Sorry to anyone who’s now singing “Whhooaaa, we’re halfway there, WHOOAA, living on a prayer” like I am thanks to that title ;D
I’ve mentioned a few times in posts recently about how we’re slowly working on our house, with the kitchen being one of our priorities lately. When we moved in, the kitchen was fine but not hugely to our taste. Ideally we would have liked a bigger and more open kitchen with more light, but it’s not small and it’s fairly standard so it’s not exactly a problem. The house was a new build a few years ago and only had one set of previous owners, so the kitchen units are standard for the average new build house. It had an integrated fridge freezer unit and washing machine, a dark “fake tile” vinyl floor, a black, cream and burgundy tiled backsplash, and pretty standard units. To be honest with you, quite a few things in that list are still the same!
The first thing we did upon moving in was to remove the washing machine (we moved it to the garage – don’t worry!) and replace it with a dishwasher. We’d had a dishwasher in our previous rented house and we weren’t going to be without one again, thank you very much. Definitely one of the best purchases we’ve ever made!
We didn’t change much for a while after that, but the next thing we did was to remove the integrated fridge freezer. We’ve always wanted a big American style fridge freezer and we spotted one that was discounted on eBay because it had a teeny tiny dent in the door but was exactly what we wanted. We decided all it would need was a fridge magnet to cover it if it was noticeable, but fortunately it’s not! I actually test people on it – getting them to look at the unit and figure out what the imperfection is 😀 We turned the cupboards that had previously held the fridge freezer into a larder unit where we now keep our big pans, our Actifry and food processor, as well as stuff like pasta, grains, cereal etc. The only problem was where to put the new fridge.
Our kitchen is slightly annoyingly shaped – it seems normal from the angle of my photos, but we have 3 doorways – one from the hall, one into the dining room and one into the garden room. The garden room actually has another double doorway entrance through the dining room so the kitchen one never gets used. If we’d have put on the garden room extension ourselves, we’d have blocked the doorway from the kitchen and just had a window there, but sadly that’s not the way it is! So for about a year, we’d had the fridge blocking that doorway in, to make a bit of use of the wasted space we had there, but it also blocked out the light there too and made the kitchen quite dark.
And the darkness was also being contributed to by the black/grey fake tile vinyl flooring. It honestly just looked cheap and was bubbling up in one of the doorways too. It was literally the first thing I said we’d have to change when we bought the house, but it’s taken until now to do it! When we decided to redo our en suite bathroom (including the floor), we thought we might as well do the kitchen floor too.
And so that’s been our latest big thing – a new floor. We picked an washed oak-look cushioned vinyl floor and it’s so much better than the old one! And while we had the fridge empty (this was a hassle!), we thought we might as well try it in some different places. For a while, I’d thought that it would look better against the flat wall we had at the back of the kitchen but we’d never tried it there. And it worked!
Aside from one thing…the radiator. As I said, it’s a funny sort of shaped kitchen thanks to all the doors so the radiator is on the only flat wall, right where we want the fridge. So at the moment we’ve switched off the radiator and shoved the fridge in front of it. But we’ve made a decision: we’re going to make a bit more of a feature of the radiator and go for one like this – a tall column one that can fit alongside the fridge and also looks very cool.
The other thing we’ve done to the kitchen is to paint all the units. We decided that we didn’t need to get a whole new kitchen just yet as even though we’re not big fans of the units that are in, there’s nothing wrong with them as such – they’re pretty much new and in very good condition, so it’s just not worth it yet. Instead, we bought some paint and Ben got to work. Over the course of about a month and a lot of weekends and evenings spent in the garage, he sanded them all down, primed them and painted them in a lovely shade of sage green.
There are still a few things that need doing – like the kickboards that no longer fit thanks to the cushioned flooring being higher than the old floor; the tiles that I never really liked the colour of anyway (I’m thinking white or grey subway tiles there instead); the worktop (I’d love a wood or wooden-look one); and a couple of panels on the units that still need painting (we’ll get there!).
So like I said, we’re half way there!