Continuing on from last week with our house tour before we moved (I’m writing this sat in our old house, we should have moved by now, unless something went drastically wrong), this week I bring you my kitchen design, complete with floor plan, where we purchased all the products and what I would have changed.
If you want to read in more detail what I would have done to the kitchen design now if we were renovating and you are debating how to plan your kitchen at the moment, read my blog post about things I would update here.
So settle yourself down with a nice cup of tea and come with me on our journey of how our kitchen evolved over 4 years….
The Jewel in the House Crown
The kitchen is without a doubt what sold the house to us. At the time, we already had an offer in on another house but that was about to fall through so we started looking again and without even visiting this house, I knew we needed to buy it.
We were planning to put a huge extension on the back of the house we had an offer in on and when this house came on the market, it had everything we needed. 5/6 bedrooms and an extension on the back which gave us a large kitchen, all 7.7m x 5.18m of it!
When I first arrived at the house for a viewing, I told the estate agent to take me straight through to the kitchen and I pretty much put an offer in there and then. It was a large blank canvas.
The previous owners had put in temporary fixtures like scaffold boards for worktops and a large, higher than normal table in the middle which worked as an island/table but it really needed ripping out and starting again.
Which is exactly what we did as soon as we moved in!
Our kitchen design
I had been absolutely obsessed with kitchen design in the run up to moving into this house. I would purchase every single home magazine going and made an attempt to pin things to my kitchen board on Pinterest.
When we moved into this house, I wasn’t on Instagram and this was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing as I wasn’t hugely spoilt for choice so knew what I wanted. But a curse in the sense that I think I would have done things completely differently and would have worked better for us as a family if I had been on Instagram whilst making our renovation decision.
Our new kitchen was a huge room. The kitchen part was focused around the end of the kitchen next to the bifolds and they had created a sitting room towards the back around a wood burner placed in the chimney.
It had a really cosy feel to it but I knew I wanted to turn it around and make a real feature out of the chimney place. When I saw this image on Pinterest, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
So, before I planned anything else, I found some tiles to place in the chimney and wanted to base the entire kitchen décor around that. The tiles I chose are called Caprice Chatelet, are grey and Victorian in style and I fell in love with the pattern, so I started planning the rest of the kitchen design.
We went to Howden’s and spoke with a kitchen designer at length to get exactly what we wanted. My children were very small at the time (3 and 2) and we were moving from a house where the kitchen faced out towards the main road.
The children would often be outside playing in the back garden or sat in the living room playing with their toys and I would feel very disconnected from them when I was in the kitchen cooking and cleaning. I couldn’t keep an eye on them and spent every minute responding to “Mum!!! Can I have a snack?” or “Mum, Zac is stuck in a tree….” Zac needs constant supervision!
This kind of layout really didn’t work for us as a family and as we also love to entertain, I knew that the kitchen design had to cater more towards entertaining and having friends over than cooking food! We can always get a takeaway in!
The Peninsula vs Island conundrum
Initially, I really wanted a large island in the kitchen, but for reasons unknown, I decided to go with a peninsula instead. I thought this way the kitchen would be separated into zones and I would be able to have the sink facing out towards the bifolds so I could keep an eye on the kids.
Thing is, we have a dishwasher so I very rarely spend time at the sink and we have spent ALL our time sat or huddled around the peninsula/island part of the kitchen.
Storage was also a huge part of our kitchen design. We had come from Army married quarters where storage was non existent so we squeezed as many cabinets and cupboards that we could fit into the space.
Again, I think this has been more of a hindrance as we have kept hold of things we don’t really need. I mean, I found 3 rice cookers in the cupboards the other day whilst clearing out to move house!
With our kitchen and tiles ordered and our builders ready to go, the next decision we had to make was the walls. When we were first renovating our kitchen, I was still very much a white and grey fan and we whitewashed the walls and added a grey chimney breast wall tie it in with the tiles.
Gradually I got a bit braver in our kitchen and I started bringing in more colour and putting up wallpaper. My first attempt to put up wallpaper was this feather teal paper from B&Q.
I continued the grey theme on the back wall of the kitchen which helped to frame the garden view better.
Going to the dark side
But over time, I loved seeing the dark kitchens on Instagram. I didn’t want to paint the cupboards and wall units a dark blue so we went with Farrow & Ball Hague Blue on all the walls. It was a huge job which took me around 2 weeks but I loved the finished result. The contrast between the white cabinets, oak worktops and dark blue walls is extremely dramatic and helped make the kitchen feel cosier.
Originally the walls in the dining part of the kitchen were painted Hague Blue but I felt as it was such a large room, it started becoming a bit intense.
I was given the opportunity to work with Photowall on their collaboration with @scandinavian_surface and one wallpaper immediately caught my eye. It was the perfect blend of colours for our kitchen with dark blues, greys and whites and the woodland theme felt like this was an extension of our garden through the bifolds. This really completed our kitchen design.
The finishing touches
One of the first pieces of furniture we bought for this room was our grey Aurora sofa from DFS and it really has stood the test of time. We paid a little extra to have the fabric protected and it was worth every penny.
This sofa has seen it all, mud, grass stains, food, paint, lollipops stuck down the back. If you put a sofa in the kitchen, it needs to be able to fight back! Haha.
It was also this sofa that launched my Instagram “career”. I put a photo up of this sofa on my personal Instagram account once we had finished the renovations and was surprised when it got likes from people I didn’t know. It was then that I realised there was a whole other world of interior obsessives like me lurking on the internet.
We are now ready to embark on our next renovation and I can’t wait to put all the things I’ve learnt from this kitchen renovation into practice. Mainly, a huge island that can sit up to at least 6 people, open shelving, a walk-in pantry and Crittall style doors.
I will go on record by saying I am not a huge fan of bifold doors and will look to put in separate large Crittall patio doors in our new kitchen instead.
I hope you enjoyed my very quick overview of our kitchen design and all the changes along the way. I hope you will stick around for the next instalment of Mel’s renovation stories