Mother-of-two transforms her tired 1980s kitchen for just £300

Mother whose £18,000 renovation of her Edwardian home ground to a halt during lockdown revals how she transformed the kitchen herself for £300 with paint, marble-effect stickers and eBay bargains

  • Esin Prod, 36, of Broxbourne, is modernising her 100-year-old Edwardian home
  • Bought four-bedroom property in August 2018 for £525K and spent £18K so far
  • Downstairs work was delayed due to pandemic, so Esin decided to do it herself 
  • Transformed kitchen on a budget of just £300 using tubs and spray cans of paint

A mother-of-two whose home renovation works were put on hold during lockdown has told how she embraced DIY and became a savvy bargain hunter to transform her 1980s kitchen herself for just £300.

Esin Prod, 36, of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, had hired professionals to help her modernise the upstairs of her 100-year-old, four-bedroom Edwardian property, which she and her husband Dino bought in August 2018 for £525,000.

The couple, who have two boys and prioritised getting their bedrooms decorated first during the project, had spent around £18,000 on renovations and were hoping to start work on their spare bedroom and second bathroom next month, but due to lockdown both that and their plans for downstairs were put on hold.

Esin, a self employed photographer, told how she has been at home since the start of the pandemic, and decided to set herself the project of redecorating their old-fashioned kitchen.

Esin Prod, 36, of Broxbourne, pictured with her husband Dino, embraced DIY and became a savvy bargain hunter when her home renovation works were put on hold during lockdown


Creative Esin completely transformed her tired 1980s kitchen for just £300 using tubs and spray cans of paint and cheap wood panelling. Pictured before and after

‘We felt like we were living in someone else’s home downstairs, then when we went upstairs it was our real home,’ she told FEMAIL.

‘We were fed up of feeling that way, especially in lockdown – so I decided to experiment and have a bit of fun. Living in the 1980s for another two years whilst saving up didn’t appeal to me.’ 

While juggling home-schooling, baking and playing games with the children, Esin set to work – giving her sons small chores and painting tasks to involve them while she did the majority of the decorating. 

Esin painted 32 cabinets a modern dark blue, using two tubs of paint which included primer, costing £20 each.


While juggling home-schooling, baking and playing games with the children, Esin set to work – giving her sons small chores and painting tasks to involve them while she did the majority of the work. Pictured: the units before and after

Esin painted 32 cabinets a modern dark blue, using two tubs of paint which included primer, costing £20 each, and added a panelling effect to one of the walls and the island

She also painted the patterned cream wall tiles using a £20 tub of tile paint, and spray-painted her fridge and dishwasher the same colour to integrate them using two Rust-Oleum multi-purpose sprays, which cost £10 each.

Esin even sprayed the window sills to create a ‘Crittall’ effect, and sprayed her old aluminium silver sink white.

‘That probably won’t last more than a year but still happy with it until then,’ she said.  

‘I then covered the dark laminated worktop with B&Q’s marble effect self-adhesive covers, costing £6 each. We used three two metre strips, so it was £18 overall. The quality is amazing.’ 

To balance out the dark blue, Esin constructed a wood panelling feature effect on one of the walls and on the island, using timber from Wickes costing £60.


Esin insists that not everything needs to be expensive in order to look good, and told how she sourced a number of statement items for her home from eBay and Shpock. Pictured: a paint job on their old fashioned fireplace

‘The last thing was our flooring,’ she added. ‘It was vinyl, so we covered it with underlay we found in the garage which was leftover from the upstairs flooring and chose the cheapest yet most suitable flooring from B&Q to finish it. 

‘It cost £120, and our kitchen is a fairly good size. Altogether we achieved a new kitchen that will last us for at least two years, by using paint and wood. We made it ours for £300!’

Esin insists that not everything needs to be expensive in order to look good, and told how she sourced a number of statement items for her home from eBay and Shpock. 

She told how they replaced a man-made tiled fireplace with a cast iron Victoria one which cost £80 on eBay – and she found the exact same one being sold for £980 at a vintage shop.


Esin told how they replaced a man-made tiled fireplace (left) with a cast iron Victoria one (right) which cost £80 on eBay – and she found the exact same one being sold for £980 at a vintage shop

‘We also painted an old dull stone fireplace in one room,’ she said. ‘We adore cast iron radiators, usually costing hundreds of pounds, but we found each one for the downstairs for round £30 each; some through eBay, but mostly on Shpock. 

‘You don’t have to buy everything from major shops and spend a fortune. It’s possible to purchase within your budget and still bring your dreams to life, guilt-free.

‘Be careful that you don’t overspend on unnecessary things thinking, “Oh it’s only cheap, I’ll throw it away after.” To me, that’s a waste of money.’  

Esin and Dino have also given their garden an overhaul, painting the brick walls, fences, patio slabs and even their front drive.

Esin said: ‘You don’t have to buy everything from major shops and spend a fortune. It’s possible to purchase within your budget and still bring your dreams to life, guilt-free’

Esin and Dino have also given their garden an overhaul, painting the brick fences and patio slabs. Pictured before

The couple added some stylish garden furniture and exotic plants to complete the new look


The couple gave their back wall a lick of white paint and sprayed the aluminium door a dark colour to give it a cool new look

‘It looks as good as new – we used Dulux black exterior masonry paint which was only £25,’ she said.

Esin is currently tackling the downstairs loo with tile paint and her beloved panelling, and her last job is the playroom.

‘I’m excited to get those finished now and enjoy my new home, especially after the kitchen turned out so well,’ she said. ‘Overall, for the downstairs including the garden, we’ve probably spent around £2,000. That’s five rooms and a hallway! And we have fallen in love with our home again.’

Esin and Dino’s impressive upstairs renovation includes a new dormer and staircase to the second floor, where her seven-year-old superhero-themed bedroom is located.

‘Our home is over 100 years old, though extremely solid,’ she explained. ‘We had to had to knock everything down from top to bottom and start from scratch. 


The creative couple even painted their driveway, transforming it and giving it a new lease of life. Pictured left before and right after

Esin told how they used Dulux black exterior masonry paint which was only £25 to coat their driveway

‘When you purchase an un-modernised home with a certain budget in mind, you always tend to go over, especially when it’s a period home as you don’t know what is underneath the floorboards, hidden pipework or behind the plaster boards. 

‘We had to remove all ceilings due to the lava plaster, hence why we would always recommend to focus on the upstairs first, and work your way down slowly. 

‘We only used professionals to extend the dormer, loft staircase and plaster. 

‘Even though the house is Edwardian, a lot of the period features were ripped out, so we tried to restore it and add character to it again. 


The couple have two boys and prioritised getting their bedrooms decorated first during the project. Pictured: one of the rooms, before and after

Even though the house is Edwardian, a lot of the period features were ripped out, so Esin and Dino tried to restore it and add character to it again


Esin and Dino’s impressive upstairs renovation includes a new dormer and staircase to the second floor, where her seven-year-old superhero-themed bedroom is located

‘We re-added coving, ceiling roses and I did all the wall panelling myself in the hallway and bedroom, using wood from B&Q for a small cost, and watched numerous tutorials on Instagram on how to do it.’    

Esin said her major inspiration for renovation projects is Instagram – and she charts her own journey on her page @Edwardian_love.

‘Instagram is real, it’s personal and you learn from so many home accounts who are always happy to help and who are also learning from their mistakes,’ she said. ‘This is why I created one too, to help others.’ 

Esin said her major inspiration for renovation projects is Instagram – and she charts her own journey on her page @Edwardian_love

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