If you read my post on our renovation goals for 2016 you'll know the main focus of this year is on the kitchen. We have heaps to get done, including structural alterations, gas work, electrical work, plumbing and much much more. This is going to be a huge job and will take a huge amount of time. We're certainly not expecting completion for many months from now, but this won't stop me dreaming about how I envision our new kitchen to be. In fact, it's the motivation for this whole project.
It's all about the Grey
I have a true love for grey at the moment. It's been on-trend for a while now and whilst I'm slightly nervous that I'll go too far one way and our entire house will end up in several shades of grey without a splash of colour, I just can't help but want a grey kitchen too. I quite like the idea of mis-matching with different shades of grey in here. A lighter grey for the majority of cabinets, with a darker grey dresser-style cabinet. Whilst I'd love a grey-white stone worktop too, it's far from our affordability, so I'll have to stick with some sort of wooden worktop instead, which will at least add some variant of colour, texture and not to mention some much needed character. Since I want a grey kitchen to be its own feature, I don't want colourful wall, but instead something simple and neutral that allows the grey to be shown off on its own without colour distraction.
Minimalist but Fun
I'm not really a huge fan of wall cabinets. I find them a little claustrophobic at times and they can often block out good light if poorly placed. I much prefer to have open shelves. They can become a great feature, particularly if a kitchen lacks that focal point. I really like that lived-in chef style kitchen with pasta, rice, spices and other kitchen canisters all beautifully displayed and in easy reach. This really gives a kitchen that used feel, shows the kitchen off as the cooking hub of the home and not just a fancy showpiece in a magazine. Sure, I'm no chef and perhaps half the spices will rarely get used, but hey, who's gonna know that?! I also like to keep a de-cluttered worktop space, there's nothing worse than not having enough room to chop onions, or having to move everything prior to cooking. We've always had small kitchens that lacked enough room for two people to cook, but keeping everything minimal helps to maximise space.
Natural Light Matters
This is so important in a kitchen, it is the hub of the home after-all and possibly where we'll spend the most of our time. I find natural light is the most effective way to boost spirits, feel positive and add motivation to your day. To wake up and grab a coffee in a bright, fresh environment just awakens me and gets me ready for the day ahead. A dark, dingy, depressing room does the absolute opposite and leaves me craving after the bed. I would simply be over the moon to be able to install roof windows in this room, but sadly at this moment in time, our budget doesn't stretch that far. Installing these windows wouldn't be too invasive to do in the future, so I'll be keeping my fingers and toes crossed for that day. Until then, we're planning on having french doors installed where the current shower-room window is. This will not only bring heaps more light in, but it will also give us a direct view of the garden which will also make the space feel much larger and bring a sense of the outdoors in.
Cosy Toes & Heated Floors
Kitchens are often tiled, which underfoot can be pretty darn cold. You might know that our home also has zero central heating, just the one electric heater which we move around room to room depending on where we're planning on spending our time that day. No, I'm not kidding. A great option for heating the kitchen is underfloor heating. Underfloor heating can be really efficient and distribute heat far more evenly than standard radiators. It can often substitute the need for a radiator in the room altogether, which frees up valuable wall space. Plus of course, there's the very obvious pro that the actual floor gets heated too, something radiators definitely don't do very well, particularly with cold stone floors. Whether we'll be able to afford this remains to be calculated, but I think it would be a worthwhile investment that would make a huge difference to the room and get heaps and heaps of usage. Even the dogs would love it!
Must Have Appliances
The appliances in a kitchen are almost the things that make a kitchen. What's a kitchen without a cooker, I ask? Our current kitchen has no real way of being able to cook. It didn't come with a cooker, nor was there space for one. We believe the previous owner had a table-top oven (actually we found an old box for it) but this isn't exactly ideal and I can't even imagine designing a kitchen without thinking about what appliances we're going to need, especially the damn cooker! I've been lusting after a range cooker for years. Not a giant one, just a mid-sized one will do nicely. It's a good investment and future-proof if you ever plan on hosting large dinners or having a big family. I'm also desperate for a dishwasher. Desperate desperate. We've never had a dishwasher before and we've been living without one for oh, only six years. I've spent way too much time washing dishes day in, day out. I mean, 20 minutes a day, 356 days a year, for six years... Come on, it's the 21st century - I need a machine that will save hours of my life. Imagine if we still washed clothes by hand? Heavens! I'm desperate. Whilst we could opt for much cheaper cookers and have no dishwasher, keeping costs low, the kitchen would really lack what it's all about. Practicality.
What's on the top of your dream kitchen wish-list?