With the bathroom done and dusted, we could start turning our attention to the kitchen diner. This is going to be our biggest project to date, there is a huge amount of work to be done and we will not be able to do all of it ourselves.
It might be easier to explain each part of the project separately…
Knocking down walls
Me and David will take out the chimney breast, opening up the kitchen and back reception room. We have already taken out the chimney on the first floor (we did this when we opened up the bathroom), so it is just a case of brick by brick bringing it down to ground level.
The wall between the back reception room and the old downstairs bathroom will also come down. As it has structural elements, we will leave that to our builders.
We plan to open up the entire back of the house and have bi-folding doors installed. We love the idea of extending the dining room into the garden by opening a wall of glass. It will also make the currently dark kitchen feel light and airy.
This has involved quite a lot of planning. We needed to get a structural engineer to draw up the plans for a steel frame and building control will need to oversee the work.
The current kitchen has a concrete floor and when the chimney is removed there will be a large hole in it. The back reception room has a suspended floor and the old downstairs bathroom has a raised concrete floor. The whole space is a patchwork of uneven, damp, broken flooring. We plan on having the entire floor relaid, making the floor level and uniform. This will make installing our chosen floor finish much easier.
Walls and ceiling
We need to brick in the current back door as the new bi folds will become the main access to the garden. We will also brick in the 1930’s serving hatch!
We will need all new power sockets for the kitchen and the entire room re-plastered. The ceiling also needs to be pulled down and replaced. We will have spot lights fitted above the kitchen and a pendant light fitted above the dining area.
In order to make the most of bi-folding doors, you need a nice flat level between inside and outside. Well, our garden is anything but flat or level or nice! So we decided that now was time to get the garden landscaped.
There is a large concrete slab that an old lean-to sat on that will need to be removed, then lots of earth will need to be cleared, a retaining wall built and a new patio laid.
We want to keep the kitchen diner simple – off white walls and oak flooring. We want it to be clean, fresh and quite modern but with a hint of Victorian charm. I like the idea of having a light airy room with big splashes of colour – a colourful Persian rug and large vibrant paintings on the wall.
One Sunday me and David sat down with pens and lots of paper and sketched out the layout for our kitchen. It took all day and many attempts, but we finally came up with the perfect design.
Having a plan made it really easy to get quotes, like for like. We are still a long way off from actually ordering a kitchen, but we do have a few companies in mind.
Of this list there are very few things we will be doing ourselves, so we have been busy trying to find a builder. It has not been an easy decision, trying to find a good builder who you can trust with your home, your ideas and your money. We have nearly made a decision and are very excited to get a start date!