Our old kitchen was the original one that came with the house (early 2000s), and though it didn't look too bad - despite the colour which I wasn't fond of - it really was badly planned.
|Our old kitchen|
Secondly, the double oven (which needed the seals and the heating elements replaced anyway), had two ovens the exact same size. What's the point in that? I'd much rather have a small oven for day-to-day use, and a larger oven when needed for Christmas, or dinner parties or whatever. Not that I host dinner parties, but maybe with a decent kitchen I will?
Initially we were looking to replace the doors on the existing cupboards, and get more cupboards at the washing machine end of the kitchen. After getting quotes from various kitchen companies, we decided in the end to go with The Hedgehog Kitchen Company, a family run business consisting of a father and daughter team. We discussed with them both what we were thinking and what we ideally would like from our kitchen, when we were able to have them in to do the work, and what our budget is. After taking measurements and making quick sketches, they quoted us for our ideal kitchen! We would need to source a new oven and hob ourselves, and they would even fill in the hole in our ceiling where our immersion heater leaked last year!
|Work in Progress|
The work finally started last week. The hardest thing was emptying the kitchen - who knew we had so much stuff?! At least it gives us a chance to de-clutter and see what we really need. At the end of each day I took a photo of the work that had been completed, so we could see the progress that was being made.
We kept the same basic layout and the floor tiles, but that was about it. We went for white cupboards, with sparkly black worktops and matching sparkly white splash-backs. New double oven, with different sized ovens(!), we changed a gas hob for an induction hob (so now I'm excitedly looking for new pots and pans), and we got a stainless steel chimney to match. The fridge-freezer was moved to the far end, the fridge from the conservatory moved back into the kitchen and deep cupboards were built around them in the space under the stairs. The washing machine was moved next to the dishwasher, and the worktop extended. Finally, new cupboard carcasses (not just doors) were put in around the oven, so that they can open wide to enable large items, like the slow cooker, being able to be put in them.
This is not to say it has all be plain sailing!
Because we were changing to an induction hob, we were advised to get an electrician in to check the power supply as both the hob and oven need to be hardwired in. We did that and were told that, thankfully, our supply was sufficient, and could run off the existing fuse. However, when the oven and hob were due to be fitted it was clear that the power supply was not enough, and we'd only be able to use one at a time - not ideal! We were offered the chance to go back to our electrician to get him to fix it, but we decided it was probably better to use their electrician of choice since he knows more about it. (An added bonus, this electrician lives near us, so we can use him in future!)
Then the "under counter" oven we chose didn't leave a space for the hob. Even if we had kept a gas stove, there would not be space for the pipe to supply the gas. So, the whole oven has had to be lowered to allow the hob to sit on top. The base of the oven will now be slightly lower than the adjacent cupboards and there's an aluminium strip to fill the gap at the top. I'm not too fussy, so I'm happy with this compromise.
Then the oven itself was an arse to fit. I stayed in the living room, but could definitely hear the trouble that was being had in trying to get it fitted, lol. There were the wrong wires (that a different fitter may not have noticed, so could have caused a fire), that were also too short to fit easily, and the whole thing was just being difficult. But it got fixed in the end and looks good.
This is our finished kitchen - at least as far as the refit is concerned. We are going to repaint the kitchen, add some shelving units to the walls above the radiator and buy some new pots and pans, but we can take our time doing that. When that is finished I will do a quick update, so you all can see it fully decorated, but I am so happy with how it looks right now.