kitchen on a budget

We’ve finally completed the internal spaces at Timbertops! The last space was always going to be the kitchen diner, which was always going to be the most difficult space to wait for! For me, and most of us, the kitchen is the most important part of a home and these days is heavily used by the entire family. Not just for cooking anymore, but a space to hang out, do homework, work, socialise, play games etc. It’s a bit of a cliché but a kitchen really is the heart of a home. Sometimes full of wonderful baking smells, sometimes smelling of wet dog. It’s the heart, the hub, the centre, the life of most homes. But it’s also the space which is the most expensive to renovate and planning is everything. Not just of the storage and getting your ‘kitchen triangle design’ right, but planning the works to inconvenience you the least.

We demolished the old conservatory and extended in to the existing footprint with a single story brick built rear extension which avoided the need for planning permission. I switched around our dining area and kitchen cooking space to allow the dining area to be adjacent to the outside patio and the kitchen units to be within the retaining walls of the garden where window placement was restricted.

What we have isn’t flash or luxurious but it’s so good. It’s light, bright and filled with natural daylight thanks to some large windows and skylights. We went budget basic on the units, matt flat white cupboard doors and drawers from IKEA and splashed out on the raw concrete worktops. Everything else we had already, and it was comforting to unpack my grandmothers vintage crockery at last.

The under-floor heating and the Quooker tap were for me the must have items and were worth compromising elsewhere for. I can live without intelligent lighting scenes and bespoke display shelves for those beauties!


As I would say for every renovation, set a budget and stick to it. That way, you really do work out what your priority items are and willing to compromise for. Also, and you may need help with this, programme the works to impact you the least! There will be a time where you can’t walk on the floor and don’t having cooking facilities, but that time can be minimised.

Great find

The Stoves range oven with 4 ovens and induction hob. A lot of oven for the money (and looks pretty good too)! all for under £1,500 from Appliances Direct.

By Louise Putman

I'm Louise, founder of architectural interior and spatial design consultancy, REcreate.

I’m a fully qualified architectural interior designer, with a BA(Hons) degree in Interior Architecture and Furniture.

I combine my architectural knowledge with interior design expertise and project management to design or renovate internal spaces.