It has been a long process (especially given that someone else did a lot of the work) but the kitchen is almost finished, hurrah!
I thought I would share some photos, some of the things we’ve learned along the way and some of our favourite bits.
When we started designing the kitchen, we hadn’t yet knocked out the old bathroom, but knew we were planning to, which made it hard to picture how the space would look. We had to work around the existing utility room and structural beam in the centre of the room, so it made sense to use the long wall that would be created across the back of the room and wrap around what would have been the old bathroom, with a breakfast bar to incorporate the upright beam. The kitchen sink is now where you can see the old toilet in the photo below.
We had a Wickes kitchen planner come round who was really helpful and guided us towards what would work in the space, with the key features we knew we wanted – a range cooker, integrated appliances and belfast sink.
Units and Worktops
When we ordered the kitchen we also decided to go with a Wickes fitter, who was mostly pretty good – especially at the worktops, which are beautifully scribed. Wickes’ customer service has been pretty awful though (especially after our sink was out of stock and they supposedly smashed the replacement when loading it and couldn’t source another) and I think it would put me off going there again.
The units are Tiverton Slate, which we initially thought might make our already dark kitchen even darker, but they have a bit of a sheen to them and coupled with the white metro tiles, the light bounces around enough.
If we’d had more time at the point of ordering, I might have gone for some of the appliances Wickes offered, as these had 15% off and I think at the time I assumed they’d still be pricier than those available online. As it turned out, all of the big retailers (Wickes, Currys, AO.com etc) seem to be much of a muchness in price and I ended up buying almost everything at AO.com using Quidco cashback and voucher codes to save a little. I also bought an ex-display fridge freezer in the John Lewis Home Outlet in Swindon, saving over £300 on a unit that was still taped closed. I’d definitely recommend browsing here before you buy elsewhere. The stock turns pretty regularly and there’s a huge selection of appliances, as well as sofas, tables etc.
My favourite appliance is the range cooker. It’s a Rangemaster Excel 110 with an induction hob, which I ummed and ahhed about for an absolute age before just taking the plunge and I’m so glad I did.
Taps and Handles
We wanted black taps and door handles to match the black fittings we have elsewhere in the house (doorknobs, sash window catches etc), but these were surprisingly hard to find. I had a bit of a dilemma on the handles and the ones we’ve gone for (again from Howdens) are a tad chunkier than I’d have liked, but everything else seemed too delicate for my clumsiness! The taps are from Screwfix.
Table and Chairs
The table needed to be a really specific size as the pre-determined gap between the upright beam and the wall is fairly narrow. After much scouring we eventually tracked down the perfect table in a local antiques emporium (this one, if you’re local) and probably paid a bit too much for it because it was exactly the size we needed (and fitted widthways in the car with 1cm to spare). It needed some TLC and we’ve now sanded the top and painted the legs (in a Valspar paint matched to the units).
We’ve kept our Ercol-lookalike chairs that we originally bought for the flat and are in the process of re-spraying the two that were red a more vibrant yellow. The yellow isn’t quite right at the moment – not mustard enough – so we will topcoat again when we find a better spray paint – any recommendations?
As I mentioned, the kitchen is pretty dark, but we’ve gone from 2 ceilings to 27 lights including pendants, spotlights and under-counter lights, which seems to have fixed the problem!
The pendant is from Ian Snow, purchased at Domestic Science, which you must visit (preferably with plenty of time to spare as everything is beautiful) and the light above the table we constructed using bits from Creative Cables in grey and mustard to match. The spotlights and undercounted lights are just the standard Wickes ones.
We picked mustard as our accent colour (hopping on that grey and yellow bandwagon!) and I picked up some bargain Le Creuset bits from Home Sense to finish it off. We’re just working on finding some mustard spray paint, as the yellow of the chairs is a bit bright.
Overall, we’re pretty pleased with how it turned out, hope you like it!