Monday, July 2, 2012

My new kitchen!

Well it's nearly finished.  After over a year of struggling with the what had to be one of the worst designed kitchens going and it's 30cm of "worktop" we decided enough was enough.  We didn't have masses of money to throw at it and, in the long term plan of things, it isn't going to stay a kitchen so we had to be inventive. 

The kitchen as it was:

First thing was work top and having been starved of worktop for a while I wanted lots (and now have about 4m, oh yes!!).  We were going to buy an oak block worktop from the UK but living in France getting it here proved difficult.  It was a bit big and heavy for the car roof and getting someone to bring it over cost almost as much as the worktop itself.  Instead, we bought a belt sander, which was a similar price to the oak worktop, and turned some of the remaining original floorboards from the bedroom into a beautiful, characterful, solid chestnut worktop.  We removed the streaks of owl poo first!

How the worktop started out:

Then cupboards.  Fitted cupboards were out of budget so instead we found an old sideboard which was the right dimensions, only 35 euros and came complete with a rectangular marble top ideal for rolling pastry.  After ten minutes with "Reg" the wrecking bar removing some of the extra detailing and a quick sawing off of the legs the cupboard was ready to paint.

Trying the sideboard out for size post Reg and saw.  This wasn't our paint job!

Next was the sink.  The existing sink I actually didn't mind too much, even if it's draining boards clearly weren't designed for draining.  The main problem was that it was just too big so, another shopping trip found us another sideboard for 45 euros (complete with a top we've yet to use).  We used it as a temporary kitchen cupboard before we took the kitchen apart.

Again, after a few minutes with "Reg" taking the top off, some sawing at the back and another paint job we dropped the new white ceramic sink in.  The sink cost 73 euros from the local brico shop.

Finally, after a trip to Ikea for some shelves, the purchase of some end of line, 50% off tiles and a quick paint of the walls our new kitchen was finished.  Well it wasn't quite that simple, there was some swearing, a broken tap, numerous trips to the local brico and probably some more swearing but we think the end result was worth it.

The butchers block that Mr Joe built from the remains of old oak cider press.  The curtain hides the gap for the dishwasher.

A wall to display my lovely cat plates.

And finally with my lovely new oven raring to go - or it will be when the house electrics are sorted, a very long story...


  1. When I first saw it, I thought your kitchen was very cramped. I could just imagine the frustration you had to go through every day because of the limited room. I can see that you were able to maximize the space of your kitchen, and even managed to have a larger worktop! Also, remodeling a kitchen with a low budget is a challenge, but I’m impressed that you were able to do a great job with it! By the way, what’s the news on your oven? Were you able to sort out your electrical issues? I sure hope so because it works well with the kitchen.

    Kristopher Diss

  2. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and comment. It certainly is a much nicer kitchen to work in now! The electrics are all sorted and the cooker is working well. It needed a separate new supply (and the supply needed to be changed from three phase to single phase) which then meant the fuse board needed upgrading. All good work to have done but not something we had planned to do at the time.

  3. The change was absolutely remarkable! I like the fact that you retained its kind of compact look. It’s a space-saving trick, and it certainly made the kitchen look organized. I also like the kind of tile you used for the backsplash. Usually, they use subway tiles in homes. I only see different styles in shops, haha!

    - Gabrielle Jeromy

  4. Bingo, Kristopher! The kitchen did look like it was very cramped, and that can usually impair productivity and lead to more work when it comes to cleaning up after preparing a meal. But with a great plan and layout, you were able to maximize the space, especially the kitchen top. :) And since the electrical issues have been solved, you are fully ready for Thanksgiving! :)

    Alana Geikie

  5. I definitely love your new kitchen design! The space looks neater, more organized and a little brighter. What I love about this design is how you were able to put everything together given the small space. Compared to how it looked before, the new one is spacious and quite pleasing to the eyes. [Chase Conely]