It was the year 2017, when my husband and I decided to wed, and Oh, what a wonderful day it was. Not too long after the wedding planning and celebrations, did I start to get an inch for another challenge, because who needs to chill right? We were renting an ‘okay’ apartment in a ‘okay-ish’ area, but that feeling of having your own place was calling me and I couldn’t ignore it.
I slowly started looking around, checking the classifieds, visiting various property sites looking at what the market had to offer. As a newly wed that was coming straight out of wedding bills, I knew we had a tight budget. Even with my tight budget, I had a vision… A cute home, somewhere closer to the beach, with a yard and preferably a swimming pool. One day, I received an email alert from a property site, with the details of a cottage for sale meeting all the above mentioned requirements but also met my budget! What were the chances! not too long later, my husband and I were signing the papers for our new home and moving in. And like with most dreams, reality is not always as sweet.
There were some items here and there that needed some sprucing up, which slowly materialised. After a year of living in our home, there was something that needed more sprucing-up than we could imagine, it was actually just becoming an big blister that I couldn’t wait to pop! That Blister was my [cue dramatic movie sounds] KITCHEN.
The kitchen itself was not in a bad shape, but it’s design and lack of cupboard space was just not working for us. It made our cottage seem cluttered, which it always was due to lack of cupboard space. We then sat down and realised, something had to be done. At this point, I started looking around at different designs and idea’s for my new dream kitchen. There is nothing like a few hours of Pinterest’ing to get you all hyped up. Once we had an idea in mind, we needed to find a contractor who we could trust to bring the dream to life, but within the budget of course. Finding a contractor is not as easy as it seems. we were recommended a couple of contractors which were either unreliable in providing quotes, could not provide us with some designs or quoted WAY out of our price range. I Can say though, that persistence pays off, we found a wonderful contractor, who conveniently lived close-by and met all our requirements. As soon as quotes were reviewed, financing approved and designs confirmed, we were ready to start with our remodel.
The designing and planning part was easy, what I was dreading was unpacking and storing all my kitchen items. You never really know how many things you have until you have to unpack all the storage area’s. I was honestly surprised at the amount of EVERYTHING that I had in my kitchen. I never even knew I had all these things. but thank the heavens for a guest bedroom. For almost three weeks, that guest room would become a temporary no-go zone, as it seemed very probable that all my kitchen gadgets would swallow you whole if you dared to enter.
The demolition and removal stage, went pretty well, the contractors had removed all the cupboards, the big ugly wall as well as the wall and floor tiles. The removal of the wall honestly just opened the space up. Once the removal of all the rubble was complete, we basically had a clean slate and could start with the floor tiling. finding floor tiles was quite an obstacle, it took multiple trips to different stores to find the colour and style we thought would work best with our style.eventually we decided on a tile called ‘Hout Bay Beige Ceramic’ – which complements our laminated flooring in our living room quite well.
Once the floor was done, we could get started on the wood work. For our cupboards, we had chosen Black Cherry melamine wood, with a Formica table top – Catalan Gloss. The idea was to open-up, lighten and brighten up the space. We also opted for all stainless steel appliances. We had also decided to include a loft space above our kitchen, for the primary purpose of storage. for the loft, we went with raw pine wood and white melamine. Up to this point, the project was running quite smoothly. There is however dust everywhere, and I don’t think we will ever be able to get rid of it.
During the building of the cupboards, we encountered some issues with the plumbing for the washing machine and had to install new waste pipes, we also had to replace all the copper piping for the kitchen sink. at first all you hear is the extra costs it adds to your project, but in the end, it is worth it. We also had to move and add some electrical points for our appliances. luckily for us, our contractor is quite skilled and was able to attend to our plumbing and electrical needs, this saved us a lot of time finding someone for these jobs. For our kitchen sink, we decided to keep it simple with regard to our sink, but I decided i needed to have a feature tap. The tap I ended up purchasing was a ‘Besamo Spring Sink Mixer tap’, and its amazing! For me, the tap is definitely a focal point and well worth the cost.
I kept my microwave, as it wasn’t purchased too long ago, but had to purchase and install a new gas stove, electrical oven, extractor fan (cooking appliances gifted by my mom and dad – I’m so blessed) and refrigerator, which were all Defy brand. I also got to unwrap a lovely new 4 slice toaster gifted to me by my brother. The washing machine is white, but luckily we were able to hide it by building it into a cupboard. We also have a small under counter freezer that is white, but will have to wait a will before we can replace it with a metallic one, but I don’t think it clashes with the other appliances too much due to the colour of the wood being so light. We decided to install some hanging lights, glass with a rose gold accent to bring in the light we were looking for, as well as a light at the staircase so that the stairs are never too dark. For the wall tile, we decided to go with a Glossy Valencia White Subway tiles with a stainless steel trim in the middle. It gives the wall a good clean finish and also adds to the brightness of the space.
For three weeks and a few days, my house was dusty, we were eating the easiest thing or take-outs and store-bought convenience foods, we couldn’t use our guest room and we have at least 6 loads of washing waiting to be done. Renovations are not easy and it definitely is not cheap. I would advise anyone wanting to embark on any kind of renovation to do adequate financial and building planning. Even planning on which appliances or accessories to include can be difficult. But a well-thought out plan will be beneficial in the long-run.
It took almost three weeks, most of sanity and emptied my bank account, but I am in-love with the final product! We will definitely need some time to unpack and sort out where what will go, but the difference is amazing, and I cannot wait to live, try out new recipes and entertain in this space!
PS: Yes, dreams do come true!