My Kitchen Project

Now the boiler has gone from my kitchen, I am getting quotes for fitting the kitchen out anew. Initially, I was thinking of just putting up three new wall cupboards where the boiler was, but I’ll never match the existing units. I then considered changing the doors and draw-fronts so everything matches, but while the existing units are functionally ok, they were a bit old and tatty when I moved in! I’ve lived with them for 10 years, but I don’t want to spend money on the kitchen, and then be disappointed with the result.

So it is all coming out. I had my first chap in to quote today, and it all went well. None of my bright ideas were shot down, and it all seems good. However, there was one question I wasn’t prepared for – how did I want the kitchen to look?

I know what I like, but I was so intent on working out the practicalities – how many units do we need, can we utilise that wasted corner, can we bung a worktop in the (little used) larder to house my kitchen gadgets – that I hadn’t actually specified things like colour and finish. Pretty important stuff.

Anyway, since that visit, 3 hours ago, I have been googling, and have come up with a style guide for the chap to quote against (and for the other companies). Then I thought I would post it here too.

Overall Appearance

With regard to colour and design of units/doors/drawers, the following two styles appeal, and I would be happy to see anything similar to this.

Vienna style (from Tesco Kitchens website)

Vienna style from Tesco Kitchens

Shaker style (from Magnet website)

Shaker from Magnet

Worktop

Wood effect laminate, something like Axiom PP0911UN Walnut Butcher Block or Axiom PP0847UN Oriental Block:

Axiom PP0911UN Walnut Butcher Block Axiom PP0847UN Oriental Block

As well as the kitchen unit, the larder area under the stairs is to be fitted with a matching worktop, full width and length. This is to be used for my electrical items, such as bread machine, slow cooker, juicer etc, with a block of 4-6 power sockets just inside the right side of the larder entrance.

Sink

Have been looking at Blanko composite sinks, which I quite like.

If available, my first choice would be this – BlancoAxia 6 S Silgranit® PuraDur® II, together with the optional safety glass cutting board, and steel colander:

BlancoAxia 6 S Silgranit® PuraDur® II

If not, then something more conventional, like this – BlancoClassic 6 S Silgranit® PuraDur® II:

BlancoClassic 6 S Silgranit® PuraDur® II

I haven’t yet decided on whether to go for the coffee colour, as illustrated, or champagne, but I think the coffee looks quite good against the wood top.

Tap

Something with reasonably high clearance from the sink, with a pull out spray.

Wall Tiles

The area between base and wall units to be tiled, and also around the window area, to the same line. Elsewhere, the walls will be painted.

I am thinking of something like this, a lightly patterned tile in cream, with perhaps a short splashback matching the worktop.

3 Comments

  1. April 19, 2010

    Nice and light and airy!

    From my own relatively recent Rekitchenation experience:

    If there’s any choice whatsoever of handles, pick one you can get your fingers into easily – you may only have one finger free (or not covered in whatever you’re in the middle of making) to open a cupboard door or drawer. If it’s a knob or a handle that’s close to the door, it’s going to be harder to handle.

    If you go for a wooden worktop, be certain that it’s well-sealed against spills/utensil usage/scraping etc.

    Unless you enjoy buying fancy cleaners and using them, something that is just wipe-clean with warm water (and if necessary a dab of washing-up liquid!) is good, for both surfaces and door/drawer fronts.

    I’ve had tiles put in between worktops and cupboards too, and am slightly annoyed about it, as it means I now have nowhere to put all the wall-mounted things I had before. My mixers (both mains-powered and rechargeable!), for instance, now take up worktop space instead of being wall-mounted. (Previously there was just tiling behind the sink. And in doing the re-tiling, they tiled over a ventilator just above the sink!) And I’ve got nowhere for a towel-rail, so have to hang towel and tea-towel on hooks on drawer handles – not ideal!

    Put in more electrical sockets than you think you’ll need. Don’t put any of them BEHIND large/immovable things. (My fridge is plugged in at floor level. BEHIND the fridge, and therefore inaccessible without moving half the kitchen. Yes, the switch for it is above the worktop. Not much use if the fuse in the plug blows! Ditto the washing machine.)

    Make sure your draining board is big enough for your needs (unless you have a dishwasher, of course!).

    Where does your kitchen bin(s) go?

    I wish they’d put me a double sink in! I like the ‘Shaker’ style pic (apart from my comment re: knobs/handles above), for simplicity of styling.

    • chris
      April 20, 2010

      Re: Nice and light and airy!

      Thanks for the really good comments!

      Both styles I am currently looking at have door handles, unlike my current units which have a recessed slot for your fingers. However, even with the handles, I have asked for the quote to include “push to open” fittings on the doors and drawers, as this makes it easy to do things with one hand or even a knee.

      Regarding solid wood worktops, we were talking about this today, and the care needed to maintain them – oiling them every few months, and mopping up spills as they occur, lest they leave a stain.

      Although I covet the idea of solid wood, I know that I won’t take care of them the way they need to be. As a result, I have almost certainly decided to go with a wood-effect laminated top, instead – as you say, something that can just be wiped over. Laminate is cheaper too, although I’m not basing my decision on cost.

      I’m not badly off for sockets – 4 on one side of the kitchen, and 3 on the other. On the “3” side there are also two socket recesses that were occupied by the switch and timer of the old boiler, which can easily be rewired for power.

      I might have considered adding more, but my plan is to move all the major electrical gadgetry into my under-stair larder. This is fairly useless as a larder, as it had a door that got in the way whenever you opened it (now removed) and once I put some shelves in there, it was too narrow to actually get in and get at stuff.

      My big idea is to have a worktop fitted the full width and depth (approximately 900mm wide x 1250mm deep). Then my bread machine, slow cooker, juicer, and whatever will live pushed to the back of that top, and whenever I want to use something, I just pull it forward and plug it in. Underneath the worktop will be empty space (i.e. no cupboard), which will give me a nice big hole to be used for dead storage (packed in plastic chests), with my bins at the front, just under the top. It will also be where my pasta machine will live – it’s always been a minor irritation that there is currently nowhere in my kitchen that I can clamp it to a worktop, as there are drawers/cupboards under all my tops.

      The draining board of the sink I am looking at is about the same size as my current (stainless steel) sink. The actual sink itself is a little smaller, but being composite, I can dispense with a washing up bowl, especially since I have the half sink too. Thus it will actually end up slightly bigger, and without a bowl, it will make it a lot easier to keep clean.

  2. chris
    April 20, 2010

    Of course, it should be noted that the two kitchens pictured in this post – the vienna and shaker kitchens – are of a size that I could only dream of. My kitchen is almost a square, with the larder coming off of it on one side. It also has two doors (door to lounge, door to outside), which cuts down on usable space for base units, and the wall where the sink sits is almost all window. Allowing for the cooker and washing machine, I will have a double base unit under the sink, two corner base units, and a single base unit. On the walls, I should be able to get 3 cupboards each on two walls, plus a bridging cupboard over the cooker.

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