Monday, 5 March 2012

Calming the Chaos

It's my birthday today....and I'm at the studio working, but I'm really happy about that as I've had so much else going on around here I haven't had time to get stuck in for a while.
So this kitchen drawer is a good example of the way things are heading (I hope!)
There are countless examples on the web for making chalkboard / blackboard stickers, so no claims for originality here!
Our kitchen is now complete and I've got birthday tulips to celebrate...
We've  still got to sort out the floor and clean the windows! Here's the before.  The biggest difference is that we moved the door frame to centre it with the stairway, only by about 40cm but it was the best thing we did.  The 30 spot lights (yes 30!) have gone down to 10 and we've said bye bye to all those overhead cupboards.

Thanks to my builder, Tony who put up with all my last minute changes and did a fine job.
I attempted to go for an eco route on the worktops and even the kitchen itself but we just couldn't keep it in budget I'm afraid.  We used Howden's in the end and thankfully they were able to supply it at the last hour after all my chopping and changing! 
We did manage to give the old kitchen away on freecycle and Rob who came to collect it, ended up as Tony's 'chippy' for the duration of our new kitchen build (and beyond!) So hopefully I've scored just a few Brownie points there.
We escaped to my brother's for a week during kitchen madness (note the same kitchen!)
The worktop is engineered quartz stone fitted by someone my brother recommended (I copied the kitchen units off my darling interior designer bro' Matt Rawlinson - who saved me at the last hour and made me see straight!) Paul came down from Cheshire with his two sons and did a very professional job and I'm soooooo pleased with it.
I also must mention Marion, better known online as Majjie, the lady behind Advanced Kitchen Design. I came across her sight a bit too late in the project but I would highly recommend it if for fantastic advice on everything you need to know about kitchens. She also offers a great design service. We had a few email exchanges and she was incredibly helpful.  Thanks to Majjie, I was less afraid to move the sink off centre from the window and the extra workspace to the hob has made all the difference. I was also worried about moving the cooker as I thought we were messing up the 'work triangle' but I was reassured this was OK and with the two worktop areas it's now much better.
Finally, from all the great kitchens and ideas I found on the web, Pinterest became my style notebook throughout and gave me a fun visual storyboard to work from.
The most important thing is that Nigel is happy.  It's passed on all counts for a good working kitchen - he's the main cook so I had to make sure of that! Stanley didn't really care but enjoyed having builders in the house and his first tea party to celebrate last Friday which turned into a booze up with the parents....just how it should be!

Have a lovely day everyone! x


  1. Happy Birthday! What a lovely big bright kitchen (very jealous!) x

  2. Ah it looks gorgeous! love it! I love the finishing touches best of all, the gorge table cloth and the fab shelf with all the retro plates and pots on, a fab job!.... can you come over and do mine!!
    Happy Happy Birthday!! have a fantastic happy day!x

  3. Thanks so much Lisa - putting stuff on the shelves was the best bit! As for doing your' way, the whole process was PAINFULL! I went through a trillion design changes before I got to this. You'd hate me by the end of it. Anyway, I'm sure you'd do a fine job. x

  4. hello and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Great to see the finished result, been thinking of you lot picnicin' in the living room - all worth it now I hope. xxx
    pics of the living room next please!

    1. Cheers Kate, glad you like. Living room and kitchen floor are next on the list!
      Missing you lot. xxxx

  5. Beautiful kitchen! I'm very envious.

  6. It looks great Helen - and thanks for the mention!



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