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Archive for the ‘Kitchen’ Category

Wooden floors go in

In Floors, Kitchen, Workmen and Trade on September 11, 2012 at 3:46 pm

This is how the dining room looked when I left for work. Progress.




When time-frames and specs change

In Floors, Kitchen, Workmen and Trade on September 10, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Today has been one of those days when you wonder if anyone actually understands their trade or knows how to do their job.

I realise that there’s always unforeseen issues, but surely good tradespeople build that into predicted timings? Also, I think our problems should have been foreseen by people with experience in their trade.  I shall let you decide if you agree. Here’s the background:

1. Decide that now is the time to do a new kitchen

2. Realise that floors should be done before kitchen goes in

  • advised that it is best to run floor all the way under cabinets
  • advised that it is best not to run floor all the way under cabinets  (decide to go with this so that timings aren’t as awkward and to save money)

4. Prep work on kitchen begins ready for units to arrive – this involves removing oven and sink.

3. Find out that kitchen doors are going to be 3 weeks after cabinets as the factory closes over the summer. Benchmarx didn’t tell us this at the start. This takes us into the period when out kitchen fitter is on holiday.

4. Benchmarx and fitter say that it’s fine, the cupboards can be fitted and doors added after, meaning the sink and oven can go in.

5. Fitter comes to fit cupboards and realises that the cupboards can’t go in because the spacer-boards are with the doors and therefore can’t measure round to where things are.  This means no sink/oven for another 3 weeks.

6. Benchmarx eventually give us an delivery date for the doors. It is the day that the fitter goes on holiday.

7. Today:  Delivery date for cupboards and  floor people come to fit floor  – husband organises to work from home for day

Floor people discover, despite having checked under carpets, that the floor is more uneven than they thought. They pour a lot of silicone leveller on. 4 hours later the workman says it’s not going to dry in time and he will have to come back tomorrow. Surely this could have been foreseen?

11pm and no sign of any cupboard doors and no phonecall to explain.  I guess it’s up to us to chase then?

Also, we’ve realised that the handles for the kitchen are not in any of the deliveries. We queried this and only then were told by Benchmarx that they weren’t in stock yet and would be coming “soon”

Despite all this, I’m still pretty relaxed about it all. It’s just a shame.  I do have to give a big “hooray” to Thames Fireplaces who are EXCELLENT and delivered everything they said on time and in the budget they predicted. You have my respect.





When I’m cleaning radiators

In Kitchen on September 8, 2012 at 10:52 am

Mr B is cleaning behind radiators before floors come on Monday. Seriously.


This is me today

In Kitchen, Walls on August 30, 2012 at 1:13 pm

This is me by the way. See that smile, that’s because despite the fact that the kitchen is now delayed by four weeks, I’m beginning to rather enjoy this renovating lark. Ask me again in a week or so….


This is my favourite roller

In Kitchen, Walls on August 30, 2012 at 12:59 pm

This is my favourite roller. I have “borrowed” it from Dad. He’ll have to fight me to get it back. I’ve tried posh new Dulux ones and shiny new Wickes ones, none compare for cover or rolling action to this old, war worn, excellent roller.


The list: Kitchen supplies

In Kitchen on August 25, 2012 at 11:00 am

Here’s what we are using for the kitchen and dining room:

Shaker style kitchen

Kitchen units:  Cotswood by Crown Imperial, with Beecn worktop ordered through Benchmarx

Half in “grey/green” (not shown here) and half in “stone”. Fitted by local fitter. If you live in London and want to know who, contact me.

Handles and knobs: Hafele zinc 32mm knob and 104mm zinc pull handle

rangemaster elan 90

Cooking: Rangemaster Elan 90 Duel Fuel in black

caple tap and belfast sink

Tap and sink: Caple Knighsbridhe tap (through the excellent Appliance House) and Yorskshire belfast sink

and the less pretty bits, but the ones that take even more reserach (esp to hood):

Neff 73cm integrated hood

Neff 151L integrated fridge

Neff 91L integrated freezer

Kitchen carnage

In Building, Kitchen, Workmen and Trade on August 23, 2012 at 5:41 am

Bathroom done, we move onto the kitchen in the next stage of the lovely “project” that is The Squirrel’s Drey.

I have come to the conclusion that all house-renovation is like the song “I know an old lady who swallowed a fly”. In order to fix one thing, you find you have to fix another thing, which means something else has to happen. O.K, this is partly due to our own choice but still, for every moment that it is exciting and adventurous,  there are evenings when we are floored by the sheer range of decisions need to be made, things to be research and time-frames to be juggled.

Because we want to floor in the kitchen and dining room to run through into each other, this means it has to fit in with kitchen-fitting timings. We also have the afor mentioned fireplace in the dning room which needs attention. This has to be done before the floors. So…the fireplace before the floors before the kitchen. We just thought we were doing the kitchen!

We are completely dry-lining the kitchen (this means covering the walls in thick foam-back plaster board) in order the unsightly pipes. So here’s how this are going so far…

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Partition wall gone

In Building, Ceilings, Kitchen, Walls, Workmen and Trade on May 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Well, it’s gone from this:

Dining room with half-wall

Dining room with half-wall

To this:

Dining room minus partition

Which means some of this:

Plastering  and 

but less of these:

The wooden beams from the kitchen ceiling

Caffeine fuelled decisions: Freud cafetiere and Poole tea cup

In Kitchen on May 3, 2012 at 1:01 am
Design Classic Cafetiere

Freud Cafetiere (£40 at full price)

Lots of decisions and lots of discussions call for lots of coffee. This is how we make it at The Drey. I got the cafetiere in a half price sale at Freud, otherwise I would have gone for the wooden handled version. There’s a teapot too.  Every time I make coffee in this people are intrigued by it, but it’s just a normal cafetiere inside.

On to the other hot-drink-based bargain – Pool teacups in “Blue Moon”. I found a set  of 6 in an Oxfam shop for £8. I didn’t know what they were at the time, I just liked the shape. Sadly I’ve broken several of the cups and I’ve discovered that they are not cheap to replace. There’s lots of colourways including a lovely lemon yellow and a two-tone turqouise one.

Poole cup in "Blue Moon"

Poole cup in “Blue Moon”