First Sense Reno – kitchen design

This is exciting. And a little nervewracking for me, if I’m honest. Over the past few months, I have had many questions about what I am doing for my long-awaited kitchen. I always knew I would be designing it entirely myself, because salespeople in kitchen showrooms (or ‘kitchen designers’ as they like to call themselves) annoy me with how little they generally care about an individual’s particular requirements, and also with their ridiculously high quotes which are costed with the expectation of being haggled down to about 50-60% of the price. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I don’t, anyway.

Transparency notice: My kitchen reveal blog post, which will be published later this year, will contain some items received as part of brand collaborations. This blog post is independent of collaborations but states where I am working with brands.

A couple of years ago when this project still felt like a distant dream, I came across DIY Kitchens thanks to fellow renovators on instagram, and I knew then that my kitchen was going to come from there. They offer a wide range of cabinet styles and sizes, the quality of their products is always highly rated, and they offer bespoke painted options which means you can have a kitchen in any colour you like! Best of all, their kitchen cabinetry is among the most affordable I have come across. The only thing is, you have to design your own kitchen. I’m an interior designer anyway, but anyone can design a kitchen with a bit of common sense and knowledge of cabinet sizes. They also have an excellent support system to answer any queries; I’ve bothered them plenty and they’ve always responded helpfully and quickly. (To be clear, this is not an ad. When I come across a company that I think you would like to know about, I will happily share it and give you my honest opinion.) By the way, if you did want professional help with your kitchen design, feel free to hire me! (That bit is totally an ad.) 😊

I deliberated a lot over my design to ensure it is both beautifully timeless (but not boring) and practical for my family. The unit configuration was the easy part once the appliances were decided upon, and I knew I wanted a classic shaker style, but I drove myself half mad going back and forth over colours, until I removed all distractions for a few days (i.e. switched off the noise of social media which was pulling me in different directions) and then it all just clicked.


To see how I first figured out the kitchen layout before finalising building plans, check out this post: Renovation Diary: Figuring Out The Kitchen Layout.

A 100cm range cooker and an American fridge freezer were a must for me, so the layout was worked around them. The final configuration I have settled on is this –

First Sense Reno - Kitchen layout

This unit configuration, plus the walk-in pantry, gives us all the storage we need, so I have been able to do away with wall units altogether for a light airy feel, yay!


Colour-wise, I realised that the previous pale grey inspiration I had gathered wasn’t really lighting me up anymore, so I went back to the drawing board to figure out that (1) I would like a single colour kitchen, (2) it needed to be some form of blue as I continue to be drawn to blues (probably always will!), and (3) it needed to be a muted blue that feels like a neutral without really being a neutral. So after all that thinking, this is what I came up with and I feel very happy about it!

First Sense Reno - kitchen design

The fridge and pantry wall will be built to look sort of like this –

First Sense Kitchen - Fridge and pantry wall

The blue I have chosen is Paint & Paper Library Squid Ink, which I find to be such an interesting colour, looking anything from Downpipe-ish grey to muted green to muted blue depending on the light. It’ll make a lovely contrast with white walls which should keep the space feeling wonderfully bright. The housing for the extractor hood will be custom built by my builder.


I am working with the incredibly lovely who are supplying the appliances for my kitchen that you can see in the layout and visualisation. In a later post, I’ll share the specifics of each one and my reasons for choosing the ones I did.


I always wanted a white quartz worktop, but when I was putting the design together, I felt that the kitchen needed more warmth, so I changed the island worktop to a lovely oak one and for me that made the design sing! I am delighted to also be working with Worktop Express who will be supplying a wonderful oak worktop for my island. I’ll write another post to explain in depth the various worktop options I considered, their qualities, and why I have chosen quartz and oak for my kitchen.


Practicality and longevity is priority when it comes to flooring. I love the idea of a hardwood floor, but with a kitchen being a heavy use area, coupled with underfloor heating, I have decided on a high quality and waterproof laminate instead. My research led me to Quick Step and I am considering the Impressive range which has some gorgeous oak tones that I love.

So… what do you think of my kitchen design?? Showing this, I feel like I’m standing naked in front of a big crowd. This kitchen design feels very personal. If you know me at all, I hope you can see how very me this is! My family is pretty chuffed with it too. 😊

Before long, I’ll also be sharing with you other room designs (there are several rooms to talk about!). To make sure you don’t miss a thing, you can subscribe to my blog on Bloglovin’ or by email (see sidebar), or by following me on Instagram where I share the gritty updates as well as the pretty inspiration, and soon my lovely new spaces!


  1. August 14, 2019 / 1:04 pm

    Love the sneak peeks so far, Meera. Can’t wait for the multiple reveals!

    • Meera
      August 20, 2019 / 9:54 am

      Thank you, Juan! So many reveals to come!! 🙂

  2. Dips
    February 14, 2020 / 6:46 am

    Just the kind of Blog I’ve been looking for! And you are so right about the noise of social media and trying to figure out what you want/like for yourself. I’m about to read everything on you blog now!! Thank you

    • Meera
      February 20, 2020 / 8:33 pm

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Dips! Glad it resonates with you 🙂

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