Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places. Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger. Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Monday, January 13, 2020

Kitchen renovation on a budget



iris the cat in the kitchen of Mandy Charlton's home, photographer, blogger, kitchen renovation on a budget
My kitchen as it is currently



I've always been really self-conscious about my home, I was told over and over that it wasn't good enough or that it was smelly or dirty or what on earth did I think I was doing, or even that people would report me for the state of my home.  It affected my mental health so badly that for a period of 7 years I wouldn't let anyone visit at all.  The more it's reinforced by narcissists who believe you are always failing to be what they want you to be, the more you start to believe it.  I remember a friend coming over on the night my marriage broke down and I wouldn't even let her in the house and sat in the garden!  I started to travel a lot, always running away from my home, never wanting to be there and dreading my return because I was so uncomfortable in my own space.

I'm not sure what the change was but it definitely had something to do with Harriet who would come over whether you wanted her to or not, I also started to get friends and visited their houses and realised that most people don't live in palaces whilst I was Stig of the dump but rather that I had a pretty normal house in the big scheme of things.  If I went back at told my old self that I would be sharing photos of my home on my blog or my Instagram I would have laughed at myself.  Here I am though, sharing the story of my home renovations and photos of my favourite corners of my home on Instagram.

I have come to understand that I am something of a boho maximalist in interior design.  I like things, I like unmatched things, I love colour and patterns which don't necessarily go together in practice but actually all end up looking okay as a collection in my home.

Now I want to keep this real and say that no one is looking at my home and thinking it's some kind of aspirational dream, I spend hours pouring over some beautiful homes and interiors on Instagram and Pinterest but I know they're as far away from what I want as I can imagine.  Grey is the trend currently and I love grey, having the courage to have your entire house in shades of grey a la Mrs Hinch, is something I aspire to but something I also know just isn't me because I love colour too much.  I'm also a single mum on a tight budget, self-employed single parenting does not make great fortunes as yet but even if it did, I love the fun of thrifted items, of charity shops and of quirky handmade markets. I am a bargain hunter and I'm never happier than when I'm standing in Homesense surrounded by the colours and quirky objects that make a house a home.

I'm actually quite happy to let people into my home now though it's far from finished and I have a lady called Lisa who helps around the house on Tuesdays who I love dearly and she's become a friend as well as someone who has saved me from myself on more than one occasion.

My house right now is a work in progress, nothing is really finished, everything is in a state of flux, my downstairs loo was nearly done and then someone knocked the washbasin off the wall and when that was repaired the tiles were removed and I've still not worked out how to put them back on.
My magical garden over the festive period

Last year though, I started making big changes, I transformed my garden from being your average tiny Yarden into something which I think is really special (although at the moment it's more of a wintery dead mess).  The project ended up looking exactly the same in real life as it did in my head and so that's given me the confidence to start making some really big changes.

The colours I've chosen for my kitchen


Next Monday I am having the kitchen completely revamped, I couldn't afford a new kitchen but then I found a guy on Facebook who does vinyl kitchen wraps, now I could have had the entire room wrapped in grey but as I've already said, I love colour so I'm having it wrapped in Yellow, Blue and Pink and I cannot wait, the benches are staying but will be wrapped at a later date with an off white with a slight sparkle and I also want to change the lighting and the taps on the sink, I need help with those things and a bit more of a January budget so I've decided to go for it this year and try and shoot 30 weddings, I shot just over 20 last year and did a bloody good job so I'm hoping all of that leads to an increase in bookings and going by January so far, it certainly seems that way.  (Hurray!).

The very rough draft of how the kitchen cabinets will look after they've been wrapped.


I'm also installing a fake living wall at one end of the kitchen and then I have a big blank wall to fill, haven't decided on what colour that's going to be or what kind of wall covering but I am excited and hopefully it'll be distinctly different by the time I throw my birthday party on the first of February.  If there's one thing I know about my friends is that no one ever makes it upstairs because you will always find them in the kitchen at parties 🥳 
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