Kitchen Renovation: Lochanna & Living Room

As those of you who follow me on instagram will know, for the last couple of weeks I have being having my kitchen at ‘The Pineapple’ renovated. I am sure those who did follow my updates were just as drained by it as I was haha! As exciting as renovations are, they are always a bit stressful, no? (especially if you’re like me and a bit of an OCD control freak where the dust, upheaval and disorganised interiors are TOO MUCH!) And if that wasn’t enough, to add to all the mess and disarray of a kitchen renovation, I decided to have an internal wall separating my two halls (i know what was even the point of it) knocked down for good measure

I bought my apartment (which my friends named The Pineapple – a long story which I’ll save for another post) just over two years ago and since then I have lived with my idea of HELL as a kitchen (made even harder as I have an open plan kitchen lounge!)

The kitchen sits in the corner of my living room with beech units, green granite effect laminate work surfaces and multi coloured tiles that when put together screamed “erm hello, 2002 called, it wants it kitchen back!”.  It’s no surprise therefore, that no sooner than a month after moving in, i began the ‘kitchen fund’ which admittedly has been abused for other renovations and the odd holiday along the way! Fast forward two years and here I am with my new kitchen finally complete – I no longer have to take photos of my lounge from creative angles to avoid the kitchen featuring!

Before 

Instead of hiding the kitchen from my insta posts and sitting with my back to those awful multicoloured tiles, I wanted the new kitchen to be part of the room. I felt it was important to incorporate a breakfast bar into the design to help create a social link between the lounge and the kitchen rather than trying to zone two purposes in the limited space.

Like with most things house related (well anything really), I spent a long time in front of my laptop, and often armed with a cuppa, researching kitchens on instagram, pinterest, trust pilot and any other site that could give advise and inspiration! And if that wasn’t enough, I also had numerous kitchen design consultations with B&Q, Howdens, Homebase, Wickes, Wren … blah blah blah but all ended with the same outcome – £3,000 plus fitting!  What was even more surprising is that on most of the occasions. the cost of installation cost more than the kitchen itself (and the kitchens weren’t cheap!). In fact, with the majority of quotes coming in at £2800, they were £1000 more than the cost of my Grandma’s house when it was built in 1952 –  thanks for that depressing piece of info Grandma!

Starting to lose hope of finding something suitable, I finally stumbled across Lochanna Kitchens completely by chance when helping my brother with collecting stock from Stax trade centre in Leeds. Even though its a trade centre they still offer design consultations and a price match service. For the amazing price of £2350 which includes a ceramic sink, solid oak work surfaces, core kitchen appliances and rigid built (grey linen) cabinets I headed home, made a pot of tea and trawled the internet and social media for information and reviews on Lochanna. However information on them was scarce and so I decided to do a hashtag search and reach out to the instagram community for the opinions from existing Lochanna kitchen owners (with a special shout out to @emma.24c who helped me with lots of questions). Satisfied that Lochanna was a reputable and quality brand, I’d made up my mind and settled upon the grained shaker style kitchen in cashmere with pewter handles, before finally hitting the order button (whilst gulping at the thought of the kitchen fund leaving me in a matter of seconds after many months of saving!

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Cashmere grained shaker, with pewter handles

With the cabinets set to arrive a week later on the 29th January and the builders on the 9th February it didn’t give me long to get the new flooring in the lounge/kitchen laid before chaos descended. So armed with a set square, tape measure and handsaw we set about our 8 hour flooring marathon. If you have never tried to get click flooring together under kitchen cabinets, my top tip would have to be DON’T DO IT! Pay someone to do it and take away the pain, stress and frustration! With the floor laid and the cabinets and two lengths of solid wood worktop carried up two flights of stairs it was countdown untill the builders arrived! (I mean who doesn’t wasn’t to live a kitchen warehouse for what seemed like FOREVER!). All that was left for me to do was to treat the work surfaces several times with Danish oil to prepare them ready for their final resting place as a feature of the kitchen.

Chaos of boxes at The Pineapple

The builders arrived bright and earlier on Friday 9th February and set about ripping out my much hated old kitchen. At this point, with the water turned off, I felt it was best to escape to Leeds for the weekend and then paid a visit back home to my parents for a couple of days. The builders did turn the project around quickly (even if it didn’t feel like it at the time) with most of the kitchen and hall finished and ready to decorate last weekend, only returning on Monday to put the finishing touches to the tiling. I finally decided on bevelled white metro tiles after a lot debating whether to go with a bevelled or flat finish.

Work in progress at The Pineapple

A week later and with the kitchen complete it was time to bring my vision to reality – I wanted to create a calm space that flows from cosy lounge to functional kitchen without it feeling disjointed. For this I decided to bring some luxury to the kitchen and some natural elements to the lounge. I did this through the use of accessories – opting for button backed grey linen bar stools (found in Homesense) to add a touch of comfort to the kitchen, while adding thick linen cushions to the sofa and displaying plates on the wall in the lounge area. Colour wise I decided on an Edwardian, and almost wedgwood, blue shade for the walls with the use of Farrow and Ball Parma Grey, with blue being a colour often used in kitchens and historically being a traditional colour choice for drawing rooms in France.

After

I wanted to keep the overall look classic but at the same time quite fresh for apartment life and so i chose to incorporate monochromes to my vision in the cushions and the use of the cow hide rug (fondly named STEVE the cow – even if he constantly looks like he has dandruff!). I layered in some richer blue tones with the velvet scatter cushions and the painted side board (which i painted in Farrow and Ball pitch blue).

After
As with many renovation projects, your room and home can become a stage, with many of us buying a range of new accessories to complete  ‘the look’. However, as you can see from my previous blog posts (Daring to be different with Dayroom), my lounge has remained the same in many ways with regards to accessories. This for me was a concious decision rather than a cost cutting measure as everything in my lounge has a meaning to me and are items I have collected over the years and love. Because as a good friend once said to me, if you buy what you love, when you put it together it will work – because it represents you!
 shop my style
  1. Farrow & Ball (Parma Grey)
  2. Golden Pineaple (made by Parlane) – £8.95 available from Trouva.com
  3. White Metro Tiles  – £12.00 per M2 from B&Q
  4. Flamingo Lamp£29.00 from Homesense, but available at Graham & Green or Rockett St. George
  5. Tasselled Spotted Cushion£8.99 per cover from H&M home (sold out online but still available instore)
  6. Blue Velvet Cushion£6.99 per cover from H&M Home (sold out online but still available instore)
  7. Emma Bridgewater (blue splatter) – numerous shapes/ pots available
  8. Bumble Bee Teapot£27.50 from Magpie Line
  9. Cow Hide Rug (Steve)£375.00 from Barker & Stonehouse (my mum was getting rid of it – but similar available loads of places includig IKEA)

Thanks for Reading!

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