I realised that despite our kitchen renovation actually being finished for almost a year – I haven’t actually written about the end result! I think it was because I was waiting on a few bits and pieces that we haven’t managed to find yet (like bar stools for the breakfast bar) but if I don’t write about our updated kitchen now – I’m not sure I ever will!
You can see what our kitchen was like before in this post, because of the damp and mould we pretty much had to knock the whole back of the house down apart from one wall and rebuild it to make one space rather than two. We started the work in March 2017 and it was mostly finished by August 2017 but probably not completely sorted until the beginning of September 2017. We completely love it! It’s made a massive difference to how we live (we have an oven for starters!) and it’s bright and light and fits lots of people in which has been great for parties and get-togethers.
We actually chose our kitchen in January 2016 from the Wren kitchen sale but it saving up and planning permission took longer than expected but we were lucky Wren let us keep the initial price and hold onto the kitchen. I was initially quite worried about a white kitchen – with 4 kids – was I mad? But actually it’s holding up well and we opted for Corian worktops which match the units well and hasn’t stained so far! Occasionally we have to use a little squirty kitchen bleach mixed with water to get off coffee and tea stains but nothing too major! We knew we wanted a lot of storage and I sadly, was most excited about having bin and recycling storage and a pull out larder! I am thankful for them every day! I think a white kitchen does require more cleaning but at least it means that I see the marks and can get rid instantly – so I think it’s made us tidier overall. To save costs on the kitchen we opted for shelving instead of more cabinet units which I think breaks up the white too. To stop it from feeling too clinical – we’ve put up colour pops of photos and have a very colourful large noticeboard in the recess of the only existing wall. I’ve no idea what was there originally and we did consider having shelving inbuilt but I quite like the family friendly noticeboard look for now. Mr M made the noticeboard with cork sheeting and I took several weekends of painting to finally settle on a mustard and Teal with a bright pink stripe for the alcove recess. I went through several different paint choices to decide! It’s slightly unusual but again, we wanted to add some homely touches to stop the kitchen feeling too ‘white’ and ‘showroom like’. Another thing which helped save on costs was to only have tiling as a splashback behind the hob and not all the way round the kitchen.
We knew we wanted to have a large table so we could have friends over and opted for an industrial style one – I love it! I think we will need to buy a oilcloth type cover for it soon to prevent from spills but it’s been surprisingly easy to clean so far! For other options of tables to buy you could try Furniture Plus Online or Etsy which we also looked at. Again, to save costs we’ve sourced colourful chairs from Ebay. I am quite proud that no chair has cost us over £30 and some were much cheaper but I’m not quite sure we’ve got the right kind of look with them just yet. It make take a while to find individual chairs that also complement each other.
Stone Kitchen Floor
One thing that took forever with our kitchen renovation was choosing the floor. I literally rinsed that free sample that all tiling websites offer. I have a whole stack of tile samples in our garage (I’m going to mosaic something with them at some point) and I’m not joking when I say we filled our living room with tile samples on the day when we simply had to make a decision so as not to hold the builders up. Top tip for a kitchen renovation – be more organised than us and try to order everything you need before the builder’s start. We had lots of stressful moments with delivery dates! We opted for travertine – inspired by a friend’s kitchen and I’m so, so pleased with it. It was more expensive than we had budgeted for the floor hence the savings in other areas, but I love that it doesn’t show the dirt! It has scratched in a couple of places when we moved furniture to have our floors sanded but because of the variants in colour – it’s barely noticeable.
Another one of my favourite things about our kitchen are the bi-fold doors – I’m so please we opted for grey and not white – I think it makes it look a little more modern. We took a risk with these and opted for a new company (Valley Windows) just starting out to fit them so we got them slightly discounted so they could use them promotionally – but they did such a good job and they’ve also been the company we used for the front of the house windows.
We haven’t used the breakfast bar as such yet – it’s mainly a dumping ground but the next stop is to find some colourful stools! I also love the lights we chose which again, was a bit last minute but they were a bargain from the Graham and Greene summer sale which makes me love them even more! I like the pops of colour they bring to the kitchen with the pink and the blue/ green wires on the glass lamps.
I’m so happy with our kitchen and I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of it. We feel so lucky to have lots of lovely space now, particularly as the kiddos get older – and it was exactly how I imagined the kitchen looking when we looked round the house a couple of years ago!