It’s here, it’s actually imminent, and I cannot quite believe it. When we moved into this house at the end 2014, I was certain we would have a new kitchen extension within a couple of years. Then, what with one thing and other; namely pregnancy, birth, death and re-building our lives, it’s never quite taken shape. We had originally planned to start last spring, but with me knee-deep in writing a book and having to do that from home, well it didn’t seem like the best project to throw into the mix. So we saved and juggled our finances a little more until we could afford to pull off the changes we have really been dreaming of; and I cannot wait to tell you what they are.
The house as it stands is a pretty standard Victorian semi. A sitting room with bay window at the front of the house, and a dining room and galley kitchen at the back (an L shape of two separate rooms if you can imagine?). The dining room is forever used as a corridor-come-dumping-ground, and the kitchen is the most unpractical place to try to actually do anything if there is more than one of you in there. I feel as though my husband and I spend our time doing an awkward dance around one another. Cooking together just can’t be “a thing”, there isn’t the standing space or the workspace. We updated the previously all-while 80’s kitchen as best we could a couple of years ago (read here) in an effort to make it more tolerable until the renovations took place.
So, what’s the plan? Well, as most people would guess, we plan to create a side return from the existing kitchen, making it the same width as the dining room. Then by removing the wall and window between the two we will be making it into one living space. We are also taking the existing “lean-to” extension at the end of the kitchen (that currently houses our fridge, washing machine, boiler, and a radiator that is quite frankly redundant next to a draughty back-door) away, and replacing it with an extension of a further 4.5 metres. This will also form part of the same living space. So it will be a big room; one where we hopefully have space to eat, socialise, cook (enjoyably), and sit and relax.
The kitchen is being moved into the middle of the house (where the current dining room is) and will extend to the entire space of the existing kitchen. The new cooker will live in the existing chimney breast, in the current dining room. Beyond that we will have a table and chairs, and a built-in utility cupboard (behind the existing chimney in the current kitchen) and hopefully enough space at the end of the room for a couple of armchairs to sit and look at the garden. We have decided to put bifold doors at the end facing the garden, so we can enjoy more light and look out onto the garden (After all, those new walls my husband has built aren’t going to admire themselves are they?!). We are also planning on keeping a barn-style door like the one we currently have, but at the side of the house for practicality, so that we can get in and out the side easily, to do glamorous things such as taking the bins out or taking Boris out for a wee?!
So far we (read “I“) have spent about six months going over the details of the kitchen design we wanted, something that would really work for us. I have chosen (and re-chosen) colour schemes and finishes. We decided to buy our kitchen from a company local to us, Panelven Kitchens, who provide a full design service and were able to help us with planning the finer details. We decided to buy all of the units and worktops from them as we were really happy with the selection and quality. I then sourced other bits such as the handles and taps myself, as I had quite particular ideas about what I was after. Their designers were able to provide a digital mock-up of how the kitchen would look, in order to show placement of units and colour finishes of the cabinets and work tops, which we have found really helpful. It made me re-consider the placement of things so much, and we had time to play around with things to ensure everything was well placed and provided the things we needed. Because we had some tricky sloped ceilings in the corners of rooms and other quirks to work around, we have had to pay a little more for some bespoke cabinetry, but I think the finished result will be so worth it, as it has really made it “made to measure”.
We decided to keep the kitchen units and island all one colour, and although I know the fashion is very much for darker and bolder colours at the moment, after much consideration I decided to keep with my preferred neutral colour palette and go for a lighter coloured kitchen (I did a lot of soul-searching, and realised that I am just not fashionable). The units we have chosen are in a shade called “Edwardian White” which I understand is colour-matched to Farrow & Ball’s Shaded White. The worktops are a white marbled stone, and the island will have a 40mm solid oak top. We will be finishing the design with satin brass handles and some white artisan tiles in places (such as in the chimney breast where the cooker will be).
For fixtures, fittings and appliances (so far) I have bought all of these from various suppliers online. I feel like I have actually completed google over these past months. Everything is listed and linked below-
That’s about as far as we have got so far, and I know I have made things hard for myself as I just couldn’t wait. I also now I have a room upstairs full of everything I have already bought (Oops). I know we have a lot more decision-making to do, but hopefully this little introduction gives you an idea of what we are heading towards? We are going for a light and bright feeling, with wood and stone. Something that feels both airy yet cosy. I already have a stone floor in mind that I am planning to buy from Beswick Stone, and I know we will have to decide on doors, windows and roof-lanterns too (but I haven’t had any questions about those kind of things, so thought I would get the pretty stuff on here first!).
I will be sure to update you all as the project develops over the coming weeks, and will be taking lots of photos along the way.
For now….wish us luck!