When we moved into the house back in December 2018 one of the first things I wanted to do was to transform the kitchen, and only six months down the line I’m happy to say the kitchen is finished! It was a long and messy process but all of the blood sweat and tears have been worth it!
Once a dark, unclean, cluttered and uninviting space with not a lot of storage, is now a light, bright, airy and welcoming space. Something our old house lacked was a kitchen big enough to entertain in with enough room to move around, so it was really important when we started looking for houses in the summer of 2018 that we found a kitchen big enough to cook and entertain in simultaneously. When we went to view the house (even with all of its clutter) I could see the potential for space, and redesigning this kitchen is something me and Tom both enjoyed doing!
One of the worst jobs during the kitchen renovation process was taking up the old floor. Although the existing tiles were in keeping with the age of the cottage, we decided they were too dark and dated to fit in with the new cupboard doors. We wanted to modernise the kitchen whilst keeping a cottage feel to it. There wasn’t much of a discussion about the right tiles for the floor, as luckily myself and Tom loved these Wickes Como Travertine porcelain tiles. Having natural stone tiles would have been too much of an expense for us, so finding these was a result. With their high definition print and distinctive chipped edges they look like the real deal. Plus we even managed to bag them as a bargain when they had 15% off during the bank holiday event.
The level of the ceiling is now slightly higher because the existing floor tiles were an inch thick. This means eventually we’ll have to get different doors into the kitchen and dining room as there are gaps underneath them. The new tiles have made such a difference to the look of the size. It seems much more spacious and light.
For the wall tiles, we swapped the awful ceramic multi coloured wall tiles to a much more simple, modern but timeless rustic farmhouse tiles from Wickes which have a handcrafted appearance to them.
We were in a bit of a predicament with what to do with the sink. I loved the butler sink that was in the kitchen to begin with, but because the worktops were completely rotten and needed replacing we needed to consider two options. Do we either;
1) Keep the existing sink then fork out a lot of money for solid wood worktops
2) Buy a different sink with a lip to sit on top of the wood and get laminate wood effect worktops instead.
We couldn’t afford to buy solid wood worktops and although they look fantastic, I also couldn’t be bothered with the constant upkeep of them going forward. Laminate worktops were definitely the cheaper option but because you can’t install a butler sink with laminate worktops (imagine where it needs to be cut into, it would just be chip board) we had to buy this sink from IKEA with a lip around the edge. So effectively it sits on top of the worktops instead of being set into it. We sold the existing butler sink and put it towards the new one.
The cupboard doors…
After hours and hours of researching new kitchens, it was clear to us we couldn’t afford to purchase some brand new. We decided to try our luck at a second hand kitchen from eBay. Our previous experience of installing a second hand kitchen in our old house meant we knew what to look for and not to look for! Eventually we found these second hand Wren doors in Baltic Blue on eBay and we both loved the idea of a navy kitchen. We managed to get the buyer down to £450 for all of the cupboard doors, and we even had enough to complete the utility room! We got the brass half cup handles for them and they look so nice next to the navy. Then all we had to do was buy the carcass’s from B&Q which cost next to nothing, and we we’re on our way to completing our kitchen!
The finishing touches...
So the worktops were brand new and they were quite a big cost to factor in. We ended up getting them from B&Q. They didn’t have any deals on at the time but it was the final piece of the puzzle which made an instant difference! Mum’s partner Simon generously gave up his weekend to come over and help us fit them and although they aren’t solid wood they look so much better than the previous ones! We changed the layout of the kitchen slightly to allow for additional units and boxed in one of the windows so you couldn't see the boiler (and I could put up some shelves!), so we ended up buying two lengths of laminate worktops. This also left us enough to complete the utility room.
We got given the wood for free for the shelving, and we still have enough for shelving in the bathroom. The shelf brackets were a cheap eBay find. They’re mostly for decoration, but they fill that corner and have finished it off perfectly. Eventually we’ll have to get some blinds for the windows and finish off the filling and glossing, but for now it’s such a great space to entertain in and cook in.