This summers renovations have been really good for our space, as I have enjoyed a good kitchen for many years our expanding family has meant a greater need to create a efficient environment to fulfil our requirements! This started with a random bid on a kitchen, one of those cheeky bids that rarely pay off .
However after being let down on our first win, we finally won the kitchen which I thought was amazing! I like the new styles, twists on old shaker kitchens with there clean lines and crisp finishes but to upcycle our cupboard doors would cost over a thousand, not to mention any added base units. If the first bid had been in Good condition I could have painted the similar cupboard doors a nice blue, grey or green but thankfully I avoided the patchwork kitchen.
Anyway my bid of £350 won this bespoke kitchen, Oak doors, island, two wall units set dressers and five pieces of wooden carvery worktops, two lengths of Granite worktops with taps, double oven, hood, extractor were all included. As I always longed for a farmhouse kitchen it seemed amazing that for the cost of one worktop I could have a full fitted kitchen.
So, After a marathon of a day my husband collected the kitchen, returning he set it all down in our kitchen! The impact of the task dawned, “what now!” After my husband had a rest we built up the wall units, beautiful they swamped the space. The corner pan cupboard would only fit one space, adding the island base against the back wall and levelling we finally had an area for the massive work top to fit!
We made a little area to organise the rest of the space, the oven fit was next and as built up the kitchen around the oven centre piece I was debating whether the hood was worth the effort! I sorted my old display wall units added brass hinges to some false doors which had been used to back their breakfast bar. I added a shelf in each cupboard to fit the cooking staples and cups.
Finally I gave in and my husband began to fit the extractor hood, massive it makes the cooker a central feature. Over the next few days we used the pantry units to underfit the sink area, resetting the washing machine we added inlay drawers in a large cupboard which I can use to store vegetables, potatoes and savoury items.
I found a few of the old tiles for the walls of the kitchen these I used to fill the gaps, after I had taken down the half tiles. Relatively easy with the right tools, which I shall grout when the larger jobs are completed.
The beautiful display cupboards are set next to the computer, to this area we added a shaped off cut to make a small corner breakfast bar. This space is for our eldest to do work, a bonus as it is vital for there to be somewhere to focus away from the hustle and bustle of life, essential in a busy home.
With the units and doors in place the flooring set was in need of replacing, I chose a marbled stone effect, feeling it would be hard wearing we bought in a few packs and my husband finally finished the kitchen floor. This is the only time I have not put quality over cost, I could have spent a few hundred pounds on a bargain but they would not be as strong or hardwearing. They are visually striking, with the depth of external tiles but the texture underfoot is an added bonus that you cannot buy in the sale area.
The large tiles allow the original floor solid coverage, although a lot of adhesive is required to ensure a strong adhesion to the tiles below. We chose to order in batches, allowing us time to complete an area before collecting some more, still at the original reduced price we were offered.
A few weeks later our second purchase of tiles arrived and after cutting the first row he was called out, this left me with a bucket of grout about to dry, my daughter set for her snack time I set to work, After half an hour I had laid the two rows needed to set our unit back. It is a messy job, needs a level hand, good lines and the grout spaces even and smooth but the finish is amazing and full of texture. After a few hours the unit was ready to move back, quick drying the tiles set quickly so clean and accurate is key.
Yesterday I set the main walkway down, after stressing the need for completion I set my daughter in her highchair to eat and completed it myself, despite being full of cold. Last night, exhausted and after my daughter went to sleep I set the last few full tiles we had that I could lay, after moving the fridge to lay the floor with everyone asleep it was far too late for cutting tiles.
Before resting I cleared the table of kitchen extras, allowing a space to eat together again, the tiles look amazing and I cannot wait for it all to be complete, as I sat back to see my bespoke kitchen, designing and organising, I address the needs of everyone else first, but the satisfaction of creating with quality products is amazing!
This satisfaction as with my gardening, allotment and crafts is creating something to appreciate, from rescued plants, recycled and clearance products costing relatively nothing at all. The floor cost will be worth the investment, if cheap ceramics last twenty years these should last twice as long, taking the ware of a large family.
I have saved all extra cupboards, panels and worktops to build up in our summerhouse, but finally when work is finished we will have a space that is un-cluttered and full of character. For now I am grateful for a wonderful space, fabulous children that keep me focused and the opportunity to recycle a wonderful oak kitchen!
So today I hope to get the cuts done, lay the area needed to reset the fridge and get my husband to order the last few packs needed to finish the room. Our homemade benches and wall unit will need a second coat, the table a sand to polish down the artwork and eventually we will have managed a refurb for ten percent of the usual cost of a new kitchen.
Hopefully next week we will have shifted this cold!