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Our kitchen renovation

One of the first priorities when we moved into our new home was to completely redo the kitchen, both from an aesthetic point of view, but also from a layout and storage perspective. We wanted to design something that would completely work for us and our needs.

Here is what the kitchen used to look like:

My biggest aesthetic pet peeves were the flooring, which actually continued on all the way through to the living space, the dated wooden cupboards, and the dark colour of the tiles and countertops.

My biggest layout issues were that there was no space for a wide American-style fridge, a lack of accessible storage, and no pantry.

We used Wren Kitchens because of their very generous 7 year interest free payment option, freeing up funds for other renovation work we wanted to do. Dominika, our Wren consultant, worked with us remotely to design the layout and configuration to our specification, and provided 3D visualisations of the space so we could “see” it for ourselves before committing. She also sent us samples of all the materials in the post. Through these consultations and renders, we finally aligned on the colours, materials and layout that we wanted.

Another benefit of going through Wren was that they were able to recommend kitchen fitters who are used to working with Wren kitchens. They provided us with the name of a kitchen fitter in our are who they highly recommended, and we arranged for him to come and do a site visit.

Although the kitchen installation cost in included in what we pay to Wren, we were able to negotiate for the kitchen fitter to also do some extra work that Wren were not involved with, for an additional fee. For example, we wanted to replace the flooring from the kitchen all the way through to the dining room and into the lounge. We also wanted the same space to be repainted. With all of that agreed, the only thing to do was to wait for our kitchen to be delivered and for the work to begin!

Mid May (and only 2 weeks after we had completed), our installation began! First up was completely gutting the existing kitchen and taking up all of the old flooring. We also had some heavy wooden doors that separated the dining area from the living room, and the fitters also removed these to make it one big open plan space.

It was crazy to watch the entire kitchen and flooring disappear in just one day! I was so excited because this also marked the first big renovation that our new home would undergo.

After everything had been removed, the next step was to start installing the new kitchen that Wren were delivering. Again, I was so impressed with the speed at which cabinetry started to go up and appliances started to slot in place. It wasn’t long before the new kitchen really began to take shape.

There was also a bunch of plastering work that needed to happen to smooth out the walls where cabinets had previously been fixed but that now wouldn’t be completed covered. This work was due in part to my desire not to just simply have top to toe cabinetry as there was before, but to break this up with open shelving, and a standalone extractor fan.

At the same time as cabinetry started to go in, there was also work happening to lay the new flooring. I was really keen to have a lighter floor, as I felt that the darker wood on the floor made the space feel smaller and heavy. We went for a light grey herringbone engineered wood.

The flooring beginning to be installed was a great milestone as it became really clear how everything was going to work together – particularly the grey floor against the darker grey of the cabinetry.

Once the plastering had all dried, and all the cabinets were up, the next big milestone was getting the Quartz countertops measured and delivered, as well as actually getting all of the smaller things done, like appliances being hooked up, plug point covers being installed.

Waiting for quartz countertops added another 2 weeks onto the kitchen being fully complete, but finally, 6 weeks after we began, the kitchen was complete, and our house was blissfully quiet (for a short period anyway!)

Here is the finished product – both the kitchen and the finished flooring in the dining area and lounge. I couldn’t be happier with the finished product and am so excited to use this kitchen for many years to come!

By Yael

Hi, I'm Yael - pronounced Yah-Elle! Born in Brazil, live in North London, but my heart belongs anywhere tropical! I own a tiny stationery company called Little Goat Supplies, and I spend all my spare time dreaming of prints and colours! My other loves include eating good steaks, tasting rum cocktails and finding good skincare products!

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