Kitchen Transformation

Well this post has been a long time coming! Here we are in September and I'm finally writing our kitchen transformation post after nine months of work. The thing with doing everything yourself is it always, always takes so much longer than you anticipate. In the first year of renovating our house I wrote quite a few transformation posts, but the kitchen was by far the biggest project yet so it's been a whopping eleven months since I've written a renovation post. So for those of you who are a little newer around here, I'll link the previous transformation posts at the end of this one in case you want to have a nosy at the rest of our house! And you might want to make a cuppa because this will be a long one. As always, the before pictures and the during pictures aren't great quality but there ain't no way to make those pretty anyway!


When we first moved into our house we hadn't even considered changing the layout of the kitchen because we hadn't quite got our 'we can do anything with this house' mindset yet so we went from just wanting to decorate and refresh it to deciding on a whole new kitchen and a completely different layout. When we moved in the kitchen had a dining area with a bay window, a blocked up fireplace (that was covered in moisture because it hadn't been given any ventilation) and built in cupboards, which although they were original and gorgeous were also old, tatty and slathered in a hundred years worth of paint. Then there was a narrow kitchen space with a sink underneath the window with a narrow porch off to the side leading to a downstairs loo. The porch was so narrow I can't think of any other purpose of it than separating the kitchen from the toilet so it was kind of dead space. The floor was half old dirty lino, half thin faded carpet and it was all wallpapered in a blue pattern that made the room feel quite dark. 


I mean, I could probably write an essay about the process, but I'll try and keep it as brief as I can. We ripped all the old kitchen out ourselves, as well as the inbuilt cupboards and the blocked up fireplace so we could have a little feature there. We decided we wanted to change the layout by removing the porch and having a utility space at the end that would lead into the downstairs toilet so moving the door to that in the process. We did contemplate building the stud wall ourselves, but decided that it would be worth paying someone to do it considering how long it would take us to do and how very wrong we could get it. We then had it plastered and also got builders in to put in a new back door and windows to let more light in. At this point we hadn't decided on a layout for the actual kitchen yet, but eventually decided on having units along one wall and then a sort of island but that's actually attached to one wall (my mum informs me it's called a 'peninsula') The island separates the kitchen from the dining area where we have our table. We designed, built and fitted the kitchen ourselves (including the worktops), painted everywhere, tiled the floor and the wall. We also tiled and painted the downstairs toilet and installed a sink as it didn't have one before. The downstairs bathroom is so small it's difficult to photograph, but it's practically a smaller version of the main bathroom!


I'll probably do a separate post on all the finishing touches because I could probably talk for days, but the kitchen itself is all from IKEA (we didn't really look anywhere else because we knew we wanted something affordable and that would be easy to build ourselves), the walls are painted an off white because we wanted to keep it all fairly neutral and we went with a herringbone pattern for the splash back tiles to add a bit of a feature, but we kept those white to complete the clean finish of the kitchen. There's a lot of wood in the kitchen too - the worktops are wood look laminate, the floor is wood look tiles (although it looks SO real it's crazy) then we've got the wooden table and the wooden mantelpiece which is an old beam that was in the ceiling. We've added a few copper accents, but only with things that are easily changeable in case we want a little revamp in the future!

As promised here are the links to my previous renovation posts: Bathroom, Bedroom, Office, Living room

I'd love to know how you'd decorate your kitchen!

Amy x

Accepting My Imperfections

When I first started blogging I used to hate outfit pictures because I'd have to sift through the bad ones to find the few that I didn't mind putting on the internet. The bad ones would show off my big nose that I was so self-conscious about, my long square teeth that I hated smiling with and the true size of my thighs that in my head I liked to pretend were thinner. When we look in a mirror we don't see ourselves from every angle so it can come as a bit of a surprise when you see a picture of yourself from a different angle and realise that you're 'not as pretty' as you'd thought. The funny thing is, after taking outfit pictures for a while, I became used to seeing those things and more at peace with the fact that this is what I look like. Yes, I have a big nose, but I wouldn't look like me if I didn't. The ironic fact is that scrutinising my 'imperfections' a hundred times over in various pictures has almost made me bored of hating them.

I think it's also important to remember that imperfections are completely subjective. I've never smiled with my teeth in pictures until recently because I've always hated my teeth, yet other people say I have a nice smile. Maybe they're just being nice or maybe they genuinely think that and we all overthink what we perceive as our own imperfections far too much. I couldn't look at any of my friends and pick out their 'imperfections' because to me they're all gorgeous and what they perceive to be an imperfection will probably be something I've never even noticed.

Imperfections aren't really imperfections, they're just differences. They're the things about us that make us unique to other people, the things that make us look like us. I mean, it'd be pretty boring if we all looked the same wouldn't it? So here I am showing off all my imperfections in a set of outfit pictures, smiling with my teeth, showing my nose from the side I hate and wearing the most thigh hugging jeans that I own. Here's to not only accepting our imperfections, but owning them and showing them off to the world (or the small minority of people that read this blog anyway...)

Amy x