Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Like Apartment Therapy. But quite a lot more rubbish

I thought I would show you our kitchen now that I have decorated it. It will be like Apartment Therapy, but, not very good and with paint splashes in surprising places. I thought it might be at least interesting for Aunty Kath, though, because she has a shop selling kitchens and will be able to look at my photographs and think, poor Susie would be much better off if only she could rip it all out and install a Poggenpohl. And yes I would concur with this sentiment. But, you know, we have no money for Poggenpohls because I squander the household income on Orla Kiely ceramic items which I have now got to take back to John Lewis because the seal is dodgy (I know! And I have got PMT and may end up unintentionally giving the poor people in the kitchen department a piece of my mind. Hmm perhaps I should leave it to next week when I am human again).
The veg box is behind the table in the corner on the wine rack. You would be surprised what you can fit into a tiny kitchen if you are determined
This is my dining table. I can get 5 people round this which is quite impressive when you consider no-one wants to sit near Partner, as he is liable to drink wine and say sarcastic things in Latin. When we moved into our house, you had to see the kitchen to believe it. It is actually quite large for Cambridge, but the people before us had, as they would say on Phil and Kirsty, used the space in a rather eccentric way. They had built worktops all round the room so you couldn’t get any appliances under them or any furniture. Partner took one look at it and said ‘this is just silly’ and pulled the worktop away from the wall and rearranged it all so we could get a table in. This gives you an idea of the quality of the build. The worktop is not actually attached to anything, it is propped up on legs. I do not think this is normal.
At least we get sunshine
This is the worktop and my Dualit toaster which was bought for me by Aunty Kath and has seen daily use ever since. We had to install that light because when we moved in we had strip lights which, shall we say, had seen better days. One of them had seen better days to the extent that it was actually just wires hanging from the ceiling.
Daffs and garlic. There's a name for a blog right there
Pans, spices and cookery books. I would love to find a spice arrangement which means they do not all drop on my head whenever I am rootling at the back for the Asafoetida, but if I put them on the worktop they breed like ground elder so they have to be contained.
I painted those cabinet doors too. Before, they were exactly the same colour as a truss. Who wants that?
A panoramic view of the sink. You may be thinking, is that safe having a gas pipe behind a cooker, and the answer would be, it possibly isn’t ideal, no, but, I work with what I have got. You can see out of the window next door’s fence which is the only fence in our row which stands at the correct angle, go you John next door, and the paint which whoever painted the window outside got on the glass. I have actually never seen such terrible painting as the person who did this house before me, I think it was a trained orangutan. In which case obviously it is very impressive. Anyway if you too are dealing with the results of training an orangutan to paint, I can tell you that you can remove paint from glass by scraping it with a razor blade held at a 45 degree angle (or a ceramic hob scraper).
Hyacinths! ++ Something!
Bulbs! Reduced from Marks and Spencer, waiting to be snapped up. Lavender outside the window, waiting to take over the world. There is mare’s tail in that bed and I have discovered today that that is actually as bad as having Japanese Knotweed. I win, I win the Difficult House competition.

Do you all have proper, non-mad, not-codged-up kitchens? I bet you do ;-).


Kezz said...

My kitchen won't fit a table (at least not while both the dogs need to sleep in there). And the cupboards are apparently made of chipboard as they are crumbling away. It's been here since the early 80's though lol.

Lien said...

Be thankful your kitchen was just painted by a trained orangutan- my kitchen was *built and installed* by an untrained one. No, actually, it was built by the old owner's son-in-law's building company, the files of which we found in the attic, including binders full of complaint letters. Therefore, we were only slightly surprised when our nice new neighbours told us that building company was on the consumer watchdog show on TV!

Rachel said...

You think your gas pipe over the cooker's bad? When the gas man came to connect our second hand cooker, he was so horrified by my dad's temporary connection that he took photos of it to show his friends. He then explained why we really shouldn't be putting a cooker in there, especially not one with an eye-level grill at just the same height as the electric socket powering the overhead extractor (no, this isn't the best combination of appliances). He did the job and took his seventy quid, though.

Susie said...

You've got an extractor! Luxury! ;-). You'll be telling me you can open your cutlery drawer next and then I'll just be jealous and sad ;-).

Kezz, our cupboards get what I shall euphemistically call 'condensation' (see above comment re extractor ;-) ). However they somehow are still clinging on, this house is somehow tenacious in its utter knackeredness.

Lien, laughing (in a sympathetic way). These orangutans do get about, don't they?

I am waiting for my mother to leave a comment now about how my grandad used to wire the electric fire into the light socket (I may be misremembering this). Mother, take it away.

Rachel said...

It's true we can open the cutlery drawer, but you should see our fabulous seventies flooring ;-)

I've very jealous of your sunshine, too.

Marushka C. said...

My kitchen, built in 1976, featured wood paneling walls stained the darkest brown that isn't quite black, with black appliances, and avocado Formica counter tops that did not quite match the avocado sink. To make things worse, we get almost no natural light in the kitchen so it is always dark. We believe that Darth Vader supervised the original design. It is much better now, but will eternally be a work-in-progress. You'll understand me when I say that the only thing that would make our kitchen more trouble would be if there were tiled floors and ancient grout. (Yes, I'm still in despair about the bathroom grout situation.)

Susie said...

Marushka, I think your house sounds fabulous. I do. Black and avocado! I hope you took 'before' photos ;-).

And yes, grouting. I wonder how difficult grouting is to redo? Says she thoughtfully. I might have a go at our kitchen windowsill. I just have this vision of you regrouting your bathroom(s) yourself and then perhaps calling back the men who gave quotes and saying, ha! You said it couldn't be done. Look how fabulous it is now ;-).

Vivianne said...

Kim and Aggie say you can get paint off glass by spraying it with WD40 and gently scraping/rubbing it :-)

Mrs Bent said...

I love the shelves for books and pan and all of the colourful cushions on the chairs

Susie said...

Thank you Mrs Bent! Vivianne, that does possibly sound a more sensible thing to do than going scraping about with a razor blade. I may just keep a weather eye out for WD40.

Denise said...

If I showed you pictures of my dodgey kitchen, you would have lie down with a cloth over your head for a week.

What I would give for a window with a view like your over my sink.

I once rented an old farm house and a foot away from the stove, right in front, was a gas pipe that stuck up ten inches. The land owner told us to put a table and cloth over it if the fire marshal ever came by. So when his wife mispent all the rent money, the bank was foreclosing and they told us to leave. Who was the first person I called to come look at the gas pipe? LOL

Susie said...

Denise, I wouldn't have to lie down with a cloth on my head. Trust me on this one. You notice that there are no photos extant of the bathroom pre-redoing ;-).

We're actually very lucky with the view. In spring I have roses and cherry blossom! And a squirrel beating up the birdies to get to the feeder! (Hmmm).

Eyes wide and loling at the gas pipe. I know there are good landlords out there... (says she thoughtfully).