Happy New Year everyone!
This is my first post of the year so I thought I would make it a goodie. We completely overhauled our kitchen late last year and today I am going to share the before and after images with you!
We decided to rip out the kitchen after living with the one we inherited when we bought the house years ago. Every time I walked into the kitchen, the Interior Stylist in me would shudder. It was, of course, completely functional, hence the reason we lived with it for so long. But, it got to the point where we’d had enough. If truth be told we bought a beautiful GLOBAL knife block set and when we brought it home it didn’t suit the kitchen.. and that was the turning point for us! We wanted the kitchen to reflect our personal taste and the blue and yellow tiles just didn’t cut it.
The most annoying part of the kitchen was the fact there were two feature tiles on the back wall in the centre on the splash back- one said ‘egg’ and the other said ‘cofee’. Coffee was spelt wrong on the tile! Pretty funny really, but they needed to go.
The saving grace of the kitchen is the fact we have an enormous window on the right hand wall and the layout is open-plan so I knew we could make it into something beautiful.
When our carpenter came to rip out the existing kitchen we quickly figured out that we needed the whole kitchen re-wired so he took up the floorboards and discovered we have no real foundations under our house! We came to learn that this is very common in Victorian Terrace houses from the mid 1800’s (our was built in 1840-50). But we needn’t worry as all 8 houses in our strip are tied together with metal rods so hopefully we ain’t going nowhere. (the image below is showing you the beams that our house is sitting on. This is the corner of the room under the kitchen sink! Soil is literally a few inches below the floorboards..
We opted for an Ikea kitchen and were so incredibly impressed with their 3D kitchen planner technology. You can basically plan your own kitchen using their software from your home computer. Then you just go in-store to order it.
We chose the tall 100cm cabinets for the wall. I have never understood why if you have the choice, that one would choose standard short cabinets that don’t reach to the ceiling? So much dead space up there! We need to use a chair to get to the top shelf but we only store things up there that we use infrequently.
One major thing we decided on was to lose the left hand side return in the kitchen. This meant we could get a decent size dining table in there. What storage we lost by removing cupboards down the left we made up for in the taller wall cupboards.
(Also, I found a fab company that sells blinds for a very reasonable price! They are called Blinds 2 Go. That’s where we got our roller blind in the picture above. They deliver in a few days- made to measure!)
For the back wall we decided to tile it from the bench top to the ceiling. This made it feel more grand and a lot of people comment on the painted exposed brick wall without realising they are tiles! These ones are the rustic white gloss metro tiles from Walls and Floors. They are great value and high quality.
We finished off the base cupboards with the Bergstena Ikea bench top with plywood edging. It makes the kitchen look much more expensive that what it actually is.
One of my favourite features of the new kitchen are the Parthian floor tiles from Topps Tiles. I just love them! We tiled over our existing floorboards. Well, not directly- we laid plywood in between. It would be sacrilege to ruin genuine floorboards like that! The tiles were a bit of a nightmare for our builder to lay as they are a funny shape and our floor is not completely flat but he ended up doing a brilliant job none the less.
Another feature that I love is the vintage cabinet that I bought on Brixton Hill for £10 about 5 years ago. It has been hanging around being moved from room to room for years trying to find the right spot for it. I finally decided to return one of the Ikea wall cabinets we bought and hang this in it’s place. This way I get to show off my favourite ceramics (as I feel it’s always such a shame to hide your lovely things behind cupboards doors!) Also, see that knife block above? That’s the one that made up our minds to renovate! it might look insignificant but it is SO GOOD to finally have a grown-up set of knives to use when I’m cooking. It makes preparing food so much easier. (Also FYI, that retro radio above is from Ruark)
The final touch was to paint the left wall in Railings black paint by Farrow and Ball. (on the wall that we removed the cupboards from). We went for estate eggshell so the wall has a sheen to it and the light bounces off it. We could have re-skimmed this wall but I opted for the ‘imperfect look’. Old English houses look better that way! And now my canvas of Hampstead Heath from Surface View finally has a nice place to live.
I hope you enjoy these pics and please get in touch if you want any info on where any of the items in the kitchen are from. I’d love to know your thoughts too!
Here’s to a wonderful 2016,
‘After’ photography by Oliver Perrott