Five on Friday…

This week the building work on our new kitchen has really got under way. The final pieces of steel are going in today to make way for the chimney breast to come out and the bifold opening to be knocked through. As each day goes on it brings with it a ton of questions we haven’t anticipated and essentially being project managers is stressful, frustrating and bewildering at times. Right now we are deciding on flooring (including my last minute doubts re Amtico/Karndean vinyl wood look flooring versus real wood,) exterior lighting, how and where to move some newly discovered pipes to, and of all things, window sills.

Here are some links to keep you going in the meantime!


If you didn’t see yesterday, don’t forget to go and comment on yesterdays baby names post – I am loving reading your thoughts and suggestions! It’s so helpful. (We actually had our first productive conversation last night about names over dinner!) We’re off to Brimham rocks this weekend for some family birthday celebrations. I hope you have a great one readers!


PS I’d love to know if any of you have any experience of engineered wood in a kitchen versus vinyl floor tiles like Amtico or Karndean? Let me know! (We want a wood ‘look’ either way.)

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18 thoughts on “Five on Friday…

  1. Eek exciting times! Re sinks I have a stainless steel and have always said I’d never get another as it just never looks clean, same with our oven and hob. The slightest bit of water / finger marks and it looks grubby, drives me insane. I do prefer the look though and think it adds to the industrial vibe if that’s the look you veer towards. Franke is also a great product.

    • Oh that’s funny? I was making the assessment purely on aesthetics really – I much prefer stainless steel (I clean with a bit of cif?) to white in terms of cleaning as I think the white ones stain and potentially crack/chip too?

      • I have had both stainless steel and white ceramic butler sink and would always go with the ceramic white now every time, for the same reasons as Michelle mentions above. The white doesn’t stain and is MUCH easier to keep clean than stainless steel which always somehow looks ‘dull’ and grungy and a bit too utilitarian after I while I think. White butler sinks come up sparkling and new looking again just after a quick scrub with nothing too fancy! I am also determined to not be too ‘precious’ about it, and have never chipped one yet! You can get ceramic sink ‘erasers’ from places like Fired Earth that get any metal marks (from pans, rings etc) right off too! Amazing.

  2. I have had both stainless and white sinks and although white does mark a bit too (my husband’s titanium wedding ring is the worst), I would go with white, it’s much easier to clean (it looks good without really cleaning and I never clean!) – a tiny spray of bleach spray and it looks like new, whereas steel never looks clean unless you polish polish, always watermarks.

  3. My parents had Amtigo in my family home, it looked great, was practically indestructible, never chipped/scratched/stained despite two dogs and a cat (plus two teenagers) and was never cold to bare feet. Would highly recommend it compared to the wood floors I have in my current house, which scratch (no high heels inside the house…), mark and have chipped where previous owners have dropped things. Mine are polished floorboards and have also been damaged by damp. Although I love the look of them, I have more than once considered replacing with Amtigo, so would definitely recommend it (particularly with a small one on the way).

    Re sinks – I agree on the comment about stainless steel, particularly if you’re in a hard water area. My mum’s current place has a Belfast sink and it looks great, no chips or marks, but my stainless steel looks nice for about 30 seconds after I clean it, and that’s it…

  4. We had Kardean in our lounge/kitchen, bathrooms and hallway in our old apartment (we chose, house builders fitted) and I would highly recommend it. We had an oaky style throughout and a ‘washed driftwood’ style (can’t remember the names) in the bathrooms. It was laid out plank style throughout, no fancy patterns or finishes. Everyone commented on the flooring when visiting, in a positive way! I found it the finish excellent and was a good alternative to natural wood as it didn’t mark (heels, drinks, spilt food etc) and washed/cleaned so well. Now that I’m in a house with oak floors, I do miss the ease of Kardean and though I wouldn’t change the flooring in our new place as oak is beautiful, if I had to alter the floor in the kitchen, I’d consider Kardean again. I’d go for Kardean/vinyl over natural oak in a kitchen every time. However my folks have wood -style tiles in theirs that look great, which could be an alternative for you. . . .

    Sorry, epic post!

  5. We’ve just completed(ish) our kitchen extension. Very similar style wise to what you’re looking to achieve; marble looking tops, bifold doors, grey units. We’re really pleased with it. We went for karndean flooring, in a herringbone style – looks great and very practical. Would wholly recommend it! (Good luck with the build, it certainly has it’s hair pulling moments) xxx

  6. Another vote for white sink, I let my husband make the sink decision and have always been a bit uninspired by our stainless steel sink.
    We have engineered oak wooden floors in the kitchen, in fact throughout the whole of the downstairs. I love them, although high heels are a strict no-no in our house (much to my sister-in-law’s despair). Purely on aesthetics, I think they look beautiful – but have had no experience with Amtico or Karndean.
    I loved revamping our place – massive project but so rewarding. Enjoy, Rebecca!

  7. Bar Keeper’s Friend makes short work of keeping stainless steel sinks clean, especially in a hard water area like ours.

  8. We have engineered wood and a granite composite sink in black for our black marble. We love both! And both are super baby friendly for our 7month old 🙂

  9. We have a wood effect vinyl floor in our living room and dining room and it’s so practical. I love that I can hoover it down and mop it so it’s really clean. My parents have solid oak throughout their downstairs and it needs annual maintenance with sanding and reoiling/varnishing, which is more faff than I can be bothered with.

    We went for a white enamel sink, which do scratch so you have to be careful to use a washing up bowl in there for most things. My parents had one of those composite white sinks in their holiday cottage, is this what you’re thinking of? It was a bugger to keep clean once it had scratched (which I guess is inevitable) but nothing that a bit of scrubbing and bleach can’t ultimately sort if you’re very house proud. Stainless steel is just so practical, as long as you don’t mind the inevitable scratch marks, which I think look fine as long as it’s scratched all over!

    Looking forward to seeing the next progress report. I don’t envy you for your current project management role. Doing ours up caused me some serious grey hairs.

  10. I am a huge supporter of Amtico. When we bought our new house it was already finished by the developer so we had no choice of flooring.
    They put honey oak Amtico in the hall, kitchen diner family room and cloakroom and utility (I may have gone for ceramic tiles in the kitchen). However, I am now so happy I didn’t have the choice as I absolutely love the amtico. It is so easy to keep clean. I can sweep/hoover or mop and it is just perfect. No marks or scratches, easy to clean up spills or mud. Love it do much that if we did stay in the house long enough to invest in a conservatory/orangery I would put in the same flooring 🙂

    Now stainless steel on the other hand is an annoyance. It looks great but shows up all the marks.

  11. We have Karndean currently and love it, have had solid oak oak in a place we rented previously but I’d go for the Karndean.
    The solid oak: obviously it’s real wood so sounds and feels lovely BUT after a summer with a dog and a few house parties it needed to be sanded and treated again, high heels are a complete killer and so are doggy claws (we have a Golden Retriever) plus we were constantly worried that and large spills would warp the wood.
    The Karndean: so far (had it down in our house for 9 months) not a scratch or a worry, it’s really hard wearing and completely waterproof so it’s perfect for us and dog too (imaging a whole wet winter of a Goldie trotting in and out from the garden!).
    My parents have engineered wood in the hall and piano room and they have two dogs, the wood is scratch to hell and now they cover it up with rugs!
    So because we have pets the Karndean wins for us, it’s very tough stuff and I never worry about muddy paws, or mud or stones or water. It’s piece of mind flooring! It looks pretty good too. But if you don’t have pets the wear might not factor in so much.
    Hope this helps!

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