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The Hub of our home

The kitchen is said to be one of the most important rooms in a home. You use it to cook food which let’s face it is important in itself, but it’s also the room that people gather … or so they say.
When we bought our first home we had a small kitchen which only had room for a breakfast bar and we didn’t have a dining room. This was fine when it was just the two of us, but when Noah came along I wished for a family kitchen and a dining table.
When we decided to move the hunt was on for our forever home. We wanted a project, something that we could make our own, having lived in a new build previously we needed something with more character. We viewed a few houses and then we found a sad looking house that had so much potential but needed a lot (a lot!) of work. Phil wasn’t so keen but as soon as I stepped through the door I knew it was the one.
But … I had one problem … no family kitchen! We had a small kitchen, a small dining room and a small conservatory off the back of the dining room. We knew we would eventually knock through and extend but for five years we lived with a smaller kitchen than we originally had in our first house. In those five years, we did other rooms in the house, the bathroom was in the worst state so that was first on the list, we could live with the kitchen (just). Here are some before photos of our kitchen.

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But then the day came we decided to extend and re design the rooms off the back of the house.
We decided to make a big open kitchen, family room. We wanted somewhere we could cook and our boys could play, we have a large extended family who we are very close to and needed somewhere we could have all the children (and adults) and not feel squeezed in. Luckily our friend is a bespoke joiner (and a very good one at that – total perfectionist …perfect) and he helped design the space to work best for us and our family. I had very strong ideas about how I wanted the kitchen to flow and it turned out exactly how I dreamt it would be. I think it’s so important when designing a kitchen to work with someone who will listen to your ideas but will also share their knowledge of how kitchens flow. You need to trust they have your best interests at heart as you are investing a lot of time and money in the room and need it to be perfect. Having waited 5 years, I wanted it just right we saved for the things we really wanted so not to settle just because of funds.

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And so, I got my family kitchen and my dining table, our kitchen is now most definitely the hub of our home. We spend most of our time in there and the boys can play while we do other things. It’s also an amazing hosting room which means plenty of family gatherings and party’s … sorry neighbors!!

My advice to anyone changing their kitchen, extending or designing a new kitchen is to take your time … it’s so tempting to rush ahead just so it’s done, but remember you have to live with the room for a long time and will spend a lot of time in it. If it doesn’t flow or you pick the wrong décor you will regret it in the long run. Also, don’t get carried away … pick a theme and stick to it. I wanted a very light bright room overall with not a lot of colour in, there were times I was shopping and picked up all kinds of cushions, containers, pictures … (I could go on , and on and on … you get the picture) but I had to control myself. I’m so glad I stayed true to my original plan now it’s all done. It’s hard to keep a clear mind when you are picking so many different appliances, decoration and paint colours to go together in a room you have never seen but trust yourself you know your family and home more than anyone else.

We waited a long time to see our dream become a reality but it was worth it and worth every worry, penny and tear (mainly from me). Our home is no longer a sad looking house but a family home that’s full of love, fun and noisy boys, exactly how we like it.
Manda x

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