Furniture Makeover in Monochrome

Furniture Makeover in Monochrome
Upcycle furniture in black and white for a wonderful monochrome makeover.

I’ve painted so much grey over the last year (and although I love the classic shade) it’s been a pleasure to paint the odd vibrant piece of furniture. However more recently I’ve been drawn to some monochrome schemes and decided to re-vamp these two corner cabinets in a black and white design.

Originally country pine and looking quite ‘twee’ these corner cabinets were in much need of a furniture makeover. They are not the most popular piece of furniture, however I really like them for a few reasons, they give height to a scheme, they are ideal for storage and display and they take up hardly any room! What’s not to like? Paint them to be noticed or paint them the same colour as your walls and you’ll hardly know that they there! Introduce clever lighting within the units and you can make a feature out of what was a corner you wouldn’t have noticed.

After sanding and priming I felt the units would look better without the top doors, so off they came and I painted the shelves with Autentico Versante in charcoal. You can see that by doing this, it  has elongated the look of the shelves. I then used a Dulux brilliant white eggshell for the outside of the cabinet. Spot lights could easily be fitted into the tops of the units which would enhance them even more.

 

 

 

Now the units wouldn’t look out of place in the most modern of rooms. The black shelving is a perfect back drop to display your favourite things, whether they are white, bright or metallic.

In true upcycling style, I wanted to re-use the top doors taken off the cabinets, so I removed the glass which I replaced with mirror and painted the frames in matt black. Now they are bang on trend window mirrors!

 

 

I’m really pleased with the new lease of life I’ve given to these corner cabinets. If you’re thinking about creating a monochrome scheme, consider adding a little natural wood, i.e. a coffee table or side tables and a blast of colour in the cushions or throws and you’ll have a stunning interior scheme.

Click here for more details on these cabinets.

Have a lovely week and happy painting!

Love Jo x

 

 

If Tables Could Talk…

If Tables Could Talk…
If tables could talk, what would yours say?

Upcycling another kitchen table, I wonder what stories it would tell if it were able to talk? I think about the families and friends who have gathered around the table over the years… What conversations, debates, arguments and silences would have taken place across the table top? And I think about the occasions and celebrations that would have taken place around the table such as Christmas dinner, birthday parties and romantic anniversary meals.

 

Some delicious food would have been served, as well as some bad! There would have been many cups of tea and coffee poured, as well as some spilt. Clinked glasses and toasts. Lazy Sunday breakfasts with time to read the paper and rushed midweek breakfasts with not enough time to eat.

Family laughter and tears of joy as well as squabbles and dinners eaten in silence.  Homework, baking, sewing, writing, kids playing and more activities besides. Maybe even a businesses that started from the kitchen table?

I can almost hear the voices, laughter and tears as I continue to sand and although the marks magically vanish I don’t feel as though I’m erasing memories, I’m giving the table a new lease of life so it can go on to be the centre of family life for many years to come.

 

 

 

I wonder what secrets your table could tell?

Have a good week.

Jo x

 

 

How to Whitewash an Old Table

How to Whitewash an Old Table
Whitewashing tables is a favourite upcycling project of mine.

I love old tables, they have so much history. The kitchen and the kitchen table is usually the hub of a home. We live our lives over tables every day starting with breakfast and ending with supper. If they could speak I’m sure tables would tell many a tale. It’s so nice to have the opportunity to upcycle a solid old table and give it a new lease of life.

The beauty with interiors now is that anything goes. Gone are the days when you bought a kitchen table with chairs to match. Nowadays an old (or new) table and a few odd chairs can look fab. You can mix natural woods with painted finishes. You can choose a wooden table with metal chairs and vice versa. You can paint table legs to contrast with chairs. You can do whatever you fancy, there are no rules. A whitewashed table top works as well within an eclectic mix as it does in a traditional design and because it’s so durable it’s a great finish to have in a busy sociable kitchen. So, if you’re wanting to whitewash your old wooden table, where do you start?

Firstly, there’s a lot of hard work to be done. The table will need sanding. You’ll need to wear a mask and goggles for protection when you do this. Check that your table is solid wood and not veneer as chances are it’ll need sanding back quite a bit and with a veneered table top you can only sand back so far before the glue starts to show through.  I use an electric sander and starting with an 80 grit sandpaper, finishing with a 120 grit. I have worked on tables with varnish so thick that it’s taken many hours and muscle to remove, it’s worth the hard work though. When you’re happy that the table top is looking good it’s time to prep the legs.

If the legs are modern and straight it makes the prep much easier and you can use an electric sander on these too, however they’re usually shaped/turned so need to be sanded by hand. If the legs are to be painted they don’t have to be sanded back to bare wood, you just need to prepare the surface so it’s not shiny and the paint with adhere.

Once you’ve sanded the whole table (top, skirt and legs) brush off the dust and wash down with sugar soap and water or white spirit. Don’t soak the wood too much, just wipe lightly and leave to dry thoroughly.

Now the work gets a little more pleasant! Always use good quality paints, I’ve been loving Autentico, Little Greene and Farrow and Ball. Starting with the legs and skirt you’ll need to prime first, don’t try skipping this stage if you want to good finish, try using Weathercoat’s outdoor waterbased primer, I love it! Then apply at least two coats of your chosen paint allowing the specified drying time in between coats. Give a light sand in between coats using a 240 grit sandpaper. I like to use both chalk paints and eggshell depending on the finish required and I use prefer to use outdoor paints and primers for durability. Table legs are going to get knocked so need to be as tough as possible!

And finally the fun part! Water down a matt white paint until it’s the consistency of milk. Then starting at one corner of the table, using long brush strokes apply the watery substance along the entire length of the table. Wait a couple of minutes and wipe off with some kitchen paper using a long sweeping movement in the same direction as you painted. And repeat. On an average sized 5/6ft kitchen table, I would divide these applications into about five strips. Try not to overlap your paintwork. Once you have applied and wiped off the watered down paint to the whole surface apply to the table edges. Leave to dry thoroughly.

You’ll notice that when dry, the table top will take on a white/grey appearance. I find one application is enough. If you want more solid look, then repeat. It’s always a good idea to test your first application. If it’s too white to start you can always leave to dry, sand and begin again.

Give the table a gentle sand with a 240 grit paper and you’re ready to wax or varnish. I like to use a matt varnish for protection and have loved the results I get using Johnson’s Matt Varnish.

Apply using a large soft brush, working one strip at a time from edge to edge with light brush strokes. Again, be careful not to overlap. Once dry, sand again very lightly, wipe and repeat. The difference from preloved to reloved is amazing!

I hope these tables and my blog gives you the inspiration and confidence to have a go at whitewashing yourself. It’s not complicated but you do need to be patient, do the prep and take your time. You can also take a look at my gallery for inspiration and other upcycling ideas.

    

And don’t stop at kitchen tables, coffee tables, lamp tables and desks can look good whitewashed too.

 

 

Have a good week. Happy painting!

Love Jo x

An Inspirational Gift

An Inspirational Gift

A gift from a friend gave me the inspiration for this upcycling project.

A good friend of mine gave me some star knobs as a ‘good luck with your business’ gift when I decided to concentrate solely on Reloved by Jo giving it one hundred percent of my time. The knobs were beautiful and very different to anything I’ve used so far. They weren’t made from wood or ceramic but from bone. I sat on them for a while until, inevitably, the right piece of furniture came along.

I took delivery of a large collection of pine furniture which included an old coffee table. You can just see the coffee table, stood on it’s end at the back of my workshop.

Sanded & cleaned

The table had been stored for some time in someone’s attic. It was very dusty and looked as though the top had a large damp patch. However it was solid and had potential. After leaving it to air for a few days I gave it a gentle sand and clean and was really pleased when the top started to look much better. I loved the antique colour and the look of the large knots.

I thought black paint paint to the legs would enhance the top, going well with the wood.

Awaiting final sand and varnish

Finally I attached the star knobs which pull it all together giving an old piece of furniture a funky twist. I’m so pleased with the result.

Black & natural

I used Jack Black (my favourite shade of black) from The Little Greene Paint Company for the base and finished the top with a very flat matt varnish. The knobs you can buy online from ibbi, an online store of beautiful, practical, quirky homewares and found objects from around the world. They have some beautiful pieces.

Knobs from ibbi
Side view
Inside drawers

I wonder where it’s new home will be? A quirky old house, a trendy apartment or a modern home? Wherever it ends up, it’ll look great!

Have a lovely week.

Jo x

 

 

Holiday Home Furniture with a Mediterranean Style

Holiday Home Furniture with a Mediterranean Style
If you own a holiday rental, why not entice your guests by up-cycling your furniture and giving it some style?

You want your holiday home to stand out from the rest, yet it has to be furnished within a budget and include good quality, bespoke pieces. Oh and you want to help save the planet too! That may sound a challenge but it’s one that I thrive on.

Holiday homes are quite often furnished with an mix of furniture from your own home that you’ve tired of, or pine furniture (because of it’s durability) which has yellowed with age over the years. The pine now looks dated and if you have a mixed collection it may need pulling together? Either way, it won’t be enticing people to stay and it won’t be showing off your holiday rental as well as it should and therefore, you won’t be charging as much as you could!

As a furniture stylist, I like nothing more than up-cycling old or tired furniture and turning it into something special. This is my most recent project. Some of this furniture is bespoke, but all of it is very solid and very dated. The owners had simply tired of it.

Preloved bookcase
Preloved sideboard
Yellowed pine tables

 

You can see why the owners had tired of the pine but as they were good quality pieces that are a little different, I was excited to take delivery. I never usually start up-cycling any piece of furniture until I have an image of the finished piece in my mind. With this set of furniture the Mediterranean came to mind, with vibrant blues and whites I could imagine just how the finished pieces would look.

Work in progress

I always prep and prime before painting and this furniture took me a good couple of days of hard work, after which I had sore hands and no nails… a hazard of the job I’m afraid. However once the prep and cleaning had been done the work was much more enjoyable, painting in my chosen colours I could see the design coming together.

I always use good quality paints and the colours you can see here are mainly Deep Space Blue from The Little Greene Paint Company and Strong White from Farrow and Ball, both are an eggshell finish. The grey I have mixed myself. The tops of the tables have been finished with a very flat varnish to which I added a little watered down paint for white-washed finished with a bit of resilience.

So here you have holiday home furniture with a Mediterranean style. I can imagine walls painted white, a couple of throws, rugs and cushions in either bright colours or neutrals. I wish I had a holiday home in which to put them or a home by the sea!

Console/bookcase
Slim size
Inside drawer
Bookcase/console
Blue chest of drawers
Side view
Inside view
Lamp tables
Lamp tables

What a difference and the reason why I enjoy up-cycling furniture so much.

If you’d like to see more photos and information on these pieces click here.

I now need a holiday 🙂 Have a good week.

Love Jo x

Hexham Vintage Emporium

Hexham Vintage Emporium
This month I’ve been spreading my wings and moving into Hexham Vintage Emporium.

I’ve now had a full month showcasing my work at Corbridge Antiques Centre. I’ve enjoyed popping in to check my stand is looking it’s best and having a chat with Alison who runs the centre. It’s a friendly place with so many nice pieces to browse with anything from antiques and collectables to up-cycled and quirky. Something for everyone.

My stand within Hexham Emporium

Good space is difficult to find, however, as with most things it turns up when you’re least expecting it and within a couple of weeks of moving into the Antique Centre I had a call from The Vintage Emporium in Hexham asking if I wanted to rent some space there. Of course the answer had to be yes as Hexham, like Corbridge, is a lovely town with a mix of individual shops so it was another great opportunity to spread my wings and showcase my work.

Home Accessories
French & Vintage
Vintage Cushions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Emporium has recently undergone a bit of a change with the addition of more vintage sections and a cafe on the first floor which is under new management. As well as Waudaughs offerings you’ll find anything from vintage brooches to French antiques and my preloved and up-cycled furniture fits in nicely. As you walk into the shop my furniture and home accessories are on the right hand side of the main entrance door so if you see something you like on your way up for a cup of coffee, you can take it away with you on your way out (or arrange delivery of course).

Waudaughs lighting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As well as these two great pitches I’ve been working on commissions and selling items direct from my website Reloved by Jo. All of a sudden things are starting to get quite busy and I’m getting acquainted with the lovely people of Hexham and Corbridge. I’m in my element!

Have a lovely week.

Love Jo x

 

 

Moving into Corbridge Antiques Centre

Moving into Corbridge Antiques Centre

Things have moved on. I’ve now joined Corbridge Antiques Centre, showcasing vintage and preloved furniture as well as some quirky home accessories. I’m giving Reloved by Jo all of my time. No part-time job and no caddying for my golf pro hubby. My working life is now all about furniture, styling and interiors. I’m working with people who want to improve their interiors and people who appreciate lovely furniture, whether it’s well made pieces, vintage or antique. It’s a pleasure that I never tire of.

I’m no longer showcasing a few pieces within a small shop, I have my own area within the Antiques Centre and this suits me perfectly. It means I don’t have to be on site to sell my furniture and home accessories as Alison manages and takes care of sales which frees up my time to source and up-cycle more lovely finds. With the weather being so good this time of year, I’m taking full advantage and working outside whenever possible too. I will however enjoy popping in on a regular basis.

  

Moving in day turned out to be one of the warmest days of the year which my son, who was helping me, found quite exhausting. It was very exciting all the same. Corbridge Antique Centre has a lovely atmosphere. You can wander round at your leisure, it’s relaxing and friendly. The stands within the centre are very different so it makes for an interesting place to browse.  I had chance to meet and chat with some of the other stall holders who were very nice and complimentary of my work and I also met the neighbours from RE, a quirky home accessories shop and couldn’t help having a quick look round myself! Corbridge shop owners seems to have a camaraderie and Corbridge itself has such a nice feel.

I spent the following morning unveiling and pricing my stock. As well as my much reloved vintage furniture, you’ll find new cushions made from vintage fabrics, French baskets, antique mirrors, quirky lighting and cake stands (as seen in the movie Paddington 2).  I’m hoping my stand will have an impact on most people who walks through the door.

      

  

I’m very excited to see how my first month pans out and very pleased to have a presence within the village of Corbridge. The draw back (if there is one) is that Corbridge is a very good place to shop so I could end up spending more than I earn!

I’ve already been made to feel very welcome and I’d like to make you feel welcome too by inviting you to pop in and see my work. I hope you like it as much as I enjoy creating it.

Have a good week.

Love Jo x

 

 

A Little Bedroom Romance

A Little Bedroom Romance

Wouldn’t we all welcome a little more romance in the bedroom? Well this beautiful French dressing table will certainly give your bedroom scheme a romantic feel. I love the curves and elegance of this beautiful piece of furniture.

I bought this dressing table from a French dealer at an antiques fair. It’s just the style of furniture I like so it was a pleasure to work on. I chose a soft grey from the Farrow and Ball range. Cornforth White in an eggshell finish. It’s now one of my favourite shades of grey.

The handles were in a good condition and just needed a clean. They’re very pretty and the antique gold colour works well with the pale grey.

I lined the drawers with a paper similar in colour to the paint. I like to finish off pieces of furniture so they look and feel as nice on the inside as they do on the outside.

A pretty bedroom scheme for this dressing table would include white, pale greys and pale pinks, creating a very elegant and feminine feel. I would dress the room with a few gold accessories such as an antique gold mirror, photo frames and candle holders.

So, yet another piece of furniture, Reloved by Jo, that I’ll find hard to part with. I wish I had the space to keep it!

Have a great week.

Love Jo x

 

 

Going Green in More Ways Than One

Going Green in More Ways Than One

Going green had a double meaning for me this month. As someone who is passionate about up-cycling, my work is obviously good for the planet and with the introduction of a lovely new green paint that I couldn’t resist, I literally was ‘going green’ with this job.

Bought at auction, I’ve been sitting on these chairs for a while now – excuse the pun! Chairs at auction are plentiful but not always in sets of six. The shape is also quite simple which attracted me to them.

When a new paint colour is introduced to the market that I like, I think about the stock I have and what, if anything, would suit that colour. That’s what happened in this case and these chairs immediately sprung to mind.

Originally dark wood with tapestry covered seat pads. This is how they looked before I started work.

Pre-loved chairs

Chairs always take longer to up-cycled than people imagine they would. They need sanding, priming and at least two coats of paint. I also then apply a matt varnish for a little more durability. Then there’s the upholstering to do…  All worth the effort though as you’ll see here.

Green vintage chairs   Back of chairs   Looking good with white-washed table

The Fern (Autentico) is lifted by the use of Jack Black (The Little Greene Paint Company) and Almond (Autentico) and the fabric brings them all together. Although white and greys are still very popular, I enjoy using different colours as it keeps my work refreshing and I like up-cycling furniture in colours that you can’t buy off the shelf. My work is bespoke after all.

Botanical fabric

These lovely hand-painted chairs would suit an older style house, I can imagine them in a dining room or maybe a garden room sat around an old oak table. They would look fabulous next to a vintage dresser similar to this one.

Black painted chair and vintage dresser

So going green in more ways than one has been fun. It’s now Spring, that time of year when gardens are starting to come to life, so have these botanical chairs.

Have a lovely week.

Jo x

Where Old Meets New

Where Old Meets New
The Brief & My Vision

I wanted to create a light, bright kitchen that would be a pleasure to work in, a joy to eat and relax in. A living room, not just a kitchen. I wanted a kitchen that is on trend but one that wouldn’t date easily. As I’m a furniture stylist and up-cycling is a passion of mine, it also had to include some old and pre-loved pieces of furniture. I wanted white and greys to give the feeling of light and space and a mix of natural woods for warmth and character. I love grey and natural wood together.

When I’m up-cycling furniture I usually have a vision of the finished piece in my mind. Sometimes that vision changes as a piece develops but on the whole, I usually create what is in my head. I worked the same way with my kitchen. I had a vision in mind before I started and knew exactly how I wanted it to look. However I would advise creating a mood board, it’s far easier to show people what you want rather than try to explain sometimes.

 

The Structual Stuff

My new kitchen was doubling in size and needed structual work. This included knocking down a wall between the kitchen and utility, taking out the garage wall and moving it back 5 feet to give us the room we needed, raising the floor and ceiling and taking out the window and back door to install large French doors. Quite a big job. My garage was to become my new workshop which needed electrics fitting and a door through from the kitchen. A thermal electric garage door was also on my list to keep me warm (and working) in the winter. These photos were taken at the start of the building works.

Kitchen Design Before - Reloved by Jo 2   Kitchen Design Before - Reloved by Jo 3

Kitchen Design Before - Reloved by Jo 4   Kitchen Design Before - Reloved by Jo 6

Budget, What Budget?

Once I had decided on the style for my kitchen, the budget was set. This soon disappeared as the kitchen progressed. There were certain things that I really wanted, i.e. wooden worktops, quality units, nice flooring, etc. and although I don’t mind shopping around for a bargain, I’m not very good at buying something just because it’s cheaper. It has to be right too. For the work that was being carried out the budget was quite tight and I knew I would go over on this occasion to get the kitchen how I wanted it. However, a good quality kitchen is definitely an investment.

 

The Design

The units were more or less staying in the same place with the addition of a large breakfast bar and room for a table, chairs and a dresser. I wanted a white kitchen. One of good quality, shaker style with a wood grain. Sounds simple, however finding pure white (non-gloss) units was almost impossible.  I could have bought chalk white, antique white, dove white, in fact any shade of white except white! So I ended up choosing a bespoke, paint to order kitchen from Matthew Charlton blowing the budget for the units straight away! However, the units are good quality and worth the spend. My advise when choosing cupboard doors is to take them home and look at them at different levels, in different lights. The same goes for worktops and flooring. Don’t just look at samples in your hands, in a showroom, you’ll get a false idea of how they might look when fitted.

Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 2

 Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 5

I really wanted solid wood worktops, even though my builder tried his utmost to persuade me not to have them (because they usually go black when sat near sinks, coming into contact with water). However as my job is to work with furniture and wood I didn’t see it as a problem. I treated the worktops before they were fitted with a fabulous product from Treatex. I even impressed my builder and electrician who had to admit what a good job I’d done and how good they looked. So, happy with my solid oak worktops I started searching for a breakfast bar and and found it at Granite Transformations. With a very subtle fleck in it, it was beautiful. Nothing else compared. The difficulty was choosing between two shades which would have both worked. I had to have it. The budget increased again.

Shop around for deals and then buy what you want anyway.

If you’re lucky you might get a deal on your preferred choice. If you buy something purely because it’s cheaper, you’ll probably regret it in the long run. I know I would. It also depends on how long you want to live with it or whether you’ll be moving on. Even the sink ended up being a top end ceramic model but it was in keeping with the rest of the kitchen.

Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 4

I did shop around for my white goods, and bought some from John Lewis (who weren’t as expensive as I thought they would be) and some from ao.com – Bang on budget this time.

The finer details matter too. I wanted pewter knobs and handles but they were ridiculously expensive, even for me. But Claire from Matthew Charltons found some ironware from a company called Hafele which were great value and a fraction of the cost of pewter. They look the part and I actually prefer them to the pewter ones. A bargain.

Be brave and creative.

I wanted to use a mirror in place of tiles behind the cooker. A few people thought I was mad but it has made a massive difference to the kitchen. As you would expect, it really opens the room up. At first glance you think it’s an opening into the room next door but then you realise it’s a mirror. A tip when fitting mirrors – If you have old walls I would advise fitting plasterboard on them first so as to give a flat surface for the mirror to sit on. An uneven surface can cause the glass to crack if any pressure is applied. It’s a myth that it’s hard to clean too. Just one little tip though… don’t look in the mirror first thing!

Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 3

The ceiling I painted white and used French Pale Grey (161) from The Little Greene Paint Company for the walls. Their paints are so good to use. For the flooring I didn’t want laminate because it’s not as warm underfoot as wood. I couldn’t afford solid oak, however, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and found a great deal on some engineered oak flooring and I love it. I knew it would look and feel great.

I chose spots with dimmers for the working side of the kitchen with a low watt strip light along the top of the units. I wanted a vintage/industrial look, nothing too pretty and nothing too industrial. I found them hard to source locally and eventually bought a couple of styles online, one pair were quite expensive but perfect and the second pair I wasn’t sure about but they were quite nice too. Being able to try them at home helped me decide.  Yes, you’ve guessed it, the most expensive ones were the ones I chose (why change my habits). With the combination of spots, vintage lights and lamps I can vary the mood of the room considerably.

Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 8

Up-cycled Furniture

I may have gone over budget on the kitchen but I did manage to save money on the furniture. The old dresser had been fitted to the wall of our old utility and I thought when the builders took it off the wall it would fall to pieces but when it came away in one piece I was delighted and soon set about up-cycling it.

I took the top doors off, changed the cupboard doors, added a cornice and gave it my magic touch. It cost me very little. The secondhand farmhouse table was a deep orange pine when I picked it up. It had been given a varnish to the top that was extremely hard to remove, but once I’d stripped it back, white-washed and protected the top and painted the legs it was perfect. I wanted all the chairs to be different sizes and shapes with some being painted and some left natural wood. The old oak chair I fell in love with at an antique centre. I was actually scouting for space to showcase my work for Reloved by Jo and came out with the chair and no space! The large wheelback chair I bought at auction for my husband and painted it. Two of the other chairs I already had so up-cycled them in various greys and bought the two light oak chairs for just £7.50 each.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find old stools in the style I wanted so had to buy new ones. I did buy them in a sale though and as soon as they arrived started sanding them down and painting them to fit my scheme (I can’t help myself.) All bang on budget!

Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 7

The Invention Test

It’s hard to choose the best bit of my kitchen because everything counts in making it a beautiful, stylish room. However I’d have to choose my bin as being the best invention within it! I didn’t want a large bin sat in the middle of my lovely kitchen, it would have been a bit of an eyesore. And I didn’t want a small integrated bin that would need emptying three times a day. I was quoted around £175 for a large bin that would sit inside a slim cupboard (that didn’t include the cupboard).

So I set about inventing my own integrated, tall but slim fitting sliding bin. I designated one of my 300mm units to be a bin cupboard from the start. It was a challenge to find a tall bin to fit the space. I bought and returned four bins before finding one the right size at Homebase. A bargain at £24. I then bought a kit from Ikea for £18 which was designed to integrate one of their bins and my builder adapted the sliders from the kit, screwing them into the cupboard and into my bin. We then added an old pull handle and now have a bin that pulls out of the cupboard with ease. Situated at the end of the breakfast bar it’s in the perfect place. It was a good team effort. I love it!

The Nice Bits

When the builders have gone, do your best to finish off properly and dress the room. This might mean shopping around for bits and pieces which is quite time consuming but don’t leave it as it’s likely you’ll go on to start something else and you’ll never finish off the finer details. It makes a huge difference. Buy your glasses, clocks, pictures, frames, cushions, candles etc. I just had to have a large wooden wall clock (even though it cost more than my table!). I’m not a big TV fan, however I thought it would be nice to have a TV in the kitchen to watch whilst preparing meals, eating breakfast, etc. So the TV sits on a bracket that moves in almost any direction so it can be see from wherever you are in the kitchen or dining area. I also have a great sounding DAB radio/CD system that sits on the dresser. It’s nice have choices and make the room comfortable and inviting, after all it’s a living room, not just a kitchen.

My Tip

If you’re in the process of having a new kitchen fitted be open to suggestion but stick to your design if it’s what you want. On a few occasions I had the builders and my husband stood behind me making alternative suggestions. I did listen and give their suggestions some thought but then stuck to my guns if it was really what I wanted. Sometimes this meant more work for the builders but the finer details and the finish have made the kitchen really special and my builder never complained (to me) and is very proud of the results too.

My Team

Everyone that worked with me was great; Patrick my builder of course and his team. Claire from Matthew Charltons. Karen from Granite Transformations. Even the girls at Greggs for making us coffee and bacon rolls when I had no cooker!

I must say I did have the best builders in the North East. Their attention to detail is second to none (absolutely necessary for me as unfortunately I’m a perfectionist). They didn’t take much looking after. I always made sure they had tea, coffee and biscuits to hand and that I was only ever a phone call away if they needed me to make a decision. After the first week of early morning starts they had the pleasure of seeing me first thing in the morning with ‘bed hair’ and no make-up – lucky them. It was entertaining listening to them bicker whilst working and I must say, once their work was complete the house did feel a little empty but lovely to have my beautiful, spacious kitchen.

Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 10    Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 3   Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 4

Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 5    Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 6   Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 7

A big thanks to everyone involved and to Katie Lee Photography for taking these lovely shots.

Love Jo x