|Semihandmade doors on IKEA cabinets via Smitten Studio|
Two rooms we always knew required more major work are the bathroom and kitchen. We were gearing up to replace the bathroom, when the kitchen started deconstructing itself. Tiles fell off the walls, shelves collapsed and drawers fell off. Apparently the kitchen would be first. 165 Pinterest 'pins', multiple showroom visits, two trips to IKEA and many, many hours of research later we are nearly ready to start.
I always had in mind we might use IKEA cabinets with custom, painted MDF fronts. However, after our first trip to IKEA to inspect the new Metod kitchen range, I was not impressed. Instead, we visited all the 'big box' kitchen showrooms and got prices from local small businesses. After a £7000+ quote from a local kitchen maker, and a £4000 estimate for the Cooke & Lewis 'Carisbrooke' taupe kitchen (B&Q) that we quite liked, we decided to rethink. The thing about low- to mid-range kitchens is that they are all basically the same: particle board carcasses with foil-wrapped (melamine) cabinet fronts. I personally do not like melamine and its shiny finish and always had my heart set on painted doors (with dreams of a 'Plain English' kitchen on a budget). Back to IKEA we went. Having compared the interiors of many more kitchens I now thought their cabinets were fine for our purposes. The low prices, plus all parts being easily replaceable and the added bonus of so many organisational nicknacks sealed the deal.
Our kitchen is quite small: we are changing from a u-shape to a galley, putting French doors in leading to the garden, bricking up one doorway and moving another. There is also ongoing debate about taking the floor level down to match the adjoining room. By saving money on cabinets, we're able to complete this other work. We're not hiring a builder either. Instead, my electrician brother, my boyfriend and I will attempt to carry out the project with just the help of task-specific tradesmen such as bricklayers and carpenters. I have started clearing out the kitchen and we are setting up a temporary one in the dining room. Luckily, we also have a large under-stair cupboard where we can house our washing machine and tumbledryer. I will have the new dishwasher and fridge freezer we've bought set up in the dining room along with a microwave, toaster and kettle. Deluxe!
I intend to blog about the refurb process, so I hope you won't mind this type of 'interiors' content. Wish me luck and please cross your fingers that I have a new kitchen by around August/September. Here's some of my ideas and my Pinterest inspiration to keep you going until the before and afters! Please let me know if you have any tips for surviving a kitchen renovation.
Pale painted fronts
Drawers not cupboards
White subway tile
Engineered oak floor
Bespoke French doors