Our house was always a doer upper. We bought it as a renovation project as I always prefer to put my stamp on a property and not pay through the nose for a house that has already been renovated, but not always to my tastes. One of the first properties we looked at was exactly that, they had renovated throughout, and the house was on the market at the top end of our budget. The problem was, they had installed black quartz kitchen worktops with black units and painted the rest of the kitchen yellow. I knew that if we were to live there, I would want to rip out the kitchen but by doing so, not really adding any value to the property. This is why our current house was absolutely perfect as the kitchen desperately needed ripping out and updating!
Our builders recommended Howdens for our kitchen units and when I went along for the initial appointment, the designer recommended that we go for one of their most popular styles if we were looking at selling on our property, which made perfect sense! We went for the Burford white with curved units (great when you’ve got small kids!) and I decided to keep the rest of the kitchen décor neutral. But as time went by, I knew I needed to inject a little colour into the kitchen as it was all a bit sterile and white!
I’ve always loved dark blue units in the kitchen, some of my favourites being @hornsby_style and @renovating_ethelwolf I knew I wanted dark blue in my kitchen but was aware of how trends change and some people might be put off with the dark units when we came to sell. I’d also seen how many people had painted their walls dark in the kitchen and decided to go down this route as it was easier to repaint the walls than the many kitchen units we had. It was quite a brave shout as I wanted the kitchen diner to be all one colour (I’d painted my kitchen 5 different colours and wallpapered it in the short year since having it renovated and was never entirely happy with it! Thank goodness I have a laid back Husband :) We’ve had white, grey, turquoise (what was I thinking!!!) and sage green. In the end, I decided to go with the extremely popular Farrow and Ball Hague Blue paint.
Another quick update to our kitchen was a new fridge freezer, courtesy of ao.com. When they contacted me asking if I would like to review the RS8000 American style Fridge Freezer it was like all my Christmases had come at once! I’d always dreamed of having an American style fridge freezer with water and ice dispenser and with our ever growing (and demanding) family, I desperately needed a bigger fridge and we had the perfect space to put it in! It is an extremely stylish and not too fussy fridge freezer, with ample storage on both sides to fit all your food in and plenty of space to fit your milk and juice bottles inside the doors. It has huge drawers at the bottom where you can store all your vegetables and meat and the kids love using the water and ice dispenser which is a great way to encourage them to drink more (it also has a handy “lock” on the dispenser which stops the kids turning your kitchen into a scene from Frozen!) And for such a large and efficient FF, it is actually quite quiet. The only noise we ever really notice is the occasional clunk of the ice machine. I would highly recommend this product!
With the new fridge freezer in place and the paint colour chosen, I sent Mr B out with the children one wet Sunday morning and set about painting the huge space that is our kitchen diner. I’ll have it done by the end of the day, I optimistically thought and by 6pm that evening (and the whole family moaning that they were hungry) I admitted defeat after only completing one coat and half the kitchen. In fact, the painting actually took me nearly 4 weeks to complete and I am still to finish the cutting in, where blue splashes have hit the white paintwork and skirting boards! My initial thoughts after I had completed the first coat were, hmmmmmm, it’s quite dark!! But the actual kitchen part of the room is in the middle of the house and relies on light from the bi-fold doors, large window and skylight at the other end of the room. What I have come to release after the many hours (and days, and weeks) of choosing paint and decorating the house, is that dark colours don’t (in my opinion) make a room any darker. In fact, I think it’s best to stick to dark colours in a dark room because if you use a light colour, like white, to try and brighten up the room, I think it actually highlights what a dark room it is. And likewise for bright rooms!
So, my work here is done! I needed to re-wallpaper under the island as the previous wallpaper was a green botanical print and no longer went with the dark blue. I chose a brown brick wallpaper print from Dunelm which completed the rustic look that I was after. I also needed to change the grey lampshades that were hanging above the sofa and chose some good quality copper light fittings from B & Q. I am finally very happy with my kitchen makeover and colour and could quite happily never pick up a paintbrush in this room ever again! I’ve included some before and after shots below, please let me know what you think in the comments as it’s always good to hear people's views!