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My Kitchen


So my new home resolutions are going well, I suspect I am a little behind in sharing them, but after lots of work over the bank holiday you can expect a sudden flurry. With the hallway completed, my next mission was to make the kitchen more comfortable. All this really needed was some new seating and a lot of paint, a really thrifty way to get a new kitchen.


Most of downstairs has now been painted white and I love it. It makes everything stand out and everything matches, and it takes the hassle out of paint choices.

Case in point, what colour to paint the kitchen cabinets. They were cream, but I was tired of the country kitchen look, and after lots of messing on Pinterest, which I confess I am learning to love – you just need to find a topic that means something to you. (Like the Northern Lights, fisherman’s cottages or dream kitchens). Anyway after looking at some pics, I decided a change might be fun.

I try to avoid paint choices at all costs, it is time consuming and complicated – what looks good on a paint chart looks so different in reality. It took me a silly amount of time and asking on facebook, to choose between grey or grey-green, admittedly many of my friends on facebook couldn’t see the difference and I don’t blame them. Others fully appreciated the subtle nuances, grey definitely feels more industrial and green more country cottages.

Here is the kitchen before, and pictures from Pinterest of the grey vs green grey colour.


Turns out, after all that I needn’t have bothered choosing in the end.  I picked Farrow and Ball Light Grey which, it turns out, is both grey and grey green anyway, depending on the light. So much for making a choice. Look…



See, looks grey in some light, but green in others…



But I love the change and considering I liked both, I now have both.  Win! I’ve never used Farrow and Ball before, but thought I ought to invest a bit as it was the kitchen units – I am really pleased with how it looks. The tin was £40 and covered all the units, so for a job like this, it seems a good investment. I should add a professional did the work.

The best bit is it goes well with all the red bits we already have in the kitchen. So this weekend I went for it and painted the bench red too – ignore the brown paper on the floor, it still needed one more coat at this point. It took me ages to choose this red for the bench too, but it feels amazing to have some big pops of colour in the house.

Do you like how that Pringles tube I stuck the tulips in came in really handy to hold some twigs my son found and make an Easter tree?


The kitchen feels really lovely and I would definitely recommend repainting the cupboards as a great option. There are so many products out there to do this with, I even saw spray paint for this in B&Q last weekend.

I like to keep it real, and as always in an old house this rambling, projects are ongoing – so apart from leaving a few drawers open when I took these shots, the brown paper lying around, I thought I would show you some more bits from my real kitchen.

How about the layers of dust on the kid’s creations on the windowsill? Or what my son ‘accidentally’ did to one white wall in the downstairs toilet at the end of the kitchen, after not being able to resist the lure of the shiny red paint drying on the bench? I will be following him around for many years yet, with a jam jar of white paint. Although, I actually felt quite sad when Andy the decorator had finished eradicating his little cartoons, and marks from around the house. We’ve used endurance paint by Dulux so it is washable, for everyday mucky fingerprints. Or what lurks in that lovely Belfast sink when I am busy taking pictures? Or the surface that’s most definitely out of shot?

Back to the nice bits! These ‘picture pockets’ are great for displaying the never-ending supply of kid’s art work.


Over time, I have my eyes on a blackboard for meal plans, a box to hide the washing powder in, a sideboard, a pendant light, some slate place mats, a sideboard for more storage, some vintage style crates to hide some more clutter and some new chairs. Little things that will make a big difference.  But in all honesty, a lick of paint and my favourite people make my kitchen so much more comfortable.

Next up, the kids rooms! Did you do any decorating over the bank holiday?



  1. 10/04/2015 / 8:52 am

    I love your kitchen, Penny. It looks so homely and cosy. A beautiful space for all the family x

    • The Alexander Residence
      10/04/2015 / 6:25 pm

      Thank you so much for saying so x

  2. 10/04/2015 / 10:05 am

    Love it Penny!! You have inspired me! Filipa x

    • The Alexander Residence
      10/04/2015 / 6:24 pm

      Thanks Filipa!

  3. 10/04/2015 / 11:20 am

    great choice of colour, I’m going to go with grey when I paint my lounge furniture

    • The Alexander Residence
      10/04/2015 / 6:24 pm

      just beware the number of shades Helen 😉

  4. 10/04/2015 / 11:22 am

    It looks gorgeous! Love the hanging display for the kids artwork and your Russian doll tins (and nice to see some behind the scenes photos too!) It’s amazing what a difference a coat of paint can make.

    • The Alexander Residence
      10/04/2015 / 6:24 pm

      It really is, thanks!

  5. 10/04/2015 / 12:03 pm

    Wow – it looks lovely. Sadly we did the opposite of decorating over Easter. Instead we had a massive leak which means our kitchen floor is ruined and we’re now waiting until next week when the insurance company sends someone out to hopefully work out how we get it back to normal!

    • The Alexander Residence
      10/04/2015 / 6:23 pm

      Aw good luck with that! All i really did over Easter was paint that bench and lots of stuff in the kids’s rooms, Andy the decorator did the rest and is much better at it than me 😉

  6. 10/04/2015 / 1:25 pm

    What a difference you made it looks amazing. Yes thanks for showing me the hidden bits it did make me feel a bit better. We are getting there with our home but it is very slowly. Love what you did with the Pringles tub too – my boys did something similar too.

    • The Alexander Residence
      10/04/2015 / 6:22 pm

      Always a work in progress here!

  7. 10/04/2015 / 10:22 pm

    What a beautiful kitchen Penny – I love the grey, we are both huge fans of it in this house! And thank you for keeping it real – so nice to see a little layer of dust in some of the pics 😉 xx

    • The Alexander Residence
      11/04/2015 / 8:20 am

      Absolute pleasure, real homes rule!

  8. Cass@FrugalFamily
    11/04/2015 / 10:18 am

    I love your kitchen Penny – it’s so comfortable and homely.

    I also love the pots hiding in the sink – I’d much rather see a post like this of a real family kitchen than a magazing spread perfect kitchen.

    x x x

  9. 13/04/2015 / 9:09 am

    So inspiring! I still haven’t got past choosing paint for the hallway…

  10. 13/04/2015 / 7:25 pm

    Yay for new and spruced up kitchens! We just had ours done too, feels great! I love the pocket hanger you’ve got for the kids art work 🙂

  11. 13/04/2015 / 7:52 pm

    Looks fab! (And love the real x)

  12. 13/04/2015 / 8:50 pm

    Oh I love this kitchen! It’s both cosy and stylish. Such a great country look.

  13. 14/04/2015 / 9:22 am

    I love the colour you chose, and have the hots for your sink x

  14. 14/04/2015 / 12:16 pm

    I love your kitchen – really cosy, it looks like it’s the heart of the home. And the mess just makes it more comfortable!

  15. 14/04/2015 / 4:39 pm

    what a lovely kitchen! it looks lived in – in the best way. love the paint colour ..farrow and ball is fantastic.

  16. 29/07/2015 / 4:29 pm

    This is a dream family kitchen, just perfect. Thanks for keeping it real and showing the ‘behind the scenes’ shots too, made me chuckle 🙂

I'd love to know your thoughts!