2017 Is the Year of the Kitchen (posted 3rd March 2017)
We are delighted to have Rebecca Tucker (Co-Owner, Co-Director & Interior Designer at Suna Interior Design) blogging for us again this week.
So, if 2016 was the year of the building work in my own home, 2017 is the year of the New Kitchen.
It’s a turning point for the Tucker family, it’s the point at which we will suddenly start living that idyllic life of Sunday papers and croissants round the breakfast table, cosy chats over the breakfast bar, home cooked food and fresh bread smells emanating from the perfect family kitchen. Too idealistic? No! I am determined!
Having moved into our early 1900’s house nearly four years ago we had made some pretty substantial but cosmetic changes, new fireplaces, reinstating panelling throughout the large hall, stripping out carpet and laminate flooring to reveal original floorboards (that still need stripping and polishing, that’s on my to-do list), sanding back doors, decorating children’s bedrooms (so they stop resenting the fact we moved house at all) and pouring quite a bit of home-grown love into a dining and living room, but we hadn’t gone full pelt into any major building works.
2016 was originally supposed to be The Year Of The Roof, copious amounts of cash thrown at something that has no impact what-so-ever on my aesthetic sensibilities and so gives no real sense of satisfaction aside from the fact we now don’t have so much damp seeping down the walls. To counteract the depressing realisation that we had spent half a tonne of money on something that I couldn’t take a photo of and put on Instagram we ended up throwing copious amounts of money at the kitchen too.
It started as a ‘let’s do a halfway house’. I was desperate for doors onto the garden from the kitchen, so I developed plans of reconfiguring the existing kitchen layout, knocking down a wall, putting a big hole in the back of the house, and hey-presto a short term kitchen solution that would mean I could open the doors and scream at the kids to stop hitting the tree with a stick, rather than knocking crossly on the window and silently mouthing at them through the glass with no effect at all (the windows were pretty much impossible to open unless you were 6ft6 and had a step ladder). This halfway house rapidly developed into a three-quarter way house when the building quote came in very (and I mean ‘very’) slightly lower than I had expected so I started to add little things to the builders remit. One of the ‘little’ things was ‘let’s do the floor then’ which meant that another wall had to be knocked down, and all the kitchen units came out, which led to ‘why would we put these kitchen units back in’ which led to new kitchen units, new worktops, new appliances, new pretty-much-everything. So what started as a minimal project became three rooms knocked into one, a full-on kitchen installation, re-plastering, underfloor heating and yes, finally, a full height 3m span of doors onto my garden! Watch out kids...
We are very nearly there now, a six month wait for some beautiful grey marble has paid off with the most stunning slab of stone I could have wished for. Metal medicine cabinets line the relief tiled walls, stacked with my Molly Hatch collection and our ‘for visitors’ glassware. Full height oak cabinets house the fridge, freezer, larder drawers, microwave, steam oven (no idea how to use it) and two (yes, TWO) Bake-off-styley hide and slide ovens. Take that, Paul Hollywood. Grey modern-take-on-shaker doors sit on all the base units, with gorgeous bronze sleek cup handles. A wooden worktop runs up into a butler sink on one side, and the marble slap tops the island units, complete with prep sink (my ONE concession to my hubby who needed to get his way on at least one thing, I’ll probably use it just a little bit, maybe a lot. OK, I’ll use it a lot). A massive chain strung chandelier hangs over the central island, with all of its 21 bulbs twinkling away. Underfloor heating warms the tootsies of a cold morning and a breakfast table with church pew has become the place we very, very occasionally eat croissants round whilst reading the Sunday papers. Pretty much there, I’d say.
Now, for 2017 I've got a very quick fix for the bathroom, I must go and take off a couple of tiles. Only the ones with the seashells and seahorses on, mind. I'll leave all the rest... maybe.