Renovating a kitchen on a budget


This was our kitchen when we moved into our house it was very tired looking and was in desperate need of modernising.  We couldn’t afford to replace the kitchen so we started our mission to renovate it on a low budget. This article will share with you our kitchen renovating tips

1.Change the layout of your cupboards to accommodate new appliances and replace your worktops.

Appliances can really date a kitchen. In our kitchen we had an old white built in cooker so we removed this and replaced it with a classic range cooker and hood.  We removed the built in fridge as it doors opened into the kitchen door and by moving it gave us more kitchen space and made it more accessible.  We picked up a new ceramic sink and oak worktops on Ebay which were a fraction of the price of DIY stores saving us over a thousand pounds!  Wooden worktops give a fresh look and are very hygienic, use Danish oil to treat wooden worktops to keep them looking new.

2. Add feature lighting

In a kitchen it is essential to zone your lighting with a variety of different styles, for example pendant lighting over your table.  Jam Jar lights are a nice feature quirky feature in a kitchen which can be purchased from

3. Changing the tiles and grouting

Our kitchen was covered in cream tiles with white grout which gave the room a dated look.  We purchased these white brick tiles (available in many DIY stores) but to give the room a fresher look we used grey grout.  Not only does it give the tiles a modern look but it hides the dirt and ageing process of the grout brilliantly! Grout does come in more shades than white, do consider grey and cream too to suit your colour scheme.

4. Paint the cupboards and replace kitchen cupboard handles

Our kitchen cupboards were tired, chipped and scratched and had very dated handles.  So we removed all the handles and wood filled the original drilled holes.  We wanted to keep the kitchen cream so we used Vintro Paint in Buckingham which is a chalk paint that is thicker than Annie Sloan paint therefore is better designed for painting kitchen cupboards.  The cupboards took 3 layers of paint and 3 layers of Annie Sloan lacquer to seal it.

Once the paint and lacquer had been finished the handles were replaced with some modern finger pull and shaker handles which are very fitting in our victorian home. A huge range of choice of kitchen handles can be found at

5. Wallpaper

A feature piece of wallpaper such as this Sheep paper by Belynda Sharples creates a real talking point within a kitchen.  For a vast range of wallpapers visit I Want

6. Feature furniture

Here at Dickson Vintage we pride ourselves on creating unique bespoke furniture such as a stunning stencilled table or a beautiful Cath Kidston Kitchen shelf.  A statement piece of furniture can be a real talking point in your home.

7. Pictures and accessories

At Dotcomgiftshop there are a huge range of wall signs, this is one of our personal favourites which proudly hangs in our kitchen.  For all other kitchen essentials try the AGA Cookshop.

8. Sourcing good quality blinds and curtains

Sourcing handmade blinds on Ebay, Etsy or a local seamstress can save you hundreds rather than ordering from a big fabric selling shop.

Our final renovation results are pictured below which includes new appliances, sink, worktops, tiling, freshly painted cupboards and walls and more floor space due to change in layout all done on a tight budget. We are very pleased with the results!

Blush and grey living room


A blush and grey living room is a key colour combination at the moment which creates a calm and relaxing living area.  To achieve this look layer the room with a variety of materials   such as wool, silk, cotton and copper.  This blog post will look at key items available which will give your vintage home this stunning luxurious look.

1. Snowdrop Sofa in Blush £1600 from have created this classic shape sofa in a variety of sizes in this beautiful Blush shade.

2.Ferm LIVING Spear Cushion Large £57 from Cloudberry Living

This striking print cushion is a lovely way to inject some added colour to a blush and grey theme.

3. Dar Dynamo Floor Lamp – Antique Copper £78.76 by Lighting Direct

I have recently discovered Lighting Direct which stock some very unique, stylish lights at bargain prices. This copper floor lamp is no exception with its vintage look.


4.  Glass Hanging Frame in Silver. £9.95 from Dotcomgiftshop.

This stylish glass photo frame has a glass front and back which makes them not only great for photographs but also a creative way to display other memorable keepsakes, like postcards and drawings. Each photo frame is strung with a pretty velvet taupe tie

5.  Painted furniture in Annie Sloan Paris Grey and Antoinette

Both of these colours would compliment this theme and here at Dickson Vintage we can paint you a bespoke piece of furniture using these paints, which could include added details such as stencilling and decoupage.

6. Feysa – hanging light with grey metal shade. £151.90 have a huge range of vintage inspired lights. This particular light has a subtle distressed grey finish which would look stunning in any room.


7. Pappelina Honey Warm Grey/Vanilla Large Rug, £479.00 Cloudberry Living

This design takes inspiration from the cells in a beehive, a very striking and pleasing design.

8. Laura Ashley Josette White/Dove Grey Damask Wallpaper and Chalk Pink Matt Emulsion Paint £32 for 2.5 litres.

This Laura Ashley wallpaper and paint is a great way of dressing your walls and complimenting each other.



Living room

Essential Living room items in key colours: Grey, Teal and Mustard


This Autumn make sure you include three key colours to decorate your living room. These are Grey, Teal and Mustard Yellow.  You may choose to decorate your room top to toe in greys creating a homely feel by using a range of rich textures or you may choose to decorate with two or three colours using one as an accent colour, as shown with yellow above.

Whether you are someone who likes a minimalist approach to interior or opulent vintage detail, you will find something appropriate for your living room this season in the following shopping list:

1. Dixie Sofa £1395



2. Blue & Grey Geo Stripe Throw £65

Oliver Bonas


3. Memory Balloon Lights £155.00

John Moncrieff Ltd.


4. John Lewis Croft Collection Ribbed Knit Cushion £25.

John Lewis


5. Ochre Velvet Cushion £19.50

Marks and Spencer


6.ROSKILDE Rug £59.



7.  Sourced and painted to order vintage furniture starting from £50.

Dickson Vintage


8. Morris & Co Seaweed Wallpaper, Cobalt/Thyme £62 per roll.

John Lewis


9. Farrow and Ball Elephant’s Breath Paint from £4.25.

Farrow and Ball.


10. Grey Rattan Waste Paper Bin £20

Laura Ashley


11. Dylan Armchair £399.



12. Hand knitted Pouffe £75.



13. Industrial Metal Letter With LED Lights £25


14. Sanderson Dandelion Clocks Lined Eyelet Curtains, Aqua £100-180.

John Lewis


15. “Orchids” Silkscreen Print £240

Emma Hardicker

A Beginner’s Guide to Decoupage


Using sheet decoupage paper

The above picture demonstrates an example of a decoupage sheet panel, you can purchase many different decoupage papers from Hobbycraft.

To achieve this look you will need:

  1. Cut the decoupage sheet paper to size.
  2. Paint the modpodge glue on the desired location on the painted furniture (make sure it isn’t waxed yet!).
  3. Next place the tissue onto the painted furniture starting from one corner working the paper onto the furniture by rubbing a brush over the top of it or an old bank card if it is a large flat surface.
  4. Remove any air bubbles with a needle and then work them out with a brush.
  5. Leave to dry and then add a layer of glue over the top for a varnish finish.
  6. Finally apply wax onto the furniture to finish the look.

Using napkins

To achieve a small decorative, vintage decoupage look it is best to use a napkin as it creates a more delicate look (see pictures above).

You will need:

  1. Cut your napkin design out, for example a vintage rose.
  2. Next peel the top layer of the napkin off – napkins are made of 3 layers!.
  3. Place the tissue onto your painted furniture (make sure it isn’t waxed yet!) in its desired location.
  4. Starting from the middle of the tissue paper using Annie Sloan glue to stick the tissue down.  You place a small amount of Annie Sloan glue on your brush and paint in a line from the middle to the outside.  Each stroke of glue starts from the centre and you paint towards the outside. Don’t over work an area otherwise it will cause the tissue to fall apart. The glue will anchor the tissue down onto the furniture.
  5. Once you have glued the tissue down leave to dry.  You may speed up the drying process using a hairdryer.
  6. Add an extra 1/2 layers of glue to set the napkin in place.
  7. Once the layers of glue have dried, lightly sand the glue to soften the sheen of the glue to give a more vintage look.
  8. Finally complete the furniture with its layers of wax.

Tip – practise this technique using a piece of tissue on a scrap piece of wood/cardboard.


My essential toolkit

Our Painted stairs and Hallway


To update your entrance hall why not try injecting some colour using some floor paint?

We were inspired by these images to remove our out of date carpet in our Victorian home.

First we had the task of removing the old blue carpet which was dark and oppressive.  Once it was gone the hallway instantly looked lighter.  We then filled in any major holes with wood filler but didn’t fill in too much as the dents in the floor demonstrate that you have genuine Victorian floorboards and give your house some character.  Our floorboards were clean apart from the residue of lead paint up the stairs. When speaking to a floorboard cleaning specialist he informed us it is better not to remove lead paint (due to being toxic!) so instead we made sure we primed the floor with three layers of floor paint primer.

Next step was to paint the insteps of the stairs in New White and Teresa’s Green for the risers. The rest of the wood work and the walls of the hallway were painted in Wimborne White and Elephant’s Breath.  All of the paints mentioned were purchased from Farrow and Ball. We decided to pay the extra for Farrow and Ball paints as they sit beautifully on the walls in a period property and are low or minimal in VOC – great for homes with children in them! Another point to make is you can use their site to read about which colours compliment each other and colours to suit the direction that the room faces.  All very helpful reading material!

Make sure you use good quality brushes such as Harris brushes, as you do not want brush hairs falling out onto your floor paint.  Another tip is to be well stocked up with White Spirit as this is no quick job and involves a lot of washing of the brushes!

Our finished stairs and hallway are pictured below and as you can see all the hours were definitely worth it!

How to use stencilled rollers on walls and furniture


If you are wanting to create a unique eye catching piece of stencilled furniture or you want an alternative to wallpaper…..look no further!  The pretty vintage style rollers are designed to be interchangeable and reusable, allowing you to purchase many designs to personalise your home. Although there are a few companies that produce roller stencils, I highly recommend the Painted House.

The best instructions on how to use the rollers are from the creator herself Clare Bosanquet. Follow the guidelines in the video in this post or following the written instructions on her website.


Here are just a few examples of finished pieces of work I have created which I know every customer has been very delighted to receive and have had many compliments from people visiting their home.


Please note for furniture which will need to be hardwearing (tables for example), make sure you finish the piece with Annie Sloan lacquer instead of clear wax. This will protect the stencil design form being chipped or scratched. Always practise your rolling on either a piece of wood or hard cardboard before you roll onto your piece of furniture. The best colour combinations need to contrast each other for example white on a dark paint.  I’ve found Old White from Annie Sloan works beautifully over the top of her darker paints such as Duck Egg Blue and Paris Grey.

Feel free to comment on this post if you would like further guidance and good luck! Happy stencilling! 🙂



Do you like the aged distressed look? If you are wanting to create a simple distressed look with minimal effort this technique is for you!

You will need:

If you watch the video in this post Annie demonstrates the distressing technique beautifully.


Here is an example of a dresser from start to finish:

  1. The dresser top was sanded back to expose more of the wood grain.

2.  The top and bottom of the dresser were painted in 3 layers of Old Ochre Paint.

3. The dresser edges were sanded back and then two layers of clear wax were applied.  Next a layer of dark wax was added and clear wax was used to remove any excess dark wax.  The dresser work surface was treated with danish oil to protect it and the drawers were lined with wallpaper to add an extra touch.

4.  Finally add decorative items 🙂

To create a more distressed piece of furniture just use a stronger piece of sandpaper to remove more paint at the edges:


Make sure you leave your piece of furniture for a few weeks before use.  This allows the wax to cure and harden preventing the furniture from being damaged.

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