Tell us a bit about your old kitchen and any aspects that you liked / disliked about it?
Our old kitchen was the original one that would have been installed when the house was built. It was very small, and we constantly felt like we were on top of one another when trying to prep and cook food. There was limited worktop space and a serious lack of cupboard storage which just added to the problem – it meant that we had to keep appliances and some utensils on the worktops which just took up even more of the little space we did have. The gas boiler was also located in the kitchen taking up even more room! The old kitchen did have a small area for a dining table, however this could only sit four people around it at a tight squeeze.
Tell us about the project that you undertook to create the open plan kitchen space that you now have.
The previous owners had extended out to the side, on top of the garage and utility room downstairs to create two further bedrooms and an en suite. Whilst it gave the additional rooms upstairs, I just always felt that the house was very top heavy, and the amount of space we had upstairs wasn’t reflected in the social spaces downstairs. The garage, which Jordan sometimes used as a gym, had become a dumping ground – however over time those boxes became more of a permanent feature and it got to the point where we couldn’t even fit the car in any more. We certainly weren’t using the space to it’s full potential. We really loved the rest of the house though, love the area that we live in and also, moving house would have been extremely costly; so we really didn’t want to have to do that.
In October 2019, after having lived in the house for a few years, it really wasn’t working for us any more. I remember one day on a day off from work, discussing with my Mum how small the downstairs space was and I came up with the idea of ‘reclaiming’ half of the garage and utility room which would allow for us to have a larger kitchen. My idea included knocking through the old gable from the kitchen in to the utility room / garage and creating a large ‘L-shaped’ open plan living, dining and kitchen space. This required for the gas boiler and mains water incoming supply to be moved, however I could really imagine how this would work us. I broached the subject very gently with Jordan to start off with, and after a short while he soon came round to the idea, and could really see how we could transform our home to give us exactly what we’d always wanted – without the need to move. We both decided that we would gather a few quotes to gauge whether our ideas would be achievable within our budget, however with many things like this the concept soon began growing arms and legs!
What would you say, is your favourite thing about your new kitchen?
I would struggle to pick just one thing, however would have to say that the bespoke, modern and fresh design is what I love the most. The soil pipe for the upstairs en-suite runs down directly behind where the hob is now and would have been extremely costly to move. Our designer worked around this and stepped the cabinets on the hob side forward to accommodate. It really has utilized the most of all of the space. I also love the design idea to box in the units which gives the illusion that they are sunken in to the wall. It is such an effective idea, plus a bonus that I don’t have to climb on to the worktops to clean the top of the cupboards!
Having all the extra storage now is wonderful and means that everything has a home; freeing up worktop space. The huge drawers under the induction hob are brilliant and allow ample storage – also a place for me to have all my spices and herbs just at my fingertips instead of stacked at the back of a cupboard and difficult to get to! The breakfast bar is also another design feature which is a huge favorite. This wasn’t something we had asked for as we didn’t think we would have the space for it – however it has been so well designed to integrate with the space and is certainly well used!
If you were to do this again, is there anything you would do differently?
No, absolutely nothing. As a family, we all love it so much and it just works so well. There is nothing at all that I regret or wish that we had done differently. The only thing that Jordan would change, is to have a polished concrete worktop instead of laminate, but this just wouldn’t have been practical for our little boy Joshua. Maybe one day!