Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Where the Magic Happens

Ok so it's not all magic.  Some of my culinary experiments, well, really are experiments and look like they have come straight from a lab and not my little kitchen.  Other times, I completely surprise myself (like with my attempt at plum chutney) and spend the rest of the day in awe of what I've created.

It's taken some time to get used to my little kitchen.  And by England's standards, it's actually not that small.  We saw some little cupboards disguised as kitchens when we were house hunting four years ago.  You could stand in the centre and reach absolutely everything you needed without actually moving your feet.  Small!  At least there's room for shuffling in mine.

When we were looking for a house we had a house hunting checklist.  We both wanted a second bedroom (or two) for guests and as office space and some outdoor space (which I quickly learned was going to be tough to find).  Also, W needed a garage or room to build one and I wanted a dining room separate to the kitchen (so when entertaining guests they wouldn't see the giant disaster secret preparations happening in the kitchen).  So when after over 30 viewings I brought home the details of our current house (because it had a ginormous bath-which turns out isn't that ginormous in person and a big back garden-not just a yard, a whole garden) we were sold!  There is some work to be done (and some of it has been done) but this little 2 bed terraced house is perfect for us.

This is our little kitchen.  And I use the word "our" very loosely here- usually, the only other thing cooked in here by anyone else in this house is toast!  And stuff on toast!  Which is funny since when we moved in W insisted on telling me where to put things away as I unpacked.  I don't tell him where to put his hammer, so don't tell me where to put my spatula!  Anyway, it's a galley kitchen, which means it is long and narrow.  And we can't wait to renovate the it, however that project is dependant on a variety of other projects.  The garage needs to be built before we can empty the utility room of all the tools and then extend the kitchen straight through.  We weren't going to do anything to the kitchen to upgrade it since we'd be ripping it out at some point and starting again which we had planned to do a few years after move in day though with our wedding coming up next summer we decided to put it off a little while longer.  But I longed for something brighter, with a cleaner look and I didn't know if I could wait a year, or two!  So when Easter gave us four days off I thought a quick paint job would do just the trick.  Quick?!  Let's just say, 6 months on and it's still a work in progress (the drilling just stopped for the night - no lie!)

So as it was sunny out, I took all the cupboard doors off and set them up outside on some trestle tables.  I sanded them first and then painted them in antique white.  I gave the backs of the doors a couple of coats and let them dry overnight and then painted the fronts the following day.  That way, when they were turned over in the painting process if any marks got on them they wouldn't be very noticeable.  And for the most part, the weather was fabulous.  The sun was out for nearly the whole the long weekend.  I brought the doors in at night and spread them out on the dining table and counter tops.  But on the final day of painting, well, it did what it always does in England - it rained!  And it came so quickly we had to rush to get everything into the house.  It was chaos.  Doors lying on every surface!  I wish I had taken a photo of it but I was a bit overwhelmed with wall to wall doors and forgot!

Even George tried to get in on the action!!

We kept the counter tops as they are and the hardware on the doors.  I painted the walls in moss green and the trim in antique white.  Here is what it looks like at the moment, just ignore the dishes piled up by the sink!

We are working on the utility room at the moment.  I've painted it green to match the rest of the kitchen and W is building some shelves.  And once complete there will no longer be tools hanging on the wall.  I'm pretty sure there's an ax on the wall in that first picture!

So for now this is where I make science experiments culinary magic.

What's your kitchen like?  Big or small?  Do you have plans to change it, or have you already done so?  Anyone have a kitchen like mine?    

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