Before and After: Maxine Brady’s chic budget kitchen makeover
Interior stylist Maxine Brady reveals how she made over the kitchen in her Brighton home, inspired by New York coffee shops.
Maxine Brady’s love of New York inspired her to give her kitchen a total revamp, paying homage to the cool and quirky coffee shops in Brooklyn. The before and after is quite incredible, we’re sure you’ll agree!
Why did you dislike your old kitchen?
It was fitted in the 1990s and the layout made it difficult to navigate. I then discovered a damp problem down the back wall, which meant water was dropping into the electrics. It was too dangerous to use the oven so I lived on toast and cereal for 5 months!
How did you want to change the space?
I love visiting New York and hanging out in the coffee shops of Brooklyn. Lots of the cafes in Williamsburg area have stone counter tops, dark cupboard fronts and open shevling, all which became the inspiration for my own kitchen.
What were your must-have features?
The back of the house is freezing, so I wanted to install underfloor heating with a statement floor on top to make it feel cosy. I was also keen to personalise the room with bespoke touches, such as interesting handles, copper accents and integrated appliances.
Did you have a project budget in mind?
I’d saved up £5,000 to do the whole kitchen. I had to stick to this amount as I was also doing up my living room and my bathroom at the same time and couldn’t afford to overspend!
How did you keep your costs down?
I did look at marble worktops but they were just too expensive. In the end, I went for composite stone, which was a fraction of the cost.
What was the best bargain you found?
The cabinet door handles were made from plumber’s copper piping, and I found the brass fittings on eBay in America. The complete set cost about £100, but they are the talking point of the room and well worth it.
Did anything cost more than expected?
Halfway through the build, the planning officer inspected the property and wanted me to insulate all the walls. Although this wasn’t a cost I had originally budgeted for, I didn’t mind paying a bit extra for it.
What was the biggest lesson you learned?
Hire a great kitchen designer and builder who is willing to be flexible. The designer was able to fit both a dishwasher and a washing machine in here, while it was my builder who suggest moving the window to the end of the kitchen so I can see the garden.
For interior inspo and for more budget ideas, you can follow Maxine and check out her blog, here.
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