It’s finished ! The kitchen / dining room Renovation

 When we moved into this house ten years ago this month, life seemed like it couldn’t possibly get any worse.  We had lost our main source of income, I was on maternity leave with six month old twins
and we were in so much debt we couldn’t possibly imagine a way out.  Our only option was to sell our beautiful large house, downsize and try to start again.   Today thanks to our determination, hard work and resourcefulness we in a much better place.

All those times I sat among the chaos and mess imagining what my kitchen/dining room would look like if only we could afford the money to remove the wall and now, ten years after moving in, I am sat on my sofa in a beautiful room typing this blog post.  Never give up on your dreams, you really can make them come true.

 This really is how the dining room used to look most of the time.  Piled high with stock from my various ventures.  All in an attempt to make us money to live and to slowly renovate our home on a very tight budget.

 I would sit for hours on my laptop in a space I hated, trying to think of ways to make money, putting on a brave face but never giving up.  It took many years for us to claw our way out of the hell we were in.  Many times having so little money for food and robbing Peter to pay Paul but always dreaming of a better future.  We are still not out of the woods but we are certainly “back on track” .  We even managed to have our first family holiday, taking the boys to Spain for their first ever holiday two years ago. So yes, when people tell you you should not be spending money you can’t afford on holidays or even a new dress, chair, whatever your “luxury” is.  I say you absolutely should !  For the sake of your sanity, sometimes you have to say “sod it” and do it.

We finally got to a place where we had some “disposable” income.  What a stupid word that is.  My mother and step father were in a position that they were able to loan us the money to employ a builder to take the wall down and replace the ancient boiler so we went for it.  See how the kitchen and dining room looked before HERE

and now here we are.

Every single time I walk into this room I want to cry with joy !  We have come so very far together as a family and for me this room is my catharsis.  We have overcome so much in the last ten years.  This room represents what we are capable of achieving.  How hard we have worked both emotionally and physically.


I am so lucky to have an amazing husband who is incredible at DIY and we certainly couldn’t have got this result without paying a huge amount to someone else to do it if it wasn’t for his skill.  Mind you it took us about six months to buy the flooring.  A couple of packs at a time as we had the spare cash.  At £26 a pack the total cost of the flooring was around £800 !

The cupboard housing my collection of crockery was an old wardrobe we picked up for the bargain price of £40.  We took the mirror out of the front, replaced it with chicken wire and painted it white to make it look like an old French style armoire.  The chair was picked up at a bootsale for now more than £10, painted and distressed and recovered in grey ticking.

I was able to buy the table and chairs after hosting a Christmas sale in my home last year.  Where friends came and shopped.  I sold my old table and chairs to a friend and lots of the stock from my shop.  With the proceeds I bought these beauties !

We decided to leave the kitchen units for now.  The original kitchen was the one room we had no choice but to replace when we moved into the house ten years ago.  It was a tiny space with a huge walk in pantry.  Totally unsuitable for a family of five.  You can see what it looked like on our House Renovation page HERE 
I wanted to remove these white gloss units and wooden counters to have a concrete topped new units but we realised this was an unnecessary expense for now.  Hopefully in the future.

I truly love this space now.  We moved our corner sofa out of the living room to complete the look of the dream I had in my head for all those years.  We are now on the lookout for the perfect sofa for the living room.

We have so much SPACE now !  and we are back to sitting around the table for meals.  I love that we can cook, talk, sit and eat all together now.

My view from the sofa.  We love the original 1930’s french doors to the garden.  Don’t think we will ever change them even though they are a bit drafty.

We found the door at the recycling centre.  The sliding barn door into the utility room my husband made for me.  You can also see that post on the house renovation page.

It took ten years,

but now looking back,

it was worth it




  1. Shingle Cottage
    August 27, 2015 / 12:16 pm

    Yes! Yes! Yes! oh Karen i am clapping my hands and i teared up reading your words,your kitchen dining room looks amazing! magazine worthy and oh so stylish,i love your armoire it looks fabulous,you pinch yourself every time you walk in this room do you here? i want you to make sure you know it's real and it's yours! enjoy your lovely room xxxx

  2. karen jones
    August 27, 2015 / 12:39 pm

    Thank you Krissie Yes I do pinch myself and laugh and even sometimes cry. This room is so much more than just a kitchen renovation to me. It means new beginnings, success, never giving up and above all strength. The strength of the marriage Nigel and I have and how far we have come through all the trials of the last ten years xx Thank you so much for taking the time to comment Krissie it means the world to me xxxx

  3. Jean
    August 27, 2015 / 1:30 pm

    It looks absolutely stunning Karen, I'm so pleased for you – it really is a dream home you're making, you have fantastic style xx

  4. karen jones
    August 27, 2015 / 1:56 pm

    Thank you Jean, I do love how it turned out after all the hard work. xxx

  5. (Mostly) Yummy Mummy
    August 27, 2015 / 7:34 pm

    Such a beautiful space but this is so much more than just a kitchen. I teared up just reading this! I love that you have never given up on your dreams xx

  6. karen jones
    August 27, 2015 / 8:06 pm

    Thank you for your lovely comment dear Sarah xx

  7. lilac and old roses
    August 28, 2015 / 9:23 pm

    Just beautiful, you deserve it. I love your china cupboard and the chair. We've just redecorated our bedroom after 20 years. It's so light and airy now I can't stopping looking at it! You are right, the wait was worth it xxx

  8. karen jones
    August 29, 2015 / 10:53 am

    Thank you sweetie. It was def worth the wait and it certainly does make you appreciate it doesn't it. I love light and airy in the bedroom although my husband would prefer darker curtains during the summer months ! xx

  9. Midlife Singlemum
    August 31, 2015 / 6:06 am

    It's beautiful. So fresh and spaciaous. I wish you well lto enjoy it for many years to come.

    • karen jones
      August 31, 2015 / 1:00 pm

      Thank you sweetie. Hope it stays looking as good as it does at the moment ! xx

  10. Karolina Barnes
    August 31, 2015 / 7:59 am

    Wow, Karen, great job! It just shows that you can do anything if you put your mind to it! Even on the smallest budget!! I think many people just give up too early saying they can't afford to have a nice home making silly excuses but you are a proof that you can. All you need is to be creative and manage your budget well. I totally agree with you on treating yourself for the sake of sanity. After all we live only once!! Finally I want to say I'm so glad you took this journey to realise how much joy and rewarding it is to walk in the space and feel so good about it! Many people don't realise how good it is to have a nice home.

  11. karen jones
    August 31, 2015 / 12:59 pm

    Thank you so much Karolina. I think you are right in saying that may don't even try. Its been a hard slog but one thing my husband and I have in common is we never give up xx

  12. helen
    October 16, 2015 / 9:48 am

    what an amazing looking space – it looks like something out of a magazine!

  13. karen jones
    October 20, 2015 / 5:54 pm

    Thank you lovely Helen x

  14. Susan Mann
    February 15, 2016 / 4:16 pm

    It looks amazing. I love it. Really is beautiful and like something out of a magazine x

  15. Katie
    July 5, 2016 / 11:50 am

    OH my goodness, I love you and I love this blog! What a beautiful room and I am totally with you on not giving up on your dreams of a beautiful home. We have spent ten years beautifying a little French home for us and our family on a very limited budget and have only just got to a stage where I can invite people in without fear of it actually collapsing around them! Brilliant blog, your house is stunning and I can't wait to read more! x

  16. Anonymous
    February 13, 2018 / 12:10 pm

    Money cant buy style 🙂 I loooove the white cupboard (I need it in my life) I have been decorating my house for the last 4 years and I am always looking for great deals and unique pieces :)Curls from Estonia

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