Sunday, 29 April 2018

Our Kitchen Renovation: Before and After

Since we moved into our house nearly 18 months ago we have been DYING to rip out the kitchen and make it our own. The kitchen the previous owners had put in was fine, it was practical enough and not offensive but it was very poorly finished, grubby around the edges and just not what we would choose.

We finally had enough saved up to attack it and found a great kitchen designer who could make the process really easy, which was just what we needed with busy jobs, a baby on the way and barely any good contacts for reliable electricians, plasterers etc.

I wanted to give you a bit of a tour of the new kitchen and show you what it looked like on the first day that Dan started to show the difference between what we had and what we have now. We could not be happier with it now and it only took a couple of weeks from start to finish so our life was barely disrupted.


As I mentioned the kitchen was fine before, it worked (well the bottom oven didn't for the final few months but we made do...) and didn't look too horrendous. But it had obviously been thrown in very quickly, finished poorly and wasn't great quality in the first place so it was falling apart and just generally a bit gross.

We hated the floor as well, the cream ceramic were freezing cold, so grubby and cracked all over the place so that was very high up on the list of things to sort.

We had a two week long schedule for our kitchen which is not that long at all for the amount of work we were having done. It started with Dan ripping out the old kitchen then moved onto electricians sorting the wiring, plasterers skimming and repairing the walls, me painting the whole thing, the cabinets being set up, appliances being re-wired, the worktops being fitted and the floor being laid. Quite a lot to cram into two weeks!

This is what the kitchen looked like on day one after Dan had spent the day ripping out the old cabinets, I can't believe we used that horrible oven for so long!

I didn't take any photos before with my proper camera for some reason but here's one from my phone so you can see what the kitchen looked like before. Complete with dodgy finishing, ugly skirting and a bright blue paint job.



Our kitchen is now pretty much entirely finished and we are SO happy with it! There's only the tiling to sort now but that's not too urgent at all.

We had a clear vision of what our dream kitchen looked like with parquet floors, dark cabinets, brass fittings, a belfast sink and a massive gas oven. We essentially got everything we wanted and managed to come in under budget thanks to Dan's connections and our online shopping for the appliances and fittings, it was actually cheaper than the ones we were looking at at places like Magnet and Wren.

The cabinets are all handmade by a company that Dan works with regular, then sprayed with Farrow and Ball paint, we went for Studio Green because we both love it and thought it would work really well with the brass fittings.

The worktops are white quartz from Cheshire Granite Worktops, we looked at other options but because we had wood before and it had pretty much rotted, we decided to go for a more hard wearing option.

For the flooring we went for wood effect vinyl tiles from Camaro in Georgian Parquet, they're obviously not as amazing as real parquet but they are very kitchen (and child) friendly, guaranteed for 25 years and they could lay them on top of the tiles we had before so saved us having to rip them up and relaying the full floor. We're really happy with how they turned out, it brought the whole kitchen together!

The Little Touches

We wanted to bring out the green of the outside and the cupboards into the kitchen so I did a bit of an IKEA haul for plants and little finishing touches.

I found all the brass fittings online (checked the sizes with Dan before ordering of course!), I got the handles from the glam website Handles4U and the tap from Homary which is a US based company but the shipping was really quick.

We have an open unit/breakfast bar at the back of the kitchen which will eventually house a butcher's block (or more likely a high chair...) but as temporary fix, I've added a couple of stools so we can actually sit in the kitchen for a change. As they're only temporary, I went for a really cheap set of bar stools from B&Q and covered them with a Farrow and Ball tester pot of Railings.

The brass and black plant pots are from H&M home (pink version here and black and silver here) and the grey ones are from IKEA (similar-ish here), both are from last year so I can't link the exact ones I'm afraid!

We've kept the original Victorian range untouched as it's just so beautiful, I think we're going to get a rug and a chair for in front of it. Essentially so I can sit there with the baby while Joe makes us food!

The Appliances

Joe had his little heart set on a giant oven, he's a wannabe chef at heart and I very much wanted an oven that worked. The appliances were Joe's job for the whole kitchen renovation and he did a pretty good job!

We went for a dual range Smeg oven and hood from Currys in the end which we also managed to get on sale, dream.

We also now have a fitted dishwasher so it's hidden behind a lovely cabinet next to the sink, hoorah! We just went for an affordable Indesit one from Currys because you can't see it so as long as it works, that's all we wanted.

We kept our old fridge (because memories) as it fits in fine with the kitchen and we really didn't need to be spending more money! 

The sink looks incredible but was actually really affordable! Well, I don't know much about sinks but I thought it would be much more expensive than it was... It was £131.99 from Ship It which Dan recommended. You can find it here if you're looking for something similar. You can see the old sink in this post to see how much better this one is!

If you're based in Manchester or Cheshire, I cannot recommend Dan enough, he was so helpful, created exactly what we wanted and worked with electricians, plasterers and floor fitters he trusts. I've found the hardest thing to find is trusted trade people who will actually do a great job at a reasonable price so this part was invaluable for us. I only had to take a day off work for this project as well as Dan handled a lot of things or we arranged it so it was in the evening or at the weekend making it easy for us to fit in around work.

If you have any questions about our renovations, please don't hesitate to leave a comment, drop me an email or tweet/comment on Instagram!

Nothing is sponsored or gifted in this post for clarity, it's just our kitchen dreams and savings.

1 comment

  1. What a beautiful transformation! I have been so desperate to upgrade our kitchen but didn't think it was possible with our super tight budget. Your post has given me a few ideas though, so thank you! Steph x


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