When choosing a new kitchen, you have to really think about what your dream space should look like. For me? Large with an island to sit at and a space for a walk-in larder. I want to be able to stay involved with friends and family without being hidden away in a separate space.
Initially, I wanted French doors from the kitchen to the garden but soon realised I wouldn’t have enough space for the appliances and cupboards. So, as we had bi-fold doors anyway in the open-plan area, my husband Dave and I settled for a large window so I can be at the sink and look out into the garden, instead.
I also wanted my new kitchen to be very different to the handleless white gloss cupboards I have at the moment. In our architect Grainne O’Keeffe’s plans, she included a space within the side extension for a walk-in larder. So, when we came to talking kitchen layout, everything else came off that.
The dishwasher went next to the sink and the ovens in a bank on one wall with the fridge-freezer to keep the appliances together. We had a budget in mind as we had the plans mocked up in a few different kitchen showrooms. They all cost roughly the same, so we used that as a ball park figure.
When choosing our new kitchen, we looked at schemes as soon as the renovation started. We visited a few retailers before deciding on a local one – Taylor Wright Kitchens in Staines – after seeing the scheme they installed in our son’s new house. Ryan and Kim, the designers, were so helpful and patient. We went in loads of times to discuss different scenarios, and Ryan kept sending me layouts to see too.
We chose an L-shape with an island and the tall bank for the appliances and once that was decided, I kept bringing different colour samples home to see in situ, which Ryan would mock as a render. This went on for quite a while! Eventually, I chose Shaker-style cabinets but couldn’t decide between Viridian Green and Marine Blue – so I went for both colours: one on the wall units, the other on the island.
I saw the exact extractor I wanted online and decided to find matching handles. I looked in shops and online and eventually found them at Taylor Wright, too. A Butler sink was a must-have, too, together with a boiling-water tap. Dave and I chose one from Quooker, but decided against the sparkling water add-on.
Our appliances are all from Neff, as I was after their Slide and Hide oven. Plus, we have a wine storage unit in the island to free up fridge space. The easiest part was picking the worktop. I saw a white worktop with a subtle sparkle in the showroom. I wanted it the first time I saw it and didn’t waver, even when I changed my mind about everything else.
The kitchen was ordered to arrive when the builders were ready for it to be installed. It should have taken around seven weeks, but Covid-19 held everything up. The Irish factory making the units had to close and the builders had come to a standstill, too.
When work began again, it went quickly and now it’s installed I love the new look. We had a minor hiccup as one of the doors was split, but a new was ordered and arrived in a couple of weeks. Now that’s in, I’m looking at finishing touches.
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Featured image: Choosing a new kitchen.