Monday 21 November 2016

Our First Home (5): Kitchen

And now for the room with the most renovation done and had the biggest transformation: our kitchen!


It was really outdated before so we had to strip everything down to nothing and build a new kitchen from scratch. A little more than half of our renovation budget went into the kitchen alone!

The kitchen before was really outdated
(the previous owners did not change it for the last 16 years that they had lived there)
The hole is where the fridge is supposed to be. I don't know how they survived with such a small fridge!


We gave our ID our floor plan and a rough idea of what we wanted. He sent over this 3D design, which looked really good so we gave him the go-ahead.

3D mock-up design of our kitchen
(courtesy of our ID)

He made an appointment with us to decide on the tiles and cabinet that we wanted. He showed me a lot of different cabinet colours but I eventually chose what stood out to me.

The final combination that we chose

After demolition, the contractors followed the design and put up the tiles first. From my pictures, it looked like the process was fast and smooth but in reality, it took many, many, many weeks to get from nothing to the kitchen we have now!

After stripping the kitchen down
Wall tiles and new wiring installed
Floor tiles and new rubbish chute door installed
The cabinets are finally installed!
Looks really similar to the 3D mock-up doesn't it?
Clockwise from left: Our grey sink, which we got from Hoe Kee, is being installed;
Our exhaust hood was also from Hoe Kee;
So was our stove!
Installing the granite kitchen counter top and back lights
(which are mainly for show and hardly used)

Other than the slow speed, the kitchen was coming together quite nicely (our renovation company made up for the lack of speed with quality workmanship at reasonable price. Guess you really can't have it all..).

That is, until the Beko fridge that we got from Courts was delivered.

For some reason, the measurements made by the ID or contractor did not leave enough room at the side of the fridge to open its doors! *face palm*

The fridge could fit in but there was no space on the right of the fridge to open the door or pull out the drawers

To be honest, I was really angry but the ID assured me that he will handle it (well he better!). Initially his boss refused to make restitution because he thought that it was cheaper for them to buy a new fridge for us rather than hack away the cabinets. Our ID managed to convince him to go with what we wanted because a smaller fridge will not work for our family of 5.

A couple of weeks later, the contractors dismantled the kitchen top and hacked away a cupboard and moved our drawers and switches towards the stove to create more space for our fridge.

With the kitchen counter top removed
The original (left) and the re-done fridge space (right)

The boss was right, it was a crazy amount of work but the end result was finally what we wanted!

The kitchen is by far the place that has the most things so no matter how I try to be OCD here, it is just hard to keep this room the way I like it so pardon the mess (yes, I consider this very messy).

Left: At the far end of the kitchen is our laundry area;
Right: The fridge can finally fit perfectly even though that meant less cabinets and counter space for us (ah well)

Our ID followed in the footsteps of the previous design and created a cabinet to hide the exposed pipes (more updated of course).

Previous design (left) and current design (right)

To maximise space, I stuck a 3M hook in the middle of the pipes to hang floor cleaners (such as a mop, etc). I thought that was a great way to use the otherwise useless cabinet.

3M hook to hang mops, etc

Another way that I maximised space was by adding a 4-tier metal rack beside our fridge. It functions as our pantry corner =)

Mainly to house all the food and drinks that we can't squeeze into the fridge (and do not need to)

The rest of the kitchen is kept functional for my mum-in-law to cook (she uses the space a lot more than I do!).

The kitchen counter top and cabinets
We squeezed our 3-in-1 microwave cum oven at the corner so that it didn't block my mum-in-law when she cooked. It's the same reason our Nescafe Dolce Gusto and Smoothie maker is in the same corner.
I like to label our electrical plugs too so that you know which plug is plugged in and which you need to switch on without having to trace the wires back to their appliances (the plugs are all black and so it's easy to confuse them).
I do the same for all other electronics in my house (especially the computer and TV).
We simply have too many gadgets and I do not have time to figure out which is which..
IKEA kitchen rods were installed by the contractors. I found it so useful for hanging anything and everything
(this is a must for every kitchen!)
Left: I bought soooo many containers (clearly labelled of course) to organise the things in our kitchen cabinets;
The corner next to the sink was used to store toilet paper and other toiletries that we do not use often as it is too deep to store anything else

We decided not to renovate the common toilet that was attached to the kitchen as it still looked quite good. All we needed to do was buy new toilet accessories to install, which our ID and contractors kindly helped us to do.

Common toilet and accessories

Despite the time it took and the fact that our ID still owe us a shelf for one of our cabinets (we just called him to chase him -_-), our renovation company did a pretty good job (at least our kitchen looks like the 3D mock up and the workmanship overall was good).

I'm just glad our kitchen is finally done and my mum-in-law has a nice place that she can cook in (of course we did up the kitchen for her and not for me! *laughs*).

We'll probably add an island on wheels in future so that my mum-in-law has more counter space to put her dishes. Other than that, that's our kitchen! =)

Continue to >> Our First Home (6): Storeroom & Entryway
<< Back to Our First Home (4): Dining Room & Balcony


This post is part of my series on Our First Home where I'll share our renovation and home decoration ideas and review our renovation company and various vendors.
Join us on our journey as we make a house our home =)

You can also follow me on Instagram via the hashtag #houseofkmjj! =)
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