It’s taken a lot longer than it probably should have, but I’ve almost reached my goal of a farmhouse style kitchen. Again, as with the garden, the estate agents picture above didn’t tell any lies, but there were seemingly a lot of truths omitted.
We had whittled down our furniture in “The old house” by simply not replacing things as they got old and broken, and if you add to that the girls moving in and out and taking their bits with them, we didn’t have an enormous amount of furniture to bring with us. It was an amazing feeling being able to buy the new bits all in one go … I don’t think we’ve had so many matching bits of furniture before, ever.
It was flat-pack city for a while as I worked my way through box after box of strategically cut pieces of wood, putting pieces together like giant jig-saws. The table, the chairs and the corner unit came first in the kitchen, followed at a later date by the merchant chest.
The table, the centerpiece of the kitchen was a strange choice. First of all it turned out to be of the exact style as the tenants before us had chosen, but more than that, a large table in itself is a strange choice for Hubby and me, as we very seldom cook and eat together at home. Don’t get me wrong, we very often eat together, but our tastes in food are so different that when we do eat together, we usually eat out, and someone else cooks it and does the washing up.
At present, the table is laid out with just table mats and coasters. I try to keep it as clear as I can, I tend to like clutter, (ooh… And jigsaws… I like jigsaws). Hubby is more of a minimalist so the compromise seems to be I clutter things around the outside of the kitchen… And leave the table (mostly) clear.
However, all three of my girls like to cook and eat at a table, (they do more adulting now than I ever did when they were younger), so the table gets used for more than just big jigsaws whenever they visit.
The cupboards were the next thing I tackled in the kitchen, Hubby liked the style of the ones which came with the house, but the doors were of an mdf style covered in white plastic and the plastic had come away from the wood on lots of them. The units themselves were new enough to be metric, even if only just, and would stand another change of doors with care, so we set off to the local DIY to see what was available. It would seem that the last house owner had had that idea too as we found the exact same cupboard doors still available. I took off the old handles from the broken doors and with a lot of scrubbing they came up like new so I drilled matching holes and used them on the new doors. With 23 different pieces to replace, it was a whole lot of work for a pretty insignificant result… But think of it as a face-lift… The whole point is to raise the quality of the appearance without being able to pin-point what has been done.
The only slight concern I have is that the previous owner bought the house and let it out to tennents for seven years. If the cupboard upgrade was his doing, then I might be looking at more kitchen cupboards in the future… Pine cupboard doors with black cast iron fittings maybe?
The tiles were next. When we bought the house, there weren’t many features that I had looked on without changes in mind, but I fell in love with the kitchen tiles. So much so that instead of hammering them off and replacing them, which in hindsight would have been so much easier, I bought an electrical gadget to quite literally scratch out the badly done and very grubby grout out from between the tiles. The replacement fresh white grout made a massive difference to their appearance.
Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the kitchen there was the wall… The deep red painted wall, the one which had once sported kitchen units, the one which now had more in’s and out’s than the hokey kokey, the one which screamed at me across the kitchen from behind the super scrubbable shiny red paint … Not my idea of a good feature wall by any stretch of even my imagination.
Well, after many, many months of scratching, and filling, and sealing I was almost “Satisfied” it was ready for propper painting.
Just a little more preparation was needed first, the woodwork, the skirting board and door frames, had to be painted before I could move forward with the ceiling and walls, definitely not my favourite job but eventually, in the name of “Kitchen progress“, I could put it off no longer.
I found some scrubbable matt paint in white and surprisingly enough, after painting the ceiling I needed just two coats on walls to stop me cringing everytime I entered the kitchen. Of course, I’m never going to be happy with the quality of wall behind the paint, but we would have needed to have it replastered to make it anywhere near perfect and that would be a whole other story.
Finally the different parts of the kitchen are all coming together and the finishing touches have arrived … the black cast iron door furniture.
Just one final touch to finish it off, but this may take a while… Hubby and I have to find a picture for the wall which we both like.