Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Progress in the kitchen department

This is going to be a short, sharp blog as I am working between coffee catch ups, school run and more coffee catch ups!

I've had what might be described as an epiphany on the kitchen front. As anyone who knows me and has spoken to me of late will confirm, I have been backwards and forwards again and again with the decision of what colour to have the new kitchen units painted! As ever, I have had 3am arguments with myself on what to do. We have tested endless pots of paint and not one has quite left me with that 'Yes. That's the one' moment.

What has actually happened, and what often happens with me and the decision making process, is that I have just about come full circle and ended up with the colour that I started out with....just a little darker.

So. To the plan.

The kitchen cabinets have been arriving. Progress. The kitchen has been filled with a lovely wood smell. I about collapsed when, in the absence of any other men other than the joiner, I had to help him lug a couple of larder cabinets from the van in to the kitchen. Obviously I had a point to prove, that a wimpy looking woman could indeed manage such a task. The fact that my arms were wobbling like jelly as a result and I nearly dropped his cup of coffee kind of gave the game away....but at least I didn't have to call on a neighbour!

We are having the cabinets painted in Little Greene's French Grey Dark. The work surface is white and the floor, light oak. The kitchen below is French Grey Dark, to show an example.

My original thought had been to paint the cabinets a very pale grey. I then decided this looked boring next to the floor and moved on to lime-ish green colour, via yellows. I then decided that looked a bit too bright and moved on to slate blue/grey. That looked too dark so I moved back, via a few other obviously wrong choices, to grey. French Grey Dark gives that good balance of neutral but strong enough to contrast the white work surface. It is also very definitely grey. Farrow and Ball's French Grey, for example, has a definite green tint to it.
My other reservation was that from the start I had wanted to avoid the end result being too traditional looking (hence my brief foray in to the world of limes and yellows). With this in mind I spotted this pic in a magazine and  had that moment of knowing exactly what I was going to do.
Just off picture (of the new cabinets above), but at this near end, we have a utility room and the idea is to paint the wall between the kitchen and utility in a shade similar to the above (Mustard by Habitat), if not the exact colour above. The door in to the kitchen is at the opposite end of the room so you will see this flash of colour as you come into the kitchen. Our table and dining chairs are similar to the ones on the picture and therefore the overall effect should be a good balance of modern and classic with all other walls , running in to the dining/tv area, painted white. Greys and citrus colours do generally work well together.

We are still managing to stick to a really strict budget. The windows in our kitchen/family room are pretty standard UPVC ones (already in before we bought the house) with pretty corny sills.....but they have scrubbed up quite well and frankly, we can't afford to replace them. They are white and in perfectly good working order. They are staying.

My long suffering hubby will sigh with relief that the tester pot shopping is over for now.....provided that the Habitat colour is not too mustardy.....................

Don't sit back yet, darling!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Home improvements update!

Here is a little update on all that has been going on in our new house.

We moved in in November last year and it has been non stop since then!  We've achieved a fair amount but there is still loads to do! It is proving to be a labour of love as although the house really needed (needs) some serious tender loving care and was seriously challenged in so many ways, not least of all its kerb appeal...or lack of, we absolutely love the house and its location.

So. What have we done so far?


From this...................................................................................to this...in the main bathroom.



An en suite with shower...... 


A downstairs loo....

 And the main work in progress.....but already looking a million times better....

The kitchen!


Dismantling.....utilising any labour we could find!

Progress to date....  


We have had many a sleepless night deliberating on floor choice for the kitchen. I have read and re read reports on all options of flooring for kitchens and have spoken to more joiners and sales people than I wish to remember and have concluded what I always conclude....that there is virtually no consensus of opinion on this subject which is really helpful!

In the end we have gone for engineered wood in a medium to lightish oak which we intend to run throughout the whole of the down floor...once we have won the lottery or sacrificed a few more holidays and meals out and lived on beans on toast for a while!

Is wood a good choice for the kitchen? Well. I've again concluded that as long as you look after it (wipe up spills etc. which I think most people would tend to do anyway?!) then it is perfectly fine in the kitchen. In the event of plumbing disasters, are they not disasters no matter what is on the floor?

We chose wood as we wanted something with a slightly softer look than tiles and also our budget would not run to under floor heating and therefore tiles would have felt a little colder under foot.

I have to confess that when the wood turned up, I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach...thinking that I had made the wrong choice and that the tone of the wood was not quite right. I did not fess up to my husband at this point! It is such a difficult thing to decide and is such a significant expense that getting it wrong is painful and had it been wrong, may have resulted in my disappearing under the boards!

Thankfully, now a good area has been laid, my fears have subsided and we love it. It has very few knots which was my fear with wood. We wanted it to look quite modern and clean so that was a huge sigh of relief!! We went for an oiled finish. On this, there did seem to be a consensus of opinion. Oiled wood is easier to repair than lacquered. The downside, if you choose to see it as such, is that you have to re oil the boards every 18 months to 2 years.

So we are half way there with the kitchen. The floor should be finished in the next day or so and the kitchen fitters start after Easter.

Have a great Easter!