Kitchen decisions..

So! We have changed our minds numerous times when it comes to the kitchen and the utility..if you have seen our Instagram over the past year you will see the odd “decision made” post ha!

From Wren to Howdens to diy kitchens…we couldn’t quite decide on something that was “us”. We began with copper, handleless simple style doors from Wren, but because we didn’t really love the end design, we then moved onto shaker from Howdens because this is a little more timeless right?! Maybe with some antique brass handles too..

But then colour was an issue, if you have looked for kitchens yourselves, it can be quite difficult to find custom painted options, and as we have both fallen in love with the inchyra blue colour from farrow & ball…for lots of different places in our house might I add(!) We then looked to diy kitchens… blog post

And that was it…sorted!! But I still wasn’t sure about the shaker, I don’t know why, I just wasn’t wowed by it, maybe its just because its all over instagram perhaps. And then, after watching “Ugly house to lovely house”….if you haven’t watched it, it’s great for design ideas by the way! I fell in love with one of the kitchens…

This simple slab design with (they are called) Ladbroke handles are so in keeping with our style and so we were on the hunt again! And this time from a company called Naked Kitchens

Now, with this company, there is an option to buy just the doors and fit them to pretty much any cabinet…say Howdens or Ikea

So we then decided to look at Ikea options, for all things cabinetry and there are some big pros to going down this route. For one, no lead times, you can pretty much order your cabinets, integrated storage etc. and have it delivered within days, plus if you miss anything you can always pay the store a visit!

We’ve read lots of good things online too with regards to cabinetry and the quality and they also have kitchen consultation appointments as well as a great online 3D tool system to help guide you along the way…

Some negatives though…cabinet sizes, there aren’t as many size and height options as some of their competitors. Plus the kitchens are flat packed so that might be an issue for some people as well as all the multiple pre drilled holes in the cabinets, I’m not a big fan of those!

But, having paid the store a visit, and browsing the options I think they are a good contender if you are looking for a new kitchen. There are black internal cabinetry options too which look super slick! 

Sheffield Ikea

And so, to compare, we went to the naked kitchens showroom as well…which is in Norfolk by the way…some what of a distance from South Yorkshire! And loved the doors immediately. Plus their own colour “Branchester Blue” is pretty much an Inchyra Blue replica so that was the doors sorted!

Which led us to our final decision…cabinetry, is it to be Naked Kitchens or Ikea? This was a difficult one, but having visited the Naked Kitchen showroom, some of the integrated storage looked so good, and yes it is inside a cupboard but we will no doubt be opening them on a regular basis ha! I was pretty much sold once we had visited the showroom, however it is much more expensive, if you are looking at your options. Ikea, for example would have been about £4k for the kitchen and utility without doors, whereas Naked Kitchens will be approx £15k (without appliances)

Pierhouse Blue

Also…we have decided to go with this mustard colour in the utility, it looks so good against the Branchester blue in the showroom!

Colour options but there are also custom paint options available

When it comes to ordering, they do offer a rendering service for £500 (half of which you will get back if you order a kitchen with them) and includes a full design and quote, however we have already had numerous designs made so we were pretty confident with the layout.

Good old sketch up has worked wonders for us as well, on our self build journey! Visualising and deciding where to position the handles was a must! That was probably the most difficult decision. We are just unsure on the backsplash hmm!

Not quite the mustard colour for the utility but you get the idea, maybe with some shelves too..

And once you have put together your basket online, if you send over your quote number to one of the team, they can check over your basket against any plans before you order

One more thing to add, Naked Kitchens make their kitchens on site too and can really make your kitchen to your individual taste, mixing up different styles or incorporating different accessories

And so, the kitchen is now ordered and will arrive in Christmas move in ha! But no matter, it will be worth it…plus we have a lot of work to do ourselves before we get to that point!


Caz and Andy x

Week 69 – Site Progress! More plasterboard plus floor decisions and a paint sprayer…

Eeekkkk lots more plasterboard this week! And the vaulted ceiling areas are looking fabulous! Wow it is really starting to look like a house. It’s so strange when you live pretty much on “site” and it develops into a home rather than a build project ha!

Andy’s dressing room

Master bedroom, my dressing room and ensuite


And as you can see, we are a little excited!! It’s crazy that we will be painting soon. Oh and a word of advice, cover up any exposed brick because the plasterboard adhesive can get everywhere! Let us be your cautionary tale, luckily we have some brick acid that will get rid of it but still…very annoying!

Speaking of paint spraying, ours arrived this week too and we are looking forward to trying it this space! We’ll do a review once we’ve finished the painting, I’m hoping it will be a worthwhile purchase and something that we can resell too

Plus flooring decisions! We have known pretty much throughout the build that we wanted a parquet hardwood floor, running through the house but we hadn’t nailed down (excuse the pun!) the actual specifics. And, after visiting a timber floor studios showroom, we have decided to go with this…

It really does look like an original parquet floor and it’s a little easier and more versatile than a typical parquet floor

The wood pieces do not slide into each other and so we will really be able to play around with patterns, but we do love the herringbone pattern with a border

This floor won’t actually be a finished hardwood, it will need to be sanded and stained but we don’t mind the work. And we can choose our own stain which is a positive! The one below is a satin stain but we might try out some others such as Danish possibly…we shall see!

And Andy is pleased with his new laser measure for the kitchen…I’ll make another blog post soon with regards to our kitchen and utility decisions!!

And that’s it for week 69, week 70 should see the majority of the plastering, a tidy up of the soon to be front garden, and the new front door! Eeeeeeekkkkkkkk!


Caz and Andy x

Week 68 – Site Progress! We have plasterboard plus digging up the road…

Busy week, and we managed to do most of the insulation before the plasterers turned up on Thursday! As you can see Andy was loving it….not ha!

And, because we can’t use the electrical cabling from the current house, as it is too old, a new cable is needed to run through to the opposite side of the road….

Luckily it didn’t take long, and they were all done within a couple of days!

And then the plasterers arrived! I was so excited, it’s such a big milestone isn’t it? And it’ll really feel like a home. Plus the paint sprayer should be arriving soon but that’s for another post..

Also I love the smell of plasterboard…is it just me!? And the lower wall on the landing looks so cool now it is plastered. Showing off roof height was a good decision made

And the vaulted ceiling areas upstairs…

Plus the double height will be so bright in the hallway!

And Andy shouldn’t bang his head anymore ha! In our current house, the ceilings are pretty low..surprised he hasn’t hit his head multiple times!

So just a tidy up at the weekend ready for the plasterers coming back on Monday

And we did a little shopping, it’s so strange to actually start seriously considering the interiors! I have to pinch myself that we’ll be moving soon..

These vases definitely have a peacock vibe and I had to snap them up as they were from Primark and you just never know how long they will have stuff in for!

Also, we really need to make some decisions with regards to the kitchen next week! Yes! We’ve come across some gorgeous kitchen doors from a company called naked kitchens and we will be paying them a visit in week 69…we will no doubt do a more detailed post when we decide

And ikea might be an option for the actual cabinetry and internal storage…check out our YouTube for a little more info. And some timelapse!


Caz and Andy x

Week 67 – Site Progress! Lots of little jobs plus insulation..

Another week, and as soon as the screed dried…(it took about 72 hours) we were able to crack on with insulation among other things…

Also, possibly a mixture of moisture in the air from the screed and brushing off some of the salt, has brought the fireplace up a treat! It looks ready for a log burner now ha!

Anyway, Harold has been insulating in the vaulted areas this week ready for plastering to start in week 68

And the plumber has been back to set up the piping for the wall mounted taps…wow I don’t know why we decided to have them everywhere!

Plus the shower too….

And we have had a busy weekend, with insulation, ventilation etc….cue list!!

Luckily managed to get all the little jobs done on Saturday and decided to leave the insulation until Sunday…

Andy had already done some…

One of the little jobs, making a channel through the blocks for the pipe leading to the manifold….

And with a little guidance from the electrician, some ventilation too…

Next up the insulation and the downstairs was pretty straight forward! 100mm thick so not too difficult to saw…

We make a great team ha! I did the cutting and Andy put it up, all in it took about 2 hours

This stuff is super itchy! Definitely wear gloves and cover up if you need to do it yourself…

The upstairs was much more time-consuming..needless to say we only managed a third of the house before it got dark! Two thickness are required for upstairs, 200mm then 100mm and unfortunately we struggled to keep up the 100mm without using batons, so this is going to take some time! Hopefully we can get it done and not delay the plasterers!

Watch this space….



Caz and Andy x

Week 65 and 66 – Site Progress!

Well week 65 was pretty quiet..just a little bit of woodwork and some insulation upstairs…

As you can see, we are pretty much ready to insulate the roof areas, definitely a job for week 67!

Plus check out the peacocks, clearly loving the scaffolding at the front ha!

And they’re getting braver and braver, even paid the old house a visit!

In week 66 we finished off the underfloor in the hallway and downstairs toilet ready for screed!

And Harold finished off the bay windows with the ridge tiles yay! It really does feel like it is all coming together now

Plus lots of insulation was delivered and is ready for week 67 when the screed has dried…

And we had screed on Friday!! It only took them a few hours and look how smooth it is…hmmm good enough to eat ha! Andy was a little nervous in case there were any issues beforehand but everything was spot on and they were able to get screeding as soon as it arrived. They just had one question..where was the most important area for setting the floor height, and in our case it was the bifolds and it needed to be 15mm below the bottom of the door for the finished flooring, which then set the floor height. And so the overall floor would be level with 60 to 70mm of screed

So that’s it for another two weeks! In week 67 we’ll be able to insulate all the roof areas with Harold and then we should be ready for plasterboard and plastering in week 68 yay!



Caz and Andy x

Underfloor heating…DIY project!

Well we certainly had a busy week 64! And it’s definitely enjoyable, being able to do some of the selfbuild tasks ourselves, plus we will have more and more diy projects coming up..exciting times!

What do you think to all the underfloor heating items piled up in the car ha! Should have hired a van!

And the first job involved laying out the plastic dpm layer to protect the insulation from the screed…

Next involved fixing the manifold to the wall in the hallway…

To make sure it was in the right position we used the dimension drawing that came with our design….

Next up edge expansion to allow the screed to expand…

Lola loves to helicopter manage ha!

And this bad boy, the staple gun, made life a lot easier! Manually pressing down staples to secure the pipe would have been very time-consuming!

Next up correctly laying the pipe circuits to the design…how pretty does this look…maybe I’ve been selfbuilding too long ha!

And, after one day we managed 5 of the 9 circuits..not bad going!

More pipe positioning day 2, and we are pretty much done! Aside from the hallway, as the screed is a little delayed, and so we’re holding off so that the builder can move insulation around a little easier!

It certainly looks good, and Lola enjoyed overseeing!

We used conduit to protect the pipe where it exits the screed, and made sure we used pipe stiffeners before pushing each end of the pipe into the manifold…

Living room


Tiki bar

And the pipe will now need filling and pressure testing to make sure it hasn’t been damaged🤞 we were careful to make sure we didn’t overbend and kink the pipe so should be OK.

Plus we’ve put together a youtube video and some timelapse footage for more info.!



Caz and Andy x

Week 63 – Site Progress! We have floor insulation..

Oh my goodness..there was a lot of insulation delivered this week! And it was certainly a workout bringing it all into the house in case it rained! And if you live in England you never know when there’s going to be rain regardless of the time of year…

And even though it is lightweight, it’s a two person job to maneuver it into the house!

Plus do you like the little diagram below…always helps when thinking about the stages before starting…1 being sand, 2 damp proof membrane and concrete slab, 3 floor insulation, 4 edge insulation, 5 screed and 6 flooring

And always need to have a shoe photo on any given flooring during a build don’t you think?…

We also picked up the underfloor heating…maybe we should have booked a van!

Aside from a couple of evenings, we cracked on with the insulation on Saturday and, I after say, aside from being dusty…(make sure to use a mask!) it was very therapeutic laying it all out and probably would’ve been quicker than laying chipboard if it hadn’t been for all the conduit! If you’re not familiar with this, it is piping used to hold any wires running along the floor, and in our case, we have a fair few floor lights, and so areas of the insulation needed to be shaped to facilitate this. Very messy! As you can imagine

But we’ve got there and finished the ground floor in about two days…

The snug

Also don’t forget the tape used on all the joins

Spot the conduit…plus Andy’s hoovering skills

And that’s it for week 63..we did make a start on prepping for the underfloor heating but we’ll save that for a separate more detailed post…watch this space!



Caz and Andy x

Week 62 – Site Progress! Plus floor lights..

Well, week 62 was a pretty quiet one. Just a little bit of plasterboard..nothing too exciting! This needed doing before the actual plastering as some thinner pieces were required in places…

It is exciting though, having a little bit of plasterboard don’t you think!

Plus woodwork up high to roof level ready for the plasterboards! And also some door frames…

And we also had a delivery of some of the floor lights, and these will be in front of the fireplace, as well as in the hallway and the open plan kitchen. I’m so looking forward to the different light options…as I have probably said numerous times!

The insulation also arrived this week…something we will be helping with once we’ve checked thicknesses with Harold!

2 different thicknesses were delivered (100mm and 200mm) and we’re not sure where each thickness would actually this space! We’ll be experts by next week! Ha!

And that’s its for week 62, we will be much busier next week! Insulation and underfloor heating as well as removing salt from the brick fireplace and exposed brick!

Stay tuned….


Caz and Andy x

Week 61 – Site Progress! First fix done plus twinkly lights…

Another milestone this week, the first fix electrics are complete and we can now focus on insulation soon, hopefully week 62!

Building control paid site a visit on Wednesday and they are happy with everything so we are good to go when it comes to covering the walls and floors

And our very pretty twinkly LEDs arrived….I love these! And they will look fabulous in the cinema room don’t you think?

They look like a piece of jewellery…

And the splay of light they display is gorgeous, I think I prefer these to the really tiny numerous twinkle lights that were another option but wouldn’t have been as easy to do….

Plus I couldn’t resist buying a chalkboard so that we can make a weekly list, now we are edging closer to really cracking on with the interiors!

And Harold the builder has been doing more woodwork upto roof height in anticipation of the plasterboarding

Plus the shower trays can now be placed in situ ready for the next stages such as insulation, underfloor heating and screed

Andy’s ensuite

It is strange having a finished item in place! And these trays are stone too…very heavy!

Guest ensuite

And the door installer sent a pic of the front door! Very excited to see it! Ideally it needs to be installed before the plastering is finished, so a little way off yet…

THE front door!

And that’s it for another week! Not sure when the insulation will arrive so we can crack on with that but we shall see…watch this space!


Caz and Andy x

Outdoor lights…

Something that we felt was a must when it came to the planning stages of the build, and the lighting design. And we have decided to go with up/down lights. The splay of light with these works so well in different spaces, and we will have them either side of the front door, as well as something similar at the back of the house too..

And now it is almost time to actually purchase them! Luckily the lead times are okay too, and there is no immediate hurry but it’s always fun light shopping!

Excusing the building site and makeshift drainage at present, the wiring is now in place for the up/down lights!

And the front door isn’t too far away exists now at least ha! But it can’t really be installed until the plastering has begun and the windows on either side can be fitted to the new door frame

Here she is, ready to go! Inchyra blue…our favourite colour!

And as we are going for antique brass “door furniture” it was clear that we needed to go with the same finish when it came to the lights…

Solihull lighting

I love this one, and it’ll tie in so well with the front facade

And now just to decide on the lights at the back of the house…

We will probably go with something along these lines to flow with the front…

…but we did order this one too so we have still yet to decide!

Watch this space for more updates…


Caz and Andy x