When we moved into our house over 8 years ago, we had so much work ahead of us we didn't even know where to start.
After stripping back and damp proofing once, we then had to do it all over again taking everything downstairs back to brick. Thank you cowboy builder! We soon learnt that you really do get what you pay for when it comes to builders and that going for the cheaper option isn't always what's best. In fact, the cheaper option can put you in huge debt and cause a huge amount of stress too.
After giving the house a simple makeover all round and doing the 'must do' jobs such as fixing plumbing and installing a kitchen sink, financially, big jobs such as putting in a new kitchen and bathroom went straight on the back burner.
Years down the line and being slightly more financially stable, we are in a position where we may soon be able to borrow to finally upgrade and install a new kitchen - hopefully followed by a new bathroom too.
Although every room still needs a fair bit of work, for us the kitchen is the most important space to get right and to be happy with. We've always had fairly simple decor and an acceptable (but not great) upcycled look to the kitchen units with the only new editions being new worktops, modern door knobs and a fresh lick of paint all round. Getting rid of the old fashioned varnished pine, covering with antique cream worked really well initially but it is starting to look tired.
We're currently looking into remortgaging our house as an alternative to relocating. This extra fund would give us the opportunity to finally have the kitchen we've dreamt of as well as being a practical family room. Currently, we make do with what we have and although we've done a great job with our makeover so far, it would be amazing to have a fresher more modern kitchen to cook and dine in. Something as simple as having drawers in the kitchen is something we've never had, a drawer to keep cutlery in, a safe place for knives and just generally a fully functioning kitchen that will work for us. Having something like solid wood worktops would be a dream come true, with some creative storage solutions utilising the quirky shape of our kitchen.
We've started the visits to retail units to view sample kitchens and begun to look at online at different options that may work for us. There is so much to choose from now and we have to get it right as we'll only do this once.
Here's a few sample pictures of the sort of things we have in mind, but now comes the tough part of finding agreement with our choices. It's a hard not to get carried away with looking at all the beautiful kitchens on Pinterest but there is some real inspiration on there, check these out;
There are a few things we're definitely sure of. We don't want shiny doors and cupboards that will show up every Mark and fingerprint, as this is not ideal with small children in the house. Some of the new kitchens we've seen have really bright teal, mustard or pink units, which although look very cool, I've no doubt they will age far quicker than a neutral one. Exciting colours can be added using paint and accessories instead, meaning we can change them when needed.
We love natural products and things like real wood oak worktops and butcher's blocks as well as central islands in a kitchen which are perfect for growing families. Although we do have a lack of space, we do have a good long space to work with as well as an extension and separate utility room.
Unfortunately, another battle we face with a kitchen renovation is that when the previous owners extended the property and installed the kitchen it was all done on the cheap meaning that it's not very well built or very weather proof. In the summer our conservatory and kitchen are so hot they are barely usable, yet in winter the opposite is true. We may find that we need to look into having this rebuilt too which will of course eat up a very large portion of our budget. Any investment at this point though, will only add value to the property going forward. This means when we do eventually have the means to move elsewhere we shouldn't have lost money as anything we take out of the house now we'll go back in and be reflected in the sale price one day.
We are in the very early stages of planning and in that niggly point of husband V wife battles where we just can't agree on anything but here's what we know;
- We would like real wood worktops or a very good man made alternative.
- We want a neutral kitchen, adding colour with paint and decorative bits.
- We want lots of practical storage utilising every inch of space in the kitchen.
- We will need to replace our old boiler and therefore gain extra room in our kitchen (but again will lose another large chunk of our fund).
- We would love some built-in units such as a concealed fridge and dishwasher, as well as ample space to keep all our kitchen items without having to keep any out on show.
- We want an overall clearer and less cluttered look to our kitchen that really works for us, has plenty of storage and ample room to cook.
- We will need a new extractor fan unit that is more of a feature and works.
- We may even have a downstairs toilet installed where our Pantry is if we can get this planned correctly.
So far we've been very much a DIY couple when it comes to our home and this will be the biggest but most exciting project we have faced by far. When it comes to a job this big, I have lots of worries not only about the cost and finding a decent company to work with, but also having builders around the house so much and keeping with children out the way. It all seems a mammoth task right now, but it is something that we will be hopefully be confirming for in 2018. If all goes to plan by this time next year we will have our perfect family kitchen all finished and ready to think about decorating for Christmas, I can't wait.
Have you ever had a brand new kitchen fitted? If so, please do pop any tips you may have in the comments below - I need all the help I can get!
This is a collaborative post, all words and thoughts are my own.