I have written about our kitchen so many times on my blog. Each time about my dreams for it being bright and open. When we first moved in, it looked like the picture below, grey floor, grey worktop, brown walls and dark brown units. It's a basement kitchen, so it wasn't an ideal colour scheme. The light was small too, so there really wasn't much going for it at all!
I painted the walls white last year when I finished my exams and ripped up the grey floor to discover 80's terracotta tiles, which were infinitely better than the grey floor. We made so many plans for the kitchen, but they always came back to the same thing, opening it up and making it brighter.
My dad came up in October to start the renovations but unfortunately had to go home sick so we were unable to start anything. We made the decision then to wait until after I had finished university because it was such a busy year for me.
We were sent some Fairy Platinum to try out at home. Unfortunately we don't have the space for a dishwasher, so I took them up to my Grandma's B&B to try there. We found that they clean the dishes really well and left everything with a great shine to it when it came out of the dishwasher, even on a quick wash!
So last week was the week we had planned for the full renovation. I had finished my exams and was meant to have a bit more free time. So last Wednesday I cleared the kitchen. I took out the big built in unit and emptied all the cupboards and shelves. My neighbour helped me to carry the massive unit down the road and back up around the front of the house. She was a huge help! It meant that I could basically just put everything back in the same unit but this time in the dining room. Luckily we don't really use our dining room for anything other than a play room and where the piano lives, so there was plenty of space.
Once my dad was up, it didn't take us long to smack a huge hole in the wall. It was quite satisfying, although incredibly messy! I knew it was going to be messy, and hard work, but I hadn't quite imagined just how much I would hurt the next day. We basically did eight hours of hard labour and there wasn't a muscle in me which didn't hurt, and I am relatively fit! I was glad when we stopped for the evening and I fell in to bed!
On day 2 our new kitchen arrived from IKEA. Sadly IKEA wouldn't let me add anything extra to the order, so on the same day my husband and my mum had to drive the hour journey to pick up the few bits we were missing. I spent the entire day putting the new kitchen together in the dining room, leaving us very little room for any kind of manoeuvre. At this point I had imagined that we would be nearly ready to fit the kitchen downstairs, but sadly it was slow going.
We hadn't really thought about what would happen with our children, but luckily my mum and aunt were up looking after my Grandma, so they were able to take over the childcare. It's so rare that we have anyone to babysit, let alone two people who were willing! On the third day we continued to clear out the old kitchen, and my uncle came over to help with moving the lintels from the middle of the kitchen. They were seriously heavy! We managed to get rid of the old units and worktop and sort out some of the electrics. Luckily I am happy doing pretty much all aspects of DIY, including electrics. The only thing I am really awful at is plastering. I got to learn how to lay a wall though, which was a first for me!
Day 4 was the day my dad went home. It was also meant to be the day that the kitchen was finished. Sadly it didn't happen. Everything just took an awful lot longer than we could ever have imagined. I also had to go to IKEA again, this time with the children, which ended up taking forever. Imagine IKEA on a Sunday, during the sale with two children and you don't need me to explain any further.
We were left with a plumbed in sink, but the washing machine wasn't plumbed in. The oven worked, but we didn't have an extractor fan. At least we were able to cook and wash up. There was no real storage though, so it was quite difficult. I have to admit I was initially really disappointed, but only because I had hoped we could enjoy the kitchen. We are moving in just under four weeks, so I thought we would at least get to use it for a little bit. I guess that whoever our tenants are can enjoy a brand new kitchen instead!
The next day I was able to put together a storage unit so we had some storage and our plumber popped over to plumb in the washing machine, so it does now look an awful lot better. It definitely looks better than the old kitchen even though it isn't finished yet.
As you can tell from this picture, the cats were less than impressed with the entire renovation, although at least we provided them with a box to keep them sweet for a bit!
I filmed the renovations for your enjoyment and you can watch the video below.
This post is an entry for the “My Kitchen Story” Linky Challenge, sponsored by Fairy Platinum