If you’ve been following over on Instagram you’ll have enjoyed several insta-stories of Mr T & I ripping walls down, removing tiles, grouting and all kinds of home renovation chaos. The last couple of months have been a journey of highs and lows, late nights, long weekends and lots of trips to the tip. I’m so delighted to finally be able to share our kitchen renovation reveal!
A little context for anyone new, Mr T & I bought our home just over a year ago now and are gradually renovating the space. We started with the bathroom, which you can see HERE. We always knew we’d move onto the kitchen as soon as we had recovered from renovating the bathroom. So, just before Christmas we decided to bit the bullet and begin…
The old kitchen was dark, gloomy, run down and completely impractical. There was little storage, a huge cupboard that took up a lot of the room, but had no shelves inside of it. There were two walls dividing the kitchen from the dining area, which just added to the darkness in the room. There was only one plug socket that worked, hardly any useable worktop and just one ceiling light. I’ll do my best to describe how we went about the renovation linking to the products where possible.
Dreaming: We started Project Kitchen by looking at dreamy kitchens online, using Pinterest to research kitchens we liked the look of, you can see my Shaker Kitchen Obsession post and my early Kitchen Interior Inspiration post. I feel like we actually managed to incorporate all the elements that we loved, which is pretty amazing.
Planning: I have a notebook full of scribbles and measurements from trying to figure out the best layout for the kitchen. We don’t have much space as we live in the city centre, so wanted to make sure that we made the most of the space available. Once we had a vague idea of the style of kitchen we liked and the dimensions of the room, we visited several kitchen showrooms. Visiting the kitchen showrooms was invaluable as there are so many space saving options available, such as integrated units that will really maximise storage, functionality and space. Most reputable kitchen companies will send out a sales person to take accurate measurements, create a CAD Design and get a quote together, so this process can take a little time.
Choosing the kitchen: We got three quotes and opted for the Howdens Tewksbury Shaker Style Range as we always knew we wanted a solid wood kitchen. We love the sturdy feel of real wood and like the fact that we can repaint the units if we get tired of grey or need to retouch the paint for any reason. We found Howdens to be very reasonable in price and they were lovely to work with during the planning stage. We agreed on a layout and the style of units we wanted. We went back and forth trying to decide on the oak worktop or to go for a granite, in the end we decided on wood, simply for the look and feel. Mr T has treated the oak worktop with oil, so fingers crossed we can keep it looking nice!
The rip out: We spent many a long night stripping out the old kitchen. I think we underestimated just how much hard work, dust, rubble and chaos this would create. Despite feeling exhausted and not having a functioning kitchen, we powered through. We enjoyed the process but there were low times when we were exhausted and close to tears wondering just what the heck we had started! It was incredible the amount of light that shone through as soon as we had knocked down the partition walls, this lifted our spirits to continue…
Tip* For the few weeks when we literally had nothing in the kitchen but four walls- our saving grace was the Crock Pot, which we could just plug in and make a decent healthy meal. If you’re thinking about renovating your own kitchen, I’d recommend budgeting for dining out or invest in a Crock Pot, just incase!The floor: Our old kitchen had crusty old vinyl flooring which needed to be removed asap. We hit several hurdles during this renovation. the kitchen vinyl flooring had been glued down with something pretty impossible to remove. Mr T persisted and removed the vinyl flooring, we then put down a layer of self levelling screed onto the bare concrete floor. Once the screed had set and the floor was level we put down wooden floorboards to match the living room area. We used Tongue and groove floorboards and a Polyurethane Floor Varnish.
Fitting the kitchen: We had several quotes from independent tradesmen and decided on a guy that had been recommended to use by our friends. Once Mr T and I had done the rip out and flooring we were so relieved to hand the baton over to our tradesman to get on with the fitting. Our tradesman tackled the faulty electrics (we now have x6 fully functioning plug sockets!), the plastering and fitted the kitchen.
We unearthed lots of frustrating quirks along the way, like a dodgy hole in the crumbling ceiling from a previous water leak, a weirdly positioned gas metre, the electrics, things that you don’t see but that eat into the budget and take time to overcome! The kitchen fitting took around three weeks taking into account the hidden nasties and it was then up to Mr T and I to finish off. We did the grouting, varnishing, painting, shelving and the finishing touches.
Lighting: Much like the bathroom our old kitchen was very dark, in order to overcome this issue we added in ceiling spotlights, three sconces above the worktop and a pendant light above the new dining table. As I mentioned previously removing the partition walls really helped to let the light flow through the room, unite the space and create a more open plan living area- which is so much nicer when you’re entertaining!Creating our new kitchen has been a journey to say the least, we’re both so happy that we can now relax for a while and enjoy having friends round for dinner again. We love to cook and can’t wait to enjoy the space. Overall I think my personal highlight might be the seriously satisfying large soft-close cutlary drawer with a beautiful oak insert, not sure I’ll ever grow tired of watching it close oh so gently. As ever thank you for following along and I’ll look forward to sharing more of our home renovation along the way- not yet though, need a rest!Stay fabulous