Tuesday, March 01, 2011

House Renovation - Day Two (dreaming)

I suppose you should realise that you're taking your house renovation fairly (possibly too) seriously when you dream about kitchens.

A proper, rather detailed dream with kitchen brands and model numbers and a rather annoying (Dream) saleswoman in the (dream) kitchen shop (Bulthaup, where I would never shop).

We (that's the Royal We - D is delightedly happy for me to do my house thing as long as (a) he gets a decent shower and (b) he gets a good office (including affoementioned comics storage)) are going for a painted old-fashioned kitchen, and since November I have visited about six kitchen shops, sat down with three kitchen designers, bored many of my friends stupid (to which I'm sure they will atest) about my kitchen plan, and I'm currently on version 9.

My thinking, however, has progressed.

We have a narrow kitchen (galley, as my Mum keeps reminding me, and I always get an image of slaves rowing boats), so the planning is pretty crucial to maximise the storage space.

Kitchens are more complicated than bathrooms. That's what my project manager told me, and that's what I keep reminding myself when I spend even more time measuring cupboards and gaps in other people's kitchens. Let's face it, I'm only going to do one kitchen, and in the future my kid'll laugh and say "oh, so 2011, that kitchen, with it's painted grey cupboards and honed marble worktops" just as I smiled wryly at 70s orange Hygena kitchens.

So in the dream, the dream kitchen I wanted, which I would never want, it was all stainless steel and angled and dark wood, although Very Now, was £2,500 over our budget, but two salespeople had to get comission and they couldn't do anything on the price.

What I've realised is, buying a kitchen is kinda a little like buying clothes, but way more expensive and permanent. You say something about yourself. And I guess I want to say "I have a period sensibility and a serious storage habit, and I like plain things (John Book)." So I'm hoping to be all worktop kitchen appliances in cupboards with plugs, and just shelves showing off my (plain) white china and lemon drizzle cakes. Like I'm only a homemaker.

That's it. I'd like my kitchen to say: we have a simple life. I stay home and cook (in cupboards) and have a freshly-made-cake-would-you-like-a-cup-of-tea. And I make fresh food for my kid. And I like the simple things.

And the reality is I'm running this house renovation like a work project, because I'm juggling it with client-work, a new project I'm rather stupidly starting now because the time is right, looking after my two year old (his comment on the New House: mummy, there are no toys), and running a home (which covers the whole gamut of cooking / shopping / washing) where I feel that I have to offer all the Cheadle-in-the-70s services that my Mum offered.

But I like the "idea" that my life is simple.

I feel like I've been waist deep in house plans / engineer's drawings / dust / damp (we had a flood, long story) faded edwardian architectural details for six months, and that I've become slightly less interesting. So, if you know me personally, apologies, I am briefly one-dimensional, but I'm sure I'll come out a better person the other side (and one with all her storage needs met, too).

1 comment:

RachelSelby said...

I Love it. Actually, I am it. I identify with everything you say - I always have. Good luck. - Rachel