Kitchen Overhaul

We’re finally in a mental space where we can start planning what we want to do with our kitchen. After we installed a few ‘temporary’ fixes to get us through the next few months, we sketched out what we think we want and are really excited about taking advantage of the Christmas sales and getting things moving.

The kitchen is a good size, but the choices the last owner made don’t make the most of it – at least not for us. For starters, the cabinets are sporadic, chipped and in pretty bad condition generally. The upper cabinets at the back are blocking the window, and the worktop is sliced into small bits, which makes it difficult to use.


The fridge and oven are MASSIVE, and taking up far too much space. They feel far more suited to a country kitchen – not a two bed flat in London. So our plans are to sell the appliances, gut everything and start from scratch.

With a glass of wine in hand, we sketched out what we want, specked some appliances online, measured to make sure everything would fit, and have already run a contracter through it who thinks it’s feasible (whew). So, please excuse my terrible drawings but here’s what we’ve got in mind. I can’t recommend enough drawing out what you want, even if you’re as terrible an artist as I am. It really helped us to confirm we were saying the same thing, and work through a few different ideas we were tossing around. So first up, the wall with the cooker and fridge will hopefully look like this:


We’re keeping all the appliances on this wall, but flipping a few bits around. The cabinet blocking the window will be taken out and replaced with open shelving to maximise the feeling of space and light. We’ll install a small dishwasher right next to the sink, and replace the washer with a washer-dryer (I can’t wait to have nice soft towels again – they are just never as nice when they air dry). We’re going to replace the cooker with a much slimmer four-burner option, and then tuck a lower and upper cupboard on the righthand side between the stove and the fridge. The fridge we’ve got now will also be replaced with a slimmer and more energy efficient version, and we’re going to install a small wine fridge above it. The cupboard we have at the moment on the far right (which also houses our gas meter) will be smartened up and made a full floor to ceiling pantry. We’re replacing the laminate worktop with a polished concrete one, which should be very hard wearing but still look nice.

Next wall:

We already have a cupboard on the left, but we’ll be turning the bottom one into a built-in cat litter with a door. The space above it houses our boiler, so we don’t think we’re losing too much in terms of storage – I wouldn’t want food under it anyways. We’ll then have another lower cupboard to the right of that, and more built-in shelves above with an inset farmhouse sink and taps built into the walls.

Final wall (directly opposite the cooker and fridge), where we’ve installed a breakfast bar will be used in a similar way to now, but it gets a bit of an upgrade:

At the moment, we simply have free-standing shelves but wanted to gain a bit more storage so will be extending the length of the breakfast bar and installing some lower cupboards and a drawer beneath it. We will house our coffee maker on top (there’s already an outlet there, so that’s taken care of), and re-install the open shelves we currently have to hold cups and mugs. We’ll keep our stools and simply replace the aluminum Ikea shelf that’s currently working as our breakfast bar with a matching polished concrete top.

We’ll probably paint the walls white and use materials and some fun art like our Batman poster to give colour and personality. That way it’s a seamlesss continuation of the living room, and will feel bright and clean. As for tiling and finish, we’re still debating but definitely want to do some sort of backsplash and white or grey to keep everything in a similar style. We’re certainly going to keep the wooden floors, but I want to find a cute little coloured rug to put near the sink.

For us, the storage and appliances we’ll gain are pretty exciting (I’ve lived without a dishwasher for FAR too long) and we think the actual workspace will make much more sense. At the moment it’s impossible to have more than one person cooking.

So that’s the plan – I’ll be back with an update once we find our cabinetry supplier and pick everything out. We’re planning to go with the amazing guys who fixed our leak and installed our lights. They can order everything at trade prices and install it for us, which should be more cost effective and better quality than just going with Ikea or a high street kitchen specialist.

Anyone else about to undertake a major kitchen overhaul? Any more tips on how to maximise the space we have? Send them my way! Hope everyone is having a good weekend!



3 thoughts on “Kitchen Overhaul

  1. This plan looks so good. It is a nice space and has lots of potential as you have worked out, but I have a couple questions for you. Are you planning for the breakfast bar to be wider than it is now? You would gain a full working space if it was counter wide. Because your stools take up the floor space anyway, the counter could be nearly as wide and not loose any floorspace. Is there enough floor space to take the countertop around the corner and on into the breakfast bar area for even more counter space?
    Second, where is the microwave going to be? I hate how they take up so much counter space. Mounted on the wall above the stove works well and frees up space but may not look as nice with the pretty hood. I didn’t see a micro in your drawings so wondered. I would not be without a microwave.
    Third, when you build the shelves by the sink, are you going to do a long one the full length of the wall and over the window? It could hold decoratives and balance out the wall without blocking the air vent.
    Even tho it isn’t how you want your kitchen to be, it looks nice with the updates you have done. Very cheerful!

    1. Nice ideas! We are going to make the breakfast bar counter-wide so that it’s flush with the cabinetry that goes below. As for the microwave, the cupboard to the right of the fridge has electric sockets inside so we’re thinking about buying a smaller one and tucking it out of sight in there. We use ours, but not too often actually so don’t need a massive one or to have it to hand all the time. I like the idea of a shelf over the window as well – we’ll need to see what we decide for curtains once the window is fixed (some wood rot, so needs attention) but I agree it could look really nice!

  2. Maybe you’ve already done this, but if you don’t use your microwave much, store it. It is taking up all your counterspace for now. You might consider blinds rather than curtains for a more modern look. They can work anywhere, but the straight lines are more industrial than gathered fabric. Maybe a roman shade style would work. Before when I commented, I wasn’t clear about the counter wrapping around the corner into the breakfast bar. I meant from the sink and around. Any extra counter space is so helpful when organizing work areas. I noticed your drawings have taken on the “101 Things ILIAS” look and are very nice!

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