If you follow my Instagram. You may have noticed I love my kitchen. Hell yeah, I’m proud and I’m not afraid to say it.
Before we moved and renovated our 1930s house, I trawled through homes and interior magazine lusting longingly at all the amazing kitchens. The dream kitchen had to be wood (no MDF on my watch) it had to be freestanding, hand-made and above all else – grey. I also wanted as big an island as possible and didn’t want any cupboards on the walls – only shelves and not very many of them. So, I really had to think about cupboard space and how storage would work. But, I loved the whole process. I literally am not kidding when I say that designing our kitchen was one of my most favourite experiences ever. I think I even enjoyed it more than planning my wedding.
For inspo, we went to numerous kitchen design companies Devol, Higham, Neptune even Mark Wilkinson (dreaming) but in the end, by pure chance, and a ‘serendipitous moment’ we ended up, on a Saturday afternoon just outside Wallingford in a stone and marble yard when we came across a Carpenter, Andrew Lord, who was making a boat house which we got chatting about and as it turned out, he happened to make kitchens and so he made ours. Result.
So, the kitchen is entirely bespoke. That part came in very handy when it came to fitting around the wonky walls and last minute changes that had to be made in the extension it was going in. The worktops are composite (fake marble) but you wouldn’t know the difference. My favourite bits are my dream crockery cupboard, the larder cupboard which literally stores all the food that isnt in the fridge it’s that big, and the big ‘show off’ cooker-hood which as well as being functional, displays lots of ‘pretties.’
We had the utility made to match and that houses the washer and dryer and alsorts of other crap. It’s also dog central with all Louis’s bits and bobs stashed way. My husband sneaked an additional ‘beer fridge’ in there which is a bit of an eyesore but that will one day get relegated to the summer house/shed/garage.
The utility was meant to be the route in and out of the garden so that muddy feet and paws don’t traipse through the house, it has the stable door and even a seat and coat rack installed there for that reason. It doesnt actually get used like that as much as I thought but thats down to pure laziness.
I think we probably had more dramas with the utility than in the main kitchen. I didn’t like the original coat rack and seat so that was changed in situ and a large cupboard that was meant to house stuff like the hoover and broom (and the collection of plastic bags that every house has) just looked so out of place it was repurposed and became the larder cupboard – was mega happy for that mistake.
Designing the kitchen also started my love affair with Little Greene paint. I could sit and stare at that paint card all day long. The main kitchen units are French grey mid and the island is French Grey dark. I mean this is why I love LG. Not just one shade of grey but 3 to choose from. Heaven!
The oven and Fridge freezer are Rangemaster. We went for the brushed steel effect as it looked amazing with the grey. Funny story – I thought the oven came with a baguette holder for baking. I was like ‘ooooh fancy’ turns out it was a plate Warmer. Average.
So, there you have it. My kitchen. It’s the hub of the house and I love it. I faff about in here all the time. And I take pictures of it a LOT. It’s everything I dreamed of and more. My advice if you are redoing your kitchen is research. Lots of it. Go and see as many as possible. Go stand in them, walk around them, open drawers and really think about how you are going to use it. Then plan, plan, plan down to the finest detail. Draw inlays, knobs and handles, where things should go. Even in relation to smaller appliances like kettles and toasters. Oh and whatever you think your budget is, it will end being more.
The only other thing I would add is that if you get a dream kitchen, gone are the days when dishes can stack up on the side. Keeping it perfect becomes an obsession and you’ll spend your life cleaning it…