Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Renovation of a cottage kitchen.... twice!

I thought I'd do another renovation post, for two reasons really. One is that it's been quite an interesting journey we've been on, doing up our house over the course of 20 years, well maybe just I think it's been interesting (occasionally horrific but interesting none the less!)! And secondly because I've lost my camera! I have taken a few photos just lately when we've been out and about, lots of cricket has been played and a few other events to record too. However my camera has gone missing, I feel sure it's not far away but as it's not in it's usual place (my handbag) I'm a bit lost!

So renovation posts are easy as I've mainly recorded and photographed what we've done over the years, some photos I've scanned in from the album and some are already on the home computer.

Our kitchen has had three incarnations from where we began in 1992. We purchased the two adjoining cottages that year and one cottage was lived in by an old lady who believed it had a functional kitchen, I however felt it lacked a little something! You may agree....




It was a little dark with the small window, one very tiny centre light and very low ceiling, but it did come complete with calor gas cooker circa 1920 I think! I didn't use any of the cupboards for fear of what may be lurking in them and we lived out of boxes and bags until planning was agreed. I've already mentioned the ancient water system here.
 
The kitchen in the second cottage which had been derelict for some time, looked like this...
Don't you just love the wallpaper?!
Believe it or not behind the wallpaper was a large copper over what would have been a fire and an old bread oven (sadly rusted to nearly nothing) complete with rusty baking tins!
 
We soon stripped the rooms out whilst living in a caravan in the garden - that's another tale!

The kitchen was to be built at the back of the house so was actually a new bit added on, it seemed so huge after 18 months in a caravan.


We were soon nearing the end, and Christmas was fast approaching, from the outside it looked like this with the roof on and all watertight.



 I dreamt of a rustic pine (with an orange hue!) kitchen very similar to the one I regularly drooled over in John Lewis at the time. It would cost approximately £10,000.00 (and this was in 1992) for the units I wanted, sadly our budget was nearer £10.00! Anyway I took the brochure (without the price list) to a local pine shop and asked if they could replicate it in anyway. They ummed and ahhed before telling me it wouldn't be cheap....did I realise I'd be looking at over £1000.00 for that kind of thing? After spluttering slightly and despite it still being over our budget I ordered it!

It took weeks to be finished and there was a slight hiccup along the way when the police were called..... I had arranged to pop into the pine shop on the day of delivery and get a lift home in their van, to show them the way. The builder was aware of this but it was in the days before we all carried mobile 'phones.
The pine shop owner was a bit of a wheeler dealer and as it turned out the kitchen wasn't quite ready. I waited in the shop for hours and hours while they trimmed and waxed the units. They were all handmade in large pieces of individual furniture.
 Anyway we hit the road to home quite late and arrived to find the builder in rather a panic having just got off  the 'phone from the police reporting me missing possibly kidnapped by a Arthur Daley/ Del Boy Trotter type character!

However after that slight kerfuffle the kitchen was all I'd dreamed of, we had to make do with some old plywood for worktops until another months pay hit the bank but we loved it!

It was all late 1980's/early 1990's bright colours and fancy swag and tail curtains.




 
 I loved it, but over the years it's taken it's fair share of knocks. As I designed the units myself (based on John Lewis' brochure) it didn't work brilliantly; although it looked pretty. We had lots of display cabinets to show beautiful china and ornaments. However there was a distinct lack of storage space for the baked beans - unless you have them on display?!
As it had been made by a furniture shop it didn't have the sturdy hinges and catches which would be more suited to doors and drawers which are in constant use. I had really set my heart on wooden worktops but they were beyond our means, except for a tiny bit used as a draining board.
 Laminate "wood look" worktops were fitted but I never really liked them.

The floor has Norfolk Pamments laid which were taken up from the rest of the house, cleaned by hand (took ages) and re-laid in the kitchen. The left over pamments were stored away safely (ie in a bed of nettles behind the house) and were actually used last year in our more recent extension. They make a very forgiving surface, they are a mottled brick colour and don't show the stains and spills. They are porous when not sealed but do hold the heat well and can be quite warm to bare feet.

Anyway the years went on, a couple of doors fell off and were re-attached as a temporary measure
(ie lasted another 10 years) The kids swung on the doors and slammed the drawers until 2 had chunks of wood missing!
 And in all that time the builder thought they just needed a "little touching up" here and there!

Well after much pestering we eventually dismantled the old pine units and sold them on ebay! Someone came over from France to collect them....weird!
And gradually the new kitchen took shape, it's more calming in cream and French grey. White walls and a wooden blind at the window - we still need something on the white walls like a picture of some sort, I'll know the right one when I see it.

Sorry it's a bit dark, I needed an extra pic & had to use my phone.



The tiles behind the cooker are off white and the worktops are iroko wood - I waited 20 years to get the ones I wanted and I love them!

The other end has French doors at the moment looking out onto some crumbling concrete - we had planned, some years ago to add a conservatory/orangery but this hasn't happened....yet!
There are actually NEVER flowers on this table, just for the photo - I should get a job as a stylist!

 I am  (or should I say we are?) really happy with the new kitchen,
it suits life as a family when we need easy access to more baked beans than crystal wine glasses....sadly!!

Have a good week all!

29 comments:

  1. Fantastic post! Isn't it great to look back over the renovations and see how times and tastes have changed? I LOVE your new kitchen, and not a baked bean tin in sight; those work tops are gorgeous. We have oak worktops, but they are desparately in need of a sand/oil; we're really too lazy to be allowed to have wood work surfaces, but they do look good if looked after (as yours clearly are.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not so much looked after Justine, just new! Give us time....

      Delete
  2. I always love seeing transformations so I really enjoyed this post. It's strange how fashions changed we too had a pine kitchen and loved it at the time. I really like your new kitchen too and I'm glad you have at long last got the worktops you have always wanted.
    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lovely photos, we went through similar incarnations - right down to the pine pine pine cupboards (built by my husband - we couldn't afford silly money either) and that green Rayburn - even my splash back tiles are similar, only I have extra colours (NOT by Fired Earth I hasten to add!)
    And now we have similar units to your new ones - though my kitchen is very much smaller. I do like the lightness which comes in now all the pine has gone.My favourite bit is my larder cupboards - yes, bean storage is MOST important!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How strange Lynne, I wonder if the rest of our rooms are similar?

      Delete
  4. Loved reading about your kitchen. It's amazing how fashions change so much isn't it! In our last house we fitted a new kitchen and hubby spent ages making a tiled worktop as they were all the rage. It was awful, the grouting was always grubby and I was glad when we moved. Next time I want a proper larder and no silly corner cupboards! I love your units now, the handles are perfect. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love the new kitchen. How fashions change - our kitchen is long due a makeover but getting the OH to agree to anything is nigh on impossible!
    June

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep nagging June, it did take me over 10 years of pester!

      Delete
  6. Loving the new kitchen Jay, and green with envy at the range - loving the lights around it.
    My 'new' kitchen is now nearly 19 years old, still in good nick too. I'm getting nearer and nearer to taking the plunge and painting it - honest ;o)
    Rose H
    x

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a lovely kitchen...very stylish! I am lusting after your cooker.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love, love, love, my cooker, part of it is around 70 years old (reconditioned) and the other bit came from ebay last year!

      Delete
  8. Good things come to those who wait, that's what my Mum always said! I'm still waiting but your wait is up and it looks fab, I love the doors opening into the garden! :) x

    ReplyDelete
  9. You obviously have great taste as we have iroko work tops too! The new kitchen looks fab - worth all the hassle?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As we constantly live in a building site (sometimes other peoples rubble even finds its way here)it wasn't too much hassle - the hassle was spending several years with a kitchen that continually fell apart in your hands!

      Delete
  10. Lovely post. I really like your new fresh kitchen.

    We inherited a free standing kitchen eight years ago with the
    original 1930's Parquet flooring ( which we had sanded & re treated last year ) Habitat units,range cooker & American style fridge. I love it but it's not easy to keep clean. The units are very stained. Recently painted off white.

    It's a lovely room but tends to double up as office. I did draw the line when Joe plugged in his new electric toothbrush charger though !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean, I cleared husbands end of year accounts and several school letters off the table just for the photo!

      Delete
  11. I absolutely love your new kitchen, it's exactly how I want ours to look! Funny to think that in a decade or so people across the land will probably be ripping out all these French grey shaker cabinet and wooden worktop kitchens in horror :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, another ten years and someone will say "what this needs is a bit of colour....!"

      Delete
  12. I love the freshness of the white, it just looks wonderful. I know what you mean, it's so hard to get a good shot of interiors isn't it? Without too much contrast between dark and light. I was just going to say I loved that old wallpaper you had in that room with big boxes piled up there, looks like hidden treasure. Someone said to us when re-modeling to spend as much as you can on things you use all the time like drawers, it hurts because good pulleys and levers etc aren't glam and don't show, but you thank yourself for it every time you open the cutlery drawer. Best advice someone gave us.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Well your kitchen has had a few different looks over the years, but I love the one you have now. It looks so cosy and very stylish.
    Lisa x

    ReplyDelete
  14. So interesting to see the different decor fashions over the years. I remember having very similar brightly coloured tiles myself, and yet I look at them now, and think 'ewwww, no!'. The current look is lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your new kitchen looks gorgeous, very stylish and elegant (well without the paperwork you cleared off the table.)
    That ceiling in the original kitchen was low wasn't it, I thought that as soon as I saw the photo before I'd read that you said it was.
    You must have the patience of a saint, but you've got what you deserve at last.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Being able to preserve an old kitchen and making great changes in two renovations already are quite a good job! The look of each picture from different remodel looks fresh! It's a good idea to make changes, which is far differently from the previous ones. Also, the transition of trends is very clear in your kitchen. Congratulations on a job well done!

    Majestic Exteriors

    ReplyDelete
  17. I LOVE your kitchen Jay - it's perfect! And I'm extremely envious of your cooker....ahh one day we'll get rid of our 1980's one......Mel x

    ReplyDelete
  18. Looks fabulous, and I am sure it was well worth the wait.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Looks wonderful - it's exactly what I have in mind for my kitchen... when we finally get around to it!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Kitchen Renovation Tips Before Taking That Plunge : Remodelling the living space with proper review and analysis can ensure enhanced utilisation of funds and space, uplifting the look and feel of the décor. Bathroom Renovation along with Kitchen Renovation is a step towards upgrading them for having a better equipped bathroom and kitchen.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Your current kitchen is very different from how it looked before. With white as the only color in the background, you made the area to look simple and dandy. I can see that everything was well thought out. It may take years or decades before this kitchen to have a taste of a renovation again, so I know that you put all your effort to make it wonderful. Overall, it was fantastic!

    Herb Koguchi @ Kroll Construction

    ReplyDelete
  22. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.A fantastic presentation. Very open and informative.You have beautifully presented your thought in this blog post. cricket phones

    ReplyDelete