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My Kitchen Renovation

Now that I have been able to live in my kitchen for a while now, I thought it would be a good time to share my favourite aspects of it. With the positive, always come negatives so I will also mention some of the things I would do differently or in some cases never again. Overall, I’m extremely happy with how my kitchen has turned out and it’s most certainly become the heart of the home.

Storage

After scouting through Instagram and Pinterest for endless hours, I finally decided on a wraparound kitchen rather than an open plan design with shelving. Over the years, I have collected an endless amount of kitchen and tableware, so I knew I needed a good amount of storage space. As much as I love the aesthetic of open shelving, I knew it wouldn't be practical for me. Opting for the wrap around kitchen has most certainly optimised the storage space, which was a key objective when setting out on the design process. For once, I have a couple of shelves free which is a nice bonus.

Tall Top Units

Whilst on the topic of storage space, one of the few things I was set at the beginning was having tall top units. Living in a Victorian style house, I wanted to accentuate the extremely high ceilings by implementing this technique, it really stretched the space and gave a grand feel to the kitchen. Whenever you are designing a space, it's crucial to cater to the pre-existing features of the room. All homes are different, from old style Victorian properties like mine to modern new builds, you must let the space guide you. Some design features may look spectacular in one house but maybe not the other, this is something I have learnt over the years and my top tip would be let the room guide you.  Choosing higher units create visual interest right the way up to the ceiling.

Despite not being able to reach the top of the cupboards its handy to have that extra space for things I don't need day to day, like tableware for best and my little collection of Christmas crackers. This means I can justify keeping a Rattan Stool for myself to help me reach the top shelf.

Chimney Breast Cooker

When I first moved into my home, nearly a year ago now, there was an old fireplace in the kitchen that wasn't nor pretty or functional. It was a no brainer to knock through the chimney breast to house my cooker. I love entertaining friends and family so it was important to have a good-sized oven so the only pace that I could afford to lose counter space was within the chimney breast, so it worked out really well in the end. What I did underestimate at the start of the kitchen reno was lead times for delivery of cookers, so if you are planning a reno, get your oven ordered early doors.

I have yet to choose an antique mirrored splashback for behind the cooker so once I have done and its fitted, I'm sure you will see plenty of content of it on the gram.

Pantry Cupboard

Hands down the pantry cupboard is in my top 3 favourite things in the kitchen. Pantry cupboards have been all over my Instagram and Pinterest feed for a good while now and since having one you realise why. They are extremely handy and can serve many purposes. I primarily use mine to hide the microwave as I do find them hideous and ruin the aesthetic of a kitchen. Additionally, you will find most of the food here, from breakfast ingredients to pasta. This way, everything is one place and I'm not going into lots of cupboard to fetch the ingredients for dinner. A Pantry Cupboard is great for hiding the appliances you don’t always want on show.  

Different sized Drawers

In the initial phase of designing your new kitchen, it’s important to think what purposes it’s going to fulfil for you and your family. This will determine many aspects of the design from layout of the room to the format of storage. After storing pots and pans in cupboards for a long time, I knew I had to include a variety of different sized drawers to house them as well as plates and bowls. After a few months of using my kitchen, these drawers have surprisingly stayed organised, and I find lifting pans in and out of these drawers so much easier.

Going with your gut

This is a little bit off the track that I have followed so far but One thing I would recommend to anyone starting kitchen reno is to keep thinking ahead. Remember it’s you that is going to have to live in this space, be sure to have things exactly how you want them in the design phase. I am so pleased I never opted for under cupboard lighting, I much prefer the soft ambience a simple lamp can bring to a space. I find strip lighting under cupboards can appear clinical. This was a topic that was discussed many times during the reno, however I knew that including this lighting would be a waste of money. At the end of the day, it’s personal preference so be sure to follow through with your ideas.

As much as I adore my kitchen there are a few things I may not have included in hindsight.  This being I think this is quite a controversial topic as I know so many people love having a bin drawer and I do appreciate they're especially handy for homes that have multiple bins. However, I find myself emptying the contents constantly and for the size of it I could have used the space far more practically. Hey ho we live and learn.

I quickly came to realise that having two fridges in the kitchen is quite frankly unnecessary. Now that one child has moved out and the other has reached an age where she has a better social life than me, we don't need two fridges. Most of the time, one of the fridges is basically empty with maybe a bottle of Prosecco in it. On a more positive note, I shouldn't have a problem storing the Christmas food this year.

This can be applied for any work you get done around the house but make sure to not underestimate the extras on top of your initial quote. During the kitchen renovation and like with many old houses there are plenty of hidden problems you encounter along the way. Therefore, there were some additional costs that we didn’t anticipate which added a considerable amount to the end bill.