When we first looked around our now-house nearly 3 years ago, it was, to put it politely, in need of a bit of TLC and a serious makeover. You may have read my previous post regarding the grim bathroom, and the kitchen/diner situation wasn’t much better. There was a rather sad separate dining room, with rusty back doors, ultra-stained carpet and 70s stone-clad fireplace. Next door to this was a small galley kitchen, with, to be fair, livable work units, but no cooker, wonky tiles, and barely any space to swing a cat. Not entirely practical with a crawling baby and another one on the way. My condition to Adam on looking at this place was that I’d only consider it if we could crack on and do the necessary work right away- probably slightly insane to be undertaking major building work when you’re 7 months pregnant but hey ho! A pregnant lady knows what she wants and isn’t to be messed with, right?! I blame a serous case of nesting and the need for order.
We wanted to knock through the main supporting wall from kitchen to dining room to create one big functional living space. It was always my dream to have a big area where we could cook, eat and entertain, and where our children could play and create. So… to achieve this we moved out for 3 months to live with my in-laws (cheers guys!) whilst the renovation took place. The work was only supposed to take 6 weeks (ha!), but ended up taking over double that time, meaning that Sasha was born whilst we were in our temporary home. Trekking back and forth to a building site, getting more and more irritated with the delay, first with a baby and massive bump, then with a toddler and newborn, to oversee the work wasn’t much fun, but, you know what? We’re lucky to be able to do this, and I feel all the faffing about was worth it in the end.
The kitchen is definitely one of my favourite spaces within our home. I love how bright and airy it is, what with the white walls and south-facing aspect, and that the new back doors open out wide onto our decking and garden, meaning the children can come and go whilst I’m whipping up something in the kitchen. I would have loved bi-fold doors, but in the end we felt our space was better served with doors that just opened outwards.
Come and see my kitchen tour…
^^Our table and chairs are from Ikea, and I love the table as it expands to make seating for 8 people. Perfect for when we’ve hosted big dinners and Christmas at ours! The booster seats are cheapo ones from Amazon, and I actually quite like the fact there are 2 of them now, I think they add a lovely pop of colour in an otherwise white room. The wooden dresser in the background was bought for £50 from a local charity furniture shop- total bargain and they delivered it to us as well! I was going to paint it white but I changed my mind and decided that I quite liked the wood-effect and the homely feel.
^^The dresser is home to a variety of personal items. Whilst I don’t like too much clutter, I don’t think I could ever be a total minimalist, as I like to see the bits and bobs that remind me of past adventures, or that have personal meaning to us. The above crockery set used to be Adam’s Nan’s, and is something that I would never sell in my shop! We use it a fair bit, and I just love the print.
^^On another shelf is my favourite Bush radio, plus travel guides to places we’ve been before.
^^In the cupboard of the dresser is a few of the children’s smaller puzzles and games, plus a few craft essentials (you can never have too much Playdoh, apparently). Most of our craft stuff is stored in our utility room outside, but it’s useful to have a few bits and bobs handy. Also here is my basic sewing kit and sewing machine (boy, do we need to get reacquainted again!), and some Crimbo-style booze. I’m sure if a craft and booze cupboard is quite the done thing, but hey, it works for us. 🙂
^^In the other alcove is some chunky white shelves that we had added (thanks, Mark), and then painted white. I knew when we first moved in that I wanted the children to be able to have a toy kitchen in the bottom space, so we kept this clear and the shelves fairly high up.
^^These shelves contain all of our jars of pasta, cous cous, stock cubes, lentils etc. I think they make a rather pretty display, and save on much-needed cupboard space.
^^On the top shelf is some jewel-coloured antique glassware that used to be my Nan’s. They might look fairly modern to some, but these are actually over 100 years old!
^^Below is the aforementioned toy kitchen! We made this for Freddie’s 2nd birthday, but now both children spend hours playing with it. You can see how we did this HERE. (It was a real labour of love, I can tell you 😉 )
^^The mini-me’s kitchen^^
^^I love our kitchen door- here we stick the kid’s artwork, invites, photos, thank you letters and anything else that makes us smile!
^^Without going mad and ruining the clean look of the space, we’ve added a few other little touches that have brightened up the room and add interest.
^^The main kitchen area. The old dividing wall is where the breakfast bar now is. There was a back door where the window is (are you following me?!), and we kept the old Ikea sink but moved it so it is now under the window. The units are all from Howdens, so the overall kitchen cost was brought down rapidly. The work-surfaces are faux wood, something I am so glad of now. I originally wanted real wood, but Adam warned me how hard the upkeep of these can be. Reluctantly, I agreed with him, and he was right- the amount of water that gets on the worktops from various things is much more than I expected, and we would have been spending so much time oiling, cleaning and drying them, that I would be quite anxious to actually do anything on them! Maybe one day in another home…
^^I love the reclaimed sink, as I had always wanted a Butler/Belfast style one, so totally living the dream now 😉
^^This is where the electrical magic happens in the Evans/Freeman kitchen! We are actually very good at making an effort to make our own bread now, and try and do 2-3 loaves a week in the bread maker (a birthday present from the children). The Kitchen Aid is possibly my 3rd baby, competing with the fridge and tumble drier as fave household appliance. It is SO worth the money, and we use it loads, it’s a baking fan’s dream come true. The kettle and toaster are self-explanatory, and probably don’t get enough credit for the good job they do in salvaging a bad day/tired morning. I love you both, please don’t ever leave me!
^^The range cooker was actually a relative bargain buy from Currys, and as Adam and I both love cooking, the 5 hobs and double oven has come in handy many times over.
^^Our beloved SMEG fridge! I may or may not stroke this lovingly from time-to-time 😉 This was something I had always wanted but never thought we would have, or could justify having, but thanks to a helping hand from my Mum, we felt we could then go forth and purchase! I feel it truly does ‘make’ the kitchen, and the mint green colour just ‘pops’ against the white of the units and walls. I hope to have it forever 🙂
So there you have it- one kitchen!
Do you have a favourite bit of your kitchen?