For those of you who have been following the blog for a while now, you may remember that this time last year, we were mid-extension. As it’s necessary to walk through the kitchen to get to the new extension, once the major works were done, we needed to give the kitchen a little bit of attention.
The problem was that we didn’t want to spend a fortune on replacing it with something similar – and given its shape, there wasn’t a huge amount of room for manoeuvre. Plus the carcasses – although only from Ikea – were fine and we liked the work surfaces. There was also the danger that if we moved the kitchen island, the work surface above it might crack. I guess that we could have gone high tech with all kind of gadgets but to be honest, it’s not really us. We both do a lot of cooking but we’re not that fussed about the latest must have super whizzy gadgets.
So a re-vamp it was, which included the following – replacing the cooker which was on its last legs, replacing the cupboard doors with handless ones, having new plinths with lights in them, taking the splash back off and replacing it with tiles, re-configuring the bank of cupboards at one end of the kitchen to provide more storage space, replacing the lights over the kitchen island, replacing the radiator with a ladder style one, painting the door and replacing its handle, having the kitchen re-decorated which included wallpapering one wall. Finally we added in a new sideboard where previously we had a table and chairs but I will cover that in a later post.
This is the kitchen before its revamp – it’s an Ikea kitchen with white high gloss doors with handles. The tall bank of cupboards on the left hand side of the photo was a bit hit and miss. It just didn’t quite work. And the microwave wasn’t built in but rather it just sat in a hole!
This is the bank of cupboards after we had it re-worked by the hugely helpful Ray from the Kitchen Centre in Harborne. Ray has run his business for over 20 years now and he was more than happy to help with replacing just that part of the kitchen, whereas many businesses weren’t interested. Steve, his kitchen fitter, was fantastic too. In some ways its quite clinical but we have so much storage space for all our cookery books, the nutri-bullet (our one gadget!), cake stands, water jugs, plastic bags and all of the food. I even have a shelf for “party things” – candles, bunting, paper plates etc. All of which has come in handy tonight as our daughter’s friend is currently holding her 18th party downstairs. Eeeek.
These are the handless doors which were made for us by Shaker Doors. They make replacement doors for Ikea kitchens which is great as the dimensions of the new Ikea doors are different to the older doors, which we have.
The doors along the front of the island were colour matched to the colour that we used on the wall which is Yenston Sky from the Hemsley range at Homebase. There are four colours in the “Yenston” range, in varying shades. We’ve used three of them now, with the darkest one being in the new room.
This is a photograph taken from behind the kitchen island when the doors still had their handles.
And afterwards – you can see that the kitchen has much cleaner lines now. And oddly a real benefit has been that we have much more room behind the kitchen island now. Before it felt a bit squashed but removing two sets of handles has had a real impact.
This is the view when I’m standing at the cooker and looking up. Quite often squirrels play in this tree – a Christmas tree which was planted over 70 years ago now by a Mum who had just had her first child. Her daughter still comes back from time to time to take a look at it.
And when the sun shines at certain times of the day the light bounces around the kitchen giving a lovely effect.
I realise that things are meant to be in threes and in some ways the previous lights worked better but (wait for this) I couldn’t see the TV on the opposite wall when there were three lights, so I had one taken away and replaced them with these crazy lights from Graham & Green.
Then the wooden door (which was slightly orange in colour) was painted in a grey colour (sorry I can’t remember its name now but it was a Homebase one) and the office style door handle was replaced with this one from John Lewis (£40 for a pack of 2).
The splash back tiles are the Attingham tiles from Topps Tiles which we also used in the utility room. The link is to the powder blue colour but these are the mist colour. I love a good geometric pattern!
And (almost) lastly, we had the wall opposite the kitchen island – where the TV is situated – papered in this star print from Cole & Son, available at Amara (£72) per roll. The ladder style radiator was from B&Q.
Next to be sorted is a shelf on which I’m going to display some lovely bits and bobs that I’ve bought from Oliver Bonas. It will just break things up a little and add some subtle colour.
In my heart do I know that we’ve compromised slightly and that there are one or two things that aren’t quite 100%? Yes I do but they could easily be fixed and we’ve probably saved about £15-20k by doing so, so I can live with that.