When we moved into the house I really disliked the dining room and kitchen (I pretty much disliked every room in the house!!) Positioned at the back of the house it felt particularly dingy and the kitchen, apart from being filthy, needing ripping out and replacing. The kitchen is an off-shot kitchen and had a wall with a door separating it from the dining room and I couldn’t bear the thought of being shut away at the back of the house having to cook by myself.
As we live in in a terrace on a road full of pretty much exactly the same houses, I did a lot of research to see whether any other houses that were similar to ours had had made any changes to the layout. Lucky for me I found that quite a few had opened up their kitchen and dining room so that the two rooms flowed into one another (so I knew it was possible!- woohoo!). I also thought the flow would be better (and space) if we blocked off the current back door in the kitchen, and replaced the window in the dining room with a pair of french doors which would lead straight outside to the yard.
Kitchen shopping was potentially the most fun activity of all time. We shopped around a lot and generally found high street stores to be a little bit pushy and not willing to help us with our design or let us take it away with us which was frustrating. The biggest problem of all was that they all seemed to be really expensive! So off we went to my favourite place in the world, Ikea! As soon as we walked in the store they had this beautiful grey kitchen display and it had my heart from day one- it was also 1/3 of the price of the similar kitchen we had previously found in other stores.
The whole process of choosing a kitchen from Ikea was great, they were not pushy at all and even gave us restaurant vouchers so we could go and get our meatball fix after designing our kitchen, so if there’s one reason to go with Ikea for your new kitchen its clearly that!
The kitchen we chose was the Bodbyn Kitchen in grey which is part of their ‘Metod’ range. It basically means you can mix and match various unit and drawer shapes and sizes and pick your own worktop/handles (basically a kitchen Pick & Mix!) We chose the karlby wooden worktop (not solid wood, but gives the effect of solid wood) as it was significantly cheaper than the beautiful marble effect quartz worktop I really wanted (I was over-ruled by the extra £3000 it would have cost!) We also ended up getting all our appliances from Ikea too, as well as the ceramic Domsjo sink and black matte tap.
Obviously, like any work that you do to your house, it very rarely runs smoothly (well this is certainly something I have learnt along the way) Our builder found that all of the joists in the kitchen floor had rotten away so these needed to be replaced (waaa). He also accidentally knocked a hole through to next doors hallway when fitting the lintel in the new kitchen opening (woops!) but it was very swiftly resolved!
Ive since filled the dining room with various upcycled pieces to make it more our style, and it saved us a fortune. My best buy was definitely our pine table which cost us a grand total of £17 from Oxfam!
Our new kitchen from Ikea in total ended up costing around £4000 (minus fitting and building work) so not bloody bad!! Knocking the wall down between the kitchen and dining room was potentially the best change we made to our house and has enabled us to have the party house we have always wanted and its a brilliant space for having lots of people round.