The Honest House Tour: Kitchen Diner

kitchen tour

So I can’t believe I’m saying this, but our house is on the market. The house that we’ve rebuilt from scratch over 6 incredibly tiring but fun years.

It’s not been an easy decision and I’m probably going to burst into tears when we leave, but we do ultimately want something bigger and as many parents tend to do, we’re moving in order to better our catchment area for schools. It’s all location, location, location you guys!

As the house has changed so so much, and I’ve never been one for major Before/After posts due to slow progress, I’ve decided to do a final tour. A little walkabout of our home, room by room – how it looks now, in 2017. It will be the tidiest it’s ever been (thanks house viewings for being an excellent motivator) and yet it’s still not perfect. Don’t expect anything too magazine worthy, this is an honest house tour. Nothing hidden. This is how it looks day to day.

Let’s start with our kitchen – our biggest selling point of this house. How it began, what we’ve done and what it looks like now.

HISTORY

In 2011, there was no kitchen. You can see below that there really was nothing. No units, no work surfaces, no cooking appliances. Thankfully we brought our own fridge and utilities, but we lived like that for 2 years. Check out that zesty chipboard wall, tobacco stained woodwork and a mustard/brown mush of vinyl. So much chic, I know. Kitchen Progress2013 arrived and after our lovely dinosaur wedding, we decided to start life as Mr & Mrs with an actual kitchen. We extended across the back of the house by around 10 feet (because we were advised this was the furthest back we could go without requiring planning permission) which, over a period of about 6 months worth of construction, became our kitchen/diner.

WORK DONE

E V E R Y T H I N G. Whilst every room in the house has been reconstructed in some way, this was by far our biggest project. We really did do it all. The ceiling was removed and a new one built. Every old window was binned with new PVC french doors and windows replaced. Pipework was added for waste, water and gas. Every unit, appliance and inch of plaster was hand-picked and done by us. I blogged about every single kitchen construction update here so feel free to go back and see more progress pictures!

Kitchen Tour

Kitchen Tour

WHAT WE’LL TAKE

Well, most of it is integrated so I’ll be really sad to see it go! Take a close look at those pictures. If I remember rightly, it’s a 22 unit room. Standard kitchens mostly come in groups of 8 units, just to give a scale as to how much storage we chose! If I could take anything with me though, I’d take the 5 ring cast iron burner which I’ll be 100% repurchasing when we move – I can’t imagine cooking without it. I adore having a 1.5 sink as well as an integrated dishwasher. And the sheer space I wish we could take. We’re quickly learning that not many homes near us have kitchens this size. Looks like we’ll just have to build again!

Kitchen Tour

Kitchen Tour

THE HONEST BITS:

I think because we’d gone SO long without a kitchen, we extended backwards and didn’t put lots of thought into it. Had we planned a little more in advance rather than in the excitement of finally getting work started, we could have probably had a window nook. Or an island. Or breakfast bar. It’s never been an issue whatsoever and I’ve loved every second using this kitchen, but I do feel things would look differently if we did it again now, with far more experience. If I’m getting really picky, I’d change a few cosmetic bits. I wish I’d painted the entire room blue. Not to everyone’s tastes, sure. But maintaining that lovely soft grey with a messy toddler has been very hard. You may even notice our wine rack is mostly used for empty bottles and for Luna’s baking apron. sometimes you just have to compromise. There is also a patch of blue on the ceiling from a slip of the brush, which I never got around to painting over white. We’ve all been there. Oh, and I really don’t like our dining chairs. They’ve long been on the “to replace” list but never quite made it to the top. One day…

Kitchen Tour

THE HIGHLIGHT REEL

I’ve been thrilled with our kitchen ever since the builders left and we were able to just “be” in it. That said, design wise I was particularly chuffed to bits when it was featured in Home Style magazine in early 2016.

I’ll also never forget when we bought the kitchen. It was a special offer in October that meant if we took home all of the units and appliances, fully assembled, within the month, we’d receive a huge discount and a free dishwasher. We did exactly that and everything was stored in our lounge and hallway because we were 2 months off building completion but couldn’t skip a bargain. We laughed as we pretended to be in a fort of worktops and assembled drawers.

The kitchen really has given us some fantastic memories. From the baby shower I had when I was pregnant, to our little girl’s first birthday party where we covered the table and cupboards in Hungry Caterpillar decorations. All of the quirky bits that make it our own will be coming with us of course whenever it is we move – some of my favourites showcased below – but we put so much blood, sweat, and tear into this kitchen, it will always feel like ours.

Kitchen Tour

Kitchen Tour

Kitchen Tour

Kitchen Tour

Kitchen Tour

Kitchen Tour

Kitchen Tour

Kitchen Tour

How do you think we did? I hope you enjoyed my honest kitchen tour. I’ll be covering another room soon. I’d love to hear stories about your home too!

Tag me with #honesthousetour on Instagram to share your story!

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Related posts:

  • Oh your kitchen is just so lovely, I can totally understanding wishing you can take it with you, especially with the amount of blood, sweat and tears you put into it! (that ‘before’ shot! OMG!) And well, it’s always good to remember the lessons you’ve learned along the way to take with you to the new place! I know we’ll be doing the same – in fact, I’ll probably cry when I have to leave my kitchen when we eventually move too! xx

  • Ahh, Karen! I know it will be sad to leave, but I can understand your reasons for moving. Whoever buys your house is going to love it there! And you’ve got a whole new chapter to look forward to – best wishes 🙂 xx

  • awwww this is so lovely Karen! What a gorgeous kitchen! It must be sad leaving but you must also be excited starting a new chapter and re-decorating from scratch. Good luck with it all my dear xxx

  • Rachel Newcombe

    Oh my, changes are afoot! Good luck with your house sale and hope you find the perfect next home. Your kitchen is absolutely gorgeous, so I’m sure it will help sell the house. Look forward to seeing the next room tour.

  • Oh I’m so very jealous of your kitchen – both the design and the tidiness! I most especially love your kitchen windowsill. I’m very fond of a bit of greenery in the kitchen, but mine only runs to an aloe vera plant that has stalwartly refused to succumb to my attempts to ‘tend’ it – thriving despite my complete lack of ‘green-fingered’-ness! (My husband calls me ‘black-fingered’ because every plant I have withers and dies) It’s been lovely watching your house change over the years, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you guys move on to next.

  • Carole King

    Your kitchen is lovely. We have the same extractor over our hob and the same tiles, but when I was out of the room the tiler (in his wisdom) decided to tile right up to the curve and shaped the tiles to fit. It’s something that niggles even now. Yours looks so much neater.

  • Yasmin La Ronde

    I adore what you have managed to do with the kitchen. It looks absolutely amazing and I can see why it’ll be sad to leave a lot of those beautiful integrated appliances. Hopefully your new home will be just as beautiful, with even more memories.

    Yasmin | http://www.yasminlaronde.co.uk

    x

  • Old Fashioned Susie

    It’s great to see more of your kitchen Karen! Can’t wait to see interiors adventures in your new place

  • It’s always bittersweet to move house but you’ll have a new adventure in your new house. Your kitchen is great, it’s a lovely size. The kitchen really is the heart of the home isn’t it? #homeetc

  • Caro Davies

    Oh bless you chick — can’t believe you’re leaving. But we’ve done exactly that 3 times now — renovated the houses from scratch — and doing most of the work ourselves too, we’ve rarely had a man in to do any of it. It’s upsetting to leave but you’ll just start again — and also do things better and differently next time. Home renovation is such a learning curve. I love our home now but there’s a bit of me that can’t blooming WAIT to move again!!! Truthfully!! 🙂 xx #HomeEtc

  • Kerry

    The transformation is incredible! I can hand on heart say that I thought we had the most horrendous kitchen I have ever seen, but I have to say, your old kitchen pipped us to that title. I know how horrible it is to live with a kitchen you hate and that barely functions, so I can only imagine how excited you are to now have such a lovely space to cook from xx

  • mummyofboygirltwins

    Amazing and so much to look forward to! Thanks for sharing and look forward to hearing more from you soon! Jess. x #HomeEtc

  • Oh Karen I think I’m going to cry too when you leave! Totally get it though and in many ways it will be exciting to have a whole new prokject to work on Xx #HomeEtc