Kitchen Design Thoughts from a London Home in Lockdown

Our friend, Roy Mann, is currently in full lockdown in South East London. He was kind enough to write this blog, sharing a few thoughts about his kitchen design…

Well, here I am, stuck at home, in a household of five people, all independent adults. My youngest stepson has a bad and worsening cough and a raised temperature, so we are now in full lockdown. No going out at all – and this after four weeks of only the daily exercise and the occasional shop.

One of the positives out of these week is that, after years of working long hours and a long commute, with my wife home two hours before me every day, I have done more cooking in a month than I normally do in a year. And that has brought me face to face with a few issues in the kitchen.

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oh dear my lasagne coronavirus lockdown kitchen design quartz worktops

The first issue is, of course, my own cooking. I may lightly pass over this little beauty from 4th April. 

kitchen design replacement dishwasher wheels

I will be honest: there were a few jobs in the kitchen that have probably needed a bit of thought and action for a while, but which needed me to spend some more time there just to feel how annoying the problem was! First off were a few small mends – you wouldn’t believe how much hassle a single missing wheel from the lower rack of our dishwasher could be. I needed to feel the hassle – one day into the stay-at-home I had ordered the replacements. (Click on the image if you have the same issue – just check compatibility for your machine!)


This gem is not actually our kitchen, but we have a few design issues too…

messy kitchen lockdown design granite worktops

Most of all during this time at home, and as my use of the kitchen (read: cooking) has (arguably) improved, I have observed a number of issues with the practicality of our home. We do not have enough worktop space. In part that is due to the massive amount of other paraphernalia that seems to clutter up the worktops. Despite having put a set of shelves in a while back which hold microwave, the two big bread and cake mystery mixing machines (I do not go near them!), the liquidiser etc. we still seem to have a forest of toasters, coffee machines, “special ” olive oil and vinegar bottles, pasta containers… you name it. And it isn’t as if the cupboards are empty – everything actually has its place. Unfortunately for some stuff that place seems to be all over the worktop.

And so… what has the Coronavirus lockdown done for us? Well, despite some mild symptoms none of us have had full-blown Covid-19, for starters, which is good. But more than that, I have spent my time making plans to replace the kitchen. It isn’t going to be cheap in a year where our income and investments have been hit hard. But time at home with wife and kids has actually been an eye-opener. We need a new kitchen, and a new kitchen we will have.

planning the kitchen affordable granite worktops

And of course…. new kitchen means new worktops. Don’t worry – this sketch doesn’t belong to the CAD image above! My wife and I have really enjoyed the process of taking some time to discuss what the kitchen needs, and how is the best way to go about achieving it – and that includes (at last!) solid stone worktops in granite or quartz – we haven’t decided which yet. But I am convinced that for looks and durability, they are the way to go.

We have to say that the Affordable Granite website has been an absolute godsend for us. It’s not just worktop info, either – there is a wealth of ideas and information here for all aspects of kitchen design. I would highlight the Case Study pages, the excellent FAQs section as well as the rough pricing guides for granite and quartz worktops The whole website has been really helpful. I am just looking forward to see Affordable Granite open again so as to chat with Naomi and her colleagues about our plans.


We are Affordable Granite, the leading installer of granite and quartz worktops in Surrey, Sussex and across the South East. If you would like any advice on kitchen and worktop design, we are here to help. We hold large stocks of great natural and man-made stones – granite and quartz for worktops.  Please do not hesitate to contact our sales team on 01293 863992 or by email on Or you can use our quotation or contact forms.

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