Lizzie Boulton put her building-design skills to good use to create a space that’s ideal for modern life.

French Style Kitchen Makeover 2

Five years ago, when Lizzie Boulton and her husband James were waiting for an estate agent to show them around a house for the second time, a man came out of a neighbouring property and asked them if they were looking to buy in that particular road. ‘It was fate,’ she says, ‘because we took a look around his home and it felt just right for us. We made him an offer there and then, which he was happy to accept.’

French Style Kitchen Makeover 3

The property was in good condition as its previous owner had done extensive building work, including a side-return extension and a loft conversion, and the decoration was mainly neutral throughout. The couple decided that, for the moment, they could live with how it was while they made plans to create the home they wanted. Three years after moving in, Lizzie and her business partner Yuriy set up a building company and, while working on client’s properties, she felt prompted to have a serious think about her own kitchen.

French Style Kitchen Makeover 4

‘From the moment we moved in, the plan was always to refurbish the kitchen at some point, and by using my design and construction skills, I knew exactly what I wanted,’ says Lizzie. ‘The original layout was mostly fine, but the chimney breast got in the way of the hob, which meant we could only use one saucepan at a time – it was very frustrating, so I decided to take it out.’

The removal of the fireplace freed up space for additional storage and a preparation area, but the couple didn’t stop there – they also knocked down a stud wall that separated the kitchen from the living room. In its place they installed built-in cupboards to house the washing appliances and drying rack, as well as giving them extra storage. ‘I decided against using the same door fronts as the units for the utility area, as it would make the kitchen feel cluttered,’ explains Lizzie. ‘Instead, I opted for floor-to-ceiling cupboards and, to help them blend in, I painted them in the same shade as the walls. It works particularly well and is probably my favourite part of the refurbishment.’

French Style Kitchen Makeover 5

The units came from Burbidge, a supply-only kitchen company, as Lizzie had her own team to fit them, which made economical sense. ‘Originally, I wanted to have them sprayed in a bespoke colour, but that would have taken an extra two weeks and we just didn’t have time,’ she says. ‘I was trying to reproduce a French-style scheme, so I chose a neutral hue to complement the wood flooring. Then I used pale green on the window and door frames, a gentle lilac-grey on the base and legs of the dining table and slate black on the chairs.

‘The redesign really works for us, and James and I now spend most of our time here together,’ says Lizzie. ‘I enjoy entertaining, so having lots of room to prepare food and being able to clear up quickly is fantastic.’

French Style Kitchen Makeover 1

Photography: David Parmiter

Ikea Island Opener
Kitchen

How to get a kitchen island look for less

Love the look of a kitchen island but haven't got the budget? Here are some stylish budget alternatives.
 
Rsz 12o1a0084 Edit Edit Edit Copy
Kitchen

Candice Brown's coffee, date & walnut marbled bundt cake recipe

2016 GBBO winner, Candice Brown shares a modern take on coffee and walnut cake, topped with dark and white chocolate and laced with espresso. Credit:...
Jessica S Irvin
Kitchen

6 pink cocktails for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Raise awareness and a glass to this worthy cause with pink cocktails as beautifully bold as its survivors and...
Philly Cheesesteak All
Kitchen

3 tasty recipes using a sandwich maker

The ultimate in comfort food and childhood nostalgia, we share three ways to use your sandwich maker using internationally inspired flavours. Credit: Breville.
Cocoon Lampshade For Web Main
Inspiration

Trend alert: opt for oatmeal this aw19

Bring the serene into your interior this AW19 with new-in neutrals from some of our favourite homeware brands. Credit: M&S
 
 
Jessica S Irvin
Kitchen

6 pink cocktails for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Raise awareness and a glass to this worthy cause with pink cocktails as beautifully bold as its survivors and...
Rsz Harvey Nichols Winter Warmers Hamper   90 Win
Competitions

Win a Harvey Nichols Winter Warmer hamper for you and a friend

This month, we've partnered with luxury retailer Harvey Nichols to give away two Xmas hampers as part of our Instagram competition. Credit: Caley Dimmock (Unsplash)
Ikea Island Opener
Kitchen

How to get a kitchen island look for less

Love the look of a kitchen island but haven't got the budget? Here are some stylish budget alternatives.
Ben Garratt AumHYHRn2AM Unsplash 1
Kitchen

5 of the best baking buys to spend your dough on

It's week 3 of the Great British Bake Off and this time the contestants will be baking their best bread creations, so we've rounded up...
Heinz Baked Beans
Kitchen

6 recipes using Heinz Beanz

Did you know that the UK consumes over 540 million cans of Heinz Beanz annually? Or that every individual bean is checked for colour and...
Prawn Salad Crazy Jack Square
Kitchen

3 quick back-to-school dinner recipes

Get inspired to cook up some yummy after school dinners that are super quick and easy to prepare
Lidl Kitchenware Copy
Kitchen

Top 5 tasty picks from middle of Lidl kitchenware

From kitchen appliances to baking utensils, Lidl has everything to get you cooking up a storm following your Great British Bake Off fix!
Thumbnail Screen Shot 2019 08 21 At 11.00.30
Kitchen

Best bbq burger recipes for bank holiday

Planning a barbecue at the weekend? You'll want to try these mouthwatering burgers each incorporating Jack Daniel's BBQ sauces, which are sure to impress your...