Project Kitchen: Before & After…


Huzzah – at last the kitchen is fnished! It has certainly been a journey and a half and an experience, (one I don’t wish to relive) but to be fair I can’t complain as it has largely been pain-free and even if it hadn’t the outcome has made it totally worth it either way…


When we moved in the kitchen was dated and hugely in need of a facelift but we thought we would live in it for a while and focus on other rooms before we did anything drastic – that was three years ago, oops! With hindsight I’m glad that we did wait as the kitchen I would have chosen before Daisy would probably be totally different to the one I have now – I’ve definitely lived and learned.

Project Kitchen is Complete

What a visual treat our old kitchen was…

Our main reason for extending the kitchen was the lack of work surface space. While we could fit all our appliances and food in the existing kitchen easily, we had minimal space to actually prepare meals and this became even more apparent when I was batch cooking for Daisy during the weaning stage (the trays of pureed food were balanced everywhere). So the plan was to extend outwards and add another 2.5 metres in length to the room…


Now I have very little experience of extensions (read:none) so had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for but given my husband is a builder and one of our school friends was doing the build we were in very safe hands. The work began in July (back when it was warm, remember those days?!) and just 5 weeks later the shell was done. Granted it was by no means complete but it was up and taking shape and luckily had a roof before the rain came…

While the build was my husband’s ‘project’ (his words, not mine) he left me to pick the design of the actual kitchen itself. My requests were fairly straightforward, I didn’t want too sleek or too traditional and it had to be grey obviously. I had it in my mind that although we wanted more worktop space we didn’t need many more cupboards than we had before. I also really liked the idea of keeping the extension fairly open and light with shelves rather than overhead cupboards which would block some of the light.

My Father-in-Law laying the final brick!

We didn’t have a huge budget (kitchens are so much more expensive than I had ever realised!) so although I had hoped to use someone local and support small we couldn’t afford it so we ended up using Wickes. We had one appointment designing the kitchen with the team and it was wonderful to finally see our plans coming together.

Meanwhile on our building site of a house, the knock through had happened (the banging and the dust were something else!) and the walls were being plastered. Sick of the sight of dust and destruction and cooking in the living room we went off on a perfectly timed family holiday while the plaster dried and the electrician did his thing.


When we got back we only had two weeks until the new kitchen arrived so we had to quickly paint the entire room. After a couple of late nights painting we took delivery of the kitchen and just two days later the units were built, ready to fill and we had running water, a washing machine and our newest recruit, a dishwasher! We already had our appliances so didn’t go for integrated – I felt the fact that our colour scheme was grey and white meant they wouldn’t stick out too much. We did have to buy a new cooker hood so chose black to match the oven so it would become the focal point of the room.

Nearly there…

After a week of living with temporary worktops the new ones were installed. Unfortunately there was a problem with the first set and they didn’t quite match up with the ones we saw in store so we went back to the drawing board with help of the wonderful team at Sheridan (the company who made our worktops) and we later chose Silestone quartz in Lagoon. Our first choice had been an acrylic surface but now I have stone I’m glad the first set didn’t work out to be honest! I took my time deciding (much to my husband’s annoyance) and the team sent us some good sized samples to play with at home which made such a difference to just looking at a little piece in a shop. It’s most definitely worth seeking advice from the professionals. After a chat with the team at Sheridan to establish the look I was after they couldn’t have been more helpful – they even sent me a picture of the finished worktops in their factory before they were delivered! The stone is slightly higher maintenance than an acrylic would have been and I am more than neurotic about them but they are totally worth it. Before this experience I’d never appreciated how important picking the right work surface was – to tell the truth I found picking a wedding dress an easier choice to make! Following the decision to go for quartz we then agreed that the natural colour of the stone wasn’t going to work against white tiles as it made the work surface look grubby. So instead we paid extra for upstands all around the room and I couldn’t be happier with the finish.

Lastly there was the floor to pick (So.Many.Decisions). We held off choosing flooring until it was all in and although we had really wanted Amtico or Karndean luxury vinyl we just couldn’t stretch our finances that far so instead went for ceramic tiles that looked like wood. Luckily my husband was able to lay them himself saving us a fortune in labouring costs – although I don’t think he particularly liked me for wanting herringbone pattern!


The decoration and finishing touches have only happened in the past few weeks. We waited until after the installation of the worktop to add two floating shelves which have been the perfect way to display my plant and vase obsession. Recently we found the clock in Homesense (a bargain from £60 down to £30) and I am still on the lookout for the perfect picture(s) to put on the wall. We have also chosen a white wooden blind to go in the window but after that is fitted I’m quite keen to take my time finding the final pieces while I enjoy my new kitchen.

So that’s it – project kitchen is finished and I am so thrilled with the results. Of all the rooms we have renovated since living here oddly enough this one feels the most grown up one, like a milestone moment. We’ve learned a lot along the way and it’s taken longer than we had expected but it has totally been worth it. I’ve even started to enjoy cooking, something I have NEVER liked doing. That said, I will NOT be doing another build anytime soon but I am now planning the next room (which is the downstairs bathroom in case you’re wondering) much to my husband’s delight…

I’d love to hear what you think.


This post was not sponsored, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


2 Responses
  • Fatima
    February 1, 2018

    It looks AMAZING!!! We had herringbone floor laid in our hallway, so I do feel your husband’s pain! SKILLS! Did you need planning permission to extend out or did that fall within the allowed ‘allowance’??? xx

    • Carly Stevens
      February 1, 2018

      I daren’t tell him I now want herringbone in the hallway too…ha! We didn’t need planning for it but we did have to get a build over notice because we have a man hole in the garden that needed moving – suffice to say that held up proceedings but fortunately it meant the build was delayed until summer so we didn’t have to suffer the cold and rain as well as the dust and noise! xx

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