15 January 2009

Two houses ago - kitchen

From the moment we first moved into the house we wanted a new kitchen. Well, we knew when we viewed the house that we would need to put a new one in. As you can see from when we viewed, there was just about no storage and what there was was very dated and grubby:

A couple of shots from moving day:

Facing into the kitchen from the doorway to the lounge (door to yard just to the right).

Facing back towards the lounge:

We cobbled together a little extra storage here and there, including a bedside table on the counter top:

Later a friend renovated her kitchen so I snagged a couple of the old cabinets she was chucking out. We were very kindly given a gas cooker (stove) by someone else:

Kinda sad that I was excited about old vinyl that wasn't even THAT good

I later started my first business which was an online store selling scrapbooking goodies. It was turning a decent profit but every penny was being plowed back into new stock so I wasn't actually making any money for myself, plus it was a lot of work that I was juggling to fit in with Daniel who was 2. When we decided to have another baby I sold the business and we used that money to put in a new kitchen. Much excitement!

I thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of planning the layout. The room was long and narrow. It had originally been one small kitchen but someone had extended it. This meant that halfway down the room the walls suddenly went from single thickness of brick to double - if you look on the left wall in the picture above you can see how the floor units at the back stick out further than the fridge and floor units closest to the door.

I took that into account and we decided to cut the backs of the units going into the back section so that not only would they line up with the rest of the units but we'd gain a few inches of floor space too. You'll see the effect later - but at first we had to gut the whole room and start building units.

I don't have photos of that stage as they were taken with my film camera. So fast forward to installed units. Ignoring the plastic film on them (with blue logos) you can see that we chose Adel units from Ikea in yellow-white, because we wanted a softer cream colour than pure stark white.

Note the artwork I'd painted on the wall previously on a whim using tester pots:

Now you can see what I meant about the units on the left hand side - one straight run of counter. The units after the gap with the stool in were cut to be shallower than the rest.

Oh, and did I mention that we built this kitchen while I was heavily pregnant?

View from the back door. We were originally sent the wrong doors for the tall unit and had to get new ones. It was for the integrated fridge-freezer. As you can see here the middle door was too long and the bottom door too short.

Yay, counters on both sides! The first of the colours considered get tested on the wall (biscuit and sage):

I think I swooned at this stage:

Grant's first time installing a sink and taps:

Notice the bare concrete floor:

And the final reveal - ta-da! After testing loads of colours on the wall we decided on a neutral tan. The trouble with the units was that they were too yellowish rather than a neutral cream. Any colour next to them made them look more yellow (green and yellow; red and yellow) whereas sticking to a neutral kept them looking neutral.

Excuse the yucky bin, we'd run out of money!

Because we'd used every inch wall space for storage we had sacrificed the wall heater, which was rubbish anyway. We had decided on underfloor heating and laid laminate over it. (By the way, it's normal to have the washing machine and dryer in the kitchen in Europe).

Unfortunately, as you can see in the picture above, over time the warmth from the underfloor heating made the laminate boards shrink and they started coming apart. We later replaced it with interlocking laminate tile flooring.

A little extra storage on a shallow bit of wall - we had to adapt an Ikea floating shelf for this. Props to Grant for his DIY skills:

We had planned on adding a cooker hood but I don't think we ever got around to it. This was the first time Grant and I did any tiling and it was pretty easy except for the fact that I had trouble leaning over the counter to press the tiles on due to my 8-month-pregnant belly!

I later painted the back door off-white - big improvement.

Hand towel handy next to the sink:

DIY artwork created with a dirt-cheap Ikea frame painted black, a sheet of white card, a square punch and a bunch of different patterned papers:

Note how the cords for the dishwasher and washing machine come up behind the upstand - my, my, aren't we clever.

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