Double whammy

Two good things happened yesterday, kitchen-wise: the joiner made a start and a man with a van came to pick up the old kitchen!  Hurray!

I’ve included four photos from yesterday morning, before I went to work, and then five from when I got home and the man had taken all the bits away.  The worktop has all been cut (including a hole for the sink), it just needs fixing.  Richard the Joiner (RtJ, as he shall henceforth be known), broke several jigsaw blades on the solid wood and had to get some more!  There’s enough of the worktop left for us to have a little bit of surface coming out of the wall by the door – we’ll just need to get a brushed stainless steel post.

RtJ has also cut some plinth for underneath the oven so you can’t see the bodge job of making it higher, but it means we’re going to run out of plinth, so may need to have some further bodging of using end panel for some of the plinth area.  Barry and I nipped to Wickes last night to get some glue and silicone so he can continue today.  Barry also spent a lot of last night preparing the pipework for under the sink so he can do that quickly once RtJ’s finished today.

The man who collected the old kitchen couldn’t believe how many parts there were to it.  He was glad he’s not the one putting it back together!  I’ll be very surprised if I don’t get at least one call from the eBay woman with questions about it.

Drumroll please

The auctions have ended; the bids have been counted and verified (drumroll please)… we have a dazzling £343 from our old kitchen to spend on the new!  Note to self: never bin anything again ever.

It’s so much more than we were expecting that we don’t know what to do with it (don’t worry, it will be spent!).  The joiner is the first item on the list, and then I suppose the rest may go to flooring (or lights/tumble dryer/coffee machine/mixer/photo frames for the living room/yesterday’s hair cut/anniversary meal).

The lady wanted us to deliver, but we don’t have the facilities to transport 3m long worktops, etc., so she’s going to have to book a man with a van.  Hopefully she’ll sort it this week so we can carry on painting.

As I already mentioned, yesterday was our fifth wedding anniversary, and so we had to get wooden gifts.

Panicking in Boots, I originally bought Barry a wooden Botanics nailbrush, but then had a proper think about it and bought him some of his favourite aftershave ever – Marc Jacobs Men.  He hasn’t had any in ages and it has (wait for it) top notes of cypress and base notes of cedarwood.  I am the master.

Although Royal Mail are currently holding Barry’s gift to me hostage, he’s shown me a photo of what I can expect – it’s this lovely wooden jewellery box.  I’m looking forward to receiving it!

Tiles, floorboards, floorboards, tiles

We’ve been looking round at tiles again and nothing’s striking either of us, so we’re thinking we might just stick to white floorboards for the whole of the bottom floor.  It would match, although there might be a bit too much white in the kitchen then, so I may finally get my wish of it being painted pale grey.  We definitely need to stop the new radiator from dripping first!

The other option is to have a darker wood on the kitchen floor (think dark grey).  I prefer the white, myself.  Bracing myself for the bill that’s over £500 just for some floorboards though.

The old kitchen, hob and oven are selling well on eBay – finishing this weekend and then we can wave goodbye.  Can’t wait – we’ll have a bit more space in the current kitchen (not that that’s a huge issue now), and can carry on painting the room.

It’s our five-year wedding anniversary this weekend, which ironically, is our “wooden” anniversary.  Spoiler alert, Barry: if a new kitchen and flooring don’t count as an excellent wooden gift, I don’t know what does.

Which is best, tiles or wooden flooring? Only one way to find out…

We’d decided on slate tiles in the kitchen before we’d even thought about getting a new one, never mind knocking down walls and making it bigger.  However, I’m not sure about whether they would go with the units we’ve now chosen, so I’m still wavering.  We’d settled on these ones from Wickes, which were on sale when we first saw them, but now the square footage is getting bigger and they’ve come off sale, they’re looking more and more expensive.  I think we’d have to shop around before making a decision anyway.

Another option is to take the white wooden laminate (discussed previously) from the living room right through to cover the whole ground floor.  However, I’ve been strongly advised by colleagues not to have wood in the kitchen – one leak and it’s all over.  Anyone wishing to share their experiences is welcome to do so!

This is the flooring we have at the moment – bog standard laminate.

One factor affecting the choice of a black/grey tile is the colour we’re going to paint the kitchen.  At the moment, we’re thinking brilliant white on all walls, as colours may clash with the units and they’re enough of a statement on their own.  However, in the show house we visited before we bought our house, they had matt black painted up the stairs on both floors.  It sounds a bit gothic and depressing, but it really worked (honest!), so I think we may do the same.

Now that we’ve opened up the stairs to the kitchen, we could carry that black wall down so that one kitchen wall is black (the wall in the image above).  I’m wavering, because I think very dark grey would work as well, like this Slate (left) from Wickes, but Barry’s set on black.  I bought a tester pot of Dulux Midnight Kiss (below), and painted a splodge on the wall (and a bit on the carpet for good measure).

Either colour would also match the potential slate flooring.  I think some hard decision-making is in order, but we’re committed to painting it in some way to cover up the black!

To counteract the darkness of the floor and the wall, Barry thinks that brilliant white on the ceiling and all other walls is the way to go, but I don’t know if it will be too much with the white high gloss cabinets…any thoughts?

On a completely separate issue, I have to have a mini-rant about the plastering in our house.  Where we’ve removed walls, there are obviously big vertical holes, about three inches apart.  However, in two places, the plaster on either side of the hole won’t meet with a flat, straight line of plaster because one side comes out further than the other.  On one of them, the walls are about perfect at the top, but it comes out about an inch further at the bottom.  These things are hard to explain, but it’s infuriating, and it’s going to be a problem in particular for one of them, because we’re putting the kitchen cabinets in front of it.  At the moment, we’re wondering whether the worktop and upstand can be cut in a curve to accommodate it, but we’ll have to see when they arrive.  Rant over.

Shades of grey

It’s difficult when we haven’t finished the living room, but are trying to get cracking with the kitchen as we’re under a bit of pressure as they’ve delivered the oven yesterday and are trying to deliver the units in two weeks.  We still have ideas that we’re working on in the meantime for the living room, but they’re having to go on the back burner for a little while.

One idea we had was of having lots of photos across the green wall in the living room, under the spotlights.  We liked the thought of having loads of images of friends and family, although I initially thought more order would be better.  I’ve since been convinced that orientation and size doesn’t matter.  I will put my foot down and say I want all the same frames though, to stop it looking too unruly.  White wooden ones!

This idea then developed into a black and white theme. As white wood complements our new décor, I started thinking about how the photos would look inside the frames.  I’ve spent my lunchtimes at work using Illustrator to turn colour images greyscale and I now have 37 to print!  The selection may require some editing down and we’d need to decide which ones we wanted larger than others.

I didn’t want to put someone’s image up without asking, so this is one of me taken in the Maldives on our honeymoon five years ago.  Not all of them are quite as artsy, but it gives you a feel for how it will look.

If anyone has any suggestions where one may procure dozens of reasonable wall frames, ranging from A4 down to standard photo sizes, please let me know!  I’m willing to paint them, but I would like them all to look the same style.