This Bright Kitchen Remodel Is Full of Cost-Saving Ideas (But You Won’t Be Able to Tell)

The inspiration: “I have an interest in durability and things that get better with age,” Ben explains. “Everything gets a bit marked or damaged, but that just adds character. I like things that are quite matte in finish, with a tactile sense and a natural utility to them.”

Square footage: 13 square meters (approximately 140 square feet)

Budget: £9,000 (approximately $12,350)

Ben can expand the antique table and reposition the swagged pendant to accommodate guests while entertaining.


Main ingredients

Countertops: Green concrete made with Lanxess dye. “It feels like it could be the color of copper when it goes green,” Ben imagines. “We used a very light touch treatment, which will allow it to patina and stain.”

Cabinets: Custom tri-ply oak fronts with a mix of original and new standard bases

Hardware: Schoolhouse Mid Century Knobs in Natural Brass

Backsplash: Villeroy & Boch matte gray tiles with brass rods and oak floating shelves. “I quite like the idea of adaptability,” says Ben. “You can play around and change it and create a display.”

Faucet: Dornbracht Tara Wall-Mounted Three-Hole Kitchen Mixer in white. “The tap is quite an unusual shape,” Ben says. “It looks like it’s from a hospital. It’s nice to have something a little bit eye-catching. It’s a contrast to everything else.”

A floor-to-ceiling bookcase flanks the opposite side of the open space.


Floors: Poured resin with electric underfloor heating

Lighting: Zangra Pure Porcelain and Artek Alvar Aalto Golden Bell Ceiling Lamp in brass. Ben says that “these bulbs are nice because they throw the light in all directions.”

Furniture: Vintage Robin Day teak table and Jasper Morrison for Magis Folding Air-Chairs. “The table has a clever fold-out mechanism so you can make it twice the size,” Ben says.

Door and storage unit: Valchromat.“It’s a through-color, high-density fiberboard,” Ben says.

Most wild splurge: Ben spent more money on craftsmanship than materials and dedicated countless hours of his own valuable time to the project.

Sneakiest save: The concrete countertop was a relatively cheap choice.

The best part: Ben is partial to the flexible backsplash, with its rods and shelves that can be arranged in endless configurations. “I naturally tinker with things,” he says.

What I’d never do again: “We lived in the flat while it was being renovated, which I’d never recommend to a client in any way,” Ben admits.

Final bill: £9,000 (approximately $12,350)

“It’s an industrial approach to a countertop, even though it’s green,” Ben reflects.