The Kitchen renovation – Finally finished

I can’t believe I have a new kitchen. I no longer start my morning staring at those ghastly Mediterranean tiles. Tiles which were never even popular in the 90s. The kitchen was always going to be the big project. The rest of the house I naively thought was going to be a lick of paint. The lick of paint, however, turned into a project in itself. As a result, the kitchen had always been put on the back burner. 

I was conscious I didn’t want to keep this house for too long. If I was going to invest the time and energy in designing a new kitchen I wanted to have long enough to enjoy my efforts. So at the end of last year, I start planning the new kitchen with different materials and products – check here for more information. 
The before
The photo below is the photograph taken from the Rightmove listing. Which firstly means this was the best they could make the kitchen look. Secondly, yes I bought the house with a kitchen which looked like this. The kitchen deteriorated after this photo (if that is even possible). The cupboard door in the left-hand corner fell off. The boiler door we removed so we could try and fix the previous boiler. The pink blind I disposed of straight the way. I would rather people see in than have that in my kitchen. What you cannot see is how ‘grubby’ it was. No deep clean made a difference. Instead of a new kitchen over the years, the previous owners had added to it or built on top of it. The only way I could describe it is gross. 

Finding who to go with
I received so many recommendations on where to buy kitchens from, to who to get to fit it. From Wickes, Leakes, Ikea to carpenters etc it all became a bit of a minefield. Should I wait until January and check out the sales? Or go with someone smaller and know what I am paying for? In the end, I went with Lee Powell. Lee is local and he also fitted my sister’s Kitchen last year so I knew he would do a good job. Lee was brilliant the whole way through. Leaving me with catalogues to look through and showing me all the different designs to choose from. When the initial quote came through he sat down with me and told me his recommendations, and what to sacrifice to save money which was a massive help. He also sourced all the new appliances for me which were a massive weight of my mind. 
The design
 The design I didn’t have much flexibility with. I did toy with widening the doorway into the utility room to make it into a larger open space. This was the plan all along. However, ever since the kitchen has been finished I enjoy shutting the door on the washing machine and keeping it separate. Because of the shape and the kitchen is the smallest of the downstairs space I didn’t have much choice on how the kitchen was laid out. I knew I wanted the hob and the oven together. I thought about having a cooker there but I couldn’t find one I liked for the size of the space. I knew I no longer wanted the end tall cupboard as it made the doorway into the living room feel dark. Removing this has made a huge difference as the kitchen feels so much more spacious and lighter. I also thought about having no top cupboards too and having shelves instead but those who have done this comment on the amount of dust it gathered so I decided against. My main criteria were to move the washing machine and fridge out of the kitchen, to remove the end cupboard and to have a Belfast sink so I happy pleased those boxes were ticked. The rest was all an added bonus. 
The Colour
For anyone who has seen my house, you will know I like grey. I can’t get away from it. As much as I would like to inject a little more colour and life into the property there is nothing I like more than grey. I would love a dark navy kitchen but they are quite bold and I wasn’t sure if it was going to make space feel small. So I stayed with a very light grey for the doors. The walls I painted white apart from the wall between the kitchen and utility which is a dark pebble (you guessed it) grey. I did this because it is a walkthrough for the dogs and I knew I would be driven to despair if it was white and got dirty. My older sister does up properties as a living so managed to get her hands on the nicest shade of grey for this wall for a steal of a price. It is perfect and goes well with my mojito print and radiator. I touched up all the skirting boards, woodwork and gave the door to the utility a new lease of life. I am undecided if I will replace this door yet but for now, it has a new coat of paint and is looking fresh.
The flooring 
I deliberated between a few flooring options. First, there were actual tiles which Lee said from the start would be a pain the arse. (not sure they were his exact words). Words I never like to hear so I forgot about them. Lee recommended laminate tiles from Tilers Place which were the favoured option for a long time. I then realised I still need to refloor the utility room, lounge and dining area. As these, all run through I thought it would be better for them to all have one floor throughout. After trawling all the sites and a few trips to Wickes and Homebase I settled on this light oak from Wickes. Firstly because of the worktop. Secondly, because it was on offer in the Wickes January sale and I love a discount especially when I needed to purchase about 40 packs.
The tile dilemma 
This is the point I probably began to drive followers mad on Instagram. The tiles were honestly the hardest decision of my life. I loved the grey tiles (obviously) but there was concern they were going to be too much grey on grey. The white tiles had a nicer contrast but I thought white grout would get dirty, and I was never fully sold on the white tiles dark grout. I Pinned on Pinterest for DAYS. I did voting polls on Instagram and on Twitter and I asked just about everyone’s opinion. In the end, I finally settled on white tiles with a light grey grout which I am really pleased with. It was definitely the right decision for me.
The Accessories
I am not going to ramble on this too much as I am going to bore you with a kitchen haul soon. However, the only part of the kitchen renovation I enjoyed was buying all the new bits and bobs which clutter the side. The links to the fittings are in my post here. The radiator ( I have still not fitted) was from Soak. The light which I received a lot of messages on Instagram is from Lamp and Light and was called Tommy (as you do). I wasn’t sure if a copper light was going to be too much and I am not sure if I love it or hate it. I thought the worse case, however, a light could be changed easily. (Not that I am an electrician) but I thought it added a bit more than grey to the kitchen whilst tying in with other bits I bought. The tap was bought by Lee. They are probably not th tap I would have purchased but I like the simplicity. I would have chosen a more country type tap without considering I live in a 1960s ‘town’ house and not a country cottage. The hob, oven and dishwasher are from Hoover or Bosh. I didn’t buy these but cost wise I was happy with them.
And that guys is my kitchen round up. I will be doing a quick kitchen haul soon on the little things I treated the kitchen too. I hopefully will no longer be boring you with renovation updates until I start the utility room.
A big thank you to all those which helped, my older sister Hannah who did all the tiling for me, She is very good, I can rent out her at a reasonable cost and my friends who have tackled much bigger renovations who were a constant source of knowledge. 
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