1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. How to Decorate
  4. Budget Kitchen Renovation: Colin and Justin’s 4 Grand Makeover
Budget Kitchen Renovation - After

Budget Kitchen Renovation: Colin and Justin’s 4 Grand Makeover

I’ve long-marvelled at the transformations interior design duo Colin and Justin have implemented for clients both on-screen and off. I remember first watching them years ago – as an eager beaver wanting to get into design – and loved their ‘no guts, no glory’ approach to decorating.

I first discovered them on their home makeover show, How not the Decorate, which was a UK-based show that aired on Foxtel. Many of their clients weren’t always sure that Colin and Justin’s lavish designs would work out – but they always did in the end.

Below, the guys are sharing a kitchen renovation they completed for just $4000 – with results that are nothing short of mind-blowing. Strap yourself in and prepare for the before and after shots, with an extensive guide as to how they did it!

Reno Rumble 2016 judges Colin and Justin

Colin and Justin’s 4 Grand Kitchen Makeover

So your kitchen, decoratively speaking, is dying. No amount of paddling, even if administered by George Clooney’s electric touch — as witnessed during his early ER days — could tempt the rickety wreck back from the depths of designer demise. You face facts. It’s an elderly fit out; it’s had a very good run.

Allow us to step in.  Your trusty old kitchen, although it appears caput mortuum, might actually be a suitable candidate for transplant. If the cabinets themselves have rigor, it matters not that the doors are hanging off, nor that the appliances went out with the arc.

Budget Kitchen Renovation - Before

An open and shut case

First up, we removed the cabinet portals and replaced them with blanks, cut carefully from MDF. Next, if pursuing the DIY route, arrange Shaker style MDF framework and glue in place around the perimeter of each door. This done, carefully paint with black satin and leave to dry.

Mirror mirror

Measure the aperture of each frame, have a 3-millimetre mirror cut to size and secure in place using contact adhesive. Next, create cardboard templates for each decorative insert, transfer to 3 mm MDF, cut out with a jigsaw, paint black and secure in place with glue. Did you follow all that? Good. Moving on…

Paint, through the ages

With painted areas thoroughly dry, add the Midas touch using Gold Finger acrylic, available in craft stores. Apply around the edges and smudge with a lint-free cloth to suffuse your doors with quaint, almost Chinese wedding cabinet appeal.

Keep the cost down

To save cash when re-jigging, leave services such as plumbing and electrics where they are — as long as your existing floor plan works adequately well. This simple one-in, one-out approach cuts down on contractor costs.

Budget Kitchen Renovation - After

Serious pull

New hardwares are a swish and affordable way in which to spice up kitchen aesthetics. And don’t be afraid to play around with different (complimentary) styles; we used a combo of pull handles and knobs to give the doors an individual look.

Improving eye lines

The original breakfast bar looked a little clunky so we afforded it our creative attentions. Removing the back panel allowed us to redefine the space as a display area and, painted to match the rest of the cupboards, it serves as useful storage for kitchen and dining paraphernalia.

Open storage

As part of our quest to improve eye lines, we made the decision to lose the cupboard above the island — after careful dialogue with our clients. This simple manoeuvre freed up space for floating shelves, an installation that proffered a touch of modern design sensibility.

Budget Kitchen Renovation - After Shot


Just like our new knobs and doors, a run of impressive worktop breathed new life into the problem kitchen.  We specified solid oak Numerar counter from Ikea and, priced at $125 for a 50-inch length, it didn’t break the budget.

To add a contemporary twist, we wrapped the timber down the side of the breakfast bar and used off cuts as a simple back splash to save engaging a tiler. We’re Scottish, you see. And therefore canny with our spend.

Avoid that sinking feeling

Like a dramatic sparkling crown atop a regal queen’s head, the hedonistic sink lends a dramatic finishing touch.  Resilient to scratches (thanks to 90 per cent granite composition) it boasts style and deep capacity in equal measure.

What do you think of Colin and Justin’s makeover? I’m blown away! Drop a comment below and share your thoughts – I’d love to hear from you! 🙂


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

Related Posts​

10 Responses

  1. Hello, just discovered this amazing resource while trying to get my contractor on board to find a better way to finish the living room with a contemporary look.

    1. guys when you think in a make a speciall show in other country please think in panama, i got a new house and i want to make it special and with glamour but i have not idea how to start to do it… sorry for my english is no the best, if you can give an idea i will apreaciate very much…. with love ,,, esther….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

Latest Articles