Our kitchen is as old as our house – 32 years. That is pretty ancient for a kitchen, is it not? We had a slight re-vamp in 2000 when we installed a new oven, new hob, new extractor over the hob, new sink and taps, and a new worktop, and bought a round kitchen table to replace the old oak gate-leg table which our younger son now has (the best recycling is passing something on to a member of the family – provided they want it, of course!) Even so, after 17 years our kitchen really needs a bit of a re-vamp again but, for the time being, I keep it as clean, tidy and as attractive as I can.
I dare say that the tiles look old fashioned now. Today, I wouldn’t choose patterned tiles; I might even chose plain white or cream ‘metro’ tiles, but there again, knowing me, I’d think to myself, “they’re everywhere! They will date my kitchen just as much as any pattern will date it!” and choose something totally different! In point of fact, I like the kitchen tiles that border the worktop, the colour is perfect with the cream tiles above and the granite-look worktop.
Even though the kitchen is old (like its owners!) I quite like this corner of the worktop where I have a small table lamp and where the kettle ‘lives’. This area won’t take a larger lamp because of the shelves above. The fly in the ointment here, though, is that the gas boiler (that’s a furnace to anyone reading this in American or Canada) which is not a thing of beauty, although it is functional. Boilers in houses that are being built today are often sited in cupboards or in garages or utility rooms, but when our house was built in 1985 the obvious place for it – as we don’t have a utility room – was the kitchen.
The boiler above the worktop – not a thing of beauty, but functional
The red kettle (there is a ‘matching’ red toaster) was a relatively inexpensive one but it has seen better days, bless, and I think it won’t be long before both of these gadgets will need to be replaced.
I’d not choose red again. It’s too “in your face” and, surprisingly for this choice, red is not a favourite colour of mine. I prefer what I think are referred to as “off” colours; colours which are not primary colours, red, yellow or blue, or even brown, purple and bright green. I prefer the gingers, the taupes, the terracottas, the broken whites, the dusky pinks (and particularly the shade of paint in our bedroom which to some people looks grey and to others green as it’s neither one nor t’other.)
Over the years we have had a variety of mugs which have hung from hooks under the bottom shelf above the worktop. These (below) were cheap and cheerful, a bit lumpen as they were pottery (I’m not keen on pottery, much prefer porcelain) and they chipped easily, handles even became loose.
But, as I say, they were cheap and cheerful, about 90p a mug. And they looked cheap. I was rather glad when the last one finally bit the dust and I could replace them with some of better quality. You know the old saying: buy cheap, buy twice. I do tend to repeat this, so forgive me!
I found these (above) in Waitrose; they are pretty and are of fine white china patterned with pink roses, and while we tend to use cups and saucers much of the time, these mugs are not too large – I dislike huge mugs – they are heavy when full and I simply can’t drink a huge mugful of tea or coffee.
What wasn’t cheap and cheerful were the saucepans (see 2nd photo above). We bought these 20 years ago and they are as good today as when we bought them. I now seldom need to use the large ones on the top shelf as there are just the two of us here now, but when I’m making a large batch of soup, or when family come to a meal, they are pressed into service again.
And here is the same corner a few years ago, with fruit rather than flowers, and the previous kettle (kettles don’t last as long as once they did, but neither are they as expensive as once they were.) Behind the kettle you will see that the tiles don’t appear to ‘fit’ properly. This is an area where the pipes feed to the boiler, and they have been boxed in and the front of the boxing has been tiled (by husband, of course.)
And above, a photo showing the previous lampshade (being in a kitchen, the lampshades need not only cleaning regularly, but renewing occasionally) on the glass lamp, and a pot of white cyclamen.
What I don’t like around this kitchen sink area (for the sink is just to the left of this corner) are all the pieces of equipment required for washing up – the plastic bottle of washing up liquid, the pan scourer, the dishcloth, and the washing up gloves. I use these, of course I do, but when they are not in use, I pop them – with the washing up bowl – into the cupboard under the sink, leaving the sink clear of clutter with the exception of the lavender handwash, hand cream, and my new bottle of lavender linen spray. One day, when manufacturers decide to put washing up liquid into attractive bottles I will quite happily keep them on display next to the sink. Thankfully, most of the time, the dishwasher washes up for me! And I don’t mean my husband!
Until next time.