kitchen build – part 1

Mid December and in mid manic festive preparation time, we clear the ‘kitchen’ area to make way for carpenter Paul and Karl to commence the kitchen build. During recent weeks the ceiling has been painted and the walls lime washed; the antique Holophane lights hung and the air extraction ducting installed.

The Christmas tree was a little in the way, and needed some special protection from the inevitable sawdust!

The first stage was to build a plinth and install the plumbing and wiring prior to the cabinets being built. The sink being lifted into its final position was a good moment – it has been lying around, constantly being in the way for at least 5 years! It is an old primary school sink, hence its rather large size (standard fittings just wouldn’t work here). The pew end behind the sink is an ingenious idea of Karl’s to house the taps. It is the perfect width and looks like it was always meant to be there.

The carcass’ for the cabinets are made from plywood, which is faced with original oak from the church. The doors are re-purposed pew backs – some of them had been made into a panelled wall to form the vestry many years ago, so this is their 3rd life!

Coming home one day to see the cooker in position was a big moment. The prospect of actually living in this space suddenly seemed more of a reality.
Building work continued late into the evening of the 23rd… and on the 24th we’d invited a large crowd of our dear supportive friends for mince pies and festive drinks = PANIC! Tools and sawdust were just everywhere, but with a big effort from all of us and with minutes to spare, we created a beautiful (dust free – ish!) space to welcome our friends. As an extra special treat, the boiler was lit the underfloor heating switched on and low and behold, the house was warm! It has never been warm before, it was truely delightful (and a relief that it actually worked!). Karl even wore shorts (and I didn’t have to wear long john’s – a first for me in December for 11 years!)

This photograph is almost a magazine shot of a real house don’t you think? … or has the absence of tools and building detritus completely gone to our heads! 

Christmas Day dawned (and a certain boy’s special double digit birthday!) and we sat by the tree to open our gifts, one of which was an oak dining table (it was almost as if Karl had planned it!)… so of course we ate our Christmas dinner in The Kitchen! In the Hut we are rather cramped with five of us eating around a small table, so this was quite a treat, with space to spare for our homemade crackers and a few festive candles.

The kitchen is far from being actually finished though. More cabinets have been constructed with the help of friends over the festive period, so an updated kitchen post will follow. The clear beautiful space has already slipped back to its normal state of tools and building stuff scattered everywhere, which is (sometimes frustratingly) our necessary way of life to realise our goals here.