open and airy space.

Got your heart set on Dark shade Kitchen Cabinets? While Dark Kitchen cabinets can make the room feel smaller, there is a way to counter that! Make sure to let in lots of natural light, with large windows, patio doors and velux windows. If natural light is limited, add lighting under cabinets, use lamps, and include ceiling and wall light fittings.

4. Decide on Your Kitchen Layout

What type of Kitchen do you want? An Island Kitchen, Parallel, Straight, L-Shape, U-Shape, Galley? Do you want and Open kitchen or a contained one? The most common choice for small kitchens is U-Shaped, L-shaped and Galley

open plan small kitchen
My Kitchen opens up to the dining room
small kitchen
my u-shaped kitchen

5. Tiles For Small Kitchens

Kitchen wall tiles are fitted for practical reasons! They act as a splashback around problem areas, such as stove and sink areas, their purpose is to prevent staining and mold forming on walls. They help the kitchen stay hygenic and in good repair.

But they needn’t be boring! For me, tiles are like frosting! An opportunity to add a little ooomph! But ooomph is not for everyone! Tiles can either blend in or stand out! They can be a subtle extension of the worktop or a focal point that draws the eye.

Which Wall Tiles work best in a small kitchen? For a small kitchen, the best type of wall tile to give the impression of space, are tiles with a glossy, satin type finish. They will bounce the light around the room, giving the idea of space. Whereas matt tiles will absorb the light.

6. Art and print wallpaper

Give your small Kitchen some personality! Just because it’s small doesn’t mean it can’t have character! Go bold with patterned wallpaper and decorative accents for a cozy and inviting space.

7. Flooring For a Small Kitchen

What is the best type of flooring for a small kitchen? Ceramic tile’s or porcelain tiles are always a good option, but if your working with a smaller budget, Vinyl sheet flooring, or vinyl tiles can be a an affordable alternative.

Like wall tiles, kitchen flooring can serve to blend in or stand out. For me, I went with the ‘blend in’ option. My kitchen has painted cabinets and bold wallpaper, I felt a busy flooring would overwhelm the space and draw the eye downward. So I went with a simple, Sheet Vinyl wood effect flooring.




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