Your Life: A dream kitchen AT A HIGH STREET PRICE; HOMES We updated a tired-looking kitchen with all the mod cons of a luxury cooking space without blowing the budget. Here's how you can do it.
The key to getting the most for your money is to shop around for units - you can make huge savings, which you can then use to spend on the mod cons.
All the kitchen showrooms are offering designer styles at knock-down prices. The Madison kitchen from the Takeaway range at Focus DIY has all the looks and features of a bespoke kitchen; oak-style doors, steel handles and great detailing such as slim overhead cupboards.
With units costing less than pounds 2,000 - half what you'd expect to pay - we packed a combination microwave, integrated coffee maker and flip-down TV into this dream kitchen.
Luxe for less
Smooth limestone-effect tiles look expensive, but they're a fraction of the cost of the real thing. Oak-effect cabinets look like they've been made to order, but they are from the in-store Takeaway range available from all 180 Focus DIY stores. Aspects Perla wall tiles 600 x 300, pounds 27.74 per sq metre, and Aspects Leather Beige floor tiles, pounds 21.76 per sq metre, both H & R Johnson. Madison units, from pounds 66.15 each, Focus Do It All. Bar stools, pounds 35 each, MFI sale.
On the surface
Glossy work surfaces needs to be cared for, use transparent surface protectors designed to blend rather than stand out. It's scratch-and heat-proof, so you can chop all you like and place oven dishes on top too. Surface protector pounds 8.99, Lakeland. Twist chrome wore fruit bowl, pounds 8, Next.
How we did it.. It's all in the details
Spending the savings
After saving so much on units we splashed out on the latest appliances, like this utterly indulgent built-in coffee machine and a bread maker. If you have a big family and love to cook, these are the ultimate kitchen gadgets. ACE 100 Integrated coffee machine, pounds 600, Whirlpool. Bread maker, pounds 84, Morphy Richards. Add-on wine rack, pounds 24.75, Focus DIY.
This built-in combination microwave oven really does rescue you from kitchen dramas. It has a crisp function for the perfect Sunday roast, plus a jet defrost that takes care of defrosting in seconds. Combination microwave oven, from pounds 600, Whirlpool.
All in the detail
Dressing the window in style adds to the luxury. A Roman blind in flock silk-effect is offset by matching mosaic tiles used in the recess of the window. Roman blind, from pounds 152, Eclectics. Cuprum mosaic tiles in truffle, pounds 11.50 for a 330 x 330 panel, H & R Johnson Tiles.
The starting blocks
The Belling range cooker was the only part of the original kitchen that was to stay. Less than a year old, the previous home owners hadn't really got on with it. Now it takes pride of place in a kitchen designed especially. For similar ranges, check out the Kensington 110E range, from pounds 992, Belling. The entire wall is tiled to create a feature behind the range: Aspects Perla wall tiles 600 x 300, pounds 27.74 per sq metre and Aspects Leather Beige floor tiles, pounds 21.76 per sq metre, both H & R Johnson.
Where to buy
Argos 0870 600 2020, www.argos.co.uk
Belling 0871 222 2635, www.belling.co.uk
CoCo Male 0845 257 1104, www.cocomale.com
The Contemporary Home 02392 469400, www.thecontemporaryhome.co.uk
Debenhams 08445 616161, www.debenhams.com
Eclectics 01843 608789, www.eclectics.co.uk
Focus DIY 0800 436 436, www.focusdiy.co.uk
H&R Johnson Tiles 01782 575575, www.johnson-tiles.com
Ikea 0845 355 1141, www.ikea.co.uk
Lakeland 01539 488100, www.lakeland.co.uk
Matalan 0845 330 3330, www.matalan.co.uk
MFI 0845 601 1689, www.mfi.co.uk
Morphy Richards 0844 871 0960, www.morphyrichards.co.uk
Next 0845 600 7000, www.next.co.uk
Whirlpool 0870 600 8989, www.whirlpool.co.uk
Wineware 01903 786148, www.wineware.co.uk
BEFORE Fitted in the 80s with pastel-colour units, this lemon and lime kitchen had seen better days. The kitchen's most modern feature was a gorgeous stainless steel range cooker which was just begging for a kitchen to match.; AFTER Simple and stylish, the new kitchen is filled with the latest accessories and appliances, including flip-down TV and built-in coffee machine and bread maker. It has a handy breakfast bar for quickfix meals that doubles as an island unit for food preparation.; Get the look.. with stylish accessories; 32-piece dinner set, pounds 19.99, Argos; Glass storage canisters, from 99p each, The Contemporary Home; Woven rattan tray, pounds 9, Debenhams; Acrylic jug, pounds 3.50, and matching glasses, pounds 1.50 each, all Matalan; Turquoise glass platter, pounds 14, CoCo Male; Set of three filled-glass candles, pounds 7, CoCo Male; Mini weighing scales, pounds 2.99, Argos; Metal trivet, pounds 9.95, Wineware www.ware.co.uk; Striped woven place-mat, pounds 2.99, Ikea; Glazed earthenware vase, pounds 20, Debenhams