Contents of the pantry – you know – I don’t think I could make a meal out of all of this – it’s mostly condiments of some kind or other.
When I first moved out of home the idea of cooking myself a meal was the furthest thing from my mind. My first meal was – I’m proud to admit an entire family block of chocolate purchased from the servo across the road.
It was good.
And scarfed in front of the TV in a house I shared with a flatmate I’d never met before agreeing to move in and help pay the rent. The second night was not so satisfying, and while I still like chocolate I’ve never been able to consume that amount again. A few tiny pieces and I’m done.
Our kitchen was tiny, not very well stocked and my diet consisted in those early & broke days of defrosted dim sims, 2 minute noodles, a tomato based vegetarian stew full of capsicum, onions and a lot of salt, or a variation of all 3. Noodles with chopped up dim sims and tomato stew. Tomato stew watered down and flavoured with noodle seasoning. Dim Sims in Noodle broth…. You get the picture. It’s a miracle I survived really. I was certainly thinner then.
The kitchen at our house – about to be ripped out. An 80’s symphony in cream.
My mother was always a great cook, she was generous with her skills and I always did love cooking, but it wasn’t my kitchen, it was a shared one, and in the series of share houses that followed – furtive moments in an available space did not make for a great cooking (or eating) experiences. You need to inhabit a kitchen to unfurl in it. You can’t experiment or spend hours stirring in a share house.
When I got my own kitchen it was a thrill. Moving stuff into empty cupboards. Being able to put things in the fridge that stayed there – or were eaten by a loved one (instead of some house-mate’s friend who was foraging), and being able to take time to bake and fill the house with smells that could be savoured later instead of pounced on by people who were slowly driving you mad…. and who you might secretly like to give food-poisoning to.
There have been many kitchens. Aside from share-houses (and there were a few of those), I can count seven kitchens that have actually been my own. Seven spaces that have challenged, delighted or brought me to my knees in one way or another. I think the one in the house before this one was the worst. Tiny. No bench space, a sink with a negative camber that held water turning putrid before your very eyes. Mice in the cupboards that returned and returned. The MOST inefficient electric cooktop in existence. The slowest and smallest oven there ever was. Ever. And the knowledge that there were rats lurking somewhere waiting for us to go to bed. Hideous. It’s a good thing I was so optimistic and rabidly in love or it would have driven me to distraction.
The kitchen space – after the kitchen was removed. See our white painted floorboards? We like those…. The mat covers holes going right through to the ground below – which must have been fun for rats – we found quite a few droppings. They couldn’t get in, but must have rested under the cupboard. It’s now completely blocked off..
When we moved into our own new home we thought we would keep this kitchen. It wasn’t so bad. In fact the oven (though old) was a masterpiece of brilliance. Fast warming, accurate, and brilliantly fan forced. Things cooked quickly and well. But it was at shoulder height – which made getting a roast out more than a bit dangerous. And the benchtop – while solid, was higher than average, which made kneading dough much too difficult for a shorty like me. Also, there was no dishwasher – or rather there was, but it didn’t work at all – a fact the real estate agent helpfully didn’t point out to us.
So we discussed a new kitchen. How exciting! And in the space of an hour with one consultant had placed an order for something that promised to be much more ergonomic and functional. Ikea was a bit too hard to get our heads around and this seemed like a great and reasonably priced option. We move fast.
NO visiting dozens of showrooms, discussing the pros and cons of various layouts and building materials. NO repeat visits from consultants to nut out various concerns, make changes or stress over colour choices and bench choices.
The bottom-half of the kitchen going in – no bench top yet, and the wall to the laundry is yet to be filled.
And after a few delays they started – one day to rip out. And two days to install – because nothing is straight in our house – walls, floor, ceiling all wonky. It was in.
In and BEAUTIFUL!
Oscar has been inspecting every inch of the kitchen. Constantly. Not sure if he is impressed but he is grateful all the noise has stopped.
Our cupboards are very dark on the bottom and quite light on the top. And we are still figuring out where everything goes, but loving it. And loving having a space that feels like the perfect size, with enough room to grow, but not so much room that we can afford to be lazy with possessions or too many condiments.
Softclose doors and drawers
I’ll wait until the splashback is in place before showing you the final kitchen, but so far we are happy. So happy, and enjoying the effortlessness of this new space and appliances that do what they are supposed to well while looking good too.
Worth the money. every cent.