Starting From Scratch.
It's taken around 4 months of paperwork and waiting before announcing the newness, but I'm so happy to be able to finally say that Lloyd and I have exchanged contracts on a house purchase, and we move in to our new home on the 17th of February! The house itself needs quite an overhaul. It was an old corner shop in the 70s, then converted into a 4 bed house, but still keeping it's old-worldly charm.
The kitchen is "The Heart of the Home", as the saying goes, and without a doubt we wanted to do an entire kitchen redesign because...well...why not? It's our new home, and we're making it ours.
We got our mood boards on a whole lot, and hopped from store to store where "design your own" kitchen's were on offer, until we finally landed on Magnet after seeing an advertisement on television whereby the company were offering a 50% off cabinets deal, plus another deal on 3 for 2 AEG appliances (or at least something very similar to that. Insane generosity anyway, regardless).
Most design service companies require an appointment to be booked with one of your local show room designers, because these things aren't just a "walk in for 5 minutes" affair - they're hours of choice hopping and measurement jigging - or at least they very much should be because after all you're investing in your lifestyle big time here. You and they want it done right.
So I got in touch with my local showroom in Cambridge and was booked in for our design chat that very weekend; a weekend which just happened to be the last day of the big sale at the time (phew), and also that particular Saturday Magnet were hosting a demonstration day where an appliances expert was cooking for everyone! Perfect!
Before the design appointment could really take off though, I had to send across the dimensions of the current kitchen, marking our the windows and doors, as well as providing some insight into what our likes and needs were, as well as things to avoid, so that the designer could get to grips with the shell of the spec we were working toward as a head start before we met him.
The incredible thing is (and what really sealed the deal for me in terms of getting blooming excited over having Magnet handle the renovation) that within just a handful of hours I unexpectedly had an email from the designer himself, sending us across an actual 3D render of our kitchen and a suggestion of what it COULD look like!! LITERALLY within hours of me mailing!
Tailor Made 3D Virtual Kitchen.
If you've like to have a look, it's right HERE. If you're on a mobile device, you can actually view it in all of its giroscopic glory and move the screen around like you were taking a photo of something, to view it as if you were standing right there! INCREDIBLE.
So the big day came and Lloyd and I were bet by manager David and designer Nick! Lovely guys, really down to earth, and in no hurry to rush you anywhere (just as well really, we were there for almost 4 hours...).
After the delivery of a really blooming nicely made mug of tea, Nick showed us to his desk where he pulled up our design so far which basically represented his initial 3D model sent in the email days before, and also a CAD style plan view of the kitchen as it stands for us to start shuffling things around and discussing appliance and final colour/accessory/worktop choices.
The showroom itself was really nicely decked out with example kitchens, from gally to modular, to shaker, and country style, all in a really accessible open plan layout.
On central benches there were stacks of work surface samples, as well as splash back samples, flooring, the lot. Magnet don't just pop you in some lovely drawers and doors, they have every mod con going in terms of high end to budget appliances, and any other aspects of kitchen redesign from ceiling to that which is under your feet! The works!
The Final Design.
After hours of bouncing back and forth some really wonderful ideas and suggestions between us all, Nick patiently built out end game goal kitchen piece by piece infront of us on the computer. Everything we wanted was accommodated for as best possible, and before long we were fabulously showered with a personalised, final edit on paper of what will soon be our kitchen of dreams.
We could see the potential in the colours we had picked, the finishes we have pawed over, and even there within sat Lloyd's dream sink he's been longing for for years (that's adulthood, folks!).
Comparing splash back glass to the cabinet colour of choice. We went for "Putty" for the splashback, and "Luna Cashmere" for the cabinet colour. Playing with more splash back glass to find pleasing contrasts between worktops and cabinet options like so! We're both huge fans of the "mushroom" tones.
And there you have it! Our ideas brought to virtual life before the big day! Honestly, I can't tell you enough how super the design experience was. I was so very nervous of making decisions on such a huge investment as this, but the guys at Magnet absolutely excelled in making us both feel like we were both in control of what we wanted, but without us losing our heads and either over thinking or similarly forgetting something incredibly vital altogether.
All of our paperwork containing our design choices, invoices, further inspiration, and planning documents were very handily given to us in a welcome pack, and now we simply await a follow up design appointment after one of the fitters has taken exact measurements and notes on the current kitchen to make sure everything is absolute to the exact mm. In the follow up design appointment we have the opportunity to make any last minute colour alteration or appliance switch-a-roos, but after that it's installation time!!
I can't wait to share the next stage of our kitchen adventure with you! Next stop: Design follow up!