A lot of my friends ask how I make decisions on home decor when it comes to renovating our house because you really do have complete free reign on everything when you're completely stripping back and starting again. Up to this point it's been hard to explain because I've always just known how I want things. However the kitchen was hard. When you've got a blank shell of a room it's kind of difficult to picture how you want your kitchen to be - never mind the style and colour, just the layout is a complete puzzle in itself.
We ripped down a wall and had a new one put up to change the layout of the room before we'd even decided what we wanted the kitchen to look like and had a pipe dream of having an island without having actually properly planning it out. Basically we had a vague idea we'd been working around for months but hadn't prepared for it. After getting the sharpie out to draw on the floor and throw around ideas we finally settled on a much more sensible layout and suddenly it all clicked into place. So really that is how not to plan a kitchen.
In terms of style, the best thing to do is go out and look at a lot of kitchens to rule out what you don't want. We looked at a lot of kitchens and early on I knew that a super modern one wouldn't suit our house so we had a vague idea more of a traditional/country style. Once we knew that choosing the kitchen wasn't actually too difficult. We knew we wanted it from IKEA because it would be reasonably priced and we wanted to fit it ourselves and figured that seeing as IKEA is flat pack central anyway it'd be reasonably straightforward (ha - I'll let you know) to put together. We also knew we wanted a wooden look worktop and thought white would go best with that so our minds were pretty much already made up before we even went.
The biggest headache was the little things that we hadn't thought about - did we want a cupboard with three shelves or four shelves? Did we want two big drawers or four small drawers? We got to IKEA and realised we actually didn't have a clue so sat in the cafe for two hours fuelled by coffee and muffins and properly planned it out. By the time we went to our appointment with the designer we were so prepared she said we were the most organised customers she'd ever had. Despite that we were still a whole hour with her so I'd recommend being as prepared as possible! Also be prepared to spend a lot longer actually buying your kitchen than you'd expect. I thought we'd be in and out of IKEA in a couple of hours...five hours later...
Basically what I've learnt by doing it the wrong way is:
- Plan your kitchen layout early on so you know how you can maximise the space and so you have a clear idea in your head of where everything will go so you can visualise your kitchen better.
- Get out and look at lots of kitchens. Use Pinterest religiously in your spare time.
- Know your budget. When it gets down to the nitty gritty, having drawers is more expensive than cupboards, laminate worktop is way cheaper than real wood etc etc so it's good to bear these things in mind.
- Price up before you buy. This is what we did in the IKEA cafe - worked out roughly how much we thought everything was going to be so we didn't cry when the kitchen designer told us.
- Get help if you need it. I don't know why we didn't do this, but we should have just got someone else to design our kitchen (places like Wren do this for free) because then you have a plan with measurements ready to use however you like.
When we've actually fitted the kitchen I will definitely be doing a kitchen transformation post because it may just be the most dramatic transformation in our house yet, but for now unfortunately the room is still a blank shell and the kitchen is sat in an IKEA warehouse somewhere waiting to be delivered. I actually did a pretty bad attempt at vlogging the day we bought our kitchen, below if you fancy a laugh!