What a journey this has been! So much has happened over the past 5 and half weeks I’m really pleased to have written it down as it happened.
We did deviate from the plan as the eagle eyed amongst you would have seen that our pesky shelves disappeared. Sometimes you need to see something in and complete before you realise that it just doesn’t quite do what you wanted it to and that was the case with our shelves. So having made the decision to remove them, we needed something to replace them. In the continued style of having everything handmade and having the full palette of suppliers and options available, we visited real wood studios and found a piece of oak that was the right length and thickness to go right the way across the back wall. They then formed this into a single shelf. This we feel marries the natural oak of the garden room and the kitchen units. The inside of the cabinets and drawers are all solid oak, so we feel it ties everything together beautifully.
It has taken just over 5 weeks to completely rework our kitchen and the utility room. The most surprising element of the build was the emotional turmoil – quite unexpected. However, the kitchen is the heart of the home. The things that are in it you use every day, be your favourite coffee cup, or spoon or something else. The tools you use to make meals are either in boxes or not required when heating up something in the microwave. Takeaways get boring pretty quickly. We bbq’d in the rain and were lucky to have some good weather so BBQ and salad was often the norm. We both even lost a bit of weight most likely due to the lack of carbs.
But now we are done, completed and finished. Things are re appearing and being put away in new slots. Some don’t make the cut – it’s a great opportunity to decide, that i have not used that for over 10 years – do I really want to keep it? Every time you open a drawer or cupboard, it’s a really lovely experience and so different to what we had before.
I am learning the new oven which will take time, but that’s a good thing. The new dishwasher works waaaay better than the one we had before and we are setting into enjoying our new space.
I’m afraid there are no real pearls of wisdom I can offer except maybe a few pointers.
- A handmade kitchen is really worth doing, it’s so much more than a regular kitchen. This is my 3rd kitchen rework and first handmade. By far and away the best decision was to go for this.
- Don’t be afraid to admit you have got something wrong and go back a couple of steps to go forwards.
- Think about lighting and natural lighting – Shona made so much better use of our skylights by moving the cooker.
- Don’t scrimp on things that you touch, like handles as you use them so often.
- Be prepared to wait for the trades, the best ones are always busy.
- Ensure you can always make tea and coffee and in ensure a sufficient supply of wine!
Exercise patience when things don’t go as planned. It will almost certainly happen, however you will have a great team of people working tirelessly on your behalf to make everything right. Trust them!
So thanks to everyone who worked on bringing this together, Shona and Susie on Design, Elliot and the team at the workshop in Kelso, Gavin who meticulously fitted all of the joinery, John and all the folk from Newcraft who managed all of the trades, electricity, plumbing, plastering, joinery, decorating. Nichola and Fiona who kept us up to date as to what was happening when. It takes a lot of people and co ordination to put this together and this was a great example of a team working in sometimes very difficult circumstances under Covid restrictions who came through and made this wonderful kitchen for us!
Thanks again 🙂
Simon, Susan & Rufus