Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Introducing the house: the kitchen

Okay, so I have been droning on about this house for six months now without showing you very much of it. Just expecting really, that you're conjuring up some sort of vision for yourself. So I'm going to be more assiduous with showing you around, starting this week with the kitchen.

Ta da ... here it is as at a few weeks ago.  Sorry that you can't quite see the sink, you'll get a better view a little further down. That's me resplendent in my gardening clothes reflected in the oven mirror.  That's the back door out to the deck.

One of my visions for the house is for it to be a cook's haven with a feeling of warmth and abundance; the kind of place that people spend hours sitting around a big table chatting, helping themselves from platters of amazing food and quaffing wine.  So the oven had to be generous and the food preparation area very open.  Just off to the side you can see the big walk-in pantry.  When guests arrive they are immediately introduced to the pantry and the fridge and told to help themselves from that moment on.  I helped design the island bench and had it made by a place in Melbourne called Industria.

This is the kitchen when I first moved in.  I heated the house and cooked everything for the first two years on that old wood oven.

Here is the same corner a few weeks later after a lot of sweat and elbow grease. 

After two years I pulled the wood oven out.  It may have looked adorable and rustic, but I was not sad to see it go.  In winter keeping the fire stoked for cooking was cosy. In an Australian summer, far too cosy. 

The picture above shows the forest green ceiling in all of its glory. It made the room dark. The other thing you can see from the ceiling beam in this photo is where a wall used to be. The kitchen was tiny and having it separate from the lounge didn't fit with the casual and open entertaining I like to do so I had the wall ripped out by my trusty friend Troy the builder.  It makes what was the  adjacent bedroom into the lounge.

I also replaced the small table with the big old army trestle table that I actually bought for the deck. It is living indoors until I get an indoor table. The door that you can see is the door to the bathroom.

Then I had the kitchen cabinets ripped out. You can just see them in the right of the photo of the original kitchen. They were filthy and mice-infested and I was never able to bring myself to put anything into them.  That window looks out to a stunning view of rolling green hills.  When I can scrape together enough cash, that entire wall will be replaced by huge glass doors and windows.

In November last year I had the ceiling painted white and a combined dishwasher and sink installed. It's an amazing stainless steel Smeg beast of a thing. I got both that and the oven, also Smeg, from an online auction. They are both used demonstation models.

There's still a lot more to be done, but it's starting to get there.

1 comment:

Peta said...

I LOVE, love, love this kitchen, it looks warm and inviting. The type of place where you could settle in and spread the paper over the table in the morning and drink an entire pot of coffee or enjoy a slow degustation and a few bottles of vino, losing track of time with your friends. I can totally see the whole wall as a window idea and think the island bench is to die for - are you sure this is not Jamie Oliver's country house? Brilliant.