Hello readers! So today, I’m going to talk about the kitchen. My new kitchen
If that sounds smug, then read on. Our kitchen is a bit of a double edged sword for me. I can’t tell you how long I have wanted a kitchen of MY choosing. We lived in a flat first, then our last house, and in both the kitchens were standard ‘developer’ kitchens. B&Q, boring, cheap. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with B&Q and I am all about cheap right now, but there was just nothing interesting about them. Totally inoffensive but not for me. So one of the deal breakers on any house we bought was that I got to choose a new kitchen, regardless of how old the existing one was. In fact, the kitchen in the new house is 2 years old so I feel bad, but I’m going to be living with it for 10+ years, so I want what I want. All good so far, yes?
Well, no. Those of you who read the story of our exchange/completion process will know that we planned to extend the house across the back and make a huge dining kitchen area, for family life. You know that whole, cooking and eating and socialising thing that everybody covets. Then the monster pipe showed up and put paid to that idea. We decided the house had so many other good things about it we would go ahead and I have made my peace with the decision, but it was a big compromise. The existing space is not as big as I would wish for a kitchen at all and it is Awkward with a capital A, so it’s going to be a challenge. And before any of you offer suggestions to build over the pipe, honestly, we have looked into it every which way, it’s a total no go.
So, the room in it’s existing form has units all down one side of the kitchen (some in front of a chimney breast) and 2 smallish windows looking out to the back. It has several problems which we need to address:
- It’s small, the shape is awkward and there is a real lack of storage. (It probably looks like there are more cupboards than there are as the fridge and freezer are both integrated into the main under worktop units and in the small ‘kitchen’ area all the base units are either oven, half dishwasher or under sink.)
- The back of the house really doesn’t connect to the garden.
- We need to somehow squeeze in an eating area for midweek meals and hopefully one day feeding the kids.
- Also, the ground floor is a metre off the ground so we need to do something to bring the house and garden together a bit more.
It’s going to be a big job and there are going to be several more kitchen posts coming at you but to set the scene before I skip to the decor, this is what we’re going to do. To expand the existing space, the chimney breast is being taken out and the small wall that juts into the room is also being taken out. That will give us quite a bit more space to play with. The back door will be replaced with a window and the existing larger window and blank side wall will be replaced with glass. Big sliding doors, wrapping around the corner so we have a much better view into and of the garden. Then in the space where we would have extended, we’ll create some kind of tiered patio area to connect the house and garden seamlessly. As soon as we have our architects drawings I will show you what we’re planning. For now though, as I can’t control anything else, I’m focusing on the kitchen itself.
Fortunately here I know exactly what I want. My tastes have come full circle from all white kitchens I used to covet, to the grey I now want. Grey units, white marble worktops, and brass accents for warmth and a bit of glamour. I’m thinking about making a nod to the house’s history with period detailing, but also creating a contemporary space for socialising whilst still keeping it functional. I dream of having an island and it remains to be seen if we can fit one in manageably, more on that later.
Image via HonestlyWTF
The one variable is the tone of grey, I used to lean towards a really soft pale grey but now I’m liking the moodier vide of a darker shade, perhaps even going two tone with a darker island and paler main kitchen. Realistically, this is going to come down to where the kitchen comes from as we’re currently scoping out everywhere from IKEA to bespoke kitchen designers. More flexibility = more £££ and that will be a tough call. I don’t want to compromise on such an important room, but equally I hate the idea of paying a fortune for a kitchen ‘that will last you 25 years’ and being sick of it and stuck with it in 10 years time.
We also need to decide what to do with the awkward (that’s the fifth time that word has cropped up, you get the picture…) small area at the back. Do we include it in the run of kitchen units along that wall thereby extending the storage and workspace? Or do we make a built in seating area for cosy breakfasts and midweek dinners? I would prefer that I think but I really don’t know if we can afford to do it, storage wise, although we are very lucky in that the cellar will afford us a pantry, second fridge freezer and all the utility area is down there too, so there’s no need to squeeze in a washing machine or dryer.
Image of Ali Cayne’s kitchen, via Domino
So there you have it readers. Some very abstract plans. Next time I’ll take you through the kitchen options and hopefully soon I’ll be able to show you some drawings of the planned building work.
I’d love to hear any thoughts or advice you have!