How to Survive a DIY Kitchen Installation

After having somehow managed to make our way through a two-month DIY kitchen installation - without  a) incurring serious injury; b) catching scurvy; c) hating the sight of the kitchen so much from having been compelled to spend every waking hour in it that we never want to enter it again, even though it's now complete and looks fabulous - I wanted to share a 'DIY Kitchen Survival Guide' with you all.

Here's the plan - today, I'm going to share a quick overview of the ten steps that we followed to successfully install a DIY kitchen from start to finish. I'll then come back over the coming weeks and cover each step in detail.

So here are the ten steps:

  1. Create an inspiration board - decide what style of kitchen you want.
  2. Work out a maximum budget - how much can you afford to spend, and where you will get the money from (loan, savings, selling all your shoes).
  3. Design the layout - based on the classic triangle, but also thinking in terms of how do you want to store all your spices, and what to do with all that tupperware.
  4. Choose your suppliers - based on point two, above.
  5. Buy everything - you need to make sure that everything gets delivered on time, while also making sure that you don't end up with a range cooker sitting in your tiny hallway for weeks (ahem) while you wait for the rest of the items to arrive.
  6. Write a project plan - list every task, work out how long each task will take, and put them all in order.
  7. Set up an alternative kitchen - all you need is a microwave and a panini maker.
  8. Carry out the installation - out with the old, in with the new.
  9. Survive the installation - having plenty of chocolate and wine on hand will definitely help you get through it.
  10. Invite everyone you have ever met to come over to make suitably admiring comments - and to share a meal with you, if you can bear to spoil your brand new kitchen by actually cooking in it. 

Here's how our kitchen looked when we first moved in:

Here's a sneak peek at our kitchen installation in progress:

And here's the finished product:

As a bonus, here's a sneak peek of how our living room looked while we were busy installing the kitchen:

Yep, it's pretty grim. And we lived with it for two months. Even today, I still take pleasure from the simple act of walking into my living room and casually sitting down on the sofa, rather than having to sidle around a huge fridge-freezer and then hurdle over mountains of saucepans in boxes.

I'll be back soon with the details on step one - creating an inspiration board. And in the meantime, you can check out our kitchen inspiration board here and here.