Hello again! I haven’t been blogging for ages — first, my two boys got sick (they contracted HFMD one after the other. It was horrible!); second, we moved to our new flat! Yes, we are now homeowners, yay!!! =) I finally got rid of all the boxes 2 weeks after moving in, and all that’s left to be done is decorate the place and make it feel more like home.
Probably the nicest thing about owning your place is being able to make it look just the way you want it to. No more having to ask permission to repaint walls; no more living with cupboards you don’t like. We had a limited budget to work with, so we decided to focus on the one room that need the most work: the kitchen.
You all know that I love to cook, and so does the hubby. For us, the kitchen was the most important part of the house and so we put in more thought into it than any other room. We decided to hire an interior design firm so that we could just give them our specs and they’d work on everything for us. We had very definite ideas on how we wanted it to look – we’ve always dreamed of an all-white kitchen with lots of drawers and lots of storage space.
The previous kitchen wasn’t all that bad. Here’s the before picture:
I actually didn’t mind the shelves. I love the wood, although I wanted a lighter color. But I didn’t care much for the floor, and found the countertop inadequate. We definitely needed a bigger counter space for all the times that we cooked together. And there was no space for the microwave, or the built-in oven that I wanted. The lack of a storage room also meant we needed more storage space, period.
Enter the helpful folks at Creative Interior Design. Here is the artist’s drawing of the proposed kitchen design, based on our specs (with an inset of the actual kitchen).
They were a joy to work with — very efficient, knowledgeable, and they did the renovation in one week! It was made possible because they owned the factory that fabricates the cabinets. I did some modifications on the proposed drawers because I needed shallow ones (for cutlery, knives, cooking implements, etc.) aside from the deep ones on their proposal.
This was how the kitchen looked, all gutted out and ready for its makeover:
We decided to keep the wall tiles because they were a nice creamy white color anyway. But that floor really has to go. Seriously, pink with green centers? Anyway, I was excited when I saw this empty space. I knew fabulous things were coming up!
The contractor had me choose the floor tiles from their supplier, and I picked out a light creamy-white tile in a matte finish (so it won’t be slippery when wet). The sink I picked out is in a satin finish and made of heavy stainless steel. The major cooking appliances got the most attention, but since we didn’t have much of a budget we compromised a bit but still got good brands (just not the top of the line ones we salivated over.)
All the doors in the kitchen have soft-closing hinges, so I don’t hear any slamming. The drawers are also soft-closing and very quiet. We decided to put LED lights above the counter as well. Here is the finished kitchen before we moved in:
All spic-and-span and white! hahahaha! I love my white kitchen! The countertop is custom-fabricated solid surface acrylic. The drawers and shelves are all made of thick solid plywood with high pressure laminate surfaces (for easy cleaning). I specified no handles on any of the doors so that the little boy won’t be tempted to step on them and use them to climb.
Here is how the kitchen looks now that we’ve moved in and have started actually using it:
Yes, it’s easy to keep clean even if it’s all-white. Or probably because it’s all white. I mop up spills as soon as they’re made — and I can see exactly which areas get dirty, and if I cleaned it properly or not.
I segregated the areas of the kitchen into storage, breakfast, cooking, and baking. All the implements and ingredients used for cooking are close to the stove (but hidden away in drawers). All the supplies needed to make breakfast/coffee/tea/milk are also in one area. It’s a big kitchen – over 20 feet long, so if I don’t organize it properly, there’s going to be a lot of walking around involved when I need to do something. =) I made sure that the refrigerator, sink, and stove are within the recommended work triangle for easy access.
If I had to add anything to it, I’d probably get a narrow island/trolley that I can move around when I’m cooking for a party. Oh, and a couple of bar stools would be nice too. But all in all, I LOVE my new kitchen! It is such a joy to cook in it. =)