RENOVATION STORIES – A HAND BUILT KITCHEN BEFORE

By Wednesday, October 31, 2018 0 , , Permalink 3

Lobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen MakeoverIt feels like forever, since we started the overhaul of this little house of ours, this year and the last have been exciting and busy. My posts here have been sporadic, to say the least – thanks for sticking with me. The truth is – once our hand built kitchen and living space was almost completed we just started living in it. It was so nice to be able to cook on an actual oven and wash up the debris in an actual sink, that the days rolled past and I nearly forgot all about the documentation and the fun of sharing what we’ve been up to!This post is filled with phone and camera photos I managed to take during the refurbishments and a dash of decorating fun. I must add the paint we used were colours we had chosen ourselves but were generously given to us by Farrow & Ball and Annie Sloan, everything else we bought ourselves, salvaged or repurposed from around our home or garden. I hope you’ll enjoy a peek around our building site and then a tour of the room now – to follow soon!Lobster and Swan kitchen makeover - beforeKitchen and living space makeoverThis is the kitchen before – the plastic wrapped unit doors were all faded and peeling off. Cooker hood was broken, hob only had one ring working and the oven didn’t cook properly. We had taken up all the old laminate, lino and hardboard to see what remained underneath – lovely old boards – stained and marked from years of leaky pipes!Kitchen and living space makeoverSo, way back when – we knocked a massive hole in the living room wall to make the kitchen and living room a joining space then blocked up the original narrow doorway.Kitchen and living space makeoverLobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen Makeover Kitchen and living space makeoverLobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen MakeoverThe old kitchen door can be spotted above right (with a fridge wedged in it), it felt like the world was caving in at this time and we would be under a blanket of hostile brick dust for the rest of eternity. For six months all that remained of our old kitchen (a cheap rental update put in by the previous owner) was a section of ugly worktop, an oven that barely worked and a washing machine.Lobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen MakeoverOur bath was now the sink and once we finally ripped all of this out for the plasterers to come in – we were cooking on a camping stove down in the Tea Shed or out in the hallway for another five months.Lobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen MakeoverLobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen MakeoverKitchen and living space makeoverLuckily the floorboards that were hidden under the laminate were just what we were hoping for, so we took off the skirting, ripped up the floors and insulated underneath and then put the rustic boards back down.Lobster and Swan kitchen makeover - beforeDemolition day! Wall and old rotten back door taken out for bifold doors to go in.Lobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen Makeover Lobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen MakeoverIt has taken an age as we have been doing nearly everything ourselves in between real life and work. We got our log burner and windows/bifold doors fitted by professionals and plasterers came and put neat edges on all the walls and the gaping hole. Then they came back the next day and smoothed everything over – except one kitchen wall which Dean rough plastered for a textured backdrop to our kitchen.Lobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen MakeoverThe only jobs we didn’t do were – the bulk of the plastering, fitting the log burner, some electrics, install the windows and the main kitchen replumb. It has been a slow journey but one that has been a lot of fun in amongst the stress of chaos and having no mod cons.Lobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen MakeoverAbove and below – the radiator pipes were poking up out of the floor where the wall used to be – we moved these, sprayed black water everywhere and nearly severed a thumb – but we did it! On days like this we found oursleves looking around and wondering if it would ever be normal around here again, but then we got going and it snowballed towards completion and everything was almost good again.Lobster and Swan kitchen makeover - beforeLobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen MakeoverDrying plasterAfter a month of letting the walls dry we got to finally open the paint! We chose Dimpse by Farrow and Ball a lovely soft and calm grey to settle us back down after all the crazy.  Lobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen Makeover Lobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen MakeoverIt’s a soft and gentle grey, just the type we have been looking for.Lobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen MakeoverThis finished corner was my salvation for the next few weeks as we handbuilt our kitchen from bought, salvaged and found things. We have a garage full of hoarded stuff that might look like junk to an untrained eye – but old floorboards became shelves, copper salvaged from under the floor when we moved the radiator pipes became curtain rods and a huge slice of elm got cut down into the best worktops ever!Lobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen MakeoverWe bought our ‘naked’ kitchen units from a maker on eBay that was nearby in Kent. They are solid FSC pine and we painted them inside with Osmo clear varnish and outside in two colours of Annie Sloan – Paris Grey as an undercoat and Graphite on top. I absolutely love using this paint – so much so that we also painted our kitchen wall with it too (keep scrolling).Lobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen Makeover Now for that kitchen wall paint job – I was quoted thousands for polished concrete or Tadelakt so we rough luxed this ourselves and it was the most fun ever! Easy peasy and all you need is a rough surface (or not – as adding thicker layers of the paint can do that too) some cardboard scraps, three paint colours in varying tones, paintbrushes, bare hands and high spirits!Above our plainish wall ready for an art attack, the bottom half we left raw as it was to be hidden behind the cupboards and I didn’t want to waste any paint! We used the Annie Sloan mixing mat placed inside a cardboard box (to form edges) which was great for blending and making a confined mess. It has some paint mixing tips on it – I’ll admit we didn’t pay much notice to that and just went wild. We sealed up all the plugs and sockets and started by scraping the darkest shade of paint and a grey all over the walls randomly with no particular pattern just gusto and care not to go over the edges on to the other walls! I chose the Annie Sloan Paris Grey wall paint for the main bulk of this wall and used the smaller tins of chalk paint in Old White and Graphite as accent colours. We just kept wiping, scraping, painting and building the layers until the colour and tones were blended to our liking.Rough Lux Kitchen wallWe worked all three colours over and over each other, swiping a bit of extra dark or light where needed. As you can see above perfection is not required for this look, this pic shows before all the shelves were finally put up and the tiles we were considering for a splashback. Once the paint was dry Dean brushed a layer of the Anni Sloan Clear Wax all over as a seal – this is great and I highly recommend it, as it is wipeable and resolved our dilemmas about a splashback, we didn’t need one – hooray!With the walls complete we moved on to the worktops – we made these out of a huge slice of English Elm that we got from a local woodsman and are so happy with it.The stainless steel (Ohio) sink in white was bought online from Reginox, and it was a sweaty palm situation cutting the hole in that gorgeous piece of wood with only one chance to get it right! It was quite a bit of work and a hell of a lot of sawdust and sanding outside on fair weather days but so worth it as we couldn’t find anything we really liked the look of pre-made (they are still unsanded in these pictures). Almost ready to install everything – finishing touches were the door handles which I bought from Rowen & Wren and our new Smeg oven. We got this from an online discount store that sells big brand items that have minor cosmetic faults. Ours had a barely visible scratch on the tea towel bar and some marks on the sides (where they would never be seen) – so perfect in my book. Something that is discounted because of a scratch or minor dent seems like a good money-saving plan to me – plus I don’t feel bad for marking it myself! Sadly our kitchen is too modest for the matching fridge.We had been looking for a vintage style oven for ages and I spotted this beauty in a Pinterest photo of the River Cottage Australia kitchen – it was great to discover it wasn’t actually old and still available online.The oven also added to delays as before it could be installed – we had to have all our outdated electrics re-done as it required a stronger power cable than our old oven had used. But we got there in the end. Then it was time to make some shelves out of old floorboards and crates, get the curtains up, find a kitchen table, stain the floor and paint the pantry door to match the kitchen units – phew!Lobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen MakeoverLobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen MakeoverSo there you have it! The bad and the ugly – only the good to come – just need to get the latest images off my camera and hopefully, I can share in a few days. Scroll to the bottom for a taste of things to come! xxxLobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen MakeoverLobster and Swan - hand built Kitchen MakeoverConcrete look kitchen wall