If you put an offer in on a house and it is accepted, you just want to begin planning immediately. You’ve got mood boards, saved folders on Pinterest and you might even pick up some samples from your local DIY store. It’s easy to get carried away and you hear stories about house sales falling through all of the time. Therefore, you need to be careful about what you buy and what you plan.
We were in quite a good/unique position as our house was a probate sale and we were first time buyers. So therefore, the only way that our sale would fall through was if we pulled out. It did, however, mean that we had absolutely no information on the house. Therefore, we opted for a full Building Survey and guess what, the list was long! That didn’t stop us though, nor did it come as a surprise, – we knew the house would need a lot of work.
We knew that we would have to move into our renovation house pretty quickly. There was no way that we would be able to rent, pay a mortgage and renovate a house. So we gave ourselves the goal of getting the big messy stuff down within 6 weeks (one electrician we told this to, laughed in our faces but the joke was on him because we did it! We also didn’t hire him).
Firstly, we knew that we would have to get a full rewire completed on the house and that would involve actually knowing where all the new plug sockets would go. We had a fairly good idea where they would go throughout the house, but the big problem was the kitchen. We knew we would be ripping out the kitchen and knocking down the partition wall between the original galley kitchen and the dining room, but where would all the electrics go? This lead to our first plan – to sort the kitchen plans.
The Kitchen Plans
We had a number of kitchen plans before deciding on our current layout. It’s something we are asked quite frequently -. How did we come up with the layout? How did we know it would work? When did we know we had the right plan? Etc. My best advice is really play around with the space. It’s great that you can download software from this type of thing and plan straight from home. Alternatively, if you don’t feel IT/home design confident, you can book an appointment and go into a store. All the places we looked at plan free of charge. You can find a link to the IKEA planning platform below. Even if you don’t get an Ikea kitchen, it’s worth playing around with it from the comfort of your sofa!https://kitchenplanner.ikea.com/gb/UI/Pages/VPUI.htm
We wanted to maximise as much space as possible, as we knew it would be a while before we would be able to get an extension. Therefore we knew we wanted to remove the door entrance into the original kitchen. I’ve seen a lot of homes that brick this doorway up and then they can utilise this space. It’s a great idea if you can afford an extension straight away. By opening this space, we knew that we would have to move the kitchen to where the old dining room was. This is where the fun really began!
This was our first kitchen design; ironically our kitchen ended up nothing like this. I loved the idea of having the sink under the window – it feels like the natural place to put it. We were 100% set on having the cooker in the old chimney breast and actually, this is something that stayed the same in all of our plans.
The problem with this plan is that it would limit our extension plans in the future so as much as we loved it, we decided it wasn’t for us. Looking back on it, I think it would also be too much. It’s quite an imposing kitchen for the space and what we ended up going with feels a lot more minimalist.
Our Final Kitchen Plans
Our final kitchen plan worked best for us. When we decide to extend eventually, we won’t have to change a thing. It also utilises the space that’s currently there. Overall, it’s a really good size and most importantly, we knew exactly where all of electrical sockets would need to be for the rewire. When we told people we were planning our kitchen before having the keys, we were met with some negative comments. Some people thought we were jumping the gun and we were planning too far ahead. But we knew, to get the work done quickly, we had to be organised. Without this key organisation, then we wouldn’t have been able to move in within 6 weeks. We also didn’t buy our kitchen until we had exchanged contracts and got the keys, just in case that very unlikely scenario of the sale falling through happened.
The biggest piece of advice I can give is plan ahead as much as possible. It will help you in the long term.