Yesterday I bought a new kitchen! I’ve been building up to this for some time. The original kitchen was set up in 2003, intended just for casual visitors. It expanded during the building of the new house in 2008, but in a rush, because it was the summer of Jude’s wedding and Chris’s illness and eventually death.
The fridge has been sitting on top of the shower (part of the kitchen used to be the bathroom), the dishwasher requires considerable negotiating past inflexible doors to put stuff in or out, there are not enough cupboards and the oven really ought to be higher, in anticipation of future immobility.
So, after spending several frustrating evenings, struggling with Ikea’s user-unfriendly ‘kitchen conception’ software, I went down to Ikea in Montpellier and by lucky chance ended up with an incredibly efficient and friendly assistant. The net result was that instead of conducting yet more slow, painful research, at the end of two hours I ordered a kitchen.
It will be installed while I’m in hospital, in November and December, by Richard, a local (English) jack of all trades, who went to Ikea with me. He has also sourced an incredibly cheap composite quartz worktop – white, like the cupboards, and as well as doing all the re-plumbing, will attempt to make sense of the electrics, which have been a nightmare since the eccentric installation in 2008.
For those who know the kitchen, the two wooden tables on the other side (with food jars etc above) will remain, at least for the present. Things like the toaster and magimix will probably sit on them.
The most difficult part of planning a new kitchen turned out to be how to accommodate the location of the two windows. How nice it would be if the Ikea software could move them around like the cupboards! Try as I could I failed to come up with a design that did not have a tap blocking one of the windows, and the little window dictated where the hob had to be.
It seems silly to spend money on the kitchen, given my lack of aptitude in that department. But even for a non-cook, things can get quite irritating, and I owed a good environment to all the kind friends and family who quietly take over in the kitchen when they visit! Besides, much of the kitchen is visible from the the sitting and dining areas of the main room. And with any luck I will keep within my £5,000 budget