Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and why you decided to build your own home?
I am a nurse, and my husband works for a local contracting company. We are situated in the rural location of County Mayo in the West of Ireland. My husband and I first met each other when we were 21 years old. We married after 11 years together, and one year later, we welcomed our now two-year-old boy Danny to our family. We had discussed the idea of building for many years. Going back and forth over ideas regarding our wish list and the style of home we would like. In 2018, we finally committed to a modern twist of a traditional design and submitted it for planning permission. Luckily, approval for our 2500sqft home was granted quite quickly, and we began the build process in September of the following year. Building our own home was always our dream, so we are over the moon to have achieved it.
How has the process been? Do you have any advice for people who are thinking about designing and building their own home or doing an extension?
Overall, we have thoroughly enjoyed the process. Perhaps, not something I would have been able to say a couple of months ago! It has been a great learning experience. We decided to carry out as much of the work ourselves as possible for us and our budget. Undoubtedly, it has been stressful at times due to the many unexpected delays we encountered along the way. It has been a long process of just over three years from start date to move in. However, now that we are finally living here, we can safely say it has been worth the wait!
Building your own home can be an exciting concept. My advice would be to try and set realistic timeframes but still expect delays. Sometimes, life can get in the way too. Try to do as much research as possible, not only about the framework of your home but also the finishes you would like to achieve, and then budget accordingly. All the decisions that need to be made can feel overwhelming, especially when self-building. Choosing trades and builders on good recommendations can relieve that burden.
What was the inspiration behind your kitchen or things you knew you wanted in the design?
Once the structural work was completed, it was easier to visualise the space we had to work with. I knew from the get-go that I would like to have a classic shaker kitchen. One day, while researching kitchen companies, I came across The White Kitchen Company, and I knew I had to look no further! It was a no-brainer; they offered everything we needed. Quality cabinets but at a reasonable price. We made a list of everything we would like within the space. Such as an island, a larder fridge/freezer, a range cooker, and a pantry unit of some description with room for a large dining table.
Once we had a general idea of the appliances and had settled on their location, building our units around them was a simple process using the TWKC online shop. This was brilliant, as it allowed us to determine exactly what would work within the space. Once I had spoken with the TWKC design team, it was unbelievably easy. They went through the order; minor tweaks were made here and there, all to ensure everything was perfect. I honestly couldn’t fault any aspect of the process. We sourced our own kitchen fitter once we were ready to install our kitchen and utility. It was his first time working with cabinets from TWKC, telling us he was astounded by the quality.
We love a bright, fresh kitchen. What made you decide on colours and finishings for your kitchen?
The goal was to have a spacious, bright, and airy kitchen. This is one of the reasons we chose a vaulted ceiling design for the room. However, I also wanted it to feel warm and welcoming. Looking to Instagram and Pinterest for ideas, I collected images I liked that always seemed fresh white or grey/green toned. We eventually settled on colours from The Little Greene Paint Company. We used Slaked Lime 105 for the wall cabinets and Slaked Lime Deep 151 for the island units. I chose to pair that with what I hope are timeless picks. Polished nickel hardware and some wooden accents to give a country kitchen vibe. We are happy with the final result. It has turned out to be a lovely cosy neutral space in which we now spend most of our time. Our living room is redundant at the moment!
Do you have any tips or advice for people who are just starting out with their kitchen design?
My top tips for anybody starting their own kitchen design are to create a wish list and then create a mood board. It will help you to bring all your ideas together, allowing you to see what will work together, including the style you favour. Secondly, place your dishwasher opposite your crockery and cutlery drawers/cupboards… make life as easy as you can! https://www.bigreddirectory.com/ https://www.thomsonlocal.com/ https://1-2-3-4-5.com/add/index.php