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Money-Saving DIYer Creates Shaker Kitchen Of Dreams For Just £230, Saving £20k

  • Zuzana James, 31, decided to transform her kitchen while in self-isolation due to Covid
  • Zuzana spent £230 on supplies from B&Q, ebay and Etsy
  • Zuzana estimates she has saved a whopping £20k by doing it herself

If you’re in love with the fancy shaker kitchens on Pinterest and Instagram, but could never afford to splash out tens of thousands of pounds on them, we have fantastic news for you.

Zuzana James, 31, a flight attendant from Bedford, managed to create a Pinterest-perfect cream shaker kitchen - for just £230.

Zuzana spent £230 on supplies from B&Q, ebay and Etsy, and spent five days while in self-isolation transforming her kitchen from drab to fab.


Comparing her space to friends’ kitchens that cost a whopping £20k, Zuzana is delighted by the huge savings she has managed to pull off.

Zuzana told money-saving Facebook group DIY On A Budget UK: "The idea was in my head for a while. I always look for ways to improve our home and follow a lot of home accounts on social media.

"I saw other people completely transforming their kitchens with a lick of paint, but I never really had the time to give it a go.


"Then I tested positive for Covid just after New Year and had no symptoms, so I took my self-isolation as the perfect opportunity to crack on.

"I got everything I needed from B&Q (my favourite shop!) other than the door handles.

“I used click and collect and sent my husband to collect as I obviously couldn’t leave the house.


"I spent about £90 on the supplies, which included primer, cabinet paint, top coat, frog tape, sugar soap, couple of sanding blocks and some brushes and foam rollers.

"I started by scrubbing all the surfaces with sugar soap to get rid of any dirt and grease.

"I then took the doors off the hinges and took the handles off. All the cabinets got a light sanding with a sanding block before I started with the primer.


"For priming I used the Bullseye primer and did two coats, lightly sanding in between coats.

"Then I used V33 cabinet paint in Soft Grey and also did two coats. I then finished off with two coats of sheer satin top coat.

"The handles ended up being the biggest cost of this transformation. I tried to do it cheaply and ordered cup handles and knobs from Amazon, but ended up sending them straight back because they were super flimsy and cheap looking. You do get what you pay for!


"So I had to bite the bullet and spend £110 on door handles. The cup ones are from ebay and the knobs are from Etsy. But they just make such a difference!

"For the tiles, I just used the same primer, some white tile paint I already had at home and the same top coat.

"For the worktop, I used DC Fix Oak Effect, also from B&Q. It’s £10 a roll and I needed three rolls.


"I used the leftover wrap to wrap a couple of shelves and created a display cabinet for my little Starbucks mug collection.

"Wrapping the worktop was the trickiest job, so I’d recommend getting a second person to help hold it all in place. But it is doable - I managed on my own.

"This brought the complete cost to about £230 - and it was worth every penny!


"The advice I would give people is to go for it - but only if you have at least four or five days of time on your hands, as it’s not a job for one afternoon.

"Personally it took me five days to do everything, but it obviously depends on the size of the kitchen and how many hours you put in each day.

"The feeling after it was all done was just priceless though!


"The response I had after posting this on my social media was also overwhelming and few people suggested I started a home page myself.

"So I’m giving it a go on Instagram @living_on_lovell and I’ll be sharing a step by step of how I did everything.

"It looks even better than I imagined and it gives me a surge of pure happiness and feeling of accomplishment every time I walk into the kitchen, which is all the time now!


“Our friends are having a new kitchen done which is a similar size to ours and they got quoted £20,000, so if we would have got it professionally changed, I’m guessing it would cost somewhere in that region.

“I feel pretty smug knowing how much we’ve saved, and since I haven’t got thousands to spend, it was the only way I could have a nicer kitchen!”


Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “Shaker kitchens are all the rage at the moment, but they can cost a fortune to install new - as Zuzana says, quotes can be £20k and even more.

“But Zuzana has proved that we can all get the look for less by doing it ourselves!


“Her kitchen looks truly sensational, so much so that it’s hard to believe it cost just £230!

“Using DC Fix, painting supplies and investing in some gorgeous handles, Zuzana has given us all a masterclass in bringing Pinterest-worthy spaces to our homes for a seriously wallet-friendly price.”

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