The kitchen renovation is 99.9% complete. I say that because I can not choose a fabric for a window blind and this is the last thing we need to fully finish this room. Apart from that I am totally happy with how it looks and the work – including family and tradespeople help – that has gone into it. With the project this far complete I have put together a list of a few things we have learnt along the way. We started the kitchen renovation in 2016 and proceeded with little progress steps since then ( I can hardly believe but that time has gone quick) got married half way through and we can now just enjoy being in the space.
- There will always be something we have forgotten or need to go back to the store for. No matter how much we try and plan a project down to the very last nail we always end up back at B & Q for a last minute piece of equipment or a forgotten item.
- It can cost more than initially planned. Because of the previously mentioned ‘extra’ shopping trips there always tend to be a bigger bill at the end of a project. If we end up spending £10-£20 each time we go to the DIY store this can quickly add up. It also takes time. Figuring out what you are missing then heading to the store can take just over an hour out of the day. The only way to overcome this is to plan and plan again. This goes for points 1 & 2 – Go around the room, think about the tasks and write a list of everything that is needed before shopping. With everything online we can even price up the ENTIRE project before we go ahead with it and see if anything needs to come down or if another store has the same thing but cheaper.
- Sometimes we can’t do it all. Occasionally it is best to leave some areas of renovation to the experts and we did outsource what we wanted/needed to. One of these circumstances was that we decided that we would have the kitchen professionally decorated. Even though painting is well within our capabilities I still believe that it was a good decision to outsource it. One evening after the fresh plaster had fully dried I made a start on preparing the wall. I had been informed that I needed to do a half water/ half paint mix but as I layered paint on the wall I got more and more worked up about whether I was doing it right and just the fact that there was A LOT of wall to cover as we had no cabinets up at this point. It would also have taken me way longer than was actually worth so we hired a decorator who completed the work in two days.
- Don’t buy anything until 100% certain. When we first moved in I saw some taps on offer. They were to match the shaker style units I was having and the Belfast sink. A couple of weeks before we bought the kitchen I had designed two styles of kitchen. One completely based on country chic and the other glossy and modern. I could not decide between the two and left it to my husband. He chose modern and the taps I had previously bought, along with tea towels and vases, did not match. Now I tend not to buy into certain pieces or styles until the room is coming together. Luckily I was able to sell the taps, which were unopened and give the vases to my friend who is definitely going for the country cottage style kitchen. I can’t even say that this is the only time I have done this as we have prints that will never see the light of day in our house.
- I am capable of more than I think I am. Recently we tiled our kitchen (you can see the video of it here) and it was one of the things I didn’t know we were going to be able to complete. My Dad has helped with a lot of the kitchen in terms of laying the floor and fixing the cabinets in place and I thought this help would be needed again, however during lockdown this wasn’t possible. With advice via a few video calls to Mum and Dad, myself and Bren tiled, grouted and completed the kitchen.
I love our new look kitchen and couldn’t be more proud of the kitchen renovation from what it was to now. It should also be mentioned that the project was done on a budget. We didn’t exactly have a final figure in mind but we have saved where possible and do not have a pot of renovation money – I can only dream! Different stages also took longer while we were saving up for the next step as we couldn’t to do everything at once and many of our family and friends reiterated that ‘these things take time’ over the years. Having said this our kitchen is also the hub of the house (and my favourite room) so we wanted it to look good. It may have taken 4 years but if it hadn’t I might have already redecorated by now *renovation obsessed friends where you at?*
If you would like to see more I have put more photos of what it was like before on my Instagram highlights so go check them out and stay tuned for our next room renovation project!