Our Dream {Howdens Burford}Kitchen Reveal

Our Dream {Howdens Burford}Kitchen Reveal

*This post is in no way sponsored by any of the companies or products mentioned, I am sharing because I’ve had a lot of questions about where everything came from.*

Monday 27th February 2017.

Not a particularly significant date to many people, but it will go down in history in our house as the day the cat flooded the kitchen.

Yes you read that right. the cat flooded the kitchen. Anyone who follows me on Instagram will know the panic I felt that day when I cam home from the school run slightly later than usual as the kids had been to the dentist. I honestly didn’t know what to do with the sheer amount of water on the floor so I went on Instastories, let the kids paddle and ran my Dad to bring a mop (we only have a steam one).

After managing to get most of the water out with towels, and the mop, I started to realise the situation was way worse than a very floor, as we opened the cutlery draw and out flooded another load of water.

Long story short, our metal washing basket had been on the draining board next to the cats food bowl. Without knowing (and we won’t ever know) I assume that the cat had knocked the washing basket into the sink as he nuzzled against it. Our tap opened outwards, so it had knocked that as it fell, and the washing basket (filled with three loads of clean little people clothes) filled with water, and eventually over flowed over the worktops and onto the floor. As the washing basket was metal it had no holes for the water to drain away, so essentially when opening the door, I was greeted with a very wet clothing waterfall.

Over the next few hours, the units (a cheap oak effect  laminate type that came with the house when it was a new build in 2007) started to split, and crack. The skirting boards and all the kick plates around the kitchen had also swollen and bubbled and our dishwasher had blown up.

The next day I ran our insurance company who sent someone out to assess the claim. We had two options – they could repair it, but the kitchen had been discontinued so we would have a mismatched kitchen. The other option was to take a cash settlement, and repair the kitchen ourselves, showing the insurance proof that the work had been completed.

After my initial upset at my kitchen being ruined, we decided to go for the cash settlement, and design our dream kitchen.

I did vlog the process, so will link the (rather long) video below, but after a lot of hard work, help from a wonderful friend and my dad, a LOT of mess, my in laws letting us store our kitchen in their spare room, and more mess, it is finally finished.

We started ripping gout the kitchen on the Ester bank holiday weekend – 14th April, and we got the final bit of painting done on the 13th May.

I have to say, it wasn’t the easiest process, especially as Ell undertook the majority of the work himself – aside from the plumbing and the worktop fitting. Tis meant he only had weekends and evenings to do it in – and he worked so hard. Considering he had never fitted kitchen units before he did an amazing job, bringing the plans that we had designed ourselves to life.

There were a few snags along the way, such as pipe that had had an undiscovered nail in it since 2007 when the the house was built. We soon discovered it when Ell removed a bit of board and water shot everywhere – luckily he was able to stem the water whilst I turned it off at the mains.

Here is how our kitchen looked before (the cat even jumped in the photo for effect):

It was dark, muddly and the black worktops were the bain of my life – they show every mark.

As I mentioned Ell and myself designed and drew up the plans for the new kitchen – we had no experience of this and did it the old fashioned way, with a tape measure, and pencil and paper. The sis the scale drawings that we drew out (it took copies glasses of wine and a good three hours one Saturday evening – we are lucky it fitted). We then got our friend Rob who is a Joiner to check it over, and then ordered the pieces we needed. Here are the plans:

Wall units:

Base units:

and finally here is our completed kitchen. The units and doors came from Howdens, and is the Burford Cashmere Range.

The worktops are solid oak and from Worktop Express.

All appliances are from Hotpoint.

Cabinet Lighting – Howdens

Teatowel and Oven Gloves – Sophie Allport

Nespresso Machine from Nespresso

Caddy – Laura Ashley

Tiles – B&Q

Candle – The White Company

Bar Stools – B&Q Table cloth  – Amazon

Mirror – Oak Furniture Land

Photo Frames – Ikea

Kettle (and toaster) – SMEG

Personalised Chopping Board (and coasters above)- Dust & Things

Canisters – Next

So there it is, our finished dream kitchen. its more than I could’ve hoped for, and every day I can’t believe how lucky we are to have such a lovely kitchen – and how lucky I am to have such a clever, hard working husband. the whole area is much sleeker and open plan, and the breakfast bar has given us much needed extra seating and worktop space. If you have any questions or want to know anything else, please leave me a comment below.

I’m off for a cuppa in my beautiful new kitchen!

P.S – Here a blog that I made of the process…

Home Etc


  1. June 21, 2017 / 9:26 am

    It looks lovely. I can’t believe your cat flooded the kitchen! We’ve just started ours and can’t wait to see the end result! Xx

    • Gemma
      June 21, 2017 / 11:34 am

      Thanks Fran – honestly you couldn’t make this stuff up! Good luck with your kitchen! xx

  2. June 21, 2017 / 11:50 am

    Wow I hate to say it but your cat flooding the kitchen was a stroke of luck, what a beautiful kitchen you have now!

    • Gemma
      June 21, 2017 / 12:03 pm

      I know right? If only he could do something good with all peeing he does against the front door now lol! Thanks lovely x

  3. June 21, 2017 / 2:44 pm

    Wow! It was definitely worth all the hassle and hard work, it looks absolutely gorgeous. We’re at the beginning of planning a new kitchen and I’m definitely going to check out Howdens now!#HomeEtc

    • Gemma
      June 21, 2017 / 4:33 pm

      I would really recommend them, amazing quality units and doors. Good luck with your new kitchen! Xx

  4. June 21, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    You can rely on a cat to cause chaos but it has actually worked in your favour! Your new kitchen is beautiful, I especially like the breakfast bar. I need to see if our cat can work his magic on our kitchen now! #homeetc

    • Gemma
      June 21, 2017 / 4:34 pm

      Yes – although today he has weed in the hallway and it STINKS! Cats who’d have them! Thanks for commenting lovely xx

  5. June 21, 2017 / 3:02 pm

    Your new kitchen is beautiful, I really like the units. I love all the little accessories too. Jemma x #HomeEtc

    • Gemma
      June 21, 2017 / 4:34 pm

      Aw thankyou lovely, it was definitely worth all the stress! Xx

  6. June 22, 2017 / 11:11 am

    It’s gorgeous! Particularly love the subway tiles and the Eames style dining chairs!

    • Gemma
      June 22, 2017 / 2:35 pm

      Thanks Molly, we are so so pleased with it! Xx

  7. June 23, 2017 / 10:02 pm

    It’s absolutely stunning Gemma! Although I’m not sure I’m going to tell my other half the car story, otherwise he might banish ours for good! X #HomeEtc

    • Gemma
      June 23, 2017 / 10:28 pm

      Thanks lovely. I think my husband would be more than happy to banish ours sometimes – although I do think he’s almost human (the cat not the hubby) ? X

  8. June 24, 2017 / 6:44 pm

    Wow what a massive improvement! It looks so much better – especially the tiles. Can’t believe it was all down to your little cat up to mischief! Looks fab x #homeetc

  9. June 27, 2017 / 5:03 pm

    High five to the cat Gemma!!!! You’ve got a gorgeous new kitchen as a result!!! WOW! It looks amazing — I bet you’re over the moon!! I cannot WAIT to have a brand new kitchen… we’ve just painted the units and tiled with Metro tiles and grey grout — great minds think alike! — and it looks loads better. But not as fabulous as yours!! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    • Gemma
      June 28, 2017 / 8:06 am

      Thanks lovely – we are so so pleased with it. On holiday this week and slightly missing it lol! I’m sure yours looks lovely – metro tiles are fab – and they keep clean so easily! Xx

  10. June 27, 2017 / 8:15 pm

    Getting to design and fit your dream kitchen was the silver lining of that incident, wasn’t it? The kitchen looks beautiful. Well done to you and your husband. #HomeEtc

    • Gemma
      June 28, 2017 / 8:08 am

      Thankyou! Definite silver lining 🙂 xx

  11. Ed
    September 22, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    I like your counter tops what did you use?

    • Gemma
      September 26, 2017 / 6:52 am

      Hi – they are solid oak from worktop-express.co.uk 🙂

  12. Mike
    November 27, 2017 / 9:04 am


    looks really nice – found your site as we also ordered the same style and colour kitchen and worktops – had second thoughts after the order was placed but now I am reassured it will look great.

    One quick question -are your tiles white or cream?

    • Gemma
      November 29, 2017 / 10:37 pm

      Hi – thankyou! The tiles are white as we ordered samples and the cream didn’t look quite right. We also went with grey grout!

      • Mike
        December 6, 2017 / 6:29 am

        Great minds think alike!

        We picked up some samples and came to the same conclusion – the white, which I thought might be too clinical, makes everything else ‘pop’.

        The cream seems a bit too muddy and muted in comparison.

        Only the sink and hob and oven and fridge to decide next. And get it all in for Christmas!

  13. Rebecca
    May 22, 2018 / 12:14 pm

    Love your kitchen! Definitely the inspiration behind my recent choices!
    If you can remember, what colour of paint did you go for in the walls? Xx

    • Gemma
      May 29, 2018 / 10:30 am

      Hi Rebecca, we used Dulux Timeless! xx

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