Designing our kitchen was one of my favourite parts of the entire build. Yes, I wanted a space that functions for meal preparation and but with our kitchen dining and living area being open plan, I knew I needed the décor to work harmoniously with the dining and relaxing areas. The kitchen is the most socially active rooms in the house, so it had to look as good as it operates!
Choosing a kitchen designer was a big part of the process. I devoured all those kitchen design magazines and narrowed down the possible choices to a handful. Then I went to visit some showrooms and get a feel for how the different designers worked and their overall intrinsic styles. For me, when it comes to choosing things for the house or life in general, I just know when something is right. It’s that “when you know, you know” kind of feeling. That’s exactly how it was when I walked into the Newcastle Design showroom for the first time. Their showrooms just epitomized everything I knew I wanted in our kitchen. That beautiful white kitchen with the black AGA was the first thing I saw when I entered the showroom and I knew that we’d found our designer. They have a mixture of styles throughout and you can marry as many as you want together to create the perfect look for your home.
We met with their owner Ronan and showed him the layout of our kitchen space and discussed the type of styles we had in mind for it. From there he was able to pull up a whole range of examples of kitchens they had worked on to showcase the different choices in working reality. This is a huge plus for me. I absolutely have to be able to visualize something before I can agree to letting it go ahead (my husband will testify to this as it probably drove him mad during the build!) We also spoke a lot about how we would use the kitchen and where we would like things to live. It’s one thing having a beautiful kitchen but that is no good if it doesn’t work for you. You want to be able to reach the everyday essentials with ease. Within a week we had a full set of possible designs to look at.
Next we had a second meeting with Ronan and narrowed down our choices in finishes so that the final drawings and quotation could be drawn up. Newcastle Design don’t just do kitchens, they also do boot rooms and laundry, bedroom furniture, living rooms and studies. If they can make it they will. This held a lot of appeal to me too. I would much rather deal with one company for everything than lots of independent suppliers that you will inevitably end up chasing. With that in mind we ended up having our utility and boot room, all of our wardrobes and our living room shelving made by them too.
You can see here how the room starts to take shape from a vacant concrete box to the feeling of a home starting to appear. I was so excited when the island was put in. I felt like it was all nearly finished even though there was so much more to do! Even the addition of the marble made it all the more real. We worked with Miller Brothers Stone for the marble and they have an incredible selection to choose from. We visited their warehouse down in Roundwood and they have the most beautiful array of marbles to choose from but unfortunately you can only pick one! Picking the marble is not easy but you have to go with your gut and hope for the best 🙂 We went with a Calacatta Blue in the end and I love the drama of it, especially the backsplash over the AGA. Of course, it all sat like this for another few months before all the other building work took place and the last thing to happen before we could move in was painting the units. None of this can happen until the very end once the floors are in.
The floors are another element that require a lot of thought. Most people will put a tile floor down in a kitchen for it’s durability but again, because we had this vast open plan space, I wanted the whole room to flow seamlessly from one end to the other. That, and I had my heart set on a wide plank oak from the very beginning. So far it has been relatively easy to keep and as with anything, it won’t look perfect forever. But that just means that we are really “living” in our home. I think a bit of wear and tear adds character to a place.
So below is the finished product. I am so happy with how it turned out. Because we have so many windows all of our storage space is low down but I actually love having all of the drawers. Everything is so accessible and then the pantry gives us that extra shelving and cabinets to put things and keep the clutter out of site. You might look at this picture and think it is all set up for an Instagram photo but I promise you this is how I keep it 99% of the time. And that is down to having great storage and a great design. Less is more!