Today I want to show you hard-core DIY, because I am that hard-core and don’t give up easily, when I made a DIY French Kitchen with a flat-pack happen, and yes like the title said, for under 8K!
Budget my friends, is usually the culprit for innovative thinking and makes you do things one normally wouldn’t. But in saying that; it usually results in something pretty special, so I for one am glad budget is sometimes the boss! So let me take you through the process of this DIY French Kitchen with a flat-pack!
Delivery Day…. a LOT OF VERY FLAT-PACKED palettes!
The tedious job of assembly…
Once you get started it actually goes pretty quick and is self explanatory….THUS FITTINGLY CALLED DIY people!
Fitting the puzzle in the kitchen.
The design phase is crucial, so make sure you think about this step VERY CAREFULLY before ordering your flat-pack. Get a designer with experience to eyeball it with you to make sure you covered all the bases. It will be the best money you can spend on a job saving you already lots! –
French kitchens has symmetry and balance, so note I have balanced the same style cabinets on either side of the stove and centred the island bench in the middle of the raised ceiling but also in front of the stove. It must have symmetry from what ever angle the kitchen is viewed.
Mistakes are inevitable!
This is DIY reality, so be prepared for it and relax! It’s ok to make a few mistakes. The mistake here was the choice of the splash back. We wanted a bold statement and decided a vertical laminate product available at the time would be a great feature as it required no tiling, can be glued on the wall and a lot of vibrant patterns are available. —– hmm, result: NOT SO GREAT. They started to bubble and be very uneven only 24hrs after the glue dried, and this will definitely not be long-lasting and hard-wearing enough for a kitchen….Plus, IT HAD TO BE RIGHT!
The pattered splash backs were replaced with a mdf tongue and groove board, to give rhythm to the bench island that was now also covered in the same. Using different wood patterns in the same “family” adds interest to a space. Note the top part of the flat pack cabinets were filled in with mdf board, caulked and then the crown holding added to give the units a “built-in” feel.
Saving lots of money on a DIY French Kitchen with a flat-pack means you can concentrate on other important things like making sure you have lots of storage. This kitchen has a big corner pantry cupboard, a pull out larder as well as a double cabinet for crockery. The upper cabinets will be a fabulous addition to store items not regularly used.
Cost saving also mean you can afford better countertops like the reconstituted stone I used here. Note that under the island on the left, one of the drawers in this cabinet was removed, a spare shelf we had extra was inserted to accommodate the microwave. The dishwasher is located next to the sink, making washing up a breeze.
As mentioned before, I used veranda posts that cost less than $30 each as turned “legs” on the edge of the island to mimic the ones flanking the stove. A chandelier is a must and this one I found online, but you can also use this one for the same effect.
PHEW!….I feel a bit drained now………Ok, tea break first 😉 before we see the final product!
Now to share the cost-saving tips to create that French Style!
Mouldings and carved details are an important part in a French kitchen. I framed the stove splash back with a carved dado rail from my hardware store.
These stunning book ends/corbels bought online, now frames the stove alcove….
Turned legs (ahem, these are painted balustrades 😉 ) to flank stove and fill in little gaps left by the flat-pack.
Decorative mouldings bought online to add character and flair to this DIY French kitchen! Paint them the same colour and lightly sand back to reveal the details and create a weathered look.
Chandeliers of some sort is a must for a French kitchen and I added down lights inside the glass cabinets to illuminate the things inside the cabinets. This step adds a lot of ambience to the room. The lights are on separate switches, so at night only the cabinet lights are turned on for mood in the open living area.
Replace your standard shelves supplied with the flat-pack kitchen, with glass shelves to let the lights illuminate the whole cabinet, and it makes beautiful glasses on display sparkle even more when you add a mirror to the back of the cabinet, not to mention bounce light back into the room!
FUNCTIONAL DECOR ITEMS
In a French provincial kitchen, lots of items are on display and ready for use on open shelves, or on the counter tops. Make use of this feature by using decorative equipment and utensils.
Use decorative trays to cluster items together and make cleaning a breeze. Trays can be in reach to serve cups of tea but also used as layered wall art.
Use baskets like this French market basket to display plants or fresh herbs. Fresh flowers are always great but expensive if you don’t have cut flowers in your own garden. I used real branches from a shrub and added a few artificial flowers to give the illusion of fresh flowers……
This DIY French kitchen has been so much fun to design and execute, now a lot of wonderful tea parties await!
I hope the tips here has helped you to decide if the DIY route is for you. It really is not that hard friends and when you can save thousands on something special that would perhaps be out of reach in normal circumstances, its worth your while visiting blogs like mine and You tube for more DIY advice. The internet is such a huge source of inspiration and filled with great tutorials. Good luck on your next DIY endeavour! For more inspiration visit my inspiration galleries to get you all fired up! 🙂
Till next time!