Save My Reno: Jason + Nikki’s British Country Kitchen

If I had to title this renovation, I’d name it: old meets new with a spot of English countryside.

I felt right at home in Jason and Nikki’s space. (Missed the episode? Watch it here!) Party because they were the warmest people, and party because of their aesthetic: a little cottage and a lot unfussy. To cut to the chase, they wanted a kitchen upgrade. And despite their love for old world charm, even Nikki and Jason had to agree that there was literally nothing to save but some appliances! With them safely stored, we got started right away by taking a sledge to the chipping MDF cabinets, but not before we took one last photo in their old space.

  

Demo was fun. As usual, I hopped up on the counter to tackle the uppers as always. I just can’t help but climb up on things… As for issues, the only thing we discovered was that there was zero insulation on the sink-side wall, which is typical for a home of this age. It was an extra cost to spray-foam it all, but well worth it while you have the walls open!

Design-wise, a big sticking point of this episode was the risk we took buying second-hand cabinets found on a classified site. Jason was certainly worried and Nikki was just politely trusting me! And hey, I get it. It’s really hard to imagine even furniture pieces in your own home, let alone kitchen cabinets. And while retrofitting someone else’s cabinets in your space is a bit of a puzzle, it’s one worth figuring out.

After we outfitted them with custom gables and crown and painted them out in a cream tone to introduce some richness and warmth, they looked amazing. Even after creating the hutch, we had enough leftover cabinets to use on either side of the banquette for added storage. And in between them? I slapped on an adorable tufted bench seat covered in the prettiest toile fabric that spoke to Nikki’s English heritage.

A bitter-sweet moment for Nikki was going through heirlooms from her grand mum who had recently passed. It’s super important to me to incorporate something personal in each space, so while it was tough for her to go through her boxes, I’m so happy Nikki agreed to use some pieces in the final design. It’s hard to tell on film, but the table inlay work was craaaaaazy. And yes, the bone china was real and I was terrified to be handling it so much, haha.

In the end, their kitchen became a space that has both character and all of the high-end new features you could possibly want. I’m not personally one for super-traditional style, but I die over the stacked crown molding on the cabinets. The inlay is also a stunner. The tiles are actually handmade pieces we imported from England. They were pricey, so we just used them sparingly above the stove and carried arabesque backsplash elsewhere. Paired with super-textured grey quartz counters, new stainless steel appliances, a huuuuuuge apron sink and a mobile island, and this charming kitchen is perfectly poised!

  

I think one of the best compliments you can get is when homeowners say, “I feel like I’ve walked into a magazine,” so when Nikki said that, that’s all the thanks Seb and I ever need to hear.

      

Get The Look:

 

  1. Yellow PlatesBlue China Plates
  2. Chrome Chandelier
  3. Serving Set
  4. Cake Dome
  5. Kitchen Island
  6. Modern Toile Fabric
  7. Yellow Pillow
  8. Silver Cabinet Knob
  9. Napkin Set
  10. Arabesque Backsplash

And be sure to check out alllllll the before and after shots on HGTV.ca!

Sabrina Smelko

Lifestyle blog and shop by Sabrina Smelko, sharing wellness, home design, entrepreneurship and resources