Our house was built in 1987. When we moved in last year, it still had the original kitchen:
- Brown cupboards
- Dirty vinyl floor (which no amount of mopping would ever clean)
- Dirty beige tiles (ditto)
- A sink which drained straight into the cupboard and onto the floor
- A temperamental hob which wouldn’t always light
- An oven which needed to be at 250C, with recommended cooking times doubled, and would then burn the stuff in the back right corner while leaving things at the front pale and undercooked
- Dirty walls painted a horrible blue
- Inadequate lighting
- A waste disposal unit, which we wouldn’t touch with a barge pole, which had exploded and caused the sink drainage problem (see above).
We needed a new kitchen!
I’m not very good at planning stuff and visualising stuff. But luckily I have a husband who is. The new kitchen was all his design, right down to the plug sockets and light switches.
So we started off by having the kitchen wall knocked down and immediately I could see the improvement and the potential.
We lived with bits of broken plaster and exposed bricks for a few weeks, until the proper work started. Very gradually. A day here, a day there. A new radiator. A few cupboards ripped out… Building up to the big one – the removal of the sink, the hob and that hideous floor covering, until we were left with a bare shell and endless microwave meals .
And slowly the kitchen came back to life – carcasses of cupboards (I hate that word, why can’t they just be called cupboards?), cupboard doors, floor tiles (the ones we’d taken weeks to choose). The wires hanging from the ceiling became lights, the broken plaster was restored to its former glory and tiles started to appear around the window. Our kitchen was becoming a reality!
Although I listened to the plans and looked at cupboard doors and hobs etc, my only input in the design of the kitchen was on colour (and I think I did a pretty good job there, if I say it myself!). Tones of grey might have seemed like too much grey, but we matched them up pretty carefully, so it wasn’t too much of the same. We had the contrast with the white tiles – the exact same ones we used in our bathroom, because we liked them so much, and what’s the point of reinventing the wheel? I actually like them even better in the kitchen than I do in the bathroom. My absolute favourite bit of the kitchen is the breakfast bar, where the pendant lights meet the tiles and the clock.
The walls are painted white with the slightest hint of grey. The rest of the house is ivory, but ivory wouldn’t have gone well with the kitchen’s grey colour scheme. We have one coloured feature wall. The paint samples we tried weren’t right, I thought it needed a colour similar to the one in my daughter’s bedroom. As it happens, we had some of my daughter’s paint left over and it was perfect.
It’s so nice to have space and things that work. The lighting is amazing.
I walk into the kitchen and I just can’t believe it’s ours. I can’t believe we’ve gone from our 1980s nightmare to this.