Inbetween finding our dream home last Novemeber and getting the keys in May, I had plenty of time to design the ultimate navy kitchen; and now after 5 months of hard work we have the most beautiful Hicks Blue kitchen known to man. (I may be a little biased here but’s it really is wonderful!)
When we brought our apartment there was no sight of a kitchen, just a large empty space. The room was labelled as a potential bathroom on the sales document, but we knew it would be perfect for a kitchen and small dining area.
The Original ‘Kitchen’
The house is full of period features, and our aim was to create a beautiful kitchen to highlight each of the quirky bits the home has to show. I think we definitely achieved this.
See more: Navy Kitchen Inspiration
We struggled to find a nice navy kitchen in any of the well known kitchen supplies, and our budget didn’t stretch to a beautiful DeVol kitchen. We considered purchasing some Ikea cabinets and getting them sprayed to suit our colour scheme, but the doors which we found really weren’t what we (I) were looking for. Then, a friend recommended DIY Kitchens, I feel in love with the Hemsley range (which can be painted in any colour of you choice) and we ended up ordering the entire kitchen without ever looking at a sample.
Getting Ready for Installation
After getting the keys, we (Darren) spent a good month getting the room ready for the kitchen installation. Just getting rid of the flaky paint made a whole world of difference! The floorboards were replaced where needed, windows were sanded and oiled, pipes and electrics were replaced and skirting board mouldings were replicated. As we don’t have any gas plumbed into the house we installed underfloor heating and laid engineered wood floor. Most of the room was painted in Hicks Blue to complement the beautiful Hicks Blue kitchen that we had ordered, although it was done in stages as Darren was concerned it would be too dark.
The Kitchen Layout
One of the negatives with DIY Kitchens is the lack of online kitchen planner, but we had already had our kitchen layout designed by another supplier, so we were able to order what we needed with a very helpful sales team. We were never really sure on the original design of the kitchen as the cooker was going to be off centre to the arch. When the units came we had a little play around and managed to get the layout we have now, which works perfectly for us.
After two months we had a useable kitchen in a habitable home. It made such a world of difference not cooking over our portable induction hob in the kitchen and washing up outside. We took a rest for a while and enjoyed the last of the good summer weather and thought about some of the finishing touches.
Appliances & Accessories in our Hicks Blue Kitchen
I really wanted brass or copper fittings in the kitchen but Darren was having none of it. In the end I compromised with brushed steel and black appliances (which came in a lot less than my dream range cooker) if I could have a hot tap which Darren didn’t find necessary. It was a compromise well worth making. Instant hot water is a luxury like no other!
We fitted hexagonal pale blue tiles to both ends of the kitchen and decided to customise with yellow accessories. As we usually renovate to sell on or rent out our decisions are made on a tight budget and timeframe. It’s really nice to be able to choose and buy things that we really want in our own home. We do still need to stick to a pretty small budget, and so look around for bargains like our dining table and chairs (amazon) and lighting (B&Q), but we may have been a little over extravagant with our choice of yellow Brabantia bin, which should really be taking its own bags to the bin for the money that we paid for it. I obviously we needed the matching yellow bread bin, too.
I’m now on the hunt for other yellow accessories, some nice tea towels, a vase and lots of lovely crokery.
The Final Push
The last part of the kitchen we tackled was the 1950’s cupboard which Darren finished just the other week. We decided to keep the original cupboards as they fitted perfectly and we would never have been able to order wall units to fit exactly. It hides the extractor fan well (sadly not vented to outside because of the listed status of the building) but also hid some of the arch details, so we’ve replaced the two end doors with glass and installed lights to highlight the detail.
Our Hicks Blue Kitchen
Our apartment is within a 18th century Manor House, and whilst we’re trying to be sympathetic to the building, we do need a home which is functional for 21st century living. Here are the photo’s of our finished hicks blue kitchen, taking inspiration from the original features of the home and period, and the retro 1950’s when the house was originally converted to apartments.
We’re really pleased with how the first finished room has turned out. It’s amazing to see the progress especially when you look at the before and after picture side by side!
Darren’s been in Spain a few weeks working on our Spanish renovation but is home on Thursday, so the next chapter of the renovation at Brambridge will begin; our spare bedroom. There’s been talk of green and red, and some very funky wallpaper, and whilst we haven’t yet made our minds up, it’s going to be a bust of colour for sure!