Monday, 18 June 2012

Progress Report: Wallpaper (and a couple other additions) to the Kitchen...Finally!

So how long has it been since I did an update on my kitchen?  Hmmm.  Turns out, it was in October.  Pretty rubbish, isn't it?  And the sad fact is, this isn't even a big huge leap in terms of progress, just something I'd been meaning to do for absolutely ages and only just got around to it.

I'm not sure why we haven't finished the kitchen but I have my theories.  We did an awful lot on it in a short-ish space of time (like every weekend and taking time off from work to do more) and after we did the slate flooring, we were just so burned out on working on the kitchen.  We had other things we wanted to do, Christmas was coming soon so money was tight and the days were getting shorter (and colder) and we sort of lost our mojo.

And the truth is, the kitchen isn't in an uninhabitable condition by any means which probably made it easier to ignore.  Aside from the lack of kickboards under the cupboards, you wouldn't necessarily think there was much more to do.  But of course there is... which I'll get to in a minute.

The thing is, I've been wanting to either paint or wallpaper the back of the open shelving since it went up but I wasn't entirely sure what I was going to use.  Funny thing is, long long ago, before I decided on an eclectic gallery wall for the dining room, the initial plan - which I blogged about -  was to wallpaper it.  So on impulse, I purchased a couple rolls of a paper I liked with a dark grey background and a Moroccan inspired print in metallic silver.  However, once I painted the room (funny enough, matched exactly to the background grey in the paper), I decided against the wallpaper wall and the 2 rolls of wallpaper remained unused.


Until now of course. (You did see that coming, right?)

So I'll show you what they looked like when I last showed them on the blog...



And this is what they looked like once wallpapered...


And now lots of pics of what they currently look like.  The grey ties nicely into the adjoining dining room and the metallic accent reflects light so it doesn't appear too dark.


Here's the cupboard on the other side...


Now let me just take some time to say that there was an awful lot of swearing whilst this project was going on.  I'm not entirely sure how I could see given the amount of very blue air whilst I was measuring and cutting!!  The problem was that I had to cut the paper to the exact size before I put it up because there was no messing about with moving the paper around - there just wasn't the space.

But, despite the initial why-the-f***-did-I-think-this-was-a-good-idea of a job, I'm pretty happy how it came out.


You may also have noticed that I have made a few small, inexpensive purchases like the new bread bin and biscuit tin in turquoise blue with red lettering.  I love the combination of turquoise, red and white and so I decided to pursue this colour combination in the kitchen.

Both the bread bin and biscuit tin are from Betty Twyford.


A little leopard print never goes amiss as well, of course.  The espresso cup set is from Zara Home (sadly no longer available on the site) and the pot was a gift from W's mum, which we use ALL the time (in fact, as I type, it's in the oven cooking up Kleftiko, a greek dish we adopted from a trip to Corfu last year - nom nom).


The turquoise bowls as well as the ramekins (seen in pics a little further in the post) were from Homebase.


I also finally got around to getting to Ikea to pick up two more utensil hangers as well as a paper towel holder, freeing up more counter space.  I love how nice and neat all the cups look now instead of piled on a mug tree.


So whilst I realise it's not a huge step in terms of progress, the changes have added a bit of much needed colour and pattern to the room.

Oh and we had the unexpected (but not altogether unwelcome) expense of having to get a new washing machine as ours died recently.  W did a sterling job of attempting to fix the 12 year old one we had, bless him (the whole thing was in BITS all over the kitchen which was fun) but shucks, the old girl just wanted to be laid to rest.  Why hello there new shiny white Hotpoint which is SO MUCH QUIETER than our old machine!  (Now it's the turn of the ugly toaster to kick it.  Just sayin'.)


Here's what the whole room now looks like when you are walking into it...



I still need some kind of window dressing here!


So aside from the kickboards under the cupboards and window dressing, what else is left to do?  Well, the one thing I miss about the old kitchen (believe me, there's not much), it's the warmth that all the wood brought to the space and something I feel is really missing here.  The white/black/grey scheme - even with the red and turquoise accents - still reads 'cold' to me.

A reminder of what the kitchen used to look like...

You've come a long way, baby.


We want to replace the countertops with butcher block and put in wood kickboards as well, stained a lovely deep brown colour.  We want a new sink as well as a new cooker.  All these things are big ticket items, however, so we're saving to be able to purchase everything at once.

As an aside, I just wanted to say that we've had our open shelving now for quite a while and despite my initial fears of furry plates, it's not been any issue at all in terms of everything being 'out in the open'.  I think the very sage advice of not putting anything in open shelving that you don't use frequently is very true - it's rare anything is on the shelves long enough to collect dust or grease and on the odd occasion something has gone a little bit furry, it's just a quick wash and it's just fine, no different than something being in a cupboard for quite a while unused.


On the other hand, the slate flooring has been a bit of a nightmare.  While I do love the look, it gets very filthy VERY quickly and I feel like I'm forever cleaning it.  Proper high maintenance. Whilst it's difficult to tell in the pics, it really needs to be thoroughly scrubbed and re-sealed but as W is currently doing a lot of work in the cellar, it's a bit pointless because as soon as it's cleaned, there are dusty footprints scattered over it.  A never ending battle in a home where there's always some project or another!

So what do you think of the changes?


By the way, if you are new here (and if you are, why hello there you sexy thang! Thank you for joining me!), you can read about my kitchen design influences here, discovering the hidden ceiling here, tearing it down here, putting up the plasterboard and pendants here, plastering here, putting in the cooker hood, the backsplash and tiling here and putting up the open shelving here, installing the crown molding and the risers here, finally painting the cupboards and replacing the hardware here and installing the underfloor heating and the slate floor tiles here.   

23 comments:

  1. Your kitchen is one of my favourites in blogland! And even though we live in the same country, it always looks sunnier over at yours (I love the door opening onto the garden)! The wallpaper looks pretty darn awesome (if you scroll through the design on your computer fast enough, it looks like an optical illusion)! Also, I am so glad you told us about plates etc not getting furry on open shelving because I’d always wanted to know this!

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    1. Awww thank you! It only looks sunnier because erm... I tend to only take pictures of it when it's sunny! (It's okay, it'll be our little secret!! shhhh!) ;) Love the optical illusion thing - W might find me jumping up and down really quickly in the kitchen now to see the effect LIVE!! ;) xxx

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  2. love the new wallpaper! it looks perfect! the kitchen is looking SO good!

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  3. Liking the wallpaper! I have the same blue Homebase bowls! Wooden kick boards and butchers block should definitely help warm it up more.

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    1. Homebase has some really cute things - those bowls came in loads of colours, I might have to go back for more ;) xxx

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  4. Beauty!! Love your wallpaper choice. And I've never seen your kitchen before - I'm in love!! You did an amazing job on that sucker! The tile, the floor, the cabinets, the lighting. I want it all!!

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    1. Aww thanks :) I blogged about the kitchen A LOT last year because it felt like that's all we were doing ;) Thanks so much for your lovely comment though, if you want sources for anything, just let me know - we did it on a tiny budget (just around £1650 spent so far) so nothing was too extravagent ;) xxx

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  5. i think the changes are fabulous, and you have injected it with so many unique updates!

    i'm sure the wood countertops will give you that warmth you crave. turquoise tins! love those.

    smiles to you and happy new week.

    michele

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  6. Hello,
    Sorry for not commenting for ages. Hope my post wasn¨t too depressing.
    I wanted to reply to some of your comments. I know what you mean about the north south divide. I think it is a bit overstated and a bit daft really. They have one here too, a Moravia and Bohemia divide. People here reckon that people in Prague have scruffier houses than here and daft stuff like that. It is just another excuse to be superior to someone else. they do that a lot here!
    I would love to be friends with you. Isn¨t it a shame we are not appreciated enough where we are lol!I find that the women here close ranks a bit. Most of them don¨t want anyone or anything different. It may be a village mentality, but i find a lot of people very set in their ways.
    I've been told that lots of people here gossip about my weird clothes. I find it sad, as I think my clothes are only a bit boho and quite nice. It is a bit pathetic when peoples' tiny little brains cannot cope with a woman in a floral tea dress and Mary Janes. Frankly, I wouldn't wear what they wear if they paid me anyway.
    Some of the mums here wanted me to teach their kids English at the local mums' and kids' group. It was supposed to go ahead, then it was suddenly decided that it wouldn¨t be happening. Their kids need to speak English, they start at five in school and an English woman would do a much better job than a Czech, as they are a native speaker. But they don¨t want it. This just said it all to me.
    I always fear groups of women to be honest. It is a shame that people are so cold, but we will keep on being our brilliant selves. People don¨t appreciate how hard it will be for you to be away from home. They are probably intimidated by you and maybe envious. Most people don¨t have the balls to do what we have done.
    Sorry for ranting, just wanted to air my thoughts. I love your wallpaper shelves. I am coming round to nick your bread bin. it is mine I tell thee!
    Much love xxx

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  7. I'm new and I lurve your kitchen! When I saw the first glimpse of the wallpaper I was worried, but in those shelves it looks great. It really sets off all your stuff inside. Furry stuff in kitchens- welcome to my world- and that's without open shelving. (Six shelves been sitting in the boot of my car since last July and you're worried about slow progress...)I have a really high window with a painted wooden sill, I have to climb over the cooker to get to it,so it normally looks a bit like a mink coat up there. A greasy one. With post stuck to it.
    Anyway, I can tell I'm going to like reading your blog and I'm off to have a little mosey about.
    Laters!
    x
    Ps Found you via Pixie.

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    1. Hahaha!! "a greasy mink coat with post stuck to it" - oh that made me laugh!! (And made me feel better ;) Welcome aboard and lovely to have you :) xxx

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  9. I love it! Have you considered some warm (maybe sisal or jute?) textured rugs to warm up the space until you can install your butcher block counters? Even one or two stand-alone "butcher block type" cutting boards on the counter would add some warmth and "wood" to the space. A wood, rattan-like (or is it bamboo??) window treatment would work as well. The right rug or rugs might save you time on scrubbing the floors too. Again, great job! I love the colors and how ou have everything organized.

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    1. Oooh the sisal/jute rug is a brilliant idea... I like it, thank you! xxx

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  10. Hi its Gianna! I'm getting my first blog starting, and I'd love for you to come see it! There is actually a contest going on right now so you need to come check it out!
    www.randocology.blogspot.com
    xoxo
    Gianna

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  11. Looking good lady!! I love the wallpaper. It's a great compliment to the floors that I just love! I agree on the sisal or jute rug.

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    1. Thank you hun! Seriously considering the rug idea, I like it too :)

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  12. That wallpaper is FAB! I love it! It has made such a difference to the look of your shelves, and the turquoise and red touches are so so pretty - one of my favourite colour combinations :)

    Thank you SOOOO much for your wonderful comment on my baby news :), you are a sweetheart! And yes, what a (non-existent) summer this is turning out to be, but never mind, it's sunny today so I'll be working outside on my laptop.

    Hugs hugs,
    Meera xx

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    1. Yay for sunshine and yay for new yummy mini people!! xxx

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  13. The wallpaper does a great job of dressing up your open shelving. I love your use of glass canning jars as well. I have some of those on my kitchen counter too. But my favorite part is the mix of turquoise and red accents here and there -- my two favorite colors!

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  14. Your cabinets are super. We will do something similar with our kitchen (my partner lives in England). And yes our kitchen is also super small.
    Hehe your kitchen is really a bit inspiration.
    A big thanks for all the tips!
    Hug
    Sonja

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