At some point in the next few months, Wayne and I will be taking on our biggest project to date. For those waiting on news, nope, we haven’t moved yet. We’ve had some major delays over the last couple of weeks and I can’t pretend it hasn’t been excruciatingly frustrating but from what we know, we are finally in the home stretch. The move is imminent, I’m confident that it’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of waiting for the final pieces of the jigsaw to fall into place.

Whilst this has dragged on far longer than we ever thought it would, it has given me quite a lot of time to make some plans for when we move in. When we first viewed the house, we knew that it had the potential for the layout we loved the most – an open plan kitchen and dining area (with a totally separate living room). In fact, during our house search, if there were issues with the layout that couldn’t be adjusted to create it, it got struck off the list. The thing is, after living in our current home for very nearly 8 years now, we know that having those areas (mostly) open to each other has changed the way we live in our house. Our kitchen is a sociable space and having the dining room open to it was always a huge plus point in our own layout. We didn’t want to lose that aspect when we moved.

dining room open to kitchen

As for the new house, it has the potential for an open plan kitchen/dining area but it involves quite a lot of work to get it. However, we feel it will add an incredible amount of value to the house as well as better utilise the space we have available. Essentially, we’ll be creating a small extension to the rear of the property and relocating the kitchen to this area, knocking down a couple of walls (RSJs will be required) and relocating the current utility room as well as a downstairs bathroom. It’s a huge project likely to last a good portion of the year (if not longer) and we have the budget set aside to accomplish at least most of our plans. The budget will be prioritised to the building works as well as completing the kitchen. The downstairs bathroom and utility room (as well as my office which will end up where the current kitchen is) will be completed afterwards, depending on how much we have left. If we don’t have much left, then we’ll just have to wait and save until we do!

This means that once work starts, I need to have a pretty solid plan of action when it comes to the kitchen design as we’ll have to submit proposals for the plans to building regulations – and at this point, I’m pretty confident which direction I want to go. Our current kitchen was only just completed less than 2 years ago and I still love it. I’ll be sad to leave it but I’m excited to incorporate a few of the design elements I love about it into the new kitchen as well as add some new features since we’ll be designing the whole thing from scratch – very exciting.

So here’s what I love about my current kitchen and what I’ll probably incorporate into the new design…

Black cabinetry

kitchen with black cupboards with white open shelving, marble tiles and brass accents

I adore my black cabinets and I don’t regret for one minute choosing black for the base units and appliances. It’s stylish, it’s timeless and it’s a very classy neutral. So there is a very good likelihood that I will choose black cabinetry again in my next kitchen. If it ain’t’ broke and all that…

Shaker Style

black kitchen cabinets with gold pull handles

I have tried – really I have – to imagine a much more contemporary look to the kitchen design. I know plain flat fronted cabinets are all the rage right now and I’ve seen some that look amazing – but in my own kitchen? I just can’t shake shaker style (Ha! Get it?!). Add to that, it’s a period property and I just think Shaker is such a classic cabinet that never dates so I feel it would really work best given the age of the house.

Gold Elements

kitchen with gold sink and tap

Well, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t ‘go for the gold’ yet again in our new kitchen design. It’s a finish that I’ve loved for so long and the love of it hasn’t waned in years. Using gold hardware and gold fixtures is pretty much a given. Plus, I love how striking it is with the black cabinetry.


Now, given those elements that I love about my current kitchen, I had a rough idea in my head of what I want in my next kitchen. I’ve been searching Pinterest for examples of various ideas to get my head around whether or not they will work for our future kitchen so I thought I’d share some here today.

A glass roof extension

Sustainable Kitchens / Designer: Charlie Flemmons / Photography: Charlie O’Beirne/Lukonic

We’d initially considered cutting costs with a simple Velux roof window but the more we thought about it and discussed it, the more we realised that a glass roof would completely change the dynamic of the entire space. It was this gorgeous kitchen by Sustainable Kitchens that sealed the deal for me and I’m hoping we’ll have a similar effect when we finally start work on our own. Our kitchen will face North which means it may have a tendency to be a bit darker but the inclusion of a glass roof will mean that so much more light will pour into the space so this aspect of the design is very high on our priority list!

Base Units Only

Sustainable Kitchens / Designer: Charlie Flemmons / Photography: Charlie O’Beirne/Lukonic

I really love the open feel of kitchens without upper cabinets and so I plan to only have base units in my future kitchen alongside a taller pantry. While some of the elements of the kitchen design will feel more traditional (like the Shaker style cabinets), I think having only base units will give it a more open and contemporary vibe. While we may lose out on some storage, we will actually have a similar amount to what we do now so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Brass Open Shelving

Now that doesn’t mean I don’t want anything on those upper walls – as it goes, I’m desperate for some brass shelving in the new kitchen design. If we had decided that our current home was going to be our forever home, I would have probably planned for this anyway because I am so in love with the design. I was initially inspired by Gratitude restaurant’s design in LA as featured in The Remodelista. The only issue is that the shelving is attached to the ceiling and with a glass roof, this wouldn’t be possible.


Design by Wendy Haworth Design Studio / Shelving made by Eric Beneker Design / Photography Nicole LaMotte

And then I saw another restaurant design for High Road House in London, designed by Alexander Waterworth Interiors also seen on The Remodelista which incorporates a similar style in their club bar but this time, they are attached both at the worktop level as well as at the ceiling.


Ultimately, I’ll likely go the bespoke route for this aspect of the design (I already have someone in mind who I think can help) to ensure that the final design is strong and stable. The look will be similar to these although not exactly – this is inspiration only. Plus, I’m hoping we can secure the shelving to the worktops as well as the walls.


Side note: I’ve really been inspired by restaurant, bar and hotel design lately if you can’t tell. I think with commercial spaces, designers are freer to get creative with the spaces and that results in their ability to push the boat out. I have another Pinterest board on commercial spaces if you want to check that out too.

Breakfast Bar

The design also will hopefully allow enough room to have a breakfast bar. I would have loved an island but I don’t think the kitchen will be big enough for that so I’m hoping I can at least get away with having a breakfast bar to create a natural division between the kitchen and dining area.

Studio McGee kitchen layout with breakfast bar

This kitchen from Studio McGee has quite a similar layout to what I’ll be looking at – so it’s not a huge kitchen by any means but hopefully, I can pack a lot of punch in the design. Ignore, of course, the colour, the upper cabinets and the lack of a glass roof but ignoring that and just focusing on the basic layout, you can get the picture! By the way, anyone know what this layout is called? It’s like U-shaped with an extra leg! Almost Square? No idea!


Now I’ve been thinking for quite some time if I can get away with cladding it in brass – I’m not sure if that will be within budget but it’s worth a little dream anyway. How gorgeous does it look in this kitchen design by Square One? Absolutely stunning, right?

Striking Marble

Denise Vasi kitchen with marble

You really need to have a look at this incredible kitchen belonging to Denise Vasi and Anthony Mandler as seen in My Domaine – it’s breath-taking! Photography by Jenna Peffley

I’m still rather in love with marble and so many of my kitchen inspiration pictures incorporate marble in the design. My current favourite is in a really strong dark grain as seen in Arabescato marble – it’s incredibly lush and I’d love nothing more than a huge slab covering the entire wall. Can I afford that? Can I f**k! Ha! So yeah, going to have to think about how to get the look without the huge price tag. Between individual porcelain tiles or even a wall mural, it’s something I’m looking into. How can I get this look on the cheap? All ideas welcome!

What I haven’t yet decided

There are still a few aspects of the design I haven’t yet made my mind up on. While I love the idea of a huge marble slab for the walls, if I can’t squeeze my budget to afford something with a similar look, then I’ll probably need to choose some tiles instead. No idea which ones at this moment in time. I haven’t decided on cabinet hardware or appliances (aside from the fact I want them all integrated rather than free-standing) and I have no idea what I’ll choose for the worktops until I can figure out the splashback situation.

A lot of elements come down at the end of the day to budget. And so really, it’s about figuring out what are the must-haves of my design and my nice-to-haves. We’ll be looking closer at our budget as time goes on and once we’re in and get can some estimates in place, we can go from there!

As you know, we are not loaded and so we are going to try and get a beautiful kitchen with a pretty real-world budget here. Of course, I’ll be taking you on the ride through this huge project over the next couple of months so you’ll have to excuse this initial brain dump! There’s so much more to come and I’m absolutely DYING to get started!

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