At the beginning, the kitchen was the worst room in the house. The kitchen is towards the rear of our house, and is slightly narrower than the front of the house, allowing for the side extension path from the dining room to the back garden. The window in the kitchen overlooks the side path, and originally this window was so huge and positioned so low on the wall, it meant that kitchen units couldn’t run in front of it. So, while we had the rest of the building work done, we had this window removed, and a shorter version installed and the rest of the gap bricked up and rendered over, and the rear wall treated for Damp.
When we moved in, the kitchen consisted of about 6 base units, one of which with a sink in. They were 80’s laminate cupboards which had been painted (not by a professional!) a bright orange-y colour, with red handles…nice! There were no wall units, just a long shelf running the length of the right hand wall, painted in the same blood red gloss as the handles. Given that the builders were still using it as a dumping ground, it was also pretty dirty; When we moved in, we kept our food in the cardboard boxes we’d moved it in, and just put the boxes directly into the cupboards. We didn’t have a cooker for the first 6 weeks, so dinners were microwave meals and all we used the kitchen for was to prepare packed lunches for work. Once the builders left, we did get the cooker out (a little cheapy temporary solution from Curry’s) and unveiled our fridge freezer which had been lurking under the stairs under a dust sheet. It was relatively luxurious!..
The builders finished work the day before my Birthday, and, as I refuse to work on my birthday (it’s just not nice!) their leaving also signalled the beginning of the first week off Husband and I had together since the buying of the house. We – obviously – had zero money, so we set about a series of dire day trips, thanks to the predictably hideous Welsh Summer weather! After a particularly depressing day trip to Tenby, which started with optimistically putting our swimwear on under our clothing, for that inevitable dip we’d be having in the Bristol Channel to cool off, and ended with us driving home at 2.30pm, when we’d had enough of the rain, Husband decided we needed cheering up, and that meant a trip round the kitchen showrooms! He knows the way to my heart!
We started with a fairly frustrating 3 hour appointment with a lady in Ikea. She didn’t come up with any layout solutions, and couldn’t offer us a unit/worktop combination that both of us could agree on – I loved the grey painted range which was doing the rounds in their advertising – remember the monkeys?!
Husband, however, was put off by the dark colour and matt finish, which on reflection was probably a good thing, considering our kitchen doesn’t have a massive amount of natural light.
From doing a bit more research and soul-searching(!) we realised there were certain things we definitely wanted; Husband wanted a range cooker, and I wanted a double sink, as well as a dishwasher! Husband wanted a light, but not white finish unit, and I wanted some small rectangular marble-look tiles for the up-stand I’d fallen in love with from Topps Tiles…the list goes on!
So, with this wish list in mind, we went to Wren Kitchens… and it was much more like a kitchen showroom I had imagined! I felt like a proper grown up! Loads to look round and a planner who immediately understood us and the way we wanted our kitchen to work. She took our preferences and budget and showed us exactly what we should do. So, long story short, we did!
Left – the swanky plans our Planner, Hollie, sent us (my particular fave is the view through the archway – which actually is just open to the dining room, not an archway into a landscaped garden!) Right – we found a pale blue cupboard because I knew I wanted light blue walls, and held the unit and worktop we chose against it – along with the tile I had fallen in love with and a flooring sample, to get a more rounded impression of how it would look.
Although we placed the order for the kitchen there and then, in Mid July, we scheduled delivery for Mid November, which we thought would give us plenty of time to get the space ready for the new kitchen. This work involved;
- Fixing eternally damp wall
- Scraping the wood chip off the ceiling, and the part of the wall under the stairs, and having the room re-plastered
- Moving the gas pipe for the cooker from the far wall round to the right hand wall where the range cooker would fit
- Painting and decorating
I will leave all of this for Part 2 of this saga I think, to
save you all from falling asleep mid-post keep you all in suspense!! So watch this space…