So last time I posted about the kitchen it was a mood board. Since then I have been busy collecting samples and talking to tradesmen of every description. It all seems so simple now the decisions have been made but it has been so painful.
The reason I am getting a new kitchen is that I love cooking but my oven is broken. I can work round it but it is rubbish. The temperature is never right (not helped by the fact that all the temperature marks have rubbed off the control) I solved this with an oven thermometer but that has broken now. Then the handle fell off the grill door, this was okay I don’t use the grill much and I could still prise the door open with my fingers. Then the oven door handle fell off meaning that it now looks very sleek and minimalist but is a pain to try and open (though I have cooked Christmas Dinner for 12). I tried putting the handles back on but the thread inside had gone so i looked online to get replacements and they came to more than the cooker. The cooker has been in this state for two years whilst I tried to decide on my kitchen this indecision really has been killing me.
New Kitchen – Cooker
I have finally chosen this one rangemaster professional plus 90cm. I chose it because I can’t go any bigger than 90cm, so that limits choice, i wanted a double oven and it got great reviews from which? and was their best buy of 2012. I really like the solidness and simplicity. Did wonder about getting it in black but it was cheaper in stainless steel and my mother said black makes other colours sing so the steel will be more subtle. We will see.
New Kitchen Worktops
Okay so this is still slightly undecided.Quickly i narrowed it down to wood. However , I am torn between reclaimed old school laboratory worktops. Look at this worktops, but they are quite expensive roughly £100m and they still need a lot of treatment and they might come with big bunsen burner marks, they are thinner than normal worktops (though this might be sexy). I can’t decide how much I love teak or not. It might be too dark and orange. I love Hornsea pottery but I don’t want to recreate a 70’s kitchen
So my other choice is Oak worktops. Thought this would be simple but I don’t want lots of narrow staves I want wide planks. Found these and got samples, they also do matching full stave prime oak upstands.
New Kitchen Cabinets
Found a joiner I like (tested him out by getting him to build a dresser in an alcove for us). After showing him my pinterest board we decided to use off-the-shelf units for the base units, but he would build open shelves for the top. Got howdens in to do a plan, and settled on the Burford Grey for the base units. It is a shaker style door in a warm pale grey colour. It also has plinth drawers which I wanted. Cost for cabinets came back from howdens at £2000. Obviously this does not include any labour.
New Kitchen Shelves
We were hoping to reuse some old cedar planks we had but there wasn’t enough. After a chat with a friend I found out about a reclamation timber yard nearby and when I looked on their website they had just taken delivery of loads and loads and loads of thick 150 year old square edge mill floorboards. They had been taken from a wool mill in Keighley which is near us. We took a trip out with our measurements and fell in love. We bought 60m of the stuff and they are sanding and trimming it for us, he was charging £2 a foot, though he had cheaper victorian domestic floorboards for 60p a foot. Most difficult part was converting our metric to his imperial.
New Kitchen Sink and Taps
As we are having a wood worktop and everyone moans about water and wood we decided we should probably go for an inset sink rather than undermounted. The thought being that it will protect the worktops. First thoughts were ceramic but when I saw them they looked too chunky and i was worried about chipping and marking. Then we looked at granite composite, but there seemed to be a great difference in quality. We decided on Blanco as they were stocked and recommended by the best kitchen fitters. We chose a 1.5 bowl in Blanco Axia ii6s , I did find one on ebay and put a bid in but we didn’t get it (anyway it was black so not right really). Not sure if we should get it in silk grey or white (need to look at the sample again!) http://www.blanco.co.uk/products/sink/blancoaxiaii6ssilgranit UPDATE got a second chance on my ebay bid for sink so off to pick it up today. It even has the tap I wanted, hope it isn’t too scratched (bought for £70 as opposed to £700)
New Kitchen Flooring
Cork was an easy decision but finding the right cork was not. There is a very limited choice in the domestic market, we wanted cork as it is warm underfoot (unlike the limestone we had put down last time) natural and gentle, if you drop things on it they should survive. Chose this clic flooring in sand, it is in planks like laminate flooring which just click together but it is a sandwich of cork . It isn’t cheap, however we don’t need too much and it needs no underlay costs around £35 sqm. There are a few different suppliers but we settled on Cork Flooring who are the sweetest most helpful people ever, they helped guide us through which product would be best for us and were happy to send samples.
New Kitchen Radiators
We have suffered cold limestone floors for a decade and we had thought of putting underfloor heating in. However the cork flooring is so warm and toasty decided to leave it but instead get an old school radiator. The idea is to get a low one and then build a bench over it to create a window seat. I looked at reclaimed radiators first but as the dimensions I wanted were very specific I was unlucky. They roughly came in at around £150 from a salvage yard but then I would have to arrange for pressure washing, testing, power sanding and painting which added another £150 so they cost around £300 and I couldn’t find any within a 20 mile radius of me. There is also no guarantee they have been restored properly or tested so they might leak.
You can get restored reclaimed cast iron where they had done all this for you but they charged £500, and this seemed too expensive for a little radiator that would be hidden under a bench (this place. does them)
Reproduction cast iron radiators. These are guaranteed for 10yrs and they come painted. The one I wanted was £250 inc delivery. There is talk of modern cast iron not being as good as old but i am no expert sure it will be lovely. Went with this one in the end in foundry grey.
next time I will post about handles, paint colours, cupboard interiors, shelf designs, lighting … decisions decisions