Wednesday, October 16, 2013

On Upgrading & Upcycling (The Kitchen Edition)

Since I just posted regarding room makeover, I may as well share the recent works we've done in our kitchen. This happened sometime in July this year.
It wasn't a makeover really.  It was more on a simple upgrade.
Our house being relatively new ( barely 10 years old) is still in very good condition.
Our kitchen although till very structurally sound yet we feel the need to improve on some things to make it cosmetically more appealing and in return addresses our needs better at the same time.
I am talking about the worktop surface.
We were not happy with the old laminate worktop.
We did not like the colour, the  texture and the overall effect it had in our kitchen.
And while we were at it, we decided to have it replaced as soon as possible.
Dearest Husband and I both agreed on a solid  oak worktop.
(Isn't it obvious that we really have a thing for solid oak?!)
We also agreed not to purchase it from the common DIY shops but rather search around and we came across Worktop Express where its selection of beautiful worktops displayed in good taste at its showroom just impressed us as well as its overall service afterwards.
And it wasn't a DIY but professionals instead. Just the very thought of the cost of the solid wood worktops is more than enough reason not to risk it.

And just like the dining room makeover, I also forgot to take a before photo.
But here's a snap anyway while the upgrading took place.

It was a two day job as we have a long L shaped kitchen worktop and the attached utility/laundry room was also upgraded.
Since it is wood it therefore requires sanding and varnishing afterwards that needs drying overnight.
I am thankful for the nearby recently opened KFC that fed us in those two days while the work was going on.

And here are the finished photos of our kitchen with its new solid oak worktop.
My lovely potted anthuriums are still blooming lovely despite it being there in my kitchen window sill  from early summer
Displayed on top of the top cabinets are wooden decorative plate stands with pictures of lechon and Philippine tricycle respectively - a touch of my Filipino heritage in my Kitchen decors.

And the up close photo of my new worktop

I am  very satisfied and happy with the outcome.
The oakwood really complemented my existing kitchen cabinets, kitchen accessories and the kitchen table as well. It also brightens up the room.

Part of the upgrade was also changing the kitchen sink.
I was very unhappy with the old stainless steel.
It was very shallow that causes easy spilling  although I was more irritated with the easy staining.
I initially wanted a Belfast sink but unfortunately, the depth of it won't fit in our existing kitchen unit. I had to go  with the large white ceramic sink instead which surprisingly, came out more beautiful than I anticipated.
My new gorgeous white ceramic sink with its new tap.
Has a large deep bowl that solves the spilling problem and cleans easily as well.
Both sink and tap are from Reginox

I can never have enough storage in my kitchen so we added an extra kitchen cabinet as well.
Here is my new solid oak kitchen cabinet purchased from Solid Wood Kitchen Cabinets.
More storage for my Le Creuset stonewares and Cath Kidston storage jars

That looks really good from the opposite end of the kitchen

I have above mentioned that we also upgraded our utility/laundry room.
Here is a photo of our revamped laundry room!
 Basically this is just really a small space attached to our kitchen that serves as storage for our laundry appliances, welly boots and kitchen bin.
We only changed the worktop into solid oak and added hanging shelves from Ikea to have a more organised cleaning stuff and hopefully, laundering won't be that boring anymore.

Sitting prettily on top of my solid wood kitchen worktop is this beautiful wooden wine rack.
This wasn't like this when bought. This one just went through a makeover just a couple of weeks ago and this is where the upcycling part of the post title comes in.
A charity shop bought solely intended for upcycling experiment purposes.
This way if it comes out as a disaster then at least I wouldn't feel so bad as this just costed me £5.
Just like the dining room makeover Dearest Husband was also apprehensive and generally unsupportive of the idea. He finds the item ugly and worth throwing out.
Of course I didn't listen to him and carried on  instead what I really had in mind.

The top left photo: Before the makeover
Bottom left : 3 hours after manual sanding
Top right: After painted with Dulux Blue Babe
Then it was left to dry overnight , varnished, left to dry again for 4 hours then 2nd varnish coating applied then left to dry again overnight.
Bottom right: The finished photo of the makeover

Had I listened to Dearest Husband then I wouldn't be enjoying this beauty now.
He did appreciate it afterwards and even encouraged me to start thinking on our other furnitures that might benefit on a little bit of upgrading. Further on, he even told me that his dad actually has an electric sander that I can borrow. How very helpful of him indeed, not!

After the dining room makeover and the kitchen upgrade I am now happy with my ground floor rooms (well except for Little Girl's playroom that I am intending to revert back to a study room) and move her playroom upstairs next to her bedroom.
I am now obviously hinting at my next DIY projects.
But there is Halloween yet to think about where I want to serve high tea to my friends in my newly finished dining room.

Good night everyone.


  1. I thought I made a long comment on this post, then I couldn't find it? hmmm....weird. Anyway, I love the elements of blue popping in every corner of this kitchen. Is your kitchen accessible to all other rooms of the house or just the dining? I am just trying to figure out the lay out as I see doors on each side. Your laundry room is very cute and it's great you have a wash sink in there, that is probably something that I miss in my laundry room, I don't have a sink so I cant pre-wash dirty items by hand before throwing them in the machine. Just curious, I don't see a microwave in there..I am not quite certain if that is an american thing but we can't live without one...I guess the Brits take time to cook their food the right way,hehehe. How cute is that weighing scale in your shelf?! What do you actually use it for?:)

  2. Hi, I think what happened to your comment could be due to you not signed in yet? It does happen sometimes.
    Our kitchen is at the end of our ground floor hallway so basically it has all the access to the other rooms but the living room is the nearest. The other door you can see is the one leading to the laundry room which has the door to the garden (same as our living room has the french doors to the garden).
    I do have a microwave oven, I don't think I can live without it especially for my morning porridge and hot chocolate. It is right below my left potted anthurium. Second to the right from the wooden wine rack.
    The weighing scale is multi purpose - kitchen decor, weighing small parcels and most of all for baking/cooking.

  3. Ahhh I get it, I thought that was an oven toaster. Hehehe

    1. The white one next to it is the oven toaster, lol