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Kitchen Renovation Conversations (Part 1)


PIC: A computer-generated mock-up of what the final kitchen will look like (actual pics to follow mid-July)

Hello friends!

I’ve been meaning to write and update you on our current kitchen situation for ages. It’s been such an interesting and exciting 7 month conversation so far, with lots of brainstorming and backwards and forwards, endless decisions and planning, and we’re now just a few short weeks away from the end result.

We have been lucky enough to work with the most brilliant partners and contractors and if you’re thinking of heading down the same path then you’re definitely going to want to pay close attention. This isn’t a sponsored post – what I have to say is completely sincere and I hope it will be useful info for you.

Stage 1 – The Bigger Picture
The process kicked off with a brainstorming session with Graham Schröder (Schröder’s Joinery, Honeydew, JHB) and his wonderful, super-talented designer Ansche to discuss all of the woodwork and cabinetry a few months ago. The computer-generated image above is where we ended up – it’s testament to Ansche’s magnificent attention to detail and creativity. Throughout the process, their biggest concern, above everything else, was what did I want, what had Rob and I envisioned, what was going to work best for our family and make our hearts happy. They have paid attention to the smallest details (besides the usual inane ones like where the bins will go), even taking into account questions like where would you like Sophie and Isla to be able to leave their school bags and a thousand others that just show their dedication to delivering their very best.  Graham is the kind of person who does business on a handshake (and believe me I’ve met enough people in this industry that say they do but don’t), who can be trusted implicitly and who does what he does because it is his passion. I cannot recommend their craftmanship and commitment to excellence highly enough.

Stage 2The Nitty Gritty
This is where paint colours, wood finishes, plumbing, electrics, lighting, flooring, countertops, apppliances and all that jazz come in.

General contracting
For electrics, plumbing and paintwork we are working with Fergus and Nonhlanhla Boake and their team from FBA Projects – we worked with Fergus on a small renovation that we did last year and he was exceptional. No mess, no fuss – always on time, always to the schedule, always excellent and such a pleasure to work with. They are also masters of attention to detail, including simple things that are actually big things, like leaving any rubble perfectly neatly and tidily, out of the way and arranged on plastic sheeting for effortless removal later. Fergus’ team is dedicated and hard-working, and as they come and go each day they start to feel like friends. I can sincerely vouch for their commitment to doing a brilliant job and we count ourselves lucky to have had someone as capable as Fergus at the front of this really key part of the process.

This is a really long conversation because there are so many options, from vinyl to laminate to wood-look tiles. In the end, we went with a good quality but still budget-friendly laminate in a light, warm oak – I’m over the moon because it is exactly what we were looking for, and is being installed by the specialist team from First Choice Flooring in Craighall Park. Michael, Fred, Candice and their team have so far handled everything from the screeding to refurbishing skirtings brilliantly, and the floor itself goes in on Thursday and Friday this coming week so I’ll share more pics soon!

This is where it all gets REALLY exciting. As you might already know, I’ve partnered with Miele as their South African Brand Ambassador, and the next step in our collaboration is to fit my new kitchen with some of their latest appliances. As one of the very best appliance manufacturers in the world, their catalogue is astonishing, and they’re generously kitting us out with everything from newest rage ovens and steamers to fridges, washing machines and dish washers. It’s LITERALLY like Christmas in July and I keep having to pinch myself that soon all of these beautiful goodies will be at home in our home. If you didn’t already know, Miele is 100 year old family-owned business, and family is right at the heart of what they do, which for me makes the partnership even more special.

It’s a rare and wonderful thing to work with such a talented and committed team and I know our kitchen will have so much more love in it because of the hearts, minds, and hands who have made it all happen. I can’t thank you enough! Here’s to drinking big glasses of celebratory wine together and feasting on some of my winter dishes as soon as the last nail is in!

So, that’s it for now! I’ll share another post soon, but in the mean time you can follow along all the happy kitchen chaos via my Instagram.

Miele product catalogues and final master plans

Choosing appliances, brickwork and paint selections

Day 2! All the old kitchen cabinetry out, next steps are screeding the floor, laying the floor, electrics, plumbing, paintwork. Then in goes the cabinetry (around 10th July onwards), stone countertops and finally our beautiful Miele appliances.