When we begin to research and plan a design for a beautiful new kitchen, it often becomes apparent that certain areas will dominate the budget. Rightfully so; building work, cabinetry, and even appliances form the foundation of our kitchens, and are often the components that take the most skill and quality materials to accomplish. That said, it doesn’t always have to be that way. 

Sally-Ann Elliott has a background in designing and delivering interiors for creative businesses who want their creativity conveyed in their environment. Her experience in tailoring design to individual characters led her to a fresh look at how she could make her own budget provide a room fit for her family’s personal tastes and requirements. ‘I designed the space and my builder’s team hand-built the kitchen. We bought cost-effective units to fit standard spaces, and the team built all the units that required custom measurements, then boxed in the Ikea units to match the look. The details make it look much higher quality than it actually was.’

As well as admitting that she loves to save money for clients and herself, Sally-Ann concedes to a passion for vintage finds too. The dining table, characterful blackboard and desk stools all came from her beloved forays into reclamation and retro sites, but it’s not all in with the old and out with the new. ‘One whizzy new item I was happy to splash out on was our light switch. We chose Buster + Punch, which are gorgeous, because we figured it is something we would touch every day, so we wanted it to feel nice.’

The laser line-accurate specialist paintwork was her idea, as was the storage bench to house the outdoor sofa cushions and rugs when the family aren’t eating al fresco, the combined work and play area and the open shelving above the sink attached to offset eye-level cabinets came from a desire to have usable space that prevented anyone at the sink and cupboards from impinging on each other’s workspace. So successful are some of her ideas that they have been adopted. ‘I knew I wanted a rustic island stool, but updated to tie in with our pillar box red accents, and to mirror the border line in the design. I approached a company who offered a painting service on their stools, but asked them to only paint up two thirds of the stools. They clearly thought they turned out well, as I have since seen them for sale on their website.’ Indeed, Sally-Ann’s home design has been loved by so many who have seen it, that she is now designing kitchens for commercial and domestic clients as well as offices.

Kitchen from We Are Wonder.

Photos by Paul Craig

Article by: Kate Rowe