I’ve dreamt of having a kitchen with a great big island in the middle for as long as I can remember now! When we moved into this house years ago it was a week before Christmas and I was determined to host Christmas dinner here that year so we were on a mission to transform the existing kitchen as quickly and cost effectively as possible.
We left the majority of the existing kitchen cabinets in place, they had evidently been there for many years but we made do by adding new white gloss doors to the fronts, adding on a breakfast bar and adding new IKEA cupboards on the left where we put the fridge, oven and hob.
We made a few more smaller scale changes to the original kitchen after that like new worktops and floor tiles to keep us going until we were in a position to be able to create the kitchen we (ok mostly I!) had always envisaged. That floor was Mr R’s first proper tiling attempt and what Instagram photos don’t show is just how uneven it really was – haha he’ll kill me for saying that but it’s true! Anyway, that time finally came a few months ago and I was ecstatic!
Firstly, we spent hours on 3D room planner, laying out the kitchen and moving appliances around back and forth until we settled on the perfect functioning layout for us. This layout however meant that our project became more complicated than we had expected as we had to get water to the opposite side of the kitchen for the fridge and electrics moved around as we were swapping the oven and hob around, as well as needing electrics for the island itself. We loved our existing kitchen colour scheme, but wanted to move the appliances around, add an island and replace the old cabinets with new ones.
Plan set, we headed to IKEA to order the new kitchen! Now we did consider other brands but we had used IKEA for a couple of cabinets and all the fronts when upcycling the original kitchen and loved their stuff, we also loved that IKEA specially makes lots of organisers, baskets, hidden drawers etc that perfectly fit their cabinets – and IKEA also made our budget go much further! When you compare the guarantees on IKEA kitchens with the other big names, they’re identical too.
Kitchen ordered, builders booked, a few weeks later we got back from holiday and within hours of getting off of the plane we were ripping the old kitchen out and removing the old quartz worktops – that’s commitment for you! A huge public thank you to Mr R’s best mate for helping us with that – that quartz weighed an absolute tonne!
We kept all of our existing appliances as they were still in perfect working order, except for a new cooker hood kindly provided by Rangemaster (the quality is incredible, our last hood hardly got rid of smells but this one is super strong and the blue light strip is a great touch!) and the dishwasher which conked out a week before we went on holiday! We had actually been talking about replacing it as the push openers wouldn’t work on it, it’s like it knew it’s time was up. We replaced that with a thing of beauty by Bosch which opens itself with a simple push and projects the time left on the floor – I’m obsessed with it.
Dishwasher – Link
As you all know we always do as much of the work ourselves as possible, but new electrics and moving plumbing was a bit beyond us, especially as we would be at work during the week- and you don’t really realise just how inconvenient having the kitchen out of use is until it happens believe me, I was pulling my hair out after two days so it had to be completed ASAP! We got builders in to do the plumbing and electrics for us and also to lay the floor down (tiling is definitely a Mr R DIY job but having it laid for us sped the kitchen up hugely!).
I’d become fascinated with hot water taps in my kitchen research and was over the moon when Rangemaster kindly provided their Geo Trend 4-in-1 tap for us – it’s incredible, if you’re thinking about this hot water tap DO IT! Instant boiling hot water in seconds and this tap also provides filtered cold water too – absolute dream, you won’t regret it!
Geo Tap – Link
Plant Pots – Link
We were so impressed with the quality of the tap we actually ordered the co-ordinating Rangemaster kube double sink too. I love the square shape of the plugs. We had to get an adaptor kit for the right side for our insinkerator waste disposal too, we found that the Reginox version fit perfectly and had a matching plug cover – we’ve had our waste disposal unit for years now and wouldn’t be without it, I hate those food waste bins!
Waste Disposal – eBay Link
Waste Disposal adaptor – Link
I’ve added grates to the bottom of the sink bowls to keep them protected and a suction holder for sponges, as well as an in-sink drainer (it’s also adjustable to sit across the top if desired too).
Grates – Link
Drainer – Link
Our previous floor may have looked the same but they were an off white colour compared to these. We opted for extreme white porcelain gloss tiles kindly provided by my fave tile supplier, Tile Mountain, which are truly white and so glossy. We miscalculated the tiles and had to order more last minute and Tile Mountain’s delivery service was incredible to say the least – thank you!!
Tiles – Link
New water pipe run across the floor, new electrics put in and floor laid, Mr R then took over and created a wooden frame for the island as above. We then screwed this to the floor to create a solid sturdy base. This was really important to support the weight of the quartz worktops we wanted to put in again.
IKEA flat packs are definitely my thing – I put the majority of these together myself in a few hours in front of the TV – so easy when you’ve done it a few times! We then screwed all of the cabinets in place. I still can’t believe how many of you thought the protective coating was the colour of the cabinets! This is the Ringhult gloss white range.
Cupboard Range – Link
We used two 60cm and one 80cm units screwed together to create the island and ordered a large gloss panel for the back from Wood by Post.
We used IKEA push openers to create a sleek handleless look, IKEA says that they only work on doors but we found that by putting one on each side they work on drawers too!
Push Openers – Link
Once all the cabinets were in the right place, we scheduled Topsco the Worktop Specialist to come out and template the new worktops for us. They were the company that had supplied our original quartz worktops too so we knew they would be reliable and amazing quality. Nick from Topsco meticulously created these plastic templates and a fitting date was booked in for about 2 weeks later! We opted for grey quartz again that was in a lighter shade than our previous ones.
Would highly recommend them if you’re looking for amazing worktops!
Topsco – Link
We spent the two weeks wait installing the LED cabinet lights, adding skirting and installing our bargain chandelier! The LED lights were from an electrical store called TLC and are in the 4000K natural white – warm white seemed too yellow and our previous cool white seemed too blue, so it was a great medium!
The chandelier above the island was a bit of a gamble all the way from China but it really paid off as it’s such a statement piece.
Topsco arrived on the scheduled day and expertly installed the worktops for us in no time, this instantly made the kitchen take shape – it was at that point that it felt like all the upheaval had been worth it.
Once the worktops were in place we were able to put the splash backs on the wall, we opted for the Alusplash space silver aluminium splash backs kindly provided by Benchmarx kitchens – they’re a cost effective alternative to glass splashbacks which can be cut with DIY tools and provide a reflective glossy easy to clean backdrop to your kitchen.
Splash Backs – Link
Over a month after we started we finally had the kitchen we’d always wanted in there – I’m absolutely in love with it and so happy we finally took the plunge and did it! It’s taken us many years to get here but it was the final room in this house that needed to be ripped out and re-done from scratch (after the bathrooms!) and it feels like a huge accomplishment. It really is the heart of our home and everyone gathers in the middle of the kitchen around the island now instead of in a corner like before!
The only place the TV would fit in the new layout was on that wall, yes it’s behind the chairs but considering I spend 90% of the time cooking on the other side it works for me and the chairs are easy to move if needed!
With a new kitchen we decided to replace the bar stools too and do away with the gas lift style (they seemed to gather dust constantly on those bases!). Our super comfy bar stools were kindly provided by Dunelm and I used Rust-oleum slate furniture paint (which will soon be stocked by Dunelm stores) to up-cycle the legs to co-ordinate with our colour scheme, as well as hammering in a row of studs along the base – a few small changes has made them look even more stylish and elegant.
Bar stools – Link
Our kitchen window is annoyingly too wide for standard blinds so we opted for a new custom made one kindly provided by Blinds2Go in the beautiful sussex silver mist fabric. Our previous blind was also from them that I recovered in grey velvet as a temporary fix.
Roman Blind – Link
The kitchen planning process also involved designing where everything would live and how it would be organised – as we had the opportunity to start from scratch it meant that we could make sure that everything had the perfect home now.
We created a custom unit in the corner to fit the window ledge that would house all of our pantry items. I hate the space packaging takes up and how cluttered it looks, so opted to add more OXO jars to our collection – they’ve got even better since we bought the first lot years ago, you can clip scoops, sifters, date dials etc to the inside now and they’re much sleeker looking. I’ve also used IKEA variera baskets, amazon tiered shelves, door baskets and a magic corner insert to maximise space.
Baskets – Link
Tier Shelves – Link
Magic corner unit – eBay Link
We also kept Mr R’s custom built spice rack that disguises the pillar in that space. Read how he made that here – Link.
I’ve used IKEA hidden drawers (maximera drawers with utrustra fronts) to maximise space inside the drawers combined with IKEA drawer inserts.
Cutlery tray – Link
Spice tray (used for foil) – Link
I’ve used IKEA drawer dividers to stand baking trays, baking dishes and pans upright, as well as to divide small baskets for storage.
Drawer dividers – Link
I added an IKEA cleaning interior for the cleaning supply cupboard, as well as an IKEA side pull out and mop hooks for the back space – this keeps everything nicely in place.
Cleaning Interior – Link
Side Pull out – Link
Clear remote holders screwed to the wall, mini white boards from Home Bargains and our monthly meal plan stuck on the door helps keep us organised.
Remote holder – eBay Link
I’ve added the same side pull out under the sink, as well as more IKEA variera baskets for storage. Once again, I’ve used towel holders on the doors for the tea towel and kitchen roll – I’m not a fan of too much on the work surfaces as I’m sure you know by now!
We added a bigger built in bin to the island, as we didn’t have space under the sink anymore for it – the extra compartments are great for separating recycling
Bin – eBay Link
I’ve kept my Dunelm tea jars (I glued crystal knobs to the top of these and added labels to them) and added a hot chocolate stacker ( there was a third layer but unfortunately Mr R smashed it!).
Tea Jars – Link
Hot Choc Stacker – Link
Finally, I added an urn vase to the middle of the island and used a mix of artificial flowers we’ve accumulated over time from Next, Dunelm and Amazon as a lasting centrepiece.
I hope you love our new kitchen as much as we do 🙂
Lots of love
*This post contains collaborations with Rangemaster, Tile Mountain, Dunelm, Benchmarx Kitchens and Blinds2Go, but as always all opinions and views are my own.