Our DIY Kitchen.
When Simon bought our house, it was in a really run down state, which made for a fantastic purchase price, but a lot of hard work! We actually started dating after he had already dismantled a lot of the old kitchen, but luckily I was around to take photos of the rest of the demolition and the rest of the house as we worked hard to turn the house into the home we now love.
Here are a few of the photos of the original kitchen, to give you a taste of what we were dealing with.
Now you may be thinking “How lovely, they left you a big double oven”, but actually what they left was the dirtiest oven you have ever seen, that was too big for the kitchen, and actually still had what I presume used to be chicken dippers and oven chips in, nice!
As you can see from the photos above, the pipe work in the kitchen was a ridiculous hodge podge mess, the boiler and electrics took up a whole corner and then some, and everything was filthy and covered in a layer of chip fat grossness. The kitchen tiles don’t look too bad do they? Except, that Simon only had to tap the wall for 5 or 6 at a time to fall off without any real strength used.
We had to replace the ceiling, light, plasterboard and plaster, doorways, skirting…um pretty much everything that you can imagine, including putting in a new boiler in the cupboard, and having the son of a friend come and make our pipe work a lot more modern! With the kitchen being one of our biggest expenses, we left this room til last, which means that when we moved in at the end of 2010, this was pretty much our kitchen.
It’s a good job his parents only live two doors away, and the takeaway isn’t far away! I helped as much as I could in the whole house renovation, but Simon put his all into everything, and we pretty much lived plaster boarding (at one point I was balancing plaster boards on my head for doing the kitchen ceiling, as my arms weren’t strong enough with the big sheets!), concreting and paint stripping for months.
I am very lucky to have such a practical man though, and I have to admit this was a little part of what attracted me to him in the first place, I always tell him he’s a caveman, what he doesn’t realise is that I mean it in a good way! He is also tool obsessed, and is constantly saving for some new tool, that as far as I can tell does exactly what his other ones do?! He’s the tool expert though, and it makes him happy, so that’s fine with me.
I will however be very happy when we knock down the horrible old sheds outside, and build our big new one, as maybe then I won’t have tools in our bedroom, and sneakily appearing on the kitchen worktops then?! We have a lovely ‘temporary’ shed that Si built himself from scratch, but it’s really not big enough.
When we finally had such luxuries as a ceiling and plaster in our ‘kitchen’, and we had saved enough money, it was time to start work on the actual kitchen units. Here is where I make a huge apology to my lovely boyfriend for ever doubting him, so um sorry!
Simon is very practical and is a welder by trade, and he even made me this for fun (and because he’s secretly lovely) ….
However he had never made a kitchen before, never really worked with wood much before, and well I wanted a nice kitchen! I had fallen in love with one in a local DIY store that was a lovely blue colour, and seemed perfect to me. Si as usual talked me around (I hate how he does that, when no one else has ever managed), and proceeded to make our kitchen from scratch.
When I say ‘from scratch’ I am being very literal, he made all of the base units, cupboard doors, kick plates, oven housing etc etc all by himself…except when I was forced to stand in the freezing cold kitchen holding things together whilst he screwed them together, and swore a lot. He did all the tiling himself, I did have a go at a little bit, but he decided he’d quite like the tiles to stay on the wall so took over again.
He tiled the floor himself, and in fact the only bits he had help with were the electrics and the plumbing/boiler to keep everything legal and safe, and he jointly did the plaster skimming with a plasterer friend. He even used the router I had bought him for Christmas (made his day!) to make the cupboard doors more decorative, and to make small matching shelves to go on the kitchen wall, which I love!
Anyway enough waffling from me, as by now I expect you are desperate to actually see the end result, and for me to sssh for a minute (Si dreams this will happen one day). So here you have it, our (MY) beautiful kitchen, which ended up looking so much better than the one I ‘thought’ I wanted from the DIY store.
So there you have it, my beautiful kitchen! Thank you Si, and sorry for ever doubting you, and sorry for breaking the handle on the dishwasher ‘cupboard’…the eagle eyed may have noticed that on one of the pictures, he has just about forgiven me!
You can see a few more photos of the project in our YouTube video below if you want.
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