We finally have a kitchen!  Well we almost do…we’re yet to cook or eat in there but we’re getting really close and yesterday we finally unpacked all of our kitchen related wedding gifts, nearly three years after we received them.

Today, we’re hoping to unpack all of the other boxes that have taken over our bedroom since February.  The crucial bit that is missing is the kitchen surface but the company is coming to do the template tomorrow and should be able to fit it some time next week.

Seeing the kitchen units start to go in was brilliant – some of the cupboard sizes we needed didn’t come in the design we wanted so the builder has done a great job of swapping doors around to make it all work:

The picture on the right also shows the nib that was supporting the steel joist but the second larder cupboard now neatly hides it:


Seeing the elements of the peninsular all taking shape also helped us see the space properly for the first time and luckily The Husband’s floor sketches had all been right:

We then fitted the ceiling lights and the pendants above the peninsular:


The appliances then started to arrive and they have now all been fitted:

The oven has been the one nightmare bit of the whole project as we wanted one that was 110cm and in order to do that we had to add the external flue so that we could keep the basement wood burner.  I think it was worth it but the flue is pretty ugly and definitely not ideal…I’m hoping once we get a side gate it will be slightly more hidden:

IMG_8558The dining table is also now in place and The Husband has designed a bench to go on one side of it to maximise space when it is just the two of us which the builder is going to make this week.  He is also going to build a bookcase for all of my cook books:


The cupboards also now have handles which helps but it was a bit ridiculous how long The Husband spent choosing them!


As well as the bench around the table we are also hoping to make a window seat but we’d ordered the wrong size units so we’re hoping the right ones will be with us this week too so that side of the room can be finished:


So, this is where we are so far:


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I’ve just been having a look back at what I last posted and it’s reminded me how much has changed.  Morale is a bit low at the moment as it seems like the kitchen project is starting to drag on a bit so it’s good to look back and see how far we have come.  As with all of the other big projects in this house, we suddenly found ourselves with a major deadline looming and not enough time to get everything ready but yesterday the kitchen units finally arrived!

We always knew they were due this week but the day itself was not confirmed until the end of last week.  We had committed to doing all the painting ourselves to try and save some money and also wanted to put the floor down…BUT had booked to go away over Easter so the timings were not great.  We hadn’t expected the plastering to take so long so that was our biggest issue as it was not completely finished and dry until the weekend before we were due to leave.  In the end we’ve managed to get it all done with some help from the family and a few late nights of painting.

As the walls were being plastered the room suddenly began to take shape.  We decided to put some sound proof boards up along the wall that adjoins our neighbours as they have a dog that likes to bark and so we’re hoping it well help the noise:

Next was the cornicing and the misting coat:

Since then The Husband has just been layering up the paint but the builder has neatened up the window sills and started to put the door frames back:

Last weekend, while we were away, The Husband’s dad came and fitted the floor which was an amazing help.  He also covered it all up in protective plastic so we’ve not seen it without that but we’re really happy with how it is looking.  The builder had made a start around the front door and merged it into what we had already put down in the living room but it now runs through the whole of the ground floor – we have both said that it makes the living room feel part of the house again now as it felt quite separate before.  The builder has also fitted the doors properly so there is no risk of them scratching the floor anymore!

The downstairs loo is also coming along nicely:

Also, now that the ceilings are finished and there is no access needed from the back bedroom (our current kitchen!) the floor boards have all been put back down and the radiator has been moved to in front of the window which frees up the whole of the back wall:

The main kitchen is now all painted in Farrow & Ball’s All White Modern Emulsion and all we have left to do in there is paint the wood work:

As I write this The Husband is busy layering up the paint in the utility room but the units are here and can start to be fitted tomorrow:




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It’s been a lovely spring day today and we have had the back door open to try and help the plaster in the utility room dry out so we may even have paint on the walls in the next week or so…

Over the last few weeks one of the main areas of focus has been on building the dividing wall between the utility room and downstairs loo and getting the room plastered:

Lots of ‘hidden’ work has also been done to get all the wiring updated.  What was the old dining room has had the prep work done for all of the new spot lights (as well as being insulated):

The fireplace has been opened up for the oven to fit into and the supporting steel has been put in place.

We’ve now ordered all the units but the builder really helped by mocking out all their positions on the floor for us:


The ceiling has also been plastered in the old dining room and the prep work has been started for the other half of the room:

We’ve been told that the sink will be going this week so we’ll have to do our washing up in the bathroom but it’s been good to have it for this long so we can’t really moan:


As the sun shone throw the windows today it was really nice to be able to stand in the doorway and see it come through both windows:


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We’re now nearly a month into Project Kitchen Whoop Whoop!  I have been taking 100s of pictures but this is the first opportunity I have had to update the blog.  Overall things are going really well and we’re both very excited with how things are progressing.

We’re getting used to our new kitchen in the back bedroom and have so far survived without needing to buy a microwave but I’m not sure how much longer I will be able to resist one for.  The Husband and I are both trying to have our main/hot meal at work to keep the catering requirements at home as simple as possible but I have not been at work for the last few days which has complicated things a bit…

Anyway, the builders seem great and their attention to detail is just what we were looking for so they have been worth the wait.

Before they started, The Husband and his dad spent two days ripping out the old kitchen units to save us a bit of money.  They actually managed to take off some of the plasterboard too:

It was great to see the original fireplace and  chimney and it had a fabulous stone lintel but on the downside it was completely full of soot!  I was a bit worried about all the pipes hidden behind the units where the old water tank was.  We’ve known from the start that it was a bit of a nightmare behind there but there seemed to be pipes coming in from all directions:


As well as clearing out the kitchen, The Husband and his dad also made a start on clearing out the old shower room which we are turning into a utility room and downstairs loo.

A door lead off from the kitchen into a tiny corridor with a door in front leading into the bathroom and then the back door was on the left leading outside.  The bathroom was ‘L’ shaped with the shower hidden down the bottom behind the door.  It had one remaining bay window but another by the sink had been blocked up by previous owners.  It was freezing cold and damp and while I was never much of a fan it has served us well and was the only source of heat when we first moved in so I used to stand under the shower for ages just to warm up!  It did look like this:

After The Husband and his dad had been at it it was looking like this:

Before the builders started we also drew out our plan for the kitchen on the walls:

They started on February 13th and started work on the walls between the kitchen door and the dining room initially:

They then started on neatening up the mess left by the old water tank:

All was going too well!  We had always known that the log burner flue might end up causing us an issue and unfortunately it has turned out to be worst case scenario.  We’ve looked into lots of options but it looks like we were given the wrong advice initially and we will now have to have an external flue fitted.  We knew it was potentially going to happen but it was still really annoying when we found out…:


Work then started on clearing out the utility room and tearing down all the internal walls and the roof as well as blocking up the window:

I didn’t really understand what the plumb line was for but The Husband seemed to think it was important:


I was really excited when I got home to discover the steel in the garden and the acro props in the kitchen:

It then looked like this:

Before the exciting full unveiling:

and we also had new light switches (with the old wall paper on show):


We’ve actually been able to reduce the number of steels that we needed which we’re hoping will make the roof look a lot smoother:

And since then the focus has been on the utility room.  As of this evening, we have a nice high roof, with new windows in place and have been working out exactly where all the bathroom suite is going to go:

It has also confirmed that we need to change the direction of the back door.  Lots has happened but we’re still a long way off cooking in our own house.

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We have been planing the kitchen for years now and it seems that we’re finally close to starting work of it.  I can not wait to get rid of what we have as it is too crowded and lots of it is broken.  This is what we currently have:


It is long and thin but unfortunately there is not enough storage for all the cooking bits and bobs that we have so everything ends up looking cluttered and it always seems to be a mess.

To make things worse, we also have:

  • An ugly hole where the freezer used to be that now reveals the old water tank and loads of pipes
  • A plumping system under the sink that is held together with tape that fails regularly
  • A kitchen floor covered in drawings where The Husband has tried to sketch out where the new table will go
  • A hole in the wall where we decided to check what was behind it…in case there were any surprises (we’re pretty confident it is just the chimney as planned)

The plan is to knock down the wall behind the oven to combine the ‘dining room’ with the kitchen and open up the space.  I’m really excited about walking into the kitchen from the hall and being able to see both windows but the dining room is currently nothing more than a room completely full of stuff that has nowhere else to go:


This archway and corridor between the two rooms will also be removed as we open up the whole space:


There is so much to do but fingers crossed there won’t be too many surprises.

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I wrote back in October that we thought we had a start date from the builder but I was a bit optimistic as we just had a rough time frame (the end of the year).  However, we now have a specific date of Monday 13th February so we have a busy few weekends ahead of us to get ready for that.

As I write this The Husband is sanding back all the panelling on the stairs and cornicing that he doesn’t think is good enough.  He’s definitely a perfectionist and there have been several bits bothering him since he installed it.  It took a bit longer than planned and so he felt we ended up rushing it as we tried to get it done before the carpets were fitted.  He is hoping to get it all finished before he rips out our existing kitchen.

We’re both fairly optimistic that 2017 will see us finish the majority of the house project but it’s been nice having a look back at the blog and reminding myself what we managed to tick off the list during the last 12 month.  Jobs included:

  1. Adding the bookcases to the basement
  2. Installing the bar down there
  3. Getting a rug and coffee table to finish off the basement (for now!)
  4. Buying a coffee table and console table for the living room
  5. Agreeing on and buying a picture to brighten up the living room wall
  6. Adding some further colour to the living room with the coral rug and blue lamp
  7. Buying a bathroom cupboard and adding some pictures to the room (although they are due to be changed shortly!)
  8. Adding pictures to the stairs.

Overall it seems that the majority of the jobs were ‘finishing touches’ as we near the end of this project but that said, we’re about to take on our biggest project yet with the kitchen and outside space being completely changed.  It’s exciting but also quite scary!

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We think we now have a date for the builder to start on the kitchen and so we are trying to finish off all the smaller jobs so that by the time the kitchen is done everything else will be too.

We have:

  • Repainted the bathroom to neaten up the woodwork and have put up some pictures (although the husband now wants to try some white frames)


  • Finally framed a picture I was given as a leaving present five years ago – we’ve put  it on the first floor landing and it has made such a difference to the space


  • Started to put pictures up on the staircase – we’ve chosen to put up black and white pictures of some of our favourite places.  We’ve had them in a pile in our bedroom for so long that it’s nice to have them framed and up at last


  • Finally put a lock on the back of the bathroom door as well as a hook


  • Bought a mirror for the living room – we’ve had a temporary one resting on the fire place for years so it looks really different having the gap underneath it now


  • Started to unpack some of our wedding gifts and have put pictures up in our bedroom in some of the frames we were given (lots of the frames used for the pictures on the stairs were wedding gifts too)


  • Bought a bright coral rug for the living room – it took us quite a long time to pluck up the courage to go for such a bright colour and we weren’t quite sure when it arrived either but think we are now happy to keep it.  We do however need to reupholster the wing back chair you can see in the picture.  We have a pair of them and they used to belong to my Nana so mean a lot to me


As well as getting the chairs done, one of the other jobs we have planned for the coming few weeks is to replace the glass by the front door.  We’re going to have one panel frosted and the other is going to have our house number on it


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