After the initial rush of hardcore DIY, things have started to slow down a bit. I’ve done as much of the wallpaper stripping as I could do without having to hang off ladders over staircases which I didn’t fancy much, and P is still plodding along with the windows, but needs the help of the builders to do the exteriors. The building work was due to start the week before last, but during a meeting with our builder Nick it became apparent that we weren’t ready at all! Whilst we’d been focusing on getting everything ready in the house itself, we hadn’t yet decided on all the relevant fixtures and fittings that were essential for the work to commence! Cue several days of going to appointments with kitchen companies, and hours sat on the internet researching everything from plug sockets to taps and cookers to radiators! I had no idea just how time consuming it would be sourcing every little detail for the house – Nick was great and was always on hand to advise us, but ultimately it was all down to us which I found quite stressful. P and I are both quite indecisive and also perfectionists, so deciding on each detail is quite painstaking. Add to this the fact that we apparently have expensive taste but a low budget, so were always trying to find the best price/cheaper alternatives, and we found days just passing us by in a haze of Google, Which and price comparison sites!
Once we had everything in place it was Nick’s turn. He started last Friday and at 10.30am I received a picture from him with the wall gone! I really couldn’t believe how quickly it had happened and how much it changed the space. We went round on Saturday to have a look and with the aim of getting started on sanding/painting the mass of woodwork throughout the property. Arriving was a bit of a shock…there were about 15 men in my house doing various jobs, half the floorboards were up, walls were gone, and the noise and dirt was insane. We were bombarded with questions as soon as we arrived and then seemed to get in people’s way wherever we went, so we didn’t stick around long!
As we can’t do anything actually in the house for the time-being, our focus now is back onto kitchen and bathroom planning. As ever, P and I are really doing our research to make sure that we’re getting the best quality at the best price. Following all of my Pinterest-ing, we already had an idea of the kitchen design that we wanted, so visited all the main companies (B&Q, Benchmarkx, Howdens, Magnet) and spent time with some great designers fine-tuning our plans. The space is quite difficult due to the room shape and the numerous windows, and we were seriously struggling to find a design that we were happy with, as everything felt cramped or awkward. After much deliberating, we decided that the best option would be to block out one of the windows. When this was first suggested I was horrified, as couldn’t ever contemplate blocking out the lovely natural light or covering up the beautiful windows. However, I realised that this was going to be the only way that we’d be able to have the kitchen of my dreams (complete with range cooker and Belfast sink!). Also, with the number of windows we have in the room, and lighter brighter feeling now that the dividing wall had been taken down, we didn’t think that losing one of the smaller windows would actually have too much of an impact…so eventually I agreed!
We reverted to the kitchen companies and did a bit of negotiating on price to get a good deal. We were all ready to order, but P then found an amazing online company called DIY Kitchens, where you can get lovely kitchens at a fraction of the price. We ordered some samples and were extremely impressed with the quality, so decided to go with them. There is no design tool/assistance so you have to know exactly what you want, and check and double check your measurements, but after an afternoon of tape measures, rulers and pritt stick we had a plan that we were happy with.
We’ve sent everything over to Nick to look over, and as soon as we have the thumbs up from him we will get ordering. It’s quite exciting (if a little scary) to make the first big purchase for the place – can’t wait to see it!