One thing is for sure... I never take the easy routes in life, but that's not to say it's always a negative thing. The kitchen is proving to be one of those occasions I wish would just hurry up and be over. I want to get on and bake cakes for heavens sake!
We recently had a family day out to IKEA. We are now the proud owners of a family card and M likes to make use of it. He can hardly believe we have been paying for tea and coffee when all this time it's been free with a family card.
When the children were small we often went to IKEA for a day out. Easy parking, play areas, cheap food, cheap art supplies, and they were happy with whatever pocket sized cuddly toy was going at the time to befriend on the way home. They are now as tall as me and teenagers but some things never change. We still came home with a new friend each. Alfred and Brocolli are the new members of the family. You really have to have been to Ikea to know what the heck I am talking about.
Neither M or I have been very enthusiastic about any of the kitchens we have seen, including those in DIY stores and private kitchen companies. We ended up in IKEA because the planning tools were user friendly and they've been voted best value for money. When we first started knocking through we had no idea what kind of kitchen we wanted but we did talk of styles that would really be more at home in a cottage, farmhouse, barn, warehouse... not a bungalow! However, there are some homes that defy the outer shell and reflect the personality of the owners regardless.
When I first met M I was much more of an eco warrior, recycler, make do and mender... I had notebooks stuffed with great 'up-cycling' ideas long before they started using the word. Somehow, in the drive to be 'sensible' and act my age, the scaffolding plank and house-brick bookcases have fallen by the wayside (you should have seen the look on the faces of the removal men when they loaded up crates of bricks and my precious planks!). My mismatched junk shop armchairs have been unceremoniously dumped, my toolchest coffee tables used for tools (oh the horror) and oh hell, I've become boring and middle aged.
All of this was discussed at length on the hour and a bit long journey home from IKEA and we've decided to go with what my heart desires and try and make a new kitchen using entirely reclaimed timber. Hooray for scaffolding planks I say! It will be our version of the above ideas according to the stuff we've got and the space we have. I feel much happier knowing that we won't be buying new appliances just because we wanted them to be integral or hidden. I feel much happier recycling the twenty or so brushed steel handles that we salvaged from the old kitchen. I feel extremely happy to have an excuse to go rummaging about in salvage yards for a butler sink and to auctions for some random wooden stools. I'm pretty happy that we can bash it about a bit and not worry, and that the dogs can't wreck it, or the cat for that matter.
As an experiment M has put one unit together and I love it. I'll take a photo when it has doors and handles affixed. M loves the challenge of woodwork and finds it therapeutic after some of the gruelling court cases his work involves. Just as well because it will take him quite a while!