Here is my kitchen/dining area. I renovated it back in 2013 before Hygge and copper were trendy. But it still works now, and we still love it.
Hygge is not a new concept however clearly it is now ‘out there’ for the masses, which is a good thing, right? A bit like when Westlife/Mariah covered Phil Collins ‘Against all Odds’…bringing it to a new generation (no….? okay, wrong example).
But this kitchen didn’t feel like this when I bought the house. Far from it. Tired, dated and lacking in actual cupboard space this is what it was before…
I soon realised that a peninsula between living and dining spaces was not a good option with one adult vs two babies. Walking back and forth to the sink with dirty cloths/dishes/bibs etc probably increased my step count by a couple of miles a day. I also found it hard to cope with lack of quick access cupboard space, although if you can spy the open door below in the ‘peninsula’ photo on the left; there is a large cupboard which had ample ‘dump and forget’ storage, but not much use to anyone in a hurry.
Within a couple of months of moving in I had re designed the kitchen on paper including replacing the large non opening patio ‘window’ with french doors, ripping out the small radiator (above) to allow for additional floor cupboards and work surface, and also knocking through the cupboard wall (retaining wall= bigger cost).
As for the style of cupboard I knew I wanted something classic that was not going to date. I also wanted white to reflect as might light as possible as the room faces north-ish. Gloss doors were all the rage but I knew I would be investing for the long term and wanted something that I wouldn’t get fed up with and also kid proof. I felt gloss might get scratched/smeared by toddlers so I decided upon a classic shaker door in white at Howdens. I also negotiated a trade discount via my builder whom I had used at my old house. After meeting the ‘designer’ and him ‘carefully’ plotting my design with technology/ measurements of my house (hear my sense of irony?)
When it came to the fitting my builders did the ripping out and tearing down. We also discovered Howdens had mucked up the measurements of my design and the hob was not central in the alcove (was out to one side by several inches) which threw the whole design out and would have looked crap. I quickly changed my design layout with the builder and re-ordered a different extractor in order that the focal point in this area (hob) was centered. Crisis averted, it all worked out well in the end. Nothing ever runs smoothly in the world of design they say!
Be aware that companies who deal with trade often have different prices for different tradesman, I think if your builder uses Howdens a lot then the price is cheaper. Cautionary tale – I managed to beat Howdens down on their original quote by almost half, so please don’t accept the first quote without question..
After a round a week (or two) of hammering, bashing, dust (everywhere) and eating microwave meals the kitchen, flooring, plastering, wiring and tiling was completed. Two years later and I am still very happy with it and also still trying to work out which drawer is best for endless tupperware supplies.
In the summer months the sun sets straight through the French windows and creates such a beautiful light. Above you can see how this newly formed alcove (from removing the walk in cupboard) now makes as a more usable space.
Where the action happens….and a centred hob (area unstyled, how very un –Emily Henderson of me, sorry). The long wooden object on the end panel above is a Height Chart Ruler I made to document the kids growth.
Out in to the, then, newly laid, garden. Along with the beautiful primary coloured plastic that comes with kids.
The Kilim rug was an ebay find (from Afghanistan I believe) that I had to search for months until one I liked cropped up. I then had to wait ages for it to arrive as the wrong postcode got put on my parcel and this lovely rug was sent across the UK and back until it found its final resting place with us.
The copper pendants were (at the time) so hard to source. I eventually found those John Lewis Gideon Copper Funnel Pendants online (no longer available). Clearly now the copper trend is in full flow and there are dozens of options from which to choose.
I managed to get hold of a 2015 calendar from Rifle Paper Company and frames each of the twelve prints in Ribba frames from Ikea. Twelve was the magic number; fitting the wall perfectly for this gallery. If you follow my Instagram you will see that I have since switched out the art to a new calendar. Its the perfect way to afford artist work that you can’t afford otherwise, as I expressed in Homestyle Mag this month with #myhsstyle.
The chairs are another vintage Ebay find and are vintage Bertoia side chairs ; I got all six for under £100 several years ago so imagine they are replicas but still beautiful and well made.
This kitchen always feels pretty Hygge, which for me means homely, welcoming and relaxed. If I could rewind time to a time where I had more time to make decisions there are a couple of things I would have done differently, namely doing the tiling myself as I would have paid more attention to the finer details which my builders didn’t. However all in all we love this space and it truly is the heart of the home. We celebrate,cook and eat here, get tispy (my friends and I, not the kids obvs.), craft and share our days events here.