Hello, I’m back! I took time off this blog to do some work in the real world and now I’m on holiday (read: unemployed while I finish my PhD) this is a chance to blog about the next thing that happened after the floors went in.
So, I’d said that the only things I really wanted were a kitchen in good working order and polished floorboards. The floorboards have worked out much better than the kitchen, but we were doing it on the cheap, so we went for industrial country. Via Ikea. Our mad Irishman removed what was left of the old kitchen cabinets and they have been momentarily re-purposed as storage for linen. Then DH and I went shopping. At Ikea and Bunnings. This is what the old kitchen looked like pre purchase:
Quirky retro kitsch. However, we didn’t get to see it like this: by the time we bought the house, it looked like this:
Beautiful, hey. This is pretty much the sum total of our kitchen prior to fixing it up. Some of the drawers made it into the house as linen storage and the old table is currently being used as a worktable downstairs. The yellow above-head shelves went to friends. Well, anyway, clearly one measly wall of yellow cupboards wasn’t going to cut it. So we traipsed off to Ikea and this is what our kitchen looks like now:
Weirdly, not that different from the old picture, given the constraints of furniture placement and doors. There’s not much storage space and even less bench space, but it works pretty well for now. We kept the old working stove, which sits on top of a rickety old masonite cupboard, although 1 month after we moved in 2 of the stove elements died, so we’ve been cooking off 2 elements and the oven. I’d like more. And preferably a stove that doesn’t have a rear incline, as all my eggs currently end up on the far side of the pan.
The whole kitchen including labour and plumbing cost around $3000. I estapoled the timber benches myself because I don’t trust Ikea stuff anymore, which was a very good idea in hindsight. Now that I own an orbital sander I can easily give them a brush up, too. So all the benches and bench tops and handles and stuff are Ikea. The 2 types of shelves are Ikea. On the right is an old 30s kitchen dresser I bought on Ebay for $150. It’s not fully original because the original lead-lighting is missing, but that’s fine, because it was cheap. One day I’ll sand it back again and paint it. Probably white, but I’m digging red right now, so maybe it’s best not to paint it at all. I might do something unspeakable. My sister had given me 2 fun posters year ago which served as impetus for the room colours and about 6 months ago we bought the beautiful new red coffee machine. A monster, but then, I have monster coffees. So, red is the theme for our kitchen, with small white bevelled subway tiles sourced from Paddington Bathroom supplies and installed by the good people at Tile Pro.
From Bunnings we bought the super cheap but serviceable sink, and we bought the tap on sale at Trade Link, a plumbing supply store in Coorparoo. Problem is, the tap keeps coming adrift, so I think it was not meant for a cheap sink! Either that, or the plumber wasn’t very good. I somehow think the latter, given our bathroom tap has done the same thing. Oh well. It’s our temporary kitchen.
We’ve worked in it for 2 years now and it’s a pretty good kitchen. It’s small but well formed, but there can only be one person in the kitchen at a time, and our friends and kids have a habit of hanging IN the kitchen with us. Not really enough room for lounging about! I like the open shelving, and even though it looks busy in the photo, actually I think I prefer the open shelves and the homey clutter. It’s not easy to keep things clean, though, so we have to rinse items before using them, as our house gets super dusty. I hate the stove and the alcove and want something much more open, but there is time and space to do this later. For now though, I hold my breath that the stove won’t die on us. If it does, it means rewiring the ENTIRE HOUSE. Which we can’t really afford, and which means doing the entire house in a hurry. Not my idea of responsible home ownership.