With the focus on the garden so far this year, the refurb on the house has slowed right down. When we first moved in, before D was working, he painted several rooms, bringing some much needed colour to replace the dirty magnolia that was everywhere. However, once he started work, we accepted that the magnolia would be staying in the hall, kitchen and study for a while.
However, I am excited to announce that it is soon to be banished forever in the kitchen, as we did the traditional Bank Holiday weekend thing this week and trawled the local retail park, looking at kitchens. We had originally thought we would keep what we had for a year or so and this was just supposed to be us seeing what was out there but, once we had started, we were swept away by the excitement of the whole thing (well, OK, I was anyway), and we are now the soon-to-be proud owners of a brand new kitchen. I could bore you for hours about what is wrong with the current one – its age, the cheapness of the cabinets, the awful tiles, how the solid wood worktops are sticky to the touch through lack of care, the lack of storage space, the dishwasher that won’t open properly as it hits the cooker … you get the idea. There are a couple of things I do like (which we will be keeping) – the ceramic sink, the flooring and the pantry, where we can store everything we can’t fit in the cupboards –but that’s about it.
It’s not a big enough space to eat in and the fridge is kind of abandoned on the opposite side to the cupboards – there’s not a lot we can do about those things, but we are hoping that we can improve the flow of the room by turning around the sink and making use of a whizzy magic corner cupboard (I’m all for a bit of magic in my home!) Before we moved in, I nursed a dream of a free-standing kitchen, furnished with dressers and butchers blocks lovingly sought and found in charity and second hand shops. Sadly, this is another dream I had to let go, a bit like the glass greenhouse – the room simply isn’t big enough to take it. So I was determined that a fitted kitchen should still look traditional, but with a modern twist and I’m hoping that is what we have chosen.
I’m sure you will believe me when I tell you that our choice had nothing to do with the offer of a free bottle of Prosecco with any quote from this particular store – honest! To soften the blow of parting with so much money at once (and undoubtedly to encourage us to spend even more), they even gave us a glass while we were there. A glass of Prosecco at midday on a Bank Holiday Monday? Sounded good to me. Mind you, we nearly had to rethink at one point – I wasn’t sure we would be allowed back in after our initial visit the day before. After browsing around the kitchens, tucked around a corner we found a bench, made from kitchen-type material (it was nicer than it sounds!) It looked like it should have been a storage bench, so D decided to see how it worked. I’m not quite sure the front panel was supposed to come off in his hand though, and of course, he couldn’t put it back. “I’ve broken it – quick, run before they see us!” he hissed. Oops … and that was before the Prosecco. I just hope their cupboards are a bit more robust!
Once the excitement wears off, I know I will remember just how much mess fitting a new kitchen makes – Heaven knows what the cats will make of us disrupting their dining room but I’m sure they will tell us when the time comes. For now, though, I can still enjoy planning the rest of the space – the tiles, the lighting and what colour to paint the walls. With pale grey cabinets, we are aiming for a tranquil space and we are already thinking of perhaps sage green for tiles but I’m open to suggestion for the walls. Answers on a postcard (or the comments box below of course) …