Giving your kitchen a low cost, eco refresh…
When friends pop over, we offer them a cup of tea right?
So where do we generally gravitate towards?
Yes – the kitchen (it’s where the cake is kept too let’s face it).
It’s the hub of the house, the centre of the home – it’s so true that the kitchen is where it ‘happens’ in most homes in the UK.
There are lots of things you can do to refresh the look and feel of your kitchen – Start by de-cluttering, and cutting down on colourful packaging – decanting into glass jars is one of my favourite things to do – and makes it easier to pour flour and sugar – less mess!
If you are looking for ideas, follow Pinterest boards for inspiration – here’s ours uk.pinterest.com/incredibusy/kitchen we’ve added things like tea towels from Lewes Map Stores and little pots for your succulents from Katie Robbins Ceramics. We LOVE Pinterest for this – such a great way to plan and have fun with creative home ideas…
Unless you have a really big space, try not to over work the colour palette – go for neutrals, and pick a feature colour. Whether you have wooden or white cabinets, if you’re a minimalist or like a bit of boho chic – keep things as simple as you can, and plan to add colour via a feature wall, electrical appliances or accessories.
Go for a strong colour, such as red, for your accent shade – often associated with food, you’ll see red (no pun intended) appearing naturally in tomatoes, strawberries etc – so it’s quite easy to pick up accessories such as tea towels, and oilcloths for the table, with fruit and veg patterns and designs; and look for stylish cushions for the dining chairs too – then pick out features in the same colour, go daring with the classic red Fridge Freezer. Make a statement with a shiny red glass splashback. Or subtle, and more affordable smaller token colour flashes such as your pendant lighting and a feature red kettle and toaster to add that more understated splash of bold colour.
You don’t have to visit high street stores to find you perfect kitchen accessories – We love browsing second-hand stores, flea markets, and thrift shops. These are great places to pick up some vintage, and original loveliness for your kitchen, getting back to pre-plastic days (you know I have a thing with plastic right??) – so here’s some things to look out for:
Odd retro cups, plates and saucers –– If you have supermarket herbs – and who doesn’t have a plastic pot of Basil sitting on the window sill? Re-pot your plant into a more charming terracotta pot, or cup, and stand it on that odd old vintage saucer.
Glass cake stands – Lucky enough to inherit some of these beauties – Just love these cake stands, for, well, cake of course, but they are great for keeping keys, and bits and bobs on the kitchen side, or piled high with fruit – making them accessible for healthy snacking, and looking pretty too!
Wooden spoons, spatulas and bread boards – My brother in law has taken up spoon carving – so we have quite a few! And – contrary to popular belief, plastic bread boards are not automatically more hygienic than wooden chopping boards. Studies have shown that wood can actually be healthier long term. Consumers think that because wood is a porous surface and plastic isn’t, plastic boards are more resistant to bacteria, not so – therefore, yet again, go zero-waste and plastic-free – and choose wooden chopping boards – and invest in a decent knife – I’ve a Pole and Hunt knife on my Christmas List, having seen them being made at The Good Life Experience – I’m totally in love!!
Classic textured biscuit-coloured mixing bowl – A traditional glazed earthenware mixing bowl is a must for every baker, you can pick these in charity shops, and department stores sell reproduction versions of these now too. They just look GOOD – so much nicer than a plastic mixing bowl – we’re sure that cakes taste nicer when they are mixed in one of these bowls!
Apron – if you’re a baker, or just like to look the part in the kitchen, you’ll need an apron, even if you don’t wear it – it’ll look good hanging up in the kitchen!
Vintage enamel ware – That classic – the bread bin – we are often spotting these in antique shops (picked this one up in the little town of Nailsworth – perfect for a sour dough loaf from Hobbs House Bakery!) – we guess that a lot of these bread bins were produced, and they just seem to last forever, practical and good looking at the same time right?
Not so vintage enamel ware – now this is SO on trend, in fact, we’re not sure it will ever be OUT of trend, and if does, it can always be relegated to the camping kit right? It doesn’t always have to be vintage – we live close to Brixton Market, and they have a great affordable selection – you can pick up enamel mugs, and baking dishes relatively cheaply, they look great – and are so much nicer than plastic – think ‘eco’ if you’re looking for indestructible plates and cups for small children – go the enamel ware route!
Glass Mason Jars – now this is the simplest of ideas, if you have open shelves, and if those colourful cereal boxes are just an eyesore to you – decant the content into large jars – really simple yet effective way to declutter your kitchen space.
Do the same with smaller jars, fill them full of dried fruit, seeds and nuts for more healthy snacking.
Craft markets are a great place to pick up quirky one-off pieces too, from hand turned wooden bowls, macramé hanging air plants, and delightful ceramics – supporting small independent makers is a great way to bring ‘talking point’ accessories into your kitchen, and you might even find that you want to have a go at making some kitchenwares yourself – after all, the kitchen is also a great place for practicing your hobbies – just not the ideal place for taking the bicycle to pieces though eh husband?!
Do you follow me on instagram too? I can be found playing with my food here Instagram.com/Incredibusy too…
(thank you to good friends Charis and Toby for the loan of their much larger and easier-to-photograph kitchen!)
Dress by Palava.co for those of you who asked on twitter
Red Enamel mug – Coldatnight.com
Thanks to Xanthe Nimmo for excellent camera work and patience (not in that order)
This post was written in conjunction with Bairstow Eves, following an invitation to make a short video piece for them – watch here: