How I Would Improve My Kitchen (If It Didn’t End in Divorce)

The kitchen. The heart of the home. Where I like to think I’m the next Nigella but am often found burning spaghetti bolognese. Before moving to our current home, we lived in Army Married Quarters and the kitchen was a square space that was stuck in 1956, so the most important thing when we were buying a new home was somewhere we could entertain!

kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations

Although, saying that, we’ve just bought a home that has a square shaped kitchen with zero personality, but more on that in a future blog!

I love this space, I really do! It has evolved many times since we first started renovating it and has been the best place to have numerous parties and friends and family over. But if I could rewind back 3 years ago would I have done the same? Probably not. We renovated before I joined Instagram (read my kitchen renovation blog post here) and with the wealth of inspiration on there, Instagram for me is like being a kid in a sweet shop. 

Our current kitchen layout.

My original plans were actually very different to how it turned out. I wanted a standalone island to begin with, but we were told by the designer (I won’t mention what kitchen company he came from!) that we didn’t have enough space to put one. This all seems a bit ridiculous now seeing as I have been in smaller kitchens with islands and I really wish I had stuck to my guns.

I feel so much more confident in my decisions now, I will definitely stand my ground when we start planning again.

Kitchen remodel

Now we’ve had the chance to live in the house and use it for a few years, we’ve realised that our peninsula is the most social space in the house! This is where everyone sits and hangs out whilst I dish out copious amounts of snacks, drinks and top banter (well, I’d like to think so!) It’s also where the kids tend to sit most when they have breakfast and do their schoolwork.

kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
The hub of our home
kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
How I would have designed my kitchen if I had been on Instagram first! 🙂

The Island

The reason I designed a peninsula is because the last house had a sink facing out towards the street and I found that I couldn’t keep an eye on my kids when they were in the garden. They were of that age where they would eat mud, try to climb trees and get stuck in prickly bushes, so I was forever running in and out of the house trying to untangle hair from a thorny bush.

However, I’ve realised that an island would have worked better. This would have provided more space to entertain, a real hub of the home and an even bigger workspace to become a dumping ground!

kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
I absolutely love the design of this kitchen island and it would make a wonderful entertaining space. Image Credit: @our_house_68
kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
Changing the colour of your island to your kitchen cupboards can lighten the feel of your kitchen. Image Credit: @eat_drink_schluff
kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
Again, Eniko has gone for a different coloured island to the kitchen cupboards. Image Credit: @mydarkhome_
kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
Another angle of this beautiful kitchen Image Credit: @mydarkhome_

Kitchen appliances

I would have kept the fridge in the same place, but the sink would need to be moved. I’m not keen on putting the sink or oven hob on the island as I think this will restrict the space and knowing our family, would constantly have saucepans and dishes lying in sight. Also, as my kids sit at the island often whilst I’m making tea, I would be worried about them being so close to a hot oven hob!

kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
I love the clean lines and orderliness of this island. Image credit: @martinmooredesign
kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
A fresh and organised space. Image credit: pinkpeppermintdesign.com
kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
Another island centrepiece that steals the show and perfect for entertaining. Image design credit: @jlv_creative. Photography: @margaret.wright

The range cooker would stay in the same place with a statement back splash and the sink would be placed a little further down where the worktops run along the wall.

Kitchen cupboards

Instead of having the kitchen cupboards curved in a J shape around the kitchen and zoning it, I would have had kitchen units running all along the right hand side of the kitchen with open shelving instead of mounted wall units.

kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
The units would run down the whole of the right side of the kitchen with sink and range cooker. Image credit: thehouseofsilverlining.com

I like the idea of being able to display beautiful crockery and kitchenware. I know so many people worry about the dust but if you display items that you use regularly, they’ll never get the chance to get too dusty!

kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
Oh, the possibilities of shelf faffing are endless. Image credit: @the_indigo_house
kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
Keeping the same colour palette and style of home wares gives your shelves a more cohesive look. Image credit: juniperhome.com

Larder

Having a larder is the dream isn’t it? We requested one when we had our first kitchen consultation but as we needed the whole kitchen gutted and refitted, we couldn’t afford it.

But, by having open plan shelving, we would save money by not having to install wall mounted cupboards and would need the extra cupboard space to store all our food!

kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
Elle’s kitchen has a lovely vintage style cupboard in her kitchen and I would love to put something similar in ours. Image credit: @elle_the_home_bird
kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
The dream larder. Image credit: neptune.com
kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
Larders can be nearly as exciting as the kitchen! Image credit: davonport.com

But what colour cabinets?

We put in white Howden cabinets as we were doing up to sell on and this was their most popular range. We needed a kitchen that would appeal to the masses so white it was, although, I think people are starting to be more experimental with their kitchen cabinet colour.

kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
We went white with the cabinets but my love of dark interiors was strong so ended up painting the walls Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball. I’d love to swap the colour combination around

I would definitely go dark and probably dark green! This colour is so versatile and looks extremely stylish and classy next to white tiles and marble work tops.

kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
See what I mean? All the heart eyes. Image credit: devolkitchens.co.uk
kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
An oversized kitchen island in a dark green kitchen. Image credit: stylebyemilyhenderson.com Photography: Sara Tramp
kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
The most beautiful forest green cabinetry all with brass fittings. Image credit: build.com
kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
The dark green looks perfect against the monochrome flooring. Image credit: studio-mcgee.com Photography: calliehobbsphotography.com

Worktops

Which leads me onto the worktops. We currently have oak worktops fitted which compliment the wooden floorboards perfectly, but they are a lot of upkeep. We’ve had them for 3 years now and could probably do with a sand down and varnish.

I’ve always loved the sleekness of marble worktops but know they are quite porous, allowing stains to soak in and easily scratched. I love the look of ceramic worktops that mimic marble but are a lot easier to look after.  

kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
Sandra has used ceramic worktops in her dark green kitchen and carried through to her back splash. Image credit: @the_idle_hands

Lighting

With a standalone island in the middle of the room, it would be crying out for statement lighting! I’m loving the rattan light shades at the moment and with the rustic feel of open shelving and the dark green cabinets, I think they would be perfect in lighting up our entertaining space!

kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
The pendants give the kitchen a fresh beach feel Image credit: ritachaninteriors.com
kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
The basket pendants give this kitchen a boho beach feel. Image credit: homebeautiful.com.au
kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
Pendants from La Redoute

Tiles

Ah, the backsplash! We were originally going to put metro tiles behind the oven but when our builders started putting them in, I knew they were not right for the space. I needed pattern in my life and wanted to make a real feature point of the oven which was built into the chimney breast, so we had Victorian patterned tiles added.

As much as I love this feature of our kitchen, I’m not sure I’d do it again. There would be so much going on with dark green units, marbled worktops and open shelving, I would probably continue the marble up the wall.

kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
The stunning kitchen of Athena Calderone. Photography: Sarah Elliot

Bar stools

Continuing with the boho coast theme, I would love to install rattan bar stools in the kitchen! I think they are a great way of adding texture to the room when there is a lot of block colour going on.  

kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
These rattan bar stools immediately draw your eye away from the straight lines of this wonderful kitchen. Image credit: @_itslucy_
kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
They add real texture to the room. Image credit: loftfurniturenoosa.com

Wood burner

We originally wanted to move the wood burner from the kitchen space to the family area but were put off by the cost. People tend to plan their kitchen around the summer and how they will use it as a family, but in the UK, we get very long and dark winters so to plan a kitchen for the winter as well is very important!

I would love to put the wood burner in the corner of the kitchen overlooking the garden. This would provide a wonderful cosy atmosphere for eating dinner around the table throughout winter.

kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
Loving the idea of having a wood burning stove next to the bifolds and gathering around the dining table at winter! Image credit: Pinterest/Source unknown

Table

Which leaves me with the dining table. We have quite a large family and enjoy cooking Sunday roasts, so this piece of furniture is important to the house!

We would still need something that could fit up to 14 people around and I would like to keep the boho/biophilic feel in the kitchen. I would go with a natural wood table and cane chairs.

kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
I absolutely love these cane chairs and included them in my tropical trends to try blog post. If I could get hold of this wallpaper as well, it would make such a huge statement in the kitchen along with the dark green units! Image credit: sisterhoodhobart.com Design: biasol.com.au
kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
Beckett Cane dining chair – John Lewis
kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations
A very sexy chair! Image credit: saintalbany.com

Trends come and go but, in my eyes, green, marble and rattan are here to stay! And after writing that blog post I’ve now realised I’ve got my plan for our next kitchen in our new house! Now to get planning permission

Mel x

kitchen, kitchen island, kitchen inspiration, kitchen details, kitchen ideas, renovation, renovations, kitchen project, renovation project, kitchen renovation, house renovations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *