The kitchen fitters finished in the first week of May and since then I’ve busied myself laying flooring, skimming where the wall cabinets had been removed, and painting the walls and ceiling. On Wednesday afternoon my custom made pantry doors arrived, and though they would have been easy enough to hang myself I had running group on Wednesday evening, a comedy show on Thursday evening and on Friday my friends were due to come over for a combined birthday/housewarming party.
It was then that I declared my kitchen finished enough. Finished enough to cook in, host guests and enjoy. The doors still need putting up along with some shelves and a picture ledge, but it is finished enough. Suffering from DIY fatigue, I texted my handyman. Sometimes it’s ok to pay someone else to do work you don’t have the time or inclination for. He’ll come over when he has time but for now, this is where we’re at.
First let’s take a look back at Before:
My old kitchen was built in 1970 when my flat was built. About seven years ago the old boiler was removed and a combi boiler installed, leaving that lovely blue panel covering an empty space under the new boiler. A DIY dunce had tiled the floor – I guess whoever it was ran out of tiles so opted for the mosaic effect you see there. A slightly uneven subfloor led to cracks in many of the tiles. Though the cabinets all had integrated handles the owner before me stuck wallpaper up on them and brass curly handles for some sort of 70s Victoriana mashup.
The first thing I did was to have the washing machine moved to one of the hall cupboards, where once a hot water cylinder had stood. I had this done when I had my bathroom replaced last year. Then I ripped down the net curtains and put a blackout blind up. For privacy (my kitchen is at ground floor level), I coated the window with mirror film. I can highly recommend this stuff. They cut it to exactly the size you need. It’s cheap and really easy to install yourself following the video they have on the site. After I recommended it a colleague bought some too, only he had it fitted – if you are in the London area it seems their quotes for fitting are very reasonable (not a paid link, I was just very happy with it and it stopped a nosy neighbour in his tracks). I gave the brass handles away on Streetbank and ripped the wallpaper off the cupboards.
Enough of that. Let’s cut to After:
Normally the yucca lives in the living room and there would be a kitchen table there, but I swapped them to serve food on for my party. Well, actually the table hasn’t made it back into the kitchen since before the kitchen fitters came. Like I said, soon there will be shelves and a picture ledge, but for now I have a usable kitchen and I couldn’t be happier.
As for my party, being short on time (see above) I outsourced the catering to locals The GreenBean. They have a regular stall at Tottenham Green Market selling vegetarian and vegan salads and savouries and always seem to have the longest queues! Here are the salads they made me:
My friends loved them and everyone had a great time!
I’ll post again once the finishing touches are done (and the pantry deserves a post of its own), but for now I’m going to go and enjoy my new kitchen.