A woman has shared her incredible DIY efforts that transformed the kitchen in her rental home and cost her just £300.
Kelsey Heinrichs, from London, and partner Justin, decided to give their kitchen a spruce up earlier this year – using the lockdown as a chance to get stuck into some DIY.
Kelsey, who has been living in the south west London flat for two years, spent just two weekends on the impressive transformation.
The thrifty Londoner started with a small issue, tackling the old and mouldy sealant around her tiles, but found the simple DIY task “sparked” her imagination when it came to the rest of the kitchen.
She made an Excel spreadsheet to work out how much money she would realistically need to give the entire room an overhaul, and decided to go for it when she realised she could do it for just £300.
Kelsey pitched the idea to their landlords – who she describes as “pretty chill” – and they approved the proposed changes.
She then launched into the project, painting the kitchen tiles a neutral white before tackling the kitchen cabinets.
For this task, she used a DIY tutorial on YouTube which walked her through how to give a “Cotswolds cottage aesthetic”.
Kelsey removed the cabinet doors, drawer fronts and handles, and cleaned the doors with sugar soap from Wilko to remove dirt and grease.
She then cut MDF strip wood to size and glued it to the cabinet doors using Wickes Instant Grab Adhesive Glue.
Once the glue had dried, she lightly sanded down the edges with 240 grit sandpaper, before applying primer.
After that she lightly sanded the surface again before applying paint with a roller.
Finally, she drilled holes and attached new cabinet handles.
She also decided to cover the boiler by creating two panels of MDF to hide it and create a space that matched the cabinets.
Kelsey then set about creating a custom pantry door that she designed herself on Adobe Illustrator.
Justin also pitched in, using a Bosch Plunge Router to cut out the arched windows using a circle cutting guide.
Once the door frame was cut, primed and painted, they attached cane webbing that Kelsey had ordered to create a stylish rattan effect.
They attached the rattan to the back of the door frame using a staple gun, cut off the excess and left it to dry overnight. They then added a gold handle to match the cabinets and drawers.
In total, they spent £300 on the transformation.
The MDF and pine wood came to £81.99, the two tins of tile paint totalled £30, the tin of 2.5 litre primer cost £25 and the three tines of cupboard paint set them back £45.
The rattan cost £52.25, while the gold handles cost £35.04. The door hinges cost them £20, and the nails and other miscellaneous items cost a further £10.
Kelsey and Justin paid to update the kitchen, while their landlords agreed to cover the costs of replacing the extractor fan, washing machine and installing a new kitchen light.
One person said: “I bet the landlord lovessss you for doing this. You just increased his property worth by like 10000000 squids! Lol.” [sic]
Someone else added: “I need to do this to our rental.”
“Love how it turned out!” another person agreed.
“Ever since moving into our London rental, I’ve had to make peace with the things I can’t change or fix either due to lack of budget or lack of knowledge,” Kelsey, an interiors blogger, said.
“Saving for our first house has made it challenging to decide how much money we want to invest in our current rental to enjoy in the short term and what money we should put aside in our savings that will benefit us in the long term.
“People often say that it’s a waste of money to do any renovations to a rental, and to those people, I say, bore off! It’s a worthwhile investment to enjoy the home you’re currently living in.”