The latest update on my kitchen makeover is now long-overdue, for which I apologise- especially when I have received some very nice emails from visitors to this blog, asking how our kitchen finally finished up. Well, thankfully it is now finished…and we are thrilled with the end result! So here I will bring you up to speed, including a timeline of events since my last post on our kitchen…(but if you really can’t wait then scroll down and you’ll find a gallery of all our new kitchen photos!)
The glass splashback template
Picking up from where I last left off, our glass was templated on Monday 14th September. This took all of 20 minutes for the glass templaters to take the measurements of our wall space and measure for our intended socket cut-outs (if you’re not familiar, a cut-out can be made within a glass splashback to accommodate any wall sockets you have/want).
Kitchen makeover: Painting our kitchen walls
We had arranged for our builder to return the day after the glass template to paint our kitchen.
After trying out a number of paints on the kitchen walls, the colour we chose was a warm white tone called ‘Timeless’ by Dulux, and the ceiling was painted in Dulux’s ‘Absolute White.’ The painting should have gone smoothly, except some of my old schoolfriends came over on the weekend prior, one of whom decided to draw our portraits on the kitchen wall in biro….It turns out biro is not so easy to paint over, so 3 coats of paint later and her handiwork was still clearly visible.
Whilst my friends are supposedly adults, I am mentioning this as I know a lot of our clients have young children, and we often we hear tales of how they chose to express their creativity on the kitchen/bathroom/ living room walls. So should this happen, there is a solution; what worked for us was a wonderful product called Stain Block, which has finally removed all trace of the drawing.
You might recall from my last post that we hoped to build a cupboard with shelves in front of our boiler unit. But we couldn’t do this unless we had remote access to the boiler; we found we could achieve through a British Gas ‘Hive’ heating control system.
Our new Hive system was scheduled for installation on the 18th September, but we ended up having to postpone because neither Tom or I could be home that day, and unfortunately the next available appointment wasn’t until 26th September. Sadly the knock-on effect of this was we had to delay our kitchen fitter’s return, as he couldn’t build our cupboard until after the Hive was fitted when we would no longer need direct access to the boiler.
Shelving for our Boiler cupboard
Following the Hive installation, Stuart returned on 30/09/2015 to finish our boiler cupboard…And what a difference this makes! Not only does it hide our big ugly boiler, but it gives us a lot of extra storage space within the kitchen (to the extent that after refilling all of our cupboards and shelves, we don’t really know what else to fill this space with!)
Our glass splashback installation
Our glass splashback fitting took place on 6th October, and this really felt like a pinnacle moment in our kitchen makeover as the splashback is our favourite kitchen feature! In all honesty, I felt really nervous as I watched the sheet of glass being carried up my stairs and into the kitchen as I was anxious to catch sight of the colour and determine if we got it right, or if the teal would be too light/too dark/too green/too blue etc etc.
Originally, we had looked at Dulux’s ‘Teal Tension’ which was the colour I used when making my wedding stationery, but sadly this colour appeared too matt, and too dark. I had then looked at similar colours on the popular RAL colour chart but none seemed quite right. So instead I purchased some small paint tester pots and I posted these to the glass company so they could colour match the tone, and create some small samples for me. (As long as you can provide a colour swatch for them to work from, they can match a sample to any colour of your choosing).
Fortunately, Tom and I definitely feel we got our glass colour right, and our new splashback in ‘Dulux’s Teal Ripple’ has completely transformed the kitchen as we had hoped! Whilst the look of the grey and white matt finish remains a constant, we love the way the appearance of the glass subtly changes as the natural light in our kitchen changes throughout the day; it’s a dark green/blue tone in the morning but becomes a very rich ‘teal’ as the day wears on, and particularly when the sun shines through the window. The warm undercabinet spotlights also accentuate the beauty of the teal, and make the kitchen feel really warm and homely.
Our kitchen makeover: The finishing touches
Following the glass fitting, we were nearly at the finishing post of our kitchen makeover; we now only needed our socket plates fixing over our splashback, as well as a few small remedials to complete.
When talking to our builder about our splashback wall sockets I specified that I didn’t want socket plates for our glass in a standard white colour, as this would have spoiled the splashback’s look. Instead I ordered some brushed steel socket plates. I also decided on a model with built-in USB ports as these would prove convenient for charging our phones (especially given we now intend to spend lots of time cooking and enjoying our beautiful new kitchen!) Well, the moment the sockets were fixed to the glass, it really felt like our kitchen was complete. But still not quite…
…Stuart (our fitter) returned a few days later to replace some temporary panels he had installed whilst waiting on new ones arriving from our manufacturer in Germany. The temporary panels didn’t have a properly finished edge, but were better than leaving a gap whilst waiting on new materials needed in their place. This included the cupboard door above the oven, as well as the small end cupboards he had built for us.
Following this, Tom and I were excited to peel the protective film from each of the doors and their edges, so we could finally stand back and see the true colour of our kitchen underneath!
And what do we think to the look?…
It’s finished, and it’s amazing! It felt like such a happy and special moment to see our newly completed kitchen for the first time, combined with our ‘we can’t wait to use it’ excitement! And even though I work with our designers every day and know this is what they do and how good they are, I still feel slightly (and weirdly) in awe of the fact our finished kitchen looks exactly like the final version of the design we so carefully put together, and wanted. With this too, we are pleased that the colours and finishes we chose work so well (all be-it that we had a lot of help on this front from my lovely colleagues way back at the start of the project!) And of course, to us, the Teal splashback is our kitchen showstopper!…Teal is the colour we chose for our wedding, so there’s definitely a strong personal sentiment attached to it, but aside from our love of the colour, we really think it works beautifully in combination with the Pearl grey and white kitchen doors.
And using the kitchen?
The kitchen has now been finished for nearly a month, and it has been really lovely getting to know our way around the new layout, as well as cooking with our new appliances. Through this we have established our earlier concern regarding the height of the microwave was unfounded, as this height is fine for both Tom and I to safely use, (even if I am claiming it’s not when it comes to cleaning it!)
What we are both noticing is how much easier everything is within the new layout…from lifting pots out of drawers (rather than cupboards), to loading or emptying the dishwasher (we now only have to turn, rather than traipse back and forth across the kitchen, and of course, there is more storage space now than we can even fill!
Swapping the kitchen’s wash zone from it’s former position so the sink is now below our open hatch also seems to have been successful in making our kitchen more sociable……we can now easily carry on conversations whilst preparing food or cleaning up, yet without one of us struggling to hear the other as used to be the case.
Whilst the major worry during our project was the boiler and the boiler cupboard, in all respects this has been carefully and successfully addressed to ensure the look, design and function that we really wanted. What I would say now, is Tom and I also both feel a real sense of pride in our home; we are delighted with the end-result of our kitchen makeover, and incredibly thankful to all the people that have made it possible.
I also know there have been people following our kitchen makeover on this blog too, so thank you very much to you as well…I hope you like the end-result, and please feel free to tell me what you think (good or bad!) Also, look out for my post next week on ‘Questions to Ask the Builder,’ where I will share some of the useful tips I have learned a long the way.
If you would like your kitchen designed (or redesigned) by our talented designers you can arrange this by contacting: [email protected] Alternatively, if there is anything you would like to ask me about my kitchen project you can contact me on: [email protected]