I have learnt a lot about interior design over the past few years. Doing my second kitchen from scratch for ourselves was a big learning curve in problem solving and budget stretching. It is still not quite finished but I think it may be quite a while longer until we get down to those little jobs.
I always start designing with how a space is going to be used. Everyone uses a space a little bit differently and have different priorities.
Firstly we both love to cook, however we are not into gadgets and we usually buy fresh everyday so we don't need too much storage space. We came from a very small flat and never had a microwave so never planned to have one here, also we barely used the freezer so decided to go with out that one too. There is a shop just over the road for ice in the summer and if we have something that comes frozen we have to eat it that day and have any leftovers the day after. This is just what we have got used to and doesnt make any difference to use but on designing the space the less stuff it needs I was hoping the better it would look.
We had builders in to knock out the wall between the original kitchen and dining room and we blocked up the door from the kitchen to the lean too as there was also a door in the dining room and this seemed like the perfect place for the sink.
The sink we bought from gumtree for £75 with the taps too! I'm lucky to have a rather handy Dad who built the stand and plumbed it in. Edd and I were mostly assistants that day trying to learn as much as possible for next time. Fingers crossed our memories are good as we may try and take on the bathroom by ourselves.
We bought a belfast sink as I really wanted to add some character to this house. Im sure its no surpricse for me character is added with things that have been used over time and do not look perfect.
We made free standing frames for each unit in the kitchen both the fridge and dishwasher are also hidden within these. The frames have shelving inside for storage and are curtained to the front. We used 18mm ply and 5 x 5 cm batons to build all the cabinets the tops are then finished in parquet flooring. Some of this wood we just had around the house but if you're in Bristol the Bristol Wood recycling project is really great for batons etc. Actually that is not quite true its a great place in general and it can seem to be a great place to start a project as there may be a great piece of wood in their yard to inspire something.
We bought this parquet years ago from eBay it was £10 and we had two massive boxes full at the time we thought we would do the whole of our old flat in parquet but I think we were being very ambitious with a tight budget. With the budget in mind for the kitchen and looking at what we already had we thought this would be a good time to have a bash with the parquet.
Fitting parquet to a work surface is not really the normal thing and is a bit of a jigsaw puzzle. Luckily I have a lot of patience for this kind of stuff so I took on the fitting myself. We also had a lot more than what we needed so I had enough to make a fair few mistakes. They were reclaimed parquet tiles with all the bitumen stuck to the back. We both watched endless youtube videos on different ways to tackle this. We dry scraped them, We used a hot air gun to melt it down and then scrape it off. In the end it all took way to long and we found a glue that could stick them down as the were. We had plenty pieces of parquet to choose from so went for the flattest possible and scrapped off any big sections. The glue we used was LECOL and it seems to have done the trick.
It was great glue but goes off pretty fast so I would do it each in small sections then leave to dry for a few days with a shed load of books on top before sanding. I don't know if the books were necessary it didn't say to add weight but it just seemed the right thing to do.
I chopped each piece with a chop saw and almost lost a finger in the process when I was getting a bit cocky with how small I could cut with it. A hacksaw is also handy for the fiddly sections if you don't want the joy of terrifying yourself at home by yourself and suddenly seeing spray of blood everywhere holding your finger but needing to prep a good thirty seconds before you look at it in case you pass out. It was attached luckily just with a chunk missing.
There may be a proper way to do this but I mainly went with marking out each one with a pencil and a bit of guess work.
Gaps can open up in the heat but that is the nature of the product. We also used a specific parquet sealer to finish it off after sanding. Admittedly there is still one are the needs sanding and sealing... I will get on that, soon.
Our kitchen floor is just painted concrete this is in Johnstones floortred paint.
One big job Edd and I done together was the kitchen ceiling. When we moved in it was falling down and needed replacing. We had the bright idea to just rip it out and not replace it. Pulling out the lath and plaster was the most hideous mess. Apparently black brick mortar is pretty common and it got everywhere. For a job that we almost immediately regretted once we started the exposed ceiling in the kitchen is probably now one of my favourite features. The extra bit of wood and detailing was so what was missing in this house and glad we could make more of what already existed.
Again we were trying to save a bit of money by ripping it down, cleaning it up and painting it were all in our remit so it become the most obvious option for us.
It is something I would do again to get this look however I will say if you want a bit more of a sound barrier in your home this option is probably not for you. Luckily Edd and I seem to like having chat through the floor. Also be prepared to make a hell of a mess, put everything away and plastic up every single door. I'm glad we done this before any room was completed as we couldn't touch anything as we were both so filthy. Also get the best mask you can find! Then it is a matter of a hammer and covering your head. ( Disclaimer - We don't know what we are doing. This is just what we done ourselves, seek professional advice for pulling down any ceilings )
The Larder cabinet was one of our best buys. It is a large antique wardrobe which we got at Wotton auction for just under £200. We fitted 18mm ply shelving to the inside and we use it to store pretty much all our food. We do have plans for a few extra shelves in the kitchen so we can bring out a few of the glass jars with the dry food in and some of the glasses. Doing this will just let us have a bit more storage space in the cupboard so we can have a bit of a bigger stock of food. Rather than the strict only two packs of cereal.
Costings and Source List
I have never actually costed up this kitchen but the main parts are no where near what a fitted kitchen would cost. Most of the money was spent on removing walls, building new ones, concrete floors etc. Below is pretty rough but hopefully useful guide of where we spent the money and where to get some of the things from.
PREP AND BUILDING WORK - £2000
SINK £75 from Gumtree - Included the taps!!!
RANGE COOKER £120 - Also gumtree - Edd bartered down from £150 it was in a total state and needed a mega clean but for the price we are so happy with it. We got it all professionally checked over and fitted and that was £70.
LARDER CABINET - £189 - From Wooton auction, we bought a piece of 18mm ply for the shelves for this and used about half a sheet. so it cost about an extra £25 to add all the shelving and make it work for us. I also added cork floor tiles to the inside of the doors and we have this to pin up lots of photos and special things as we don't really have these kind of things around the house.
RADIATOR - Luckily there was only one and one of our bigger expenses. This was from the radiator company and cost about £300 It does cost quite a lot more though to get them painted so we got it delivered to us in the darker primer colour and sprayed it ourselves with a couple of cans of black stove spray from B&Q and we are really happy with what that saved and it looks great. We did originally really want to get an old one. However with an old one you do have to make sure the inside has been blasted clean as it can really muck up your system.The old radiators are about the same price as a new version and we bought a traditional looking cast iron one. It feels a little more like faking something than I would like, but we really didn't want any risk of messing up the reasonable new heating system. Also I didn't make a note of where I got them but we got all the fittings for the radiator separately as buying them with the radiator was much more expensive.
MOSAICS - The mosaics for the window sill were all leftover tiles so cost nothing, except the adhesive and grout. I got an all in one from Selco for about £8.
SPICE CUPBOARD - Ardingly Antiques Fair £55
PAINT - This is the only room we have used Farrow and Ball. We really love it in here as it has that really matt chalky finish and works perfect on the white washed wall. We got through 7.5 litres of Winbourne white.
FRIDGE - My parents gave us this as we didn't have one when we moved in. I'm not sure now whether they had it already or bought it. If they bought it though no doubt it came from their local car boot. Even though it is mostly hidden we painted the front with green blackboard paint. This is something we have done before and I think just helps to hide them a little more. We had no intention of drawing on the fridge with chalk, but the dark green chalkboard paint works so well on fridges.
DISHWASHER - GUMTREE - £50 (hidden to the right of the sink)
COVING AND CEILING ROSE - This is more in the dining room space but it really has made the whole room come together as one. www.plasterceilingroses.com
WOOD Approx - £300 ( From B&Q, Selco and Bristol wood recycling project)
PARQUET - £10 from eBay. Random job lot that was just cheap that I bought years ago