The Kitchen and Plans for the flat

July 2009

I’ve lived in my little flat for 13 years. When I was originally looking for a flat, the estate agent asked me to list the three most important things to me and I said a kitchen, unfurnished, I could put a table in and a garden. This flat was perfect except for the garden (and I got around that eventually by getting the allotment!). The kitchen has been both the best and worst thing about the flat.

July 2017

The best because I can get a table in it and still move around it and the worst because, it’s not a great kitchen. It was badly installed sometime before my landlord bought it. Which means that some cupboards don’t have backs and there are massive gaps between the wall and the countertop (which is very handy for the visiting mice), there aren’t that many cupboards so storage is a problem. Aside from that, the kick boards aren’t attached either and it’s a shiny blue which is really difficult keep clean. The oven isn’t actually attached to the wall, so opening it can be interesting and the sink is the bane of my existence. It’s a stupid little round sink, the type that people with dishwashers have because they think that they won’t need to wash up (which is stupid anyway because there is always something that won’t go in the dishwasher) and there is no draining board on a wooden countertop. Last year, a tomato seed took root in the rotten wood around the sink!

Hang on little tomato

Finally, the kitchen floor, like all the floors in the flat, were stripped back to the original planks and varnished. In keeping with our running theme, not well, so gaps weren’t plugged, nails weren’t levelled and one coat of varnish wasn’t enough, which means, when I clean it, it kills mops and doesn’t ever look clean. So it wasn’t great 13 years ago and it’s destroyed now, although I’ve done my best not to destroy it.

Sometime after 2013 – the white cupboard is staying

My landlord is a decent chap and has been making noises about replacing the kitchen since just before COVID lockdown. Last year he asked me to give him an idea of what I would want in a new kitchen, so the lady from Wickes came and did a plan early last year. My wants were all about how I use the kitchen. I was unfussed by a dishwasher, because it’s just me and I can wash up. I wasn’t going to ask for an expensive kitchen with fancy countertops because they are expensive. No, I wanted the oven moved and on the wall instead of beneath the counter because that makes sense if you cook a lot, I wanted two fridge freezers (one of which I’m prepared to pay for) because I need an allotment fridge/freezer, I wanted a proper sink with a draining board and the gaps in the counter top boxed in because it looks nicer. Finally, I wanted lino or laminate floor that would be easy to clean (I grew up with lino, it’s apparently not cheaper than laminate nowadays) and as many extra cupboards as I could get.

All of this is going

It taken a while, because the Wickes quote was very expensive (I did suggest another configuration that would be cheaper and get most of what I wanted – sink, storage, extra fridge freezer) but to my landlord’s credit he’s going with the original plan and doing some maintenance to the flat too. The kitchen ceiling and one of the walls are going to be re-plastered, the window replaced and the wall built up to ensure no gaps and he’s going to vent the cooker hood, so it actually extracts, he’s also going to put acoustic underlay down too so it’ll be warmer and quieter (there’s no padding between my floors and downstairs’ ceilings, so it’s a win-win for all of us.

Bye bye kitchen

If you’ve been around here a while, you’ll know that there is other work being done at the same time, one of the bedroom walls need re-plastering, the lights in the hall need replacing and the fuse box needs to be metal so that will be replaced. Which is why I moved out for the best part of the month and why moving back in will involve a lot of work. I need to paint the bedroom anyway and I have Christmas money from Ma, that I’m finally spending on a proper wardrobe and replacing a chest of drawers. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve donated about 7 bags of assorted clothes and kitchen stuff to charity shops and throw away over a wheelie bin’s of things that weren’t fit for donation. I have a feeling that, as I unpack, I’ll get rid of more things. 

The empty bedroom

2023 is the year of the flat and of truly making it the calm, easy to live in place I need and want it to be.

About nicdempsey

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