A Home Renovation Update and Some Kitchen Remodelling Tips

We just finished our kitchen and what a project it was! Our white kitchen with wood countertops and dark floors turned out beautifully, if I should say so myself.

If you follow me on snapchat, you’ll know that my husband and I have been renovating our home and you would have witnessed some of my snaps about our DIY adventure. You’d also know that we have successfully finished our kitchen remodelling!

Here’s a picture of what we had to work with in the past. 

Kitchen Before
Outdated cupboards that did not offer much storage, backsplash with an enchanted house on the prairie situation, laminate counters and floors
Kitchen Before Picture
Built in hob, microwave, oven, fridge that took more space than it actually should have because of an empty wall behind them for electrics.

Playing Favorites 

My husband, the handyman superstar that he is, is responsible for tearing down and building new walls, taking apart and improving plumbing, installing cabinets, cutting and finishing countertops, tiling, so… basically, all of it. I painted the walls and cleaned what needed to be cleaned.  Small as my contribution was, I’m not any less proud. My husband did such a good job and I still can’t believe the amount of skill that man has! He also made it a point that we pick all the elements of this kitchen, our kitchen, together. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. It’s so pretty I want to cook, eat, and spend my entire day in there.

While the bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs are equally amazing, I can’t deny that the new kitchen is, so far, my favourite. I’ve heard the adage “the kitchen is the heart of the home” many times and I wholeheartedly agree. Food always brings the family together. This was true for the home I grew up in, and I have no doubt would be true for my family as well. Especially with this new kitchen! 

before and after

Before and after

DSC_0272

Now

The Look

We went for a classic white shaker kitchen with a contemporary twist, with Iroco wood countertops, flat chrome handles and stainless steel appliances. We increased countertop space so that we can have more prep area which doubles as a breakfast nook. The double butler sink and a cool looking professional kitchen tap were such great investments, as well as a tap for filtered water and a connection to our coffee machine. Andrew also installed led track lights under the hanging cabinets to directly light our prep space. We utilised as much of the space as we can to get storage, without cramming the place. The windows have blinds on them so we can control light and privacy. 

steel smeg, iroco wood countertops, white shaker cabinets, chrome accessories

Time

Andrew started planning and gutting the kitchen sometime in mid June. He has been working on the house non-stop after work and on weekends, and has had to get his timings right when it came to deliveries, electrician schedule, plasterers, paint, etc. With that said, I think we were able to really get this going quite quickly. We finished the whole thing right at the end of July, a couple of days ago. We still have some way to go with it, as we are still on the look out for the perfect kitchen stools, accessories, etc. 

White subway tile backsplash, iroco wood countertops, white shaker cabinets
Our new breakfast nook, still needing stools and our other decorative items. Flowers from Nicky and Hadyn! 🙂

 

Kitchen tap and filtered tap
Kitchen tap and filtered tap, double butler sink and iroco countertops

The Biggest Challenge to Kitchen Remodelling

The biggest challenge to kitchen remodelling, apart from actually building it from scratch, is the lack of a kitchen. Be prepared to get creative with your food preparation whether you are DIY-ing it or getting professionals. During this whole time, I have been cooking on camping hobs. Believe it. It also helped that Andrew and his best friend Hadyn were able to move the fridge, oven, and microwave into the living room. While it would be easier to order take out, I’m glad I still had the chance to cook at home, as I really do enjoy it. 


 

Tips for Kitchen Remodelling

I know most people wouldn’t DIY their kitchen from scratch like we did. However, there are some things that we (by we, I mean my husband) learned along the way that can be helpful whether you’re going to do a hardcore do-it-yourself project or getting contractors.

  1.  Budget is number one. Go all out with the design then cut back as you go. – It is easy to get carried away when renovating and decorating your kitchen. Make sure to plan the design and the according costs in the very beginning, with your max budget in mind. Go all out with the plan. Then, as you buy the important stuff, start cutting back on the less important ones. When renovating a kitchen, you will always, somehow, go over your budget. It is better to overestimate your budget in the very beginning so you don’t end up spending a fortune later on. 
  2. Kitchen size is fiddly. No matter how carefully measured, there’s always a bigger chance that your cupboards and countertops won’t fit the space perfectly. You need to get creative in filling up the spaces, but it is perfectly manageable. Also, always measure for these after the electrics have been sorted and the walls have been plastered.  
  3. If in doubt, go for drawers. The problem with cupboards is that you always tend to have a hard time getting the stuff in the back! Drawers are the answer to this waste of storage space. 
    DSC_0274
    Much more counterspace and storage, and a moveable cooker that we can bring to our next home if we choose to.
  4. Built in appliances are much more expensive. If you’re not saving on space and/or can’t commit to a permanent fixture, go for freestanding appliances. For example, your cooker and oven. They are cheaper, and you can replace them if you want a kitchen upgrade or take them with you if you move. 
  5. All electrics must be done by electrician to get a Part P regulation. In the UK, they are very strict with electric regulations, especially in a dangerous part of the home, such as the kitchen. Having this sorted out by a certified professional would not only save your life, it also gives your property the A-OK for future plans of renting out. 

 

One last look at BEFORE
One last look at BEFORE
DSC_0272
My food blog pictures are going to look so on point.

Kitchen done! Now, on to the living room! We are so close. I’m so excited! 

If you have any questions, just let me know below or tweet them to me @abbistoli. I’ll make sure my husband answers them. Ha! Share this with a friend who is looking to remodel through the social links below.
Special thanks to Andrew Sr and Teresa for our washing machine and cooker, as well as to Hadyn for all the help! 

Abbi

 

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