A blog for fashion, beauty, hair, cosmetics and lifestyle

2 Dec 2018

Interiors - Kitchen Makeover

We've renovated the kitchen! 




Before: When we bought the house, the kitchen was old, there was a shower built into the room (!) which was taking out a huge corner meaning the fridge was over a window with a cable hanging down from the ceiling to power it. The cabinets were peeling laminate and the worktop was not doing well. The vinyl floor was very annoying as the pattern looked like there were muddy footprints all over and the whole place looked messy. The light was very poor from two light points and the position meant I blocked the light with my body when I was trying to cook!



The first step was my fantastic family came around and put spotlights in and smashed out the shower cubicle so we could have a bigger kitchen. We also had a plasterer come and smooth everything over before the kitchen fitters arrived.

mid renovations - it was a dusty hell

We got a local builders to help us from Ideal Improvements in Bournemouth to come and do the stripping out and fitting of the new kitchen. They were fabulous - Nick is so calm and reassuring which I needed and had ideas for how to fit everything. He was also a real perfectionist, changing how high or low the sockets were to make it all fit just so. 

Initially, we chose our kitchen from Magnet. It's the Dunham Midnight on the bottom cabinets and Dunham White on the upper cabinets. We went to Magnet in Christchurch and the lady who helped us design it, Tina, was fantastic. She came out to measure the room, drew up a few designs and allowed us to change it many times, and recommended colours and worktops. We chose a marble-effect worktop which is actually a solid acrylic (it smelt like a nail bar when it was being installed). It's called Minerva in Carrara White and was cheaper than real marble but feels cold and solid like marble does. It's also not a laminate so wears really well and looks expensive. We got it from Locks Online as it was much cheaper than going through Magnet. 

Initially, when the kitchen of my dreams was priced up, I was really disappointed that with fitting it was going to be about £5k over budget. However Tina said to us, we should go away and google everything on the list and get it elsewhere if it was cheaper. Super Sam went away and did this one weekend and managed to get it all under budget including fitting! 

Welcome to the tour!


Out of this alcove was a breakfast bar which was taking up loads of room. We decided not to have it anymore to give us more space as the whole area inside the chimney breast was wasted. We also used that area to keep the microwave so had the builders put in an electric socket. I also now have my mixer in that nook, but when I took the photos I had lent it to a friend to make her wedding cake!

My favourite part of the kitchen is our "Welcome to Bournemouth" sign. A few years ago, the town had a new bridge installed on the main road into Bournemouth with "WELCOME TO BOURNEMOUTH" in blue neon light. It had mixed reactions with some (like us) liking it, and others thinking it looked cheap and tacky. I had our own version made by Nailed It by Holly who makes fantastic custom neon-style signs. Ours was £160 and it's huge!


Being an instagram addict, when I was offered copper handles I had to say yes! They were also from Magnet. The tiles were from Wickes who had the cheapest brick-shaped ones 


We also got a copper tap from Magnet, but sourced the sink from Plumbworld. We also got an integrated washing machine and dishwasher separately from John Lewis who were cheapest for all appliances and also come with a 2 year warranty. 


On this side of the wall, there was the fridge freezer over the window originally, a normal radiator on the wall and the boiler next to the window. Tina had the idea to have a long cupboard over the boiler and piping which has no shelves so we can store the hoover in there. The other side is my cleaning "narnia" cupboard. We also had this upright radiator put in which I love. The mat on the floor is for the dog food bowls.


We got this amazing custom table and benches from Trentside Furniture. It's the H-bar table and it's in grey finish. The flooring was from Homebase and clips together like laminate so it's easy to install, cheaper than tiles and also warmer. I also don't have to worry about cracking a tile when I drop things! 

Our in case of emergency teabag was from Glyphbox, the small rubber plant was from Crocus and the huge one was from Lidl.


With the copper, I had to think a lot about how I wanted to accessoriese. I wanted to keep some of he copper elements there, but without going overboard and matchy matchy. We chose to keep the old silver bin as it went with the silver fridge freezer and the silver tones on the appliances, but decided to get copper tea canisters from Next  However we got the black and copper touches bread bin.


Next to the fridge/freezer, is our larder cupboard where I've put all the baking things, bottles, oils etc. It's a great space and I've found it so handy. I'm looking for a tall wine rack for on top of the fridge but currently I have  wicker basket with kitchen manuals (while I learn how to work the new appliances) and our engagement champagne bottles. I can't bring myself to open them. 


Again, the oven, hob and cooker hood were all from John Lewis. I know it's really lame, but I am so impressed with the oven and hob! The oven is a Zanussi and comes with loads of different modes including pizza mode and has a self-clean function. The hob is really chunky and looks great quality. It's also got minimal features so its much easier to clean than our old one which keeps Sam happy. 

Overall, we love the new kitchen. I'm glad we went with a fitter because it took 2 weeks rather than months. We're spending loads more time in the kitchen and love having the table to eat meals at. We've not had any issues so far with a white counter - the marks wipe off really easily. The lighting is amazing and I really enjoy cooking in there. I'm so happy with it!
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