The kitchen renovation project continues to trundle along. I have the designs, but as I have not yet paid for them (not yet billed) I can’t put them up here; once they are ‘mine’ then I will.

I can’t remember if if have described to you my kitchen setup yet or not, so bear with me if I repeat myself. Here is a plan of the back part of the house:


Apart from the living room, everything from that room backward is the servants’ part of the house – at the junction of back hall with main hall there is a big door which clearly delineates servants and gentleman’s part of the residence. So there isn’t just a kitchen – there is more a kitchen suite. There is the back hallway, off which opens the main kitchen, the walk in pantry and the scullery. A scullery in a Victorian house was the ‘cool’ room of the house. In an era before fridges all the food items needing to remain cool would be kept and prepared here: meats and fish, dairy, jellies etc. It faces south, it has a heat vent in its ceiling, and so on and so forth, even today it remains the coolest room in the house. A utility room, the old laundry, opens off the scullery.

I am having the kitchen proper, the pantry and the back hallway revamped. (The back hallway may be left a bit until the kitchen and pantry are finished.) I use the scullery now for my freezers and for storage – while it is in desperate need of attention, I can’t afford to touch it right now. Ditto the utility room.

The major building work will be to block off the pantry door into the back hallway and instead open up a door in the piece of wall it shares with the kitchen. This will give me access to the pantry from the kitchen and will also give me much greater storage within the pantry because of better use of wall space.

Overall, the design for the kitchen will be French Provincial. Lots of cream wood and glass, and featuring also beautifully detailed corbels and pilasters.

As you can see from the image, the main kitchen has a massive fire place inside it. Once this would have housed the wood stove. Now it houses a lovely Victorian-style gas log fire. On the wall opposite the current fireplace, I will have a ‘false’ chimney/fireplace/mantelpiece housing a double extractor fan, and under which will be the new Falcon stove (still bobbing about in the Atlantic somewhere on its way out from England). Both these features will have matching fire surrounds and mantelpieces, corbels, pilasters, lots of detailing; the real fireplace will also have a mirror built into the surround. It should look brilliant.

Also, as features, the kitchen will have a beautiful deep cornice put into it, it will have a central large hanging pot rack flanked by twin pendant lights (big white glass globe shades), all the overhead cabinets will be colonial glass-fronted and lit from within. I will have a plate rack (thank you Gods of kitchen design!) and a porcelain butler’s sink. Unless the cost turns out to be prohibitive, the bench tops will be in a lovely dark golden composite stone. All fittings will be brass. I have three blind corners and will have magic units inside them – one a lazy susan whose door magically folds back into the cupboard, and the other two probably La Mans units. All other under the bench top space will be drawers, not cupboards.

Essentially, that’s it. It will be easier to explain once I can put the plans and elevations up.

I get the quotes next week. *gulp*

Work is planned to begin in mid-January of next year (we’re waiting on the stove, and then Christmas gets in the way …). I have booked the cats into cat holiday home for a month from that point. I decided this after my red cat Claude decided to show the kitchen designer how much fun it was sailing from overhead cabinet to overhead cabinet and then right over her head to land on the central table, destroying most of her plans and scaring her halfway into next year in the process. I thought then the cats might be best out of the way! But that will be good for me, too, not to have to worry about them while the house is turned upside down.