For many people, the kitchen is the heart of the house. It can be the central hub of activity, whether that means sitting for your breakfast in the morning before heading to work, spending a lazy Sunday afternoon cooking or baking away, or catching up with friends and family over dinner and a bottle of wine. In short, the kitchen was one room we were planning on using a lot.
When it came to the kitchen design, we had a good idea of what we were looking for. We wanted an open plan layout, with the cabinets running along the back wall and a kitchen island giving out onto the living space. Thanks to some inspiration (link), we wanted the island to provide a large work surface which could also double up as the dining table.
The kitchen also needed to be functional, with enough space for two people to move around and circulate freely without bumping into one another. Our previous apartment was on the sixth and final floor, ‘sous les toits’ as they say in French, which is a much more romantic way of saying the attic. Due to the sloping ceilings in the kitchen, we spent a lot of time hunched over the hobs to avoid knocking our heads off the beams. So having enough space to stand vertically was definitely something we were looking forward to!
Now when it came to the kitchen style there really are endless varieties of cupboards to choose from, the prices of which can vary dramatically. Following several recommendations, our kitchen search started and ended with IKEA. We found they had a great range which fitted in with the character of our space, and which most importantly was within our budget. The hardest decision we (or to be honest, I) had to make was the colour scheme. I was torn between opting for classic, clean, white cupboards, or a pale blue farmhouse type style. In the end we opted for the white option which I thought was the more timeless, classic choice.
The kitchen service IKEA provided was really fantastic. After visiting the showroom we came away with the hefty reference catalogue filled with all the different cupboards, drawers and cabinets on offer, complete with different dimensions and pricing options. It was up to us now to choose the elements we wanted for our kitchen based on the initial design we had sketched up. Due to the position of the pipes, we would be placing the sink in the same place as the previous one, so we were able to use that as a centre point and work out the rest of the design from there.
To help with all of this, we made use of the IKEA 3D kitchen planner tool which is a great way to get a feeling of how the different elements you’ve selected could look as a finished product. It also helps to calculate the right dimensions as well as giving the overall price of how much everything would cost. The best part of this tool, is that once you’re happy with your design, all you need to do is print out the page, take it to the store, and a kitchen expert will go over the final details and then order up all the elements for you.
This is just what we did, and back home we came home with 26 flat-pack cartons just waiting to be assembled!