The ground floor is almost done. The design looks big and open – totally different from the two-bedroom bungalow we started with. The cooker hood and wall tiles were the finishing touches in the kitchen, setting the theme for the whole room – so the cupboard handles and towel holder are copper, to match the extractor, and the tiles echo the darker blue of the island.
Now it’s finished, our new kitchen is perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing. Let’s take a look at how the ground floor turned out so far…
When the build began, my husband Dave and I thought the utility room next to the kitchen would be a bit too narrow and that I wouldn’t be able to bend down comfortably to get the washing out of the machine. We also thought the kitchen looked bigger than we imagined, so decided to pinch 20cm from it to make the utility 160cm wide – and it made such a difference.
I wanted a utility to keep the laundry in one place and so I wouldn’t hear the washing machine and tumble dryer elsewhere when they’re on. It also frees up space in the kitchen, and I thought “if you are building a new layout from scratch, why wouldn’t you have a utility?”
The bungalow didn’t offer a lot of storage before, so the room had to have lots of cupboards, including tall units so I can keep the things I don’t use often on the top shelves. I also wanted a full-size tall freezer and a smaller one in there to keep produce from our allotment. In our old house, these had been located in the garage – but having them indoors is so much more convenient. There’s also a door from the garden.
I was inspired when visiting my cousin in Canada – I liked her utility, particularly that she has a door connecting to the outside, so I incorporated that idea into our design. The style we chose is mostly glass, so it’s light and airy and I can open it if it gets too steamy. When we discussed the layout of the utility, the space designed itself, really. The appliances had to fit in, then cupboards and a worksurface down the same wall and a floor-to-ceiling cupboard opposite. The colour scheme is white gloss, so it can be wiped down easily, and I went for a black sparkly worktop as I had a similar white one in the kitchen.
Dave and I decided to include a second bathroom downstairs, so when we get a bit older, we can move our bedroom to the ground floor and have a bathing space without trekking upstairs. I envisaged it to have a basin, walk-in shower, and WC, plus I wanted it large enough so we can move around comfortably.
We visited numerous showrooms to see what the designers could come up with. After some deliberation, we decided on Bathrooms By Design in Richmond. They had lots on show and if I didn’t see anything I liked, the salesman suggested things from a catalogue. Once the scheme was mocked up, I could see the final layout using 3D goggles, so really got a good feel for the space, which also helped with choosing the fittings.
I decided to have the shower area in a different colour, so we chose tiles in a patina green peppermint shade and kept the rest of the walls and floor a grey and white mottled pattern. I also wanted a countertop basin with two drawers underneath and found a lovely grey one with a marble surface.
While the bathroom was being installed, the plans showed the doorway set back making the hall a little wider, but we thought this would be a waste of floor area. The hall was wide enough, so we moved a bit of wall and brought the doorway out – another tweak that has made better use of space and more efficient for what we need day to day. All that’s left are the final touches.
Featured image: The kitchen is situated on the ground floor.