Let me introduce you to Greenbank Interiors first ever Guest Blogger
Victoria is the creator of @home_and_the_wild and I seriously recommend heading over to her fantastic Instagram account, where you will find some incredible lifestyle and interior inspiration. Most striking is her stunning new kitchen!
I asked Victoria if she would share her kitchen-diner renovation journey with us.
Victoria: creative, loves interior design, photography and baking. Age 38, I am married to Steve (he winked at me in a night club in 1999!) and we have two fun-loving boys aged seven and three.
We bought our house in 2010. We were expecting our first child and at the time lived in a 2 bedroom terraced house so knew we needed more space. It’s a 3 bedroomed, detached house with parking for 2 cars, generous garden and not too overlooked, ideal for a family. It had a small kitchen with a separate dining room, but we didn’t mind that. Our last house just had a tiny kitchen and a lounge so the dining room was a bonus for us. The decor was extremely dated when we moved in, shag pile carpets, wood chip wallpaper and a LOT of embossed wallpaper! The downstairs loo was classic peach and the kitchen was what I can only describe as grey MDF with blue and yellow tiles on the walls!
We moved in August and I was due to give birth end of November, so it was all hands on deck with the help of family and friends. We stripped everything from top to bottom, re-plastered, repainted and had new carpet and flooring put down, and at the end of October we celebrated with a mini housewarming/baby shower. The kitchen still needed updating, but with a newborn on the way we thought it best to wait.
Victoria’s original Kitchen
In 2011 we updated our kitchen with solid oak cupboards and big floor tiles. Boy, were we pleased to have something more modern! Our little kitchen did us proud, lots of dancing and baking, our dining room wasn’t just a dining room, it was our little playroom, party room, art room, baking room…..but it was just getting too cramped. We thought about extending and then baby number 2 came along!
Finally in Jan 2017 we went to the building society. With delight we could afford to go out the back 3x9m and down the side 3x3m. A huge open plan space that we could only have dreamt of.
Our brother-in-law is a builder (which helped enormously!) so as soon as we had our budget he set to work, recommending an architect and we started talking steel joists and brick colours.
The first thing we had to think about (and the very first thing I got excited about) was the kitchen. We knew we wanted an island (who doesn’t!) and immediately jumped on Pinterest, watched episodes of Love it or List it (gotta Love Kirstie and Phil!) and went to a couple of friends houses who had extended already, for ideas.
We went to a local kitchen supplier rather than mainstream and I’m so pleased we did. We chose Kashmir Shaker style cupboards. For me Shaker style is timeless. We couldn’t afford solid marble tops so opted for man made Quartz in colour ‘snow’ which has a tiny bit of sparkle. For the flooring, we had been recommended Karndean and our kitchen supplier had it in his showroom. Both my husband and I went straight for the Country Oak, a lovely light wood effect. Everything choice-wise just fell in to place, I can’t believe it went so smoothly, I thought we would choose different styles to each other and spend weeks deciding, but it all just felt so easy… should it have?
Work began December 2017 with the knock through taking place in the middle of January. The remaining doors were taped up, everything was moved into our living room and meals were prepared in the slow cooker or microwave. We spent 7 weeks without a kitchen and a sink, it was testing, but we did it and we are so SO happy with the results.
Top tips from Victoria
If you’re planning a kitchen renovation start pinning ideas early on, go with what your heart draws you to and not with what you think you should have. It’s the heart of the home so needs to come from your heart, sounds corny I know.
Budget – an obvious one but i’m so pleased we paid close attention. We budgeted £10,000 for the kitchen and it came to £10,200 with fitting (phew). We kept costs low by painting the extension ourselves which involved a lot of late nights. Our flooring budget was £3,000 and it came to £2,800 with fitting. Make sure you budget well for a kitchen floor, it needs to stand the test of time, and children, dropped plates and glasses and food stains!
Bare with – there will be a point when you hate the mess and the dust and the endless cleaning the washing up in the bath and the lack of space
Try your local independent kitchen supplier. We were so well looked after from start to finish and couldn’t have asked for better customer service.
Luckily for us everything went smoothly and according to plan. I don’t think we would have done anything differently. If we’d had more budget we would have perhaps hired professional decorators in but we give ourselves a big pat on the back for doing it ourselves.