a kitchen renovation - Siobhan

The story of our Kitchen/Diner Renovation Hello there, my name is Siobhan, content creator of my renovation blog/Instagram account Homestead (@home__stead) I am an Irish giving, living in & renovating our home in Edinburgh with my husband Rory & our daughters, Úna & Nora. We are undertaking the majority of the work ourselves which is very rewarding but at times it feels like slow progress. Here is a bit of background about the redesign of our kitchen/ diner/utility room. I hope you are inspired by what we have achieved so far! 

When we moved into this house almost 2 years ago the kitchen & dining area were two separate rooms, this was a fairly typical layout of a Victorian home in Edinburgh. The original kitchen was void of any architectural detail apart from an Edinburgh press in the corner & the beautiful sash & cash window. This was because in years gone by a maid would of had her quarters in the kitchen. The hatch in the wall was used to serve food to the dining room & there would of been a bunk bed in the corner & a small wc in the back scullery. 

Although times had moved on & the previous residence didn’t have a live in maid the kitchen remained the same & it was almost non functioning! There were no appliances, just an old tin sink, a few lower cabinets & an open shelving unit mounted to the wall. As we were moving in we needed to address this room ASAPi! 

Prior to the moving day we started working alongside a kitchen designer at Howdens to come up with a layout to best suit the space. We knew the first thing we wanted to do was to take down the wall between the two rooms to create one big open plan family kitchen/diner.

 Once this was done we could visualize how the space was going to come together! It is a north facing room & because of its function it was important to us that it didn’t feel cold or dark. With this in mind we opted for fewer upper cabinets & kept them glazed to reflect light. We choose a shaker style cabinet to be sympathetic to the era of the house. The island was designed to house the hob with lots of surface area for food prep & space for two bar stools. We choose a white granite worktop to keep the space light & fresh. 

The next thing to consider was flooring. We wanted the space to feel like one room so we decided to run the same flooring throughout. We exposed the original pine floorboards, sanded them back & treated them with a product called Treatex to take the yellow tones out & used a hard wax oil on top for durability. 

Choosing the right paint color was important so we did lots of testing. We wanted the overall mood to be one of calm. In the end we opted for Farrow & Ball Wimborne White 239 on the walls. This was used on the ceiling in the kitchen as-well to disguise the lack of detail & original features. We choose Farrow and Ball All White 2005 for above the picture rail & ceiling in the dining room to pick out the period features. We went with the slightly darker & more contrasting tone of Farrow & Ball Shadow White on the woodwork. This use of color makes the room feel large & light while maintaining a considered decorative look. 

The dining room, although small, retained lots of character in the ornate cornice, the picture rail & the architrave. We also uncovered the original fireplace & tiled hearth, a beautiful feature of the space. We kept the furniture simple with an oval shaped Ercol table & chairs & a freestanding glazed cabinet. 

 The old church pendant light was a lucky find at a local salvage yard. To compliment this we choose the pleated ceramic lights above the island. These are reproductions that have a lovely vintage feel to fit in with the old furniture. 

A large jute rug softens the space between the two rooms & the introduction of a Sheila’s Maid adds function & character to the space. 

Just off the kitchen the utility room has been picked out in Farrow and Ball Bancha 298 to reflect the color of the garden outside. In order to draw attention to its smaller size, one color has been used on every surface, walls, ceiling, cabinets & skirting which means you cannot read the confines of the room. 

The kitchen is the area we spend most of our day in & we are very pleased with how it has turned out! It is an inviting, bright, warm & functional space. We are forever adding to it & hunting down vintage finds to make it look & feel more lived in without being too cluttered. 

I hope you have enjoyed reading a bit about our renovation journey so far! 

Siobhan x

June 05, 2019 — Cheneil Garrett