It all began several months ago with this sketch…
Well, it began 6 years ago when we bought and moved into this dinky flat after renting a much larger one when I realised quickly, the kitchen just wasn’t going to cut it. We added three cupboards, fitted the hall closet with shelves and cordoned off areas in our bedrooms to devote to my precious kitchenalia. Hungry Hubby was not best pleased at having cake tins, roasting trays and various cake stands in his wardrobe! But of course, as any new couple starting their first home together, money was (still is) a restricting factor and my dreams of the perfect kitchen had to be parked up in the realm of day dreams.
That is, until two weeks ago. As some of you know, my dad (Daddums, as I call him) is a carpenter by trade and after a group of my foodie friends shared photos of their kitchens earlier this year, the desire to do something about my cramped kitchen grew stronger and stronger and I started to draw. It was around the time I’d redesigned my blog to what you see today and my artist fingers were itchy and ready to actualise those day dreams I thought were never to be in this wee home in which we live, by the skilled hand of my father :). You can see the shocking lack of space for yourself…
Just look at that photo – clutter, clutter, clutter! It drove me insane moving things from area to area in order to cook anything but, living in a new build apartment, space is very much of a premium and creating something which didn’t require converting the second bedroom into a utility (now there’s an idea! ;) ) room, was a little challenging. Luckily with a steady source of inspiration from lots of my foodie crew over at the Facebook group “Cooking Friends”, a plan was borne and Daddums was called into action! We spent several days researching the “how”, spent two days buying the “what” then I spent a matter of hours repainting before work commenced.
Bye bye red wall! You’ve been with us a long time but it’s time to go “Touchy Tealey” so on with not one, not two but three coats of white paint to rid of the red! Ooo, I ached from head to toe after doing all the painting myself (I was impatient to get work underway) but I’m so very glad I was brave enough to switch from that ubiquitous red to this jewel bright teal which radiates throughout our whole home, blessed with several very large windows, not to mention the floor to ceiling one in our kitchen-lounge-diner.
It really is remarkable but it does. It feels like being at the seaside to me, all that aquamarine that form my memories of childhood holidays in Cornwall (though in reality, I suspect the sea was daubed with a touch of grey then my romanticised Piscean mind recalls it).
And there he is, the man himself, Daddums! Please cast only a fleeting glance over the ultimate chaos that constructs the foreground and focus, please on the freshly painted wall and more importantly my dad, fit well and healthy. For those of you who caught my Carpenter’s Cakes posts last August, here and here, you may know we nearly lost my dad, not 11 months ago to severe, acute pancreatitis. Despite all my years of medical training and genuine love of science, I truly believe it was a miracle that Daddums is the Bob The Builder you see before you here today.
The first weekend he was in hospital, in ITU no less, we were told he wouldn’t live to see the Monday. I sat with him and said my goodbyes in my head, never before feeling more pain in my life than I did that day yet Monday came, Tuesday even, then another week. Another month. Finally, 17 weeks in hospital and more than once moments from death he emerged from hospital, a few stone lighter and diabetic to boot but alive and getting stronger by the day. I will say it again – a miracle. So here we are today, Daddums yet again to the rescue, making my house the home I long for it to be.
So, in with the base units, onwards with moving of the plug sockets, over with the Italian walnut worktop and up with the chrome legs of my breakfast bar to be. Then the construction of the box units (customised by Daddums in his swanky double garage workshop, back home!) to go on top. Oh, he is a hard-working clever Daddums – not bad for one day’s work eh?!
Day two saw yet more progress with the unit being fully assembled, only relatively minor jobs about the kitchen to be done like moving the light fittings and replacing the plinth, or footboards to the rest of the kitchen (they were a tad battered from repeatedly having to remove them to fix our dodgy washing machine).
A couple more days of tinkering saw the job complete. Well, all but the blackboard being made for me to fit the right side of the boxes which Daddums is working on still. He’s a bit of a perfectionist, a trait I definitely inherited! Hence why it’s taken me as long to clean, tidy and reorganise the kitchen to what follows, much to the annoyance of my Facebook followers who have only had wee sneaky peeks at the work in progress! But, may I present to you, the brand new and absolutely beautiful (in my eyes anyway) Kitchen a la Casa Blogs :)
I now have an unhealthy obsession with soft furnishings from Zara ;)
Just look at that – jewel brights, high gloss white and warm, dark organic wood mingling together to form my new storage unit and breakfast bar! Of course, lunch and dinner will be had at the bar once our bar stools arrive too – it’s too good to save just for breakfast!
Oh look at that!!! Everything has a place and there is still plenty of space left to go! I cannot tell you how happy I am with these boxes which make my modern take on a Welsh dresser – I’ve fallen head over heels for it and there’s no sign of me falling out ever! Take a peek at what’s below too:
No more oven dishes in Hungry Hubby’s wardrobe, no more Le Creuset living atop my stove, no more cake tins falling out of my choc-a-block hall cupboard. Oh no, just organised kitchen peace and tranquillity with room left to spare!. Can you believe it?
Oh bespoke kitchen, I could gaze upon you all day long! And I may just do that, when I finally finish this degree in six weeks and one day ;)
And just so you know I haven’t forgotten my “old” kitchen here’s a snap from t’other side – MUST LOOK AT THE WORKTOP SPACE! This is where I shall be preparing all the goodies to come on my wee blog without having to move everything off the surfaces, as there isn’t anything to move off.
Let’s just pause and think about that last statement a second. That’s life changing cooking that is, all thanks to Daddums! And in case any of you are wondering where guests will sit who come for dinner, right behind the leather couch is a foldaway, extendable table which will seat 6 at a push. Just call before you drop in so we have time to move the furniture around and get the folding chairs out the hall cupboard ;)
So there I leave you, no recipe this post, just a whole load of piccies of where hopefully, many more dishes will be created, photographed, served and eaten. All thanks to my incredible, miracle badge owning dad and sponsored by my very last Student Loan payment (well, if you spend 10 years at university’s it’s only fitting that the last instalment pays for your dream kitchen right?!).
Here’s to many more special days being Daddum’s little apprentice, fetching and carrying his precious tools, making his Earl Grey tea with lemon, not milk and feeding him dinners just like I did as a wee tot and still do today, a matter of weeks away from finally being a doctor. For the fact that he is alive today to create such a magnificent home for me and Hungry Hubby to live our lives in, is the greatest gift a girl could ever wish for.