Hello. How are you this hot and humid Tuesday night? My hay fever has been dreadful today, I have sneezed non stop and my eyes are very itchy, and I feel sure the heat and mugginess are not helping. I don't want to complain about the weather though, I do love it when it's warm.
I think this is my last Kitchen Update post, because after today there won't be much more to show you, other than a lovely "ooh look it's all finished!" post sometime in the future when we've settled into the room a bit more and I've faffed around with pictures on the walls.
The extractor fan was fitted. I like the way it balances out the heaviness of the cooker below, but more importantly I like the job it does, especially when we're cooking things like curry or fish.
Our floor - a type of engineered oak suitable for kitchens - was laid, and what a difference it makes.
I already love it; it's warm underfoot, doesn't show every single crumb and spill, and is easy to clean. Most importantly, it adds warmth to a very stark kitchen and colour scheme.
I spent most of last Saturday putting things back into the cupboards. Despite this being a task I was really looking forward to doing, I found it quite annoying and I had a few moments when I didn't think it would all fit in. Probably because we have So Much Stuff. I told John that actually, yes, we did have too many mugs, something he's always moaned about and I've always denied. (That doesn't mean I'm getting rid of any of them, mind.)
We have about the same amount of cupboard and worktop space as before so I had to think really carefully about what I put where. But I realised I keep a lot of things in the kitchen that I don't need to, like empty jam jars and rarely used baking tins for example, so these now live in the garage in a couple of old kitchen cupboards we hung on the wall in there.
Our new wall cupboards either side of the cooker hold food and drink, while the drawers below hold pans and baking things on one side, crockery and often used things on the other. I like the drawers very much. Nothing can hide at the back. Everything is easily accessible.
On the other side of the room we have the sink, dishwasher, fridge, bin and more cupboards which hold things like cups, jugs, glasses, bowls, and there is a generous amount of worktop space here. It's a nice sunny spot for preparing food.
Some of my favourite things about the kitchen are:
:: The deep windowsill.
:: The cooker. I just love it. I haven't baked a cake yet (simply because I haven't had time) but we've cooked and cooked.
:: The sink, wide and deep and big enough to wash up our biggest Le Crueset pan.
:: The bin. I know, not very glamorous, but I love the way it has two sections and slides away so neatly. Previously, my recycling hung in a carrier bag on the back of the kitchen door, whereas now it has it's own little bin.
The front part of the bin is for general waste and it's so handy to pull it out, take off the lid and scrape things straight into it.
:: A fridge at eye-level. When you think how often you open a fridge during a day, how frequently you use it, this already makes such a huge difference.
Mainly I love all the light. I love coming downstairs in the morning and walking into the kitchen, not the dark garage, and opening a window, filling the kettle and switching on the radio. It's amazing. Small pleasures.
There are things still to do, the main one being to tile the splashback behind the cooker. We need to order additional shelves for some of the wall cupboards to better use every inch of space inside them.
We need to paint the skirting boards and touch up the wall paint around them, choose a blind for the window. Small, fiddly jobs that we hope to tackle this weekend. Then we can move the table, chairs and sideboard from their temporary home in the living room back into the dining area. I can't wait. I've squeezed past that sideboard once too often.
I hope you've enjoyed watching our kitchen take shape over the last few weeks. I've certainly enjoyed sharing this project with you. Thank you for your words of encouragement along the way, and your interest. I hope I'll have lots of cooking and baking to share with you soon.