'Happy Kitchen, Happy Home'
When we moved into our house, the kitchen was liveable but we wanted to modernise it to our taste and change the layout. Me and Tom had always dreamed of having a social kitchen to invite family and friends around and host gatherings. When we were searching for the right property, we wanted a kitchen that had room for an island in the middle but never expected we would get this in our first home.
Even when we bought our house we still wasn’t sure whether our idea of an island would work, but we decided we would give it a go. Tom drew the floor plan of how we wanted the kitchen to look on paper, this allowed us to play around with how we wanted the layout as we knew what lengths we had per wall so we could decide what kitchen unit sizes would fit best where before we ordered them.
The kitchen renovation started by us ripping everything out, steaming the old wallpaper off and taking the flooring up. We knocked down a partition wall across the middle of the kitchen to open the room up so obviously the kitchen needed plastering.
At that point as we knew the kitchen needed plastering, our mind set was this is the perfect opportunity to get the kitchen exactly how we want it and not compromise as we knew that anything we didn’t change now would be harder work to do at a later date. With this mindset, we decided to have the ceiling light moved as to start with there were two lights, one at both ends of the kitchen, which we got an electrician to re wire to just one in the middle above the kitchen island.
Once the kitchen was just a shell, we had the 4 walls and ceiling plastered. As soon as the plaster had fully dried, we painted the ceiling and 3 walls white, and my mum helped to wallpaper the feature wall with elephant wallpaper from very.co.uk.
Then it was time for Tom to fit the units. To save money, we bought pain white carcasses as they wouldn’t be seen and this allowed us to buy better quality cashmere side panels and cupboard doors. (This would have been even cheaper if the old carcasses were the same sizes and in good condition as then we wouldn’t have bought new). We fitted brown sparkly worktops and a matching black splash, to fit in with our cashmere and brown theme.
We re fitted the old oven but bought our other appliances from BNQ. We decided on an integrated washing machine to hide behind our cupboard door. One mistake we made was not realising we had ordered a 70/30 fridge freezer so we have minimal freezer space, which isn’t always a bad thing as it encourages us to cook more fresh meals.
Tom overplyed the floor boards ready for the flooring to be fitted. We chose a lino flooring that we thought was a close match to the worktops from United Carpets and Beds. As soon as the flooring was down, Tom built the island, which consists of two 300 kitchen units back to back with 900 x 1800 of our worktop on top leaving enough gap underneath for leg room. To make this sturdy, we built a wooden frame for the units to sit on and screwed this down to the floor.
After this, it was time for me to add the finishing touches to complete the kitchen whilst sticking to the theme. As I have a love for elephants I have included this in the theme throughout the kitchen in the wallpaper, lamp, picture and ornaments.
I’m sure most people will agree, having a new kitchen fitted can be such an inconvenience due to the kitchen being an essential room in the house for cooking, cleaning, eating, washing and storing. It can disrupt the rest of the house when having to move everything out and not enter for however long it takes.
As we had a lot of family and friends helping us to renovate the house, what worked really well for us was having a station in the living room with the essentials such as tea, coffee, sugar, tea spoons and a few biscuits. We bought a cheap kettle so we didn’t worry about it getting damaged, we borrowed 5 or 6 fold out chairs and a mini fridge to keep milk and cans of pop cold.
We are extremely grateful for the amount of help we received from family and friends as this kept our motivation up and helped to speed up our progress.