Sunday, 2 March 2014

KITCHEN MAKE-OVER PLANS

Our kitchen has been on the 'to do list' since we bought the house. Similarly to many old houses, the kitchen is separate from the dining room and living space. It is u-shaped and not very large at all. The biggest problem I found was not the size or the shape of the kitchen (I find u-shaped very handy when cooking as everything is in the reach of my hands - good work triangle!), but the way the cabinets were designed. Especially the corner units were difficult to get to and the top units so high that I had to grab a chair to get in there.

Also, it was difficult to decide whether to extend the kitchen or not. The kitchen is straight off the dining room and there is a door going into the conservatory. There would have been a possibility to create one big kitchen diner, but in the end, we decided it was not worth extending. Not to mention the cost but also we would lose garden space and our second sitting room.

In addition, in terms of resale value, we would probably not make the money back and I quite like the idea of formal dining and did not want to lose our separate dining room as a result.

In the future, we are planning to demolish the conservatory and rebuild it as an extension to the house.  We will also knock down part of the wall connecting to the kitchen and create an arch, so hopefully this will give a nice open plan feel to it.

Here's a shot of our first floor floor plan (kitchen is on the right).



We were shopping around for a kitchen for a while until we found the service and style of kitchen we liked in Magnet. Oddly, our old kitchen is apparently also an old Magnet kitchen (20 years old or so). We found out this interesting fact when our fitter arrived to do the survey in our house.

In our first appointment Magnet designed our kitchen with their software. Well, actually, I pretty much designed the kitchen  myself, as I brought my ipad with me with an image of a kitchen I liked. Magnet sales guy then used their software to create an identical kitchen. If you are looking for someone to design your kitchen from scratch and have no ideas yourself, it is best to hire an independent kitchen designer.

Since our kitchen is not very big, we really had to utilise every single bit of it. We considered having open-shelving but came into the conclusion that it only looks fantastic in interior magazines but is not suitable for our life style. We wanted to fit as much as possible in the kitchen which means that there is very little flexibility for the builders when fitting the kitchen, so the measurements need to be exact. This is why it took so long to get everything right.

Here's one of the first drafts. The kitchen type we went for is called Integra White and this is a new style that Magnet have recently released. I find it looks very similar to the famous German designer kitchens from Poggenpohl (www.poggenpohl.com). We thought the integrated handles looked neat in a closed space and found that it looked very well with the rest of our house decor. In the end, we went for a smaller extractor hob and added a wine rack to the top shelving to fill the extra space (there is always room for a wine rack!)


Images from Magnet Ltd



Images from Magnet Ltd


The biggest challenge so far has been to fit our new fridge in the kitchen. My husband always wanted a big American fridge freezer and we chose a slightly larger than average fridge (width 70 cm). However, our Magnet contact had not factored in any ventilation space that the fridge would require. Unfortunately, we had already bought the fridge so we decided we will keep it and just hope for the best! Worst case scenario, if the fridge breaks, we just buy a new slightly smaller one  but we are hoping that once the builders remove the existing tiles, we will gain a few inches around it.

Now, we are just waiting for the builders to start the job tomorrow! Wish me luck!
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