Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now

Before and after: How three Insta-perfect kitchens were transformed from drab to dazzling

Simple, inspiring kitchen transformations from real Irish homes.

The pantry area of Joanne Condon's kitchen
The pantry area of Joanne Condon's kitchen
Image: Joanne Condon

WITH THE ADVENT of Instagram and Pinterest, the landscape of interior design changed considerably.

Thanks to careful editing and cropping, we’re bombarded with Insta-perfect images of other people’s spaces – often with little context or explanation of how they became so swoon-worthy.

To help remedy that, and give you some insight into the changes that are worthy making, I spoke to three Irish interior experts. I picked their brains on their own kitchen transformations.

And luckily, they’ve got some ideas that are easy to implement. Here’s how they brought three kitchen areas from dated to dazzling.

Kitchen transformation by Ciara Eloise of Ciara Eloise Interiors

A recent project I completed was a kitchen makeover in Delgany, Co Wicklow. This once dark and dated kitchen had a complete facelift in a matter of days.

Source: Ciara Eloise

To add character and texture, we replaced the old tile flooring with grey-hued wood. We also painted the units, which automatically freshened up the space.

The black granite was replaced with white, veined quartz, and the hardware and appliances were updated. A bespoke window dressing was made and functional feature lighting installed. 

Source: Ciara Eloise

The kitchen now works well for a young family and has added light, function and value to their home.

Pantry transformation by Joanne Condon of Kyle Lane

I had a walk-in pantry in my kitchen that was just too chaotic to function well. Plus, let’s be honest, I saw it as an opportunity to inject some colour into a new space!

Source: Joanne Condon

The old shelving was too deep, and things were getting lost and out of reach. So I removed it and replaced it with inexpensive shelving I got from Woodies.

I then gathered up every vintage style jar I could find, and got out my spray paint and retro label maker. I spray painted the jar lids, and some storage baskets in my favourite candy colours: coral, yellow, mint.

Source: Joanne Condon

Source: Joanne Condon

For bulky food, I wanted something to fit beneath the shelving but couldn’t find anything that would fit, so I made them myself!

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

Source: Joanne Condon

I added wheels, and of course painted them, and now they’re really handy for food and cookware. Finally, I revamped the existing tiled floors by using a floor stencil and some turquoise tile paint.

Source: Joanne Condon

Kitchen transformation by Debbie Rooney of Poolbeg Designs

Most clients I visit these days are painting their kitchen cabinets. In my own case, I transformed my kitchen by removing top presses and replacing with scaffold open shelves.

Source: Poolbeg Designs

Source: Poolbeg Designs

I had bespoke handles and brackets for shelves made by a fabricator in Meath, MC Fabrication. The carpenter (James Billings Carpentry) replaced my old Formica worktop with a wooden worktop. James made me sliding barn doors for my kitchen door and, voila!

Source: Poolbeg Designs

The transformation was inexpensive but completely changed the kitchen. 

Source: Poolbeg Designs

More: Bored of your bedroom? 6 high street buys to transform your sleeping space for under €30>

About the author:

Louise Dockery

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel