My house: Kitchen reveal

This post has been a very long time coming… I think we were back in the kitchen and using it about a month before Bea was born in July last year, but its taken me a considerable amount of time to take decent photos in good light, then I was thwarted by a camera malfunction (which is why some of the photos show different items in them!) but it’s finally ready to share. (Want a recap on what we started out with? Theres a few more pictures in our new house tour.)

I’ve shared various planning posts about the kitchen before which I have linked at the end of the article. If you read any of these posts before, you might know that we bought an ex-display kitchen that was about to be dismantled from a shop that was being refitted. It was a massive saving and whilst it was still not a small amount, it saved us I reckon about 50% on similar inframe solid wood kitchens. I absolutely love the style and the quality is also amazing. The smaller drawers have wooden dividers and felt lining inside, everything is soft close and has a heavy feel of quality about it which I’m really happy with. The units were originally a mix of dark brown and this soft grey (Farrow and Ball’s Dove Tale) so the whole thing was repainted to match. The handles were part of the deal and I’m so glad I didn’t have to choose any myself as I think it might have sent me over the edge! We chose Great White (also F&B) for the walls as it has a hint of pink which I felt the room needed as it’s west and north facing so can appear cold. It goes beautifully with the kitchen units I’m pleased to say!

We chose all SMEG appliances, mainly after searching for a range style oven. There were two reasons we went for a range instead of sleek inbuilt overns… firstly the kitchen aesthetic suited a range and secondly, we actually couldn’t configure the layout to work with a wall mounted oven set up anyway. Once we found the right range (we wanted one with clean lines and so many are covered in twidly buttons or have vintage design details,) we then looked at the rest of the SMEG range and found them to be competitive with other brands of comparative quality so we bought a 60/40 fridge freezer and our dishwasher from SMEG too. So far, we’re very happy with all of the appliances, particularly the oven. :)

The sink (as un-sexy as it is to talk about) was a big deal for me. In the old kitchen there had been a single sink and I can’t tell you how much it irritated me that there was no second or half sink to empty things into for rinse into. I wanted a sleek modern square one and it took me ages to find one that was reasonably priced but I finally did in B&Q, from their Cooke and Lewis range. I know not everyone likes stainless steel but it worked with the stainless steel range and hood and I like the finish personally. For the taps I searched high and low, but we ended up reusing the tap from the old kitchen when I realised all the ones I liked were exactly the same!

The biggest thing for me was the work tops and we finally went with Carrara marble. I LOVED the look of marble but nobody has anything good to say about it in a kitchen. All the stories are true – marble chips, scratches, stuns and etches with abandon, leading to a ‘patina’ of wear which doesn’t bother me at all. The one thing I was terrified of was staining but I’ve found coffee, juice and fruit spots on the marble and all have simply wiped off (although it had been sealed prior to and after installation.) The marble was actually cheaper than any other stone work surface and I’m really glad we went for it still.

The floor was another huge decision – I wanted real wood and although again, people don’t recommend it, I didn’t see any reason why not to go for it – although a kitchen floor does get wet, you don’t leave it wet do you?! We ened up however going for Kardean and its another decision we are really happy with. It looks fab – I wanted a parquet herringbone effect but only the top of the range was available in parquet style tiles. I was very particular about the colour and finish of the wood effect which was only available in the (fortunately) cheapest range, so we chopped the tiles in half and ended up with this oversized herringbone effect. It actually works to make the space look bigger and I love it.

Lastly, the light was the result of a bit of trial and error. I originally wanted 2 pendants over the island and bought some copper fisherman style ones from M&S, but unfortunately they only reached 80cm long from the ceiling. As our house is old with over 3m high ceilings they kind of hung half mast and looked insignificant. The same night they we installed (and removed swiftly) I spotted this statement pendant and made a snap decision to buy it. The electricians weren’t very pleased with me but I’m happy with the touch of glamour it adds to the space.

The stools are the old ones we bought as a temporary measure for the island we used in the kitchen before it was re-done. I haven’t found the right thing to replace them and I actually quite like the pop of colour!

I’ll leave it there for now although I do have a couple of other posts to share on the kitchen including what we would do differently in retrospect and how the things we have chosen have worn, which might be useful for some of you planning future projects. In the mean time, I hope you like it! :)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Suppliers/Sources:

Previous Kitchen posts:

Merry Twixmas…

First and foremost readers… I really hope you all had a very merry few days over Christmas. I feel bad that I didn’t get chance to post those wishes before Christmas but things were manic around here. The good news is that after working until 1am on christmas eve eve, ;) we got the lounge looking presentable and ready to celebrate with our families. As you all listened to my woes in the run up to Christmas while one thing after another went wrong, I thought I’d post a few pictures of how it’s looking now. I’ll do another full post on the whole renovation process and suppliers/tradesmen in the new year but here’s what the room looks like today, mid Christmas obviously!




We were quite lucky in that we had chosen and bought lots of the ‘finishing touches’ like the mirror and light fitting, while the room was in progress, and the sofas were all ordered in time for Christmas delivery, so the room was relatively ready to go, but the decorations have helped make it look a lot more ‘done’ too. I’m looking forward to choosing the rest in the New Year. :)

Lastly, to those of you who are regulars here and surprised I’m blogging between Christmas and New Year, so am I(!) but I missed it after a sketchy couple of weeks and have quite a few posts in mind that lend themselves to the end of the year, so make sure you pop back over the next few days! :)

Love,
Rebecca
xo

A work in progress…

I feel like I have been a bit quiet lately although the blog is keeping ticking over, and I don’t have much to report on the fashion, home or life front because it feels like nothing is happening. In actual fact, loads is happening but in this house I was determined to make the right decisions, so I have really allowed myself the luxury of time to mull over them. As we are doing room by room I’m getting the chance to carefully consider each element, how they go together and be sure I’m happy so hopefully there will be no costly mistakes. Of course, if all this sounds very decadent, let’s keep it real, we’re also desperately scraping cash together month by month to do each step of the renovation, so money is a limiting factor too. Today I thought I’d share some ‘progress’ pictures with you all, so you might get some insight into how I decorate.

After this post about my living room ideas I decided it was time to put my money where my mouth is and decide if I can stomach this deep shade of blue on ALL the walls (I think Becca’s comment was spot on…) The Fabric here is Bluebellgray and the paint is Farrow and Ball Pitch Blue. I always try paint on lining paper so it’s not a nightmare to paint over patches of different shades and I always do one for each wall – everyone who has seen ours up have asked what the paints are, assuming it was more than one shade, illustrating how different they can look in different lights.

The bedroom is in a similar state although with more choice and after my fruitless search for a chalky pinky grey, we’re going back to actual grey in Cornforth White for in here. In the background you can see the large scale painterly floral fabric in grey with a touch of lilac that I’ve ordered the curtains in and the new windows are being fitted next week! Then come January, the wall you see here will be gone as it’s knocked through to the dressing room. I’m psyching myself up to move out into one of the chilly attic rooms!

Obviously, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and not having somewhere to eat in there was driving me mad. We ordered a table from made.com which we knew would be an interim measure as in the future we homed to have an island in the new kitchen. Eventually it dawned on me that the lead time on it was so long (It still wouldn’t have been delivered by now,) that we should just get something from Ikea. While we were on one of many trips there it dawn don me that we could buy a free standing island and kill two birds with one stone as we also answered the question bout how feasible it would be to squeeze an island into that space.

So for £200 we got a kitchen table and island in one and I am using it for storage too with my Sophie Conran Crockery displayed on it along with my excessive collection of cookery books stacked on the top shelf.

Of course we needed some seating but ikeas selection was pretty poor and I wouldn’t have minded spending money on ones we would keep but I doubted that I had a clear enough vision on the kitchen to do that. Vicky tipped me off about these Tolix look-alikes from Home Bargains for £19.99! Incredible!

Lastly, we still don’t have our main tree up, but we did put a fake one in the hall as it was just crying out for some Christmas spirit…

Now we’re starting to make small changes and the house is working for us, it’s feeling much more like ours :)

I hope you enjoyed seeing what’s going on readers, have a great weekend,

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Renovation Ruminations: The Living Room

The longer we are in the house and the more I immerse myself in interiors inspiration, the more I’m finding the creative juices are flowing for our decoration plans. I’m really starting to gain a huge amount of respect for people who take on full house renovations as there is so much to think about beyond the paint colours. At the moment we’re just at the ‘getting quotes’ stage, to get a better idea of the funds we need in place for each room. As much as I would love to get on with the living room/lounge, we’re limited as it’s going to be another whopper of a room to do properly, as it needs amongst other things, new windows, the chimney breast knocking through so we can replace a salvaged fireplace, new flooring and potentially new furniture as the current sofa isn’t ideal for the space.


The perfect living space for me… but is ‘warm’ enough for winter?

Decoratively, my biggest concern and challenge is to make this room work both in summer and winter. I’ve been through two big phases of decor in the last house, initially going with an industrial ‘period’, (when I had red damask wallpaper in the cosy dining room and the vintage salvaged photos on the wall.) Then more recently I moved to wards lighter, brighter interiors. This time, I want some colour and some warmth that will lend itself towards long winter nights but I want that colour to work equally well with brighter colours for the summer.


Office space // Selina Lake // Formal living space

At the moment I’m hugely drawn towards moody blue interiors. Not anything as dark as navy but no coastal or country-ish lighter shades either. I’m looking for the perfect smokey blue, inspired by many of the Bluebellgray images I have seen online. (Fi the creator of Bluebellgray uses Pointer Blue from Farrow & Ball in her home.)


Bluebellgray via Bright Bazaar

I’ve also fallen in love with Bluebellgray‘s fabrics. Previously I thought they were a bit too floral for me, with such a summery vibe, but having seen the latest fabrics and some abstract patterns (Via Bright Bazaar,) I think they could work season-round with toning blue shades and splashes of my favourite yellows and pinks.


Fireplace // Light Fitting // Paint swatches, all Farrow & Ball // Sofa // Floral fabric Swatch and room set, BluebellGray via Bright Bazaar // Gold Table Nest, Zara Home // Gallery wall

We’re planning to source a salvaged Victorian white marble fireplace to restore into the room, which I’m hoping will really pop against the blue. Despite my infatuation with the blues, I’m going to try and balance it by only having it on one wall, and keeping the rest grey. Other ideas include a mix of furniture, something in the bay window like a window seat or pair of danish chairs, splashes of warm gold or brass and some way of including the TV amongst lots of art on a gallery wall so it doesn’t take over the room.

So what do you think readers? Have you got any ideas? I’m really enjoying sharing my plans here – it’s proving really useful to think through all the design elements before actually doing anything!

Love,
Rebecca
xo