With our new kitchen hiding amongst 26 flat-pack boxes and ready to be installed, we were looking forward to a real transformation.
The old ‘kitchen’ however had turned into a major storage area, where we had been keeping everything from pots of paint to buckets to overalls to shoes to tools and more ! So before we could start unpacking our flat-pack boxes to reveal the new kitchen, this area had to be cleared, or indeed transferred to another room we weren’t currently working on. So within an hour or so, the living room mezzanine therefore became the new storage area !
With the exception of electricity and plumbing, we had carried out all the work ourselves up until this point, and we weren’t planning on stopping that trend now. It was never a question to hire professionals to install the kitchen. With the design in place, we saw it as our job to just assemble everything and keep it all level. We did however discuss what help we would need from our plumber and electrician beforehand, particularly for installing the dishwasher and the lighting.
The fact we had chosen an IKEA kitchen I think made it that bit easier to go about installing it ourselves. We had the plans to work from which showed us where everything belonged, and all the dimensions had been calculated correctly. Plus, each unit had individual step by step instructions for assembly. It was just up to us now to get on with it !
If you are planning to install a kitchen yourself, just be aware that a number of tools are required. As our toolkit had been growing by the week, it is safe to say we were confident we had everything required. My French vocabulary for the world of tools & DIY had also improved thanks to our renovations, and it was definitely the ‘niveau à bulle’ or spirit level, which became our best friend for this particular kitchen task !
We started by unpacking all the flat-packs and grouping the different elements together to make it that bit easier to get our hands on the rights ones when required. With different drawers, shelves and cupboard doors here there and everything, it is easy to get confused over which one goes where. So all the wall cabinets were grouped together, all the drawers were grouped together, the door handles were grouped together etc.
We began by mounting the wall cabinets, a recommended first step as there aren’t any base cabinets to work around. Once the wall cabinets are mounted, we then worked our way out from there.
The finishing touches made a lot of difference, particularly the door handles. Once they were in place the space started to look truly finished.
Again, what a difference a days work can make…!