Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Our Forever House - the Kitchen

by Roz

Now that I've taken you on a tour of the floors of the house, I thought it would be fun to share some of the specific rooms with you.  Who doesn't have ideas about how their dream kitchen would look?  B and I both love food and tend to cook our evening meals from scratch most nights as we enjoy the spending the time making delicious food as a way to unwind after a busy day.  I love our current kitchen in our flat, it's quite small and therefore usually a bit messy(!), so we are both looking forward to having a large kitchen that will double up as entertaining space on the ground floor.

The room we have chosen for the kitchen is a large room at the rear of the property.  It has beautiful big windows overlooking our back garden, so is a room that gets lots of light.  We intend to knock through, and fit double glazed doors, to the downstairs lounge.  The windows are set in to a small alcove (due to the depth of the shutters) and I can't wait to put a small table here for eating lazy weekend brunch looking out to the garden!  B's strong preference was for us to have a breakfast bar type area on the island unit (I'll get to that bit!) but I just couldn't picture the kitchen in our forever house without a proper table.

 The room when we got the keys

The wall on the right is the one we have chosen to put all of the wall units on.  They will run the length of the wall, from next to the window all the way to the wall where the double doors to the lounge will be.  Sadly it means we will be losing the little cupboard / alcove you can see in the picture above but I think the kitchen will have plenty of storage!  On the left hand wall, down next to the window, we are going to add a door to a pantry.  Oooh how I can't wait to have a pantry.  It's a big space (about 2m sq) with it's own little window and the plan is to fit floor to ceiling shelves :)
A sketch of how the wall of units will look

In the drawing above, it's easy to work out that the sink will be in the middle of the units and the dishwasher will live here too.  On the left hand side we will have a full height built in fridge and separate freezer.  I'm still pretty gutted that I have to say goodbye to my American style fridge freezer in the flat, I will definitely miss the chilled water and ice machine :(  But after much debate and time to mull it all over, the look of the kitchen we want to achieve works so much better with the built in units.  The last item on the left is a pull out larder type unit, mostly to keep the bits and bobs we use all the time like tea, coffee, biscuits etc. as all of our food will be kept in the pantry.

On the right hand side of the sink, the black shaded items are our ovens.  We actually already have all of the oven units we intend to have in the kitchen, as B spotted a bargain and bought them!  There will be one large single oven, a steam oven, a microwave (which I haven't had in my kitchen in over 10yrs!) and two warming drawers.  Now two warming drawers is probably overkill I know, but putting these under the two smaller oven units (the steam oven and the microwave) keeps the lines of the oven the same.  Who knew I would ever care about such things?  All the ovens are Neff appliances as we have Neff in our flat and love them.  They are easy to use and reliable and the silver and black glass units also look good.

CAD drawing of kitchen layout

The computer design above gives an idea of how it will look, including the glass units we have added above the sink.  But the windows are wrong in the picture and we do not want black worktops or floor tiles, these were just added to show a contrast.  We have decided on white high gloss units.  It was difficult to pick to be honest, but neither of us really liked anything else.  White seemed to be the default that we kept coming back to.  It's actually really grown on me and I like the idea of adding colour in other ways.

I want to put a coloured glass splashback behind the sink.  But what colour?  B isn't fussed and is mostly happy to let me choose, as long as it's not green (sorry Bex!) but the glass is quite expensive and I find myself starting to panic about picking the wrong colour.  It would help if we could decide on a floor tile...or should I pick the glass colour first and then pick the floor tile??

As you can see from the picture above, in the middle of the room there is going to be a large island unit.  It's going to be about 2.5m long and 1.3m wide.  The room can handle the size of the island and we feel it needs to be that big as it's our only worktop space and will also house the induction hob.  Again we love our current induction hob and couldn't really imagine going back to cooking on something else, it's just a shame the Neff ones are so expensive.

Another choice that still needs to be made is the worktop.  The hope is that this kitchen lasts us for the next decade or so(!), so we are prepared to invest in a good, hard wearing worktop.  I'm not so keen on granite, I don't like the fact that you don't know what it will be like until it arrives i.e. as it's a natural stone, the inclusions could be any colour, shape or pattern right in the middle of your worktop.  I can see why some people would love that and it's one of the reasons I love real wood floors and furniture, but I just want to know how the worktop will look so I think I have ruled out granite. 

The two quartz colour samples I like for the worktop
Quartz seems like the next sensible choice and when I saw these two options I loved them both.  Initially I preferred the lighter silver shade, but now I definitely prefer the darker grey option.  It's still a lot of money to spend on a worktop though so I keep wondering if there are any other options out there.  We don't need to make the decision yet (thankfully!) we are going to go ahead and order the kitchen and have a think about how the room looks as it starts to take shape.  Any thoughts you guys have on what you have used would be welcome :)

So what do you guys think of our plans for the kitchen, are there bits your like?  Bits you think sound awful??  Let me know.

Roz xx 


Rebecca@FlorenceFinds said...

I'm deeply immersed in kitchen thoughts right now although we're not planning on starting any work until Spring next year at the earliest, I'm looking at costings etc.

My thoughts would be to think about warmth... high gloss white is very modern and with a tiled floor plus a stone worktop could seem very 'cold'. Have you considered parquet flooring for the floor? It would be warm, and is in keeping with the house's period.

Worktops are tough. I want desperately to have marble but they're supposed to be hard to maintain. I think I could be more relaxed about them aging, but I'm not sure! In terms of them being exactly how you order them and hardest wearing, Corian is the gold standard isn't it - but mega expensive - one of my colleagues has a white kitchen with white corian and it's fab, and warmer as it's not cold to touch... not that that bothers me really. I'm rambling!

Unknown said...

It sounds great so far, I have no ideas to offer though, but agree with Rebecca's comments about finding a way to bring warmth in to the room with maybe some "warmer" natural materials?

Kirsty | A Safe Mooring said...

You probably saw it already, but this post on worktop surfaces might be handy. Personally I would just be pinning ideas like crazy - pretty much every aesthetic decision I make these days requires its own week-long pinning spree!

Oh, I do love living vicariously through you ladies with your amazing houses! I think my entire (rented, badly decorated) flat would fit inside your kitchen, but it's lovely to imagine what I might do in the future if I had a dream house of my own.

Amanda said...

Hmm, how about adding some colored tiles behind the sink (it's not a big area anyway). It could be something neutral like light blue, or even lilac (though I am with Bex and would go for some kind of emerald green), or maybe even a light coral, or yellow? There are some very very pretty tiles. That's the one modification I would like to do to our current kitchen if we just had money to spend (it's not like it's a needed change, our gray tiles, not chosen by us, look and work just fine).

We have just recently decided to change our worktops (we had wood, chosen by our previous owners, which we don't even understand as a choice, yes it's pretty, but the area around the sink, no matter how much we dry, and sand and wax is becoming softer and softer).

We also like stone, but in the end we went for a material that in Dutch they call "Composiet", it is made of sand + resins, it is very hard and oh so very smooth, and they have many shades. It kind of looks like this, though they have grey shades, or more natural looking ones (cream with brown / beige, like the one we chose, for warmth). Our furniture is ivory white and the floor is parquet.

It's gonna be such a huge kitchen, I am dreaming 3 ovens! And an island!

amy said...

I still think gloss white with purple quartz worktops and purple glass!

Are you on pinterest? If not I'm not following you. *goes off to look*

amy said...

Ignore me, I've just seen you on Pinterest. Following now.

Unknown said...

Thanks for all your comments guys, lots to think about! I'll be sure to share some pictures of the kitchen as it takes shape and we make some of these decisions :)

Roz x

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