Our house is a dumping ground at the moment for all the bits and pieces we've been buying for the kitchen makeover....
It looks nothing like the first inspiration photo of a beautiful 'Plain English' kitchen which
looks very calming doesn't it?
I really like the colour scheme in the first photo, so we're going for something very similar-pale grey cabinets, and an antique linen white wall colour.
The grey granite worktops came back from the gravestone yard this week with their edges all polished and chamfered. The man also did the cut-outs for the sink and tap-holes, and only charged £160 in total which I thought was a bargain. It's definitely worth asking your local yard how much they charge if you fancy having granite worktops but don't want to pay thousands of pounds. We found all three lengths of granite on Ebay for just £250 but I think it was so cheap because we had to collect it ourselves in a van, which can put people off, as it is so heavy to transport. Also, we didn't get a template made out of wood first (which is the norm), instead the OH just drew a detailed plan with all the relevant measurements on it. He's going to fit some of them on Monday, so I hope he got his measurements right.....
We also got some new kitchen oak flooring, which is currently lying on our living room floor and will probably stay there for months! The OH hates the floor-tiles we have in our kitchen at the moment, so he's going to fit this instead. I bought all the cabinet knobs and cup handles we needed on Ebay, and couldn't believe how cheap they were. I couldn't resist trying two already on the green cabinet to see what they looked like... Of course now that means we'll have to swap all the brass cabinet hinges for chrome ones because they would look very strange otherwise (I can feel another stint with Plasticote chrome paintspray coming along)! See how one change leads to another change that you hadn't planned for...
The little prismatic lamp is going to be fitted above the kitchen sink hanging quite low, and now I'm thinking about changing the flex it comes with to something a bit nicer!! Maybe some of that silk corded flex? Stop me somebody....
Friday, 28 May 2010
Our house is a dumping ground at the moment for all the bits and pieces we've been buying for the kitchen makeover....
Posted by Sophie Honeysuckle at 15:12
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
My absolute favourite Farrow & Ball paintcolour is one that is not easy to get hold of these days-'Chartwell Green'. It's a colour from a range that F&B did about eight years ago and have since inexplicably discontinued-the 'National Trust Garden Range'. Does anyone else remember this range of historic garden exterior eggshell paint-colours that F&B produced in conjunction with the National Trust? I used to have the separate paintchart somewhere and I so wish I'd kept it!
In my first home, I had a tiny wooden lean-to conservatory built and it was clad inside and out in tongue-and-groove panelling painted in this colour. It was lovely!
Farrow & Ball will still mix this colour up for you (as will Leyland Paints who tap the code into their computer and match it for you) if you contact them, only it doesn't appear on their paintcharts anymore! I think this is peculiar as it was always a really popular colour and loads of double-glazed window companies cottoned onto this and now produce double glazed windows and conservatories ready sprayed in 'Chartwell Green'!!
(You can see a photo of a new 'Chartwell Green' conservatory in the second and second to last photo. If I were to buy a new double-glazed conservatory I would definitely buy one in this colour-it's a real classic English country garden colour!)
I know that F&B paints are quite popular in the States now-I wonder if you could also get this colour too? If anyone else has anything painted in this colour I would love to see photos!
Maybe I could petition F&B to reintroduce this colour!!! Who wants to join me? I'm only half-joking....
The conservatory photo is actually a very good colour match to this paintshade-because it's so miraculously sunny and bright here at the moment, the colour of it in my photos makes it look pale minty green which it definitely isn't! In a blogpost a little further down where we're respraying the fridge you can just see my Ikea Bekvam stool painted in this colour, and that is an accurate colour depiction! In fact, I have never found a similar colour to this shade anywhere and I am paintcolour obsessed! It's a sort of greyish, blueish green, and just looks really vintage! The colour gets its name from Winston Churchill's family home 'Chartwell House' and this is apparently the colour that all of his wooden garden furniture was painted in-you can see an actual photo of one of his chairs in the last photo!
Elsewhere, as you can see my garden is springing to life-the wisteria has gone crazy over the 'Miss Havisham-esque' iron pergola-I'm pleased because I only bought it last year. Likewise, my Lilac bush beside the shed has also flourished and smells gorgeous.
The French table and chairs were in desperate need of re-painting, so they were primed first and then painted in gloss. I'm going to get a piece of glass or perspex made to cover the top to keep it weatherproof all-year-round. I do think I might distress them a little bit before I varnish them though. The Lilac shed is next on the never-ending list to be re-painted, along with a million and one other jobs! We have been taking advantage of the lovely weather though and have been eating our evening meals out here...bet it doesn't last long though!!
Posted by Sophie Honeysuckle at 13:02
Thursday, 20 May 2010
So all in all it took four cans of paint this time, compared to two last time, but then we were going over green paint! It cost about £29 in all but it's still much cheaper than buying a new fridge-freezer! There's a few bits of spraypaint on the floor, but it does scrub off.
Posted by Sophie Honeysuckle at 10:15
Monday, 17 May 2010
Typical-yesterday we ran out of spraypaint and needed one more can to complete our fridge-freezer makeover and of course B&Q had just closed!
The cream paint actually went on really well over the green paint-it's only the sides that need a few more coats and we haven't sprayed the bits of laminate to go over the old scooped out handle bits yet! What's funny is that the cream paint is a totally different finish to the green, yet both are by the same brand 'Plasti-kote Fridge Colours'! I much prefer the cream finish though-it's like a really shiny gloss and looks more like the cream Smeg fridges I so covet! The green paint gave a very matt powder-coated finish, which was nice too, but very different!
The OH ingeniously devised an E.T-like polythene 'incubation tent' in order to eliminate spraypaint drift!! He made a circular tent out of polythene, taped it to the ceiling, a bit like a shower curtain and moved the fridge out into it. It worked too as our kitchen was clean afterwards. Tonight it can have its final coat, and then we can remove the masking tape. We can still use it luckily, which is the main reason we didn't want to unplug it and spray it outside!
Finally-pajamas! I love these very CK-ish cotton pajama bottoms which are only £4 a pair in Primark! I like the polka-dot frill detail on the pockets, bottoms and waist-tie, and at that price you can afford a pair in every design...
Posted by Sophie Honeysuckle at 10:35
Saturday, 15 May 2010
Posted by Sophie Honeysuckle at 12:37
Monday, 10 May 2010
I thought it would be interesting to show you the 'if money were no object' cooker of my choice for the limited space we have in our kitchen-the 60cm mini Aga! Can you see what inspired me to buy the cooker I blogged about not so long ago? Both share exactly the same dimensions, and more or less the same cooking functions, only there is a slight difference in price-about £2,500.....
The second hob photo is of my oven, not the Aga model, although both are very similar. I really like the griddle it comes with, and I'm really not being biased but I actually prefer the chrome knobs on my cooker! Both models share the traditional chrome rail to hang your tea towels on, which is a sweet finishing touch.
The rest of the photos are of our works-in-progress! It was a nightmare to get that transfer off the dishwasher (whose bright idea was it in the first place I wonder...)! Tonight both are going back in their usual places and the door will be re-fixed onto the washing-machine. Both are now coated in 'Satin Chrome' spray paint (as are we..) and have a new-er lease of life. Before they were looking a bit tatty and dated, although both work perfectly, so hopefully they will look a bit more contemporary now. When they do eventually need replacing I will get stainless steel or chrome versions, but until then these will do! Anyway, I suppose it's more environmentally friendly to re-furbish rather than replace although I'm not so sure about those aerosol gases...
Can't wait to do the fridge-freezer....
Posted by Sophie Honeysuckle at 16:45
Sunday, 9 May 2010
Today we are in the midst of a kitchen makeover-we've been spraying our washing machine and dishwasher chrome. They still need a few more coats, so I thought I'd look back at one of the first makeovers we did in our present house.
The bottom photo is the before shot from the Estate Agents brochure (can you spot our Belfast sink with the herbs in it?!) -as handy as the little brown shed was storagewise-I didn't quite take to it because of its colour scheme! The shed is the first thing I see when I look out of our kitchen window, so it was important to make the view as pleasant as possible!
We had some lilac masonry paint leftover from our old house, so we re-painted the shed and then added the lattice panels, which were really cheap from B&Q. We removed all the shutters and window boxes, and then added the roof detail. I really like the mock roof tiles, which were made out of a roll of roofing felt (also really cheap from B&Q!)! All we did was trace around the bottom of a paint tin repeatedly to get the tile shapes, then we just cut them out with scissors and nailed them down. The OH made the wooden finials out of some old wood and attached them-one got struck by lightening once and was found on the grass the next day!!
The whole makeover took one (long) sunny day in Summer, and I think it turned out quite well, although I do wonder what our neighbours make of it....
Posted by Sophie Honeysuckle at 19:36
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
I'm looking forward to the next part of the kitchen makeover: re-spraying the fridge, and spraying the dishwasher and washing machine for the first time!
The fridge is going to be re-sprayed in the cream colour that matches my Kitchenaid mixer, and we are going to trial another change as well. The one thing I don't like about it at the moment are the scooped out grooves in the doors where you used to open them. Now we added the chrome handles we don't need them any more and they always annoyed me because they ruined the streamlined look!
But in B&Q lots of products are on sale at the moment and a roll of kitchen laminate edging was reduced to £2. The OH is going to glue it over the scooped out bits so they appear even in width all the way along, then spray it cream too. This laminate edging is ideal because it's flexible enough to glue around the curved edges and is very strong as well, being like a sort of very thin plywood. It's also almost the exact same width too. They also had loads of tins of Cath Kidston emulsion reduced to £5 per tin as the range is being discontinued. The White Linen colour we got is lovely, a sort of antique white very similar to Farrow & Ball's range. The paint is of a similar quality too, and is a real bargain.
He also bought two tins of Plasti-kote Satin Chrome Appliance spray (they should pay us to advertise this brand as we use it so much) for our dishwasher and washing machine. They are white at the moment and are looking a bit tired. I think all the appliances will match a bit better being chrome, as the new oven has lots of chrome on it, and so do the mixer, kettle and fridge. I didn't want to paint the fridge chrome as I thought cream would look a bit lighter and wouldn't dominate the room as much. In the last photo you can see some of the spotlights we sprayed in this Satin Chrome paint-excuse the weird photo angle! They look so much better than the brassy 80's gold colour they were before (remember to switch your power off first and disconnect them while they are drying!!).
Lastly, all of the clutter in our kitchen is being found a new home elsewhere-our poor conservatory seems to be ending up with most of it, but I do like the new home for my Dutch tiles! They are now underneath my plant pots on the dresser instead of being behind the kitchen taps, and match the Farrow & Ball 'Arsenic' paint colour almost exactly!
Posted by Sophie Honeysuckle at 13:11
Sunday, 2 May 2010
Today I am quite pleased because I have found a £24 bargain-a striped linen blind that is just the right size for my very wide kitchen window! You can see it in the second photo-it's a 100% linen blend-but even better, it's made of a special non-fray trimable material incase it doesn't quite fit (or incase I am a rubbish measurer)! You can also get it here in a plain cream Barley colour or a darker Oatmeal colour and I found it really hard to decide! I decided upon the stripe in the end, because it adds a bit more interest. The rest of the inspiration photos are courtesy of Cabbages & Roses-I think their stripey linen fabric is quite similar to my blind-and the last is from Kate Forman. I'll let you know how accurate my measuring was when it arrives....
Posted by Sophie Honeysuckle at 17:19