Kitchen Renos Do & Dont's
SEVEN HOMES, SIX SOFAS & FIVE CHILDREN'S BEDS
For anyone living in a rental in Dubai you will empathise with the constant uncertainty felt at being handed an eviction notice just as you’re starting to make your place feel like home.
We grew tired of having to uproot our young girls from their home, arrange and pay moving fees and buy new furniture to fit new spaces.
So, seven homes, six sofas and five children’s beds later we managed to scrape together the twenty percent deposit to buy our very own villa in the Springs, Dubai.
We couldn’t afford to start renovating straight away so we spent the first few years adding simple touches such as paint, artwork and soft furnishings to really put our stamp on our place.
Our renovation process started just as the pandemic began sweeping across the globe. We couldn’t afford to move out whilst work started so, as we began the first phase on our kitchen, we braced ourselves for the dust, drilling and utter chaos that unfolded.
They say the two most stressful times in a person’s life is getting married and moving home but I think living in a house that is being renovated truly tops that list. Whilst designing and renovating is what I love to do, living in the middle of a project is a whole other story.
It's important when you begin a renovation that you have all fixtures, fittings and finishes picked out and wherever possible on order or already delivered, this saves so much time. If the contractor has all the elements they need on site, the project will run more smoothly with fewer delays.
Finalising paint colours, tiles, handles etc can be a tricky job, particularly when you find it hard to visualise things so be sure to requests as many samples as you can and view them in different areas of your home, alongside other elements and at different times of day – lighting can really affect the appearance of finishes.
I’d recommend thoroughly checking your contractor’s drawings before work starts. Be sure to note where power points should be located, think about not just the location on plan but also the height of power points, the last thing you want are ugly wires trailing down your walls as the sockets have been installed too high. Imagine yourself in the space, using it and it will be easier to locate where you need everything.
I have to say that although it isn’t ideal living in a home that is being renovated one of the main bonuses is that you can keep on top of everything. Contractors in Dubai are notoriously slow, particularly in communities where there are rules for noisy work – be sure to check this before you commence you project – so I was able to check each day what progress was made and highlight any issues I saw that needed rectifying. Obviously this is easier if you have an eye for detail so if all else fails be sure to hire an expert!
Below are my top 3 tips to help manage a kitchen renovation whilst living on site:
- PREPARE – we knew that our kitchen would be out of bounds for a good 6-8 weeks (it was realistically about double this) so we created a makeshift kitchen in our guestroom complete with fridge freezer, tea station, small portable cooking hob and dedicated microwave area (I have never used a microwave so much in my life).
- PLAN – it’s true that the noise can be deafening, so whenever you can get out of the house whether working in a café or entertaining the kids – do it!
- EMBRACE AND ACCEPT – although easier said than done, remember the final outcome will be worth the wait. The chaos doesn’t last forever (well if you have a decent contractor).
Stay tuned… we are currently in the midst of our bathroom renovations; this has been a real eye-opener so be sure to check back soon for all the details.