Monday, 30 May 2011

Kitchen Makeover - Part 5 - It's finished - well almost!!!

Right before I tell you the story behind our "new" kitchen I'll show you the photo's first...

My electric oven and gas hob, we only have electric here so we have a gas bottle for the hob, which is great as we will still be able to have a cup of tea even when we have a power cut.
My other electric oven, microwave, my cupboard to hide the ironing board and hoover (no excuse for leaving them out now!) and a new door to hide the ginormous electric boiler.

Ginormous boiler hiding inside it's new home - the door still needs painting I'm not sure whether to paint it off white or a pale green.

My new shiny red kettle

My second sink (yes I have two sinks!!!)

The plate rack and wine rack
The view from the other end of the kitchen
This empty space now houses a large ikea desk for the computer and a magistrates chair from the local courts that I got off ebay for Paul

The finished(ish) orangery with its new dresser unit. The table and chairs which we bought off ebay a couple of years ago match the units fabulously and the green chesterfield and armchair (another ebay purchase - can you see a theme here!!)

Just need some nice plates and a few bottles of wine to display
A very shiny floor

The back door with its large coir mat for all our muddy shoes and boots, the tongue and groove still needs painting (story of my life) and we need some big hooks for our coats.

The cupboard to hide the fuse board and all the electrics

The main sink, dishwasher, washing machine and fridge freezer

I can tell you that the sides are never this clean and tidy now!!!
So what do you think? we're really pleased with how it's turned out, now shall I let you into a little secret...
Our new kitchen isn't really new at all we bought it off ebay, it's a Mark Wilkinson solid Maple kitchen with black granite work surfaces and Gaggenau appliances. When we started looking at new kitchens the prices started running away with themselves especially as the room is quite large and we would never have been able to buy a Mark Wilkinson kitchen new (i believe they average about £60,000  - ours cost a fraction of that) so we looked on ebay and found this kitchen. I spent many nights working out if it would fit and we spent one afternoon travelling up to London (the kitchen was in a fabulous house in a private mews next to Lord's Cricket ground) to have a look at the kitchen take measurements and photos we then agreed a price and that was it - sold!!!
Luckily their carpenter was taking the kitchen apart and labelled everything for us and the only hair raising problem during its removal was that the granite might not come off but a quick phone call from the seller to a granite company and they came out and took the granite off in a flash.
Next we organised a removal company to collect the kitchen for us, an easy job the two boys at the removal company were told you'll be finished by 3pm!!! They arrived at the house in London at 10am and started packing up the van everything went well until they needed remove the fridge freezer, now the kitchen was in a basement and the only staircase out to the van was the metal external one luckily the builders helped our guys get the fridge freezer up the stairs along with the heavy pieces of granite. They finally arrived at our house in Essex at 10pm unloaded everything into the orangery and left at midnight. My plans for arranging everything in groups depending on where they were going in our kitchen went out of the window!!!
So everything was now nicely! stored in our orangery and that's where it stayed from November to January you couldn't even get into the room from either door as it was completely jam packed with units!!!
How did you know it was all going to fit I hear you ask!!!
Well there was a lot of planning and drawing and with the help of our builder Ben we worked out where everything could go and we managed to use everything other then three units. We used a local company to come and measure the granite and it worked out that we only needed a few cuts and a little polishing and it all fitted perfectly.
My only nightmare during the whole process was a dream that I had that the second sink unit (this was an island unit originally with the chopping board at the back of it) would stick out too far into the room and there wouldn't be enough room to pass if someone was standing at the sink. I woke up in cold sweat especially as all the plumbing work was already in and couldn't be moved!!! But everything was fine and there was plenty of room.
We were even able to use two wall cupboards with the backs taken off to hide all the fuse boards and electric metres.
The dresser units in the orangery is also part of the same kitchen and fits perfectly on our back wall and houses all the kids games etc. 

Now this way of buying a kitchen isn't for everyone and definitely isn't for the faint hearted but would we do it again - YES! without a shadow of a doubt we have even found a company called The Used Kitchen Company even we can't find one on ebay!!!
We still have lots of little things to finish off, like painting, curtains and the best bit buying bits and bobs for our new kitchen but we love having a lovely space to cook, eat and enjoy time as a family which is definitely what we can do now...
Here are just a few bits that we have bought so far...
So come on what's been your best buy on ebay!!!

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I have finally be able to leave a comment on another blog!!!
I know lots of us have had problems with comments so fingers crossed this is all sorted now!!!
so please understand that I haven't been ignoring you just been feeling very frustrated that I couldn't comment on all your lovely going ons!!!!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Kitchen Makeover - Part 4 - On the homeward straight

The kitchen was really starting to look like a proper room now with its Calico walls and cream floor tiles
This is the view from the hall doorway towards the french doors leading to the orangery, which was jam packed with kitchen units...

This is from the back door to where my sink, dishwasher and washing would be going.

Again from the back door towards the hall doorway

And finally from the hall doorway towards the back door.

The next stage was fitting in the units and this is a story in you'll have to wait for the next post!!
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Kitchen Makeover - Part 3 - Plastering and Painting

This is a nice short post as it shows what the kitchen looked like once it has been plastered, this also meant that although we had a break from having the builders in it also meant two whole days of painting as I as I was determined to paint the whole room (i know I'm mad!!) as I didn't want to have to paint around the units!!!

There are no pictures of me or the painting as I was just too busy and too exhausted to take any. All I remember is that on the second day of painting I was locked in the kitchen with the radio, the paint and the paint tray and wasn't allowed out. With my cups of tea and lunch being passed through the window!!! I finally finished about 4 o'clock that evening and we all went out and enjoyed a lovely meal at Frankie and Benny's....
I still have a few bits to finish and the skirting to paint and with my lot running in and out all day the nice calico coloured walls are in need of a bit of a touch up but on the whole it does look lovely and clean (ish) and fresh...
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Friday, 27 May 2011

Kitchen Makeover - Part 2 - Ripping Out & Making Good

I'd forgotten just how hectic January was for us this year in the first week we had the final two wooden windows replaced and the new oak porch added to the back door and no sooner had that finished the builders arrived again to start on the kitchen. It was rather a manic couple of days if I remember rightly as I only had one day to box up and empty the kitchen and I think I was still finishing off when the builders arrived early in the morning.

This post shows the kitchen space with all the units removed.

See I hadn't quite finished tidying everything away, well they did want bacon sandwiches didn't they???

More progress with the first fix for the electrics, trying to decide where I wanted all those sockets!!!

The ceiling had to come down again for the electrics but this was an easy job (shes says not having had to do it!) as the panels had been screwed in place..

The big machinery was out today because the old floor tiles had to come up and trenches dug out for new water pipes and the gas pipe for the hob. We also found that part of the floor wasn't level so that had to come up to and then all be levelled off ready for my lovely new flooring.

It's starting to look more like a room again now with the last of the plasterboard going up.

The rsj's are finally boxed in...

This last picture shows what I was using for a washing up bowl in the very very cold garage that was our makeshift kitchen as well as the storage room for the builders tools etc, thank god for good friends, takeaways and launderettes!!!

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Kitchen Makeover - Part 1 - Demolition!!!

As I seem to be getting my A**e in gear I thought it was high time I posted about our kitchen makeover before we make a start on the bathroom!!!
I have just had to check with Paul as my poor addled brain can't seem to remember when all this happened as it's just a distant blur so here goes...
Back in November 2009 we had an orangery put on the back of the house as after the arrival of Tompom we needed a bit more room for our growing family, this would mean Rachel moving from her downstairs bedroom at the back of the house to what was the dining room at the front of the house. This would then enable us to knock through from the kitchen to Rachel's old room and create a nice big kitchen opening on to the orangery (are you with me so far!)
Having built the orangery this stayed empty and unused for sometime whilst we decided exactly what we wanted to do in the kitchen.
I couldn't find many photos of the before kitchen but here is one I took on the morning before the knock through.

The knock through for some unknown reason we booked for the May/June 2010 half term holidays I don't know what we were thinking as
builders removing major supporting walls plus kids running around = disaster so I had to take the kids out everyday to keep out of the way!!!

Paul was very worried that the corner of the house might fall down as we were taking out two supporting walls and I think he had a few sleepless nights worrying about all those acro's.

This is our builder Ben - smiling at the beginning of the job!!!

We also had to take down the whole ceiling which was lath and plaster and I was so glad that Paul had made the boys seal up the door to the rest of the house!!! There was dust everywhere!!!

As you can see we still managed to stay on line whilst this was going on!!!
That big thing in the corner is not a freezer but is infact my electric boiler - what a beast!!!

The pink curtains still half hanging from when this was Rachel's old room.

My makeshift area - i say makeshift but it stayed like this until February this year!!!

Initially we were only going to knock through the one wall but I'm so glad we decided to open up the other side too as we finally managed to get rid of the red brick pillar and open the the sink wall completely.

This is the view from the back door looking in.

The back entrance to the house was always really small and as we use this as our main door we wanted to open it up so the door to Rachel's room on the left of the door was blocked up and the wall on the right taken back as far as it would go.
The cupboard there hides all the fuse boards and meters so that had to stay for the time being until the electrician was able to come and move all the boxes etc.
So that's the knock through as I said we lived with it (minus the acro's) like this until February this year and I'm glad we did as it gave us time to get used to the space and work out what we wanted to do, although it was funny was how we got used to living like this and it wasn't until we visited other peoples houses with proper kitchens that we realised what a mess ours really was!!! This spurred us on to make the decision to finish the kitchen.
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