I’m delighted to be writing another post for my Renovation Diary because this means progress! The drawings have been finalised and submitted to the council for planning approval. 🙌🤞
[If you missed my previous post about how I found my architect, you can catch that story here. I really couldn’t be happier, it is a total pleasure working with him. He is brilliant, always obliging and quick to respond, endlessly patient with me, and if I have been annoying (I probably have), he hasn’t let on at all. Faultless service. If anyone is looking for an architect in the East Midlands, hit me up. I can wholeheartedly recommend the one I’m working with.]
For this post, I’m looking at the open plan kitchen we’ll be creating, seeing as that is the main reason for this project.
Our 1930s home has smaller dimensions than you’d expect of houses built in that period (no original wall dimension is anywhere near 4 metres) and I’ve always thought that it feels a bit squeezed. You might see what I mean in the existing rear elevation drawing below. Happily, the extension we are planning will make the house look much more balanced.
When I first saw the proposed rear elevation, my previous kitchen ideas basically got blown out of the water. I’d always imagined that we’d keep the existing window (or replace it with a better one of the same size) and have an L-shape kitchen with an island, but the architect proposed that we replace the kitchen window with a full sized glazed panel and I absolutely love this idea of tall glazed panels and doors along back of the house. (The door on the far right is where the utility room will be.)
So this is how our floor plan is going to change to create our open plan kitchen-dining-living space, thanks to some big steel beams:
The open plan space below, designed by ALL&NXTHING, has a very similar layout to what we would like to achieve.
Forgoing an L-shape kitchen for a linear one obviously means less kitchen space, but we’re happy to accept that for a more striking aesthetic. We’ll have to carefully consider how we design and use the kitchen, but storage shouldn’t be an issue as we’ll have a pantry cupboard built under the stairs and a separate utility room.
In terms of the kitchen style, I am as yet undecided about what exactly I want. In fact I’m annoying myself by my indecision, but how do you decide on something as expensive as a kitchen that you’ll have to live with (and hopefully love) forever? That’s a similar level of commitment as marriage! [sweating] Of course I know that kitchens can be changed [divorce] or repainted [hassle], but I’d rather not have to ever do either. Anyway, I’ve been pinning images of linear kitchens in the hope that the answer will come to me, and so far these are my favourites (complete with the inner workings of my mind):
The island here is much shallower than the standard 90cm/120cm depth. This is a great way to save space and something I will definitely consider for my kitchen. It would mean having no appliances or sink on the island, so both the range and the sink would have to go against the wall like in this kitchen. Totally fine with that as long as there is sufficient worktop space on either side of the range and the sink. I quite like the idea of a long island worktop not interrupted by anything: perfect for food prep, baking with kids, buffet spreads etc. The Farrow & Ball Hague Blue colour of this kitchen looks gorgeous, but I’ve sworn not to go for a blue kitchen.
While I love the look of open shelves in place of wall cabinets, I don’t love things getting covered in oily dust and requiring more cleaning; that would be too annoying for me 👎. Also, as our kitchen won’t be big, some wall cabinets will be necessary for sufficient storage. Combining wall cabinets with an open shelf to display a few pretties like this gives the best of both worlds, I think.
This Swedish kitchen shows that a small kitchen can be very chic and practical too.
It’s great to see a kitchen in an unusual colour, but what’s really grabbing me here, besides the unmistakably gorgeous deVOL style, is the Crittall-style glazing. 😍
deVOL inspiring me again with their use of beautiful colour, textures and effortless style. 👌
This colour scheme of pale grey, white and wood, with touches of brass and greenery, is absolutely beautiful and timeless. 😍
Pale grey and white again: really so lovely, isn’t it? The shallow island on legs not only saves space but also gives the illusion of more space.
This is a work-in-progress photo of Mandy Moore’s kitchen. I had to include it in this post as I adore the bright and airy feel of this kitchen. The green (Farrow & Ball Mizzle) works beautifully with the marble and touches of brass. Simple slab doors allow the standout marble to shine here, however marble wouldn’t be practical for us so I’ll be looking for a white quartz worktop. Also, I personally prefer the detail of shaker doors over slab doors.
As I’ve been writing this post, it has become clear that a light and airy feel is a must and that I would very much like a shaker kitchen. It’d be even better if it is an inframe kitchen but can we afford that? Maybe if we live on beans on toast for a year… a worthwhile sacrifice, surely! Now I just have the little [not little] task of deciding on the kitchen colour and make sure it gels well with the rest of the open plan space.
Have you remodelled your kitchen recently? Do you have any wisdom to share? What do you love about it and what would you do differently?
I realise this blog has become a little kitchen-heavy lately, but fear not, I’ll soon be turning my attention to other rooms. Maybe bathrooms next 🙂