It’s such a classic, you finish refurbishing one room and either you think of the next project (even if I swear I won’t do anything for a while) or you’ll just see something you like more and wish you did differently.
In my case, I discovered Elan Kitchens a lovely showroom in west London and wish I had seen their kitchen designs before I started.
They are official retailer for the German brand Leitch Kitchens a brand that I hadn’t heard of before. They create high-end quality kitchens, using carefully selected materials with an ecological process.
It’s hard to go back to writing after such a long time, but lots of very exciting things happened lately, and one of those (more interior design related) is our #kitchenrenovation.
It’s been on the to-do list since the beginning since we moved in, but we waited two years before finally decided to go with it. Even if the works are still on the go, I would like to show some of the things I learned on the go….
Due to the fact that the room is facing North, it’s quite a dark and irregular space, so the choice to go for an all-white kitchen was the obvious one (and yes, as you know, I’m a big fan). I followed in love with this one:
All very simple, all white (of course) with a nice stone countertop.
After various researchers, we decided to go for an IKEA kitchen, both for the price, and both for all the interior solutions IKEA offers and then use a nice quartz countertop.
So, even if I thought the process will be quite easy, here are my top 10 tips:
- PLANNING – If you can plan ahead, trying to do over the summertime, as it will be easier to live without a kitchen in this period of time.
- EMERGENCY KITCHEN – Takeaway is great, but believe me, after 4 weeks, you’ll be craving for some normal food, so try to create a little corner in your house with a little kitchenette – coffee machine, fridge, a microwave is all you need- If you don’t want to spend money on expensive equipment, check www.freecycle.com there are lots of people giving away old appliances.
- MEASURE EVERYTHING: We made the mistake not to measure the ceiling height and order some spotlights and extractor fans that were too height for our shall ceiling (just 85 cm, while most of the spotlights are 10cm). Is a good idea to make a small hole in the ceiling and insert a measuring tape before making any order, or perhaps ask the builders when they come from a survey.
- TILING – You’ll be surprised about how different every country is with construction works. We decided to tile the all floor of the kitchen as I thought it will be normal work to do (and way nicer) but there was a misunderstanding from the installers, who wanted to install the new kitchen first and then tile the floor partially (apparently that’s how they do in UK.). That believe it or not, causes us a delayed of 2 weeks (sigh!) so always check with your installer first.
- WRITE ON THE WALLS – yeah, don’t be shy, those walls are gonna be dirty anyway if you want something placed in a certain position (ceiling, wall, etc) just mark it with masking tape or a pencil, so the builders will know when you’re not in. Believe me, it’s hard work to explain to an electrician over the phone where you would like the spotlights to be exactly positioned.
- GETTING RID OF OLD STUFF – Empty an old kitchen is a great idea to get rid of the old stuff, but why not give them a new life? I found www.freecycle.com a great help in this situation, you just need to post a photo and description of your item and (believe me) lots of people will contact you to come and collect it for free, from small to big items. If you instead want to sell it, you can try Gumtree or eBay (even if the process might be a bit longer).
- LEAVE A NOTE – with contact details, list of things to be done, useful info like where gas, water, electricity access is, not to smoke, what to keep and what to throw away.
- WASTE – In my ideal world the builders will take away the wast every day, but no, it doesn’t work like that, they will all pile it up in a place and then come and collect it all in one day, most likely when the finished. So look for a place, ask your neighbour, or the management company of your building when and how you can store the waste.
- CHECK YOUR DELIVERY – Even if I know it’s hard when you get delivered in your living room 10000 of parcels, but if you can have a check over things. We didn’t and Ikea delivered 3 doors of the wrong colour (grrrrr) and we are still waiting for the new delivery to come…
- EXTRA TIME – Yes, it will take longer than you thought (1month in our case and we’ve been told 2 weeks hahaha) there is always some sort of delay and there is always something that goes wrong, so be patient, it will worth the wait…I think the list could go on no stop, but I just hope you found this useful. It’s been definitely a great learning curve but also a quite stressful period.I can’t wait to share some nice photos with you once is all done! here’s just a sneak peek:
Have you got any tips for a #kitchenrenovation ?
We finally decided to start thinking of our small flat renovation. Kitchen and bathroom are desperately needing some love and refresh. While looking for some inspiration online I started thinking about material and ceramic we wanna use (stone will be a dream but is a bit out of our budget). So last weekend I was in Italy and I discovered some new lovely ceramic manufactured, have a look:
Last week I was in NY for a work trip and as soon as I got a few hours free on the weekend, I visited this amazing concept store in Soho.
While the entrance could be a bit intimidating (the lift from the road is a bit like: ‘Where the hell am I going?’), once you get at the 3rd floor you’re catapulted into the most beautiful light-filled open-air apartment in the heart of SoHo.
Last weekend it was Openhouse here in London, the most amazing architectural festival that gives free public access to lots of buildings in the capital and around the country. While most of the people generally hit for the iconic buildings in the city center, this year I opted to stay local and I discovered a beautiful gem just around the corner from my house:
This new build is designed by 6aArchitects and is nestled tightly into an irregular corner plot in North London and is split into three apartments.
The client – an artist and restaurateur – briefed the architects with a series of her own photographs depicting the stacking of everyday objects. The result is a minimal space, with a very strong character. The materials are rough ready, a perfect combination of wood, exposed concrete, brass and scratched white stucco.
Black Stone Building_ILBT
The featured staircase is the fluid that connects the 3 apartments. The top floor apartment is the most beautiful one and has been decorated by the homeowner with an exquisite taste using a mix of old and new pieces.