Thursday 8 April 2010


Since November 2007, when we moved into our house we've wanted a bigger kitchen. I love our house and it's definitely the best one we looked at but I'm still amazed the size of the kitchen didn't put me off. We stretched our budget to afford location, Victorian charm and the basement I craved but it wouldn't stretch to a decent sized or specced kitchen.

Honestly, it was all of about 9 feet in length and 5 feet wide with an arch way at one end and a door at the other, further restricting its usefulness. Originally we put in plans for a large extension which would have given us a lounge area and the essential island, but doing that would have been overdeveloping the plot which is on page one of the 'how to lose money doing up your house' manual. So we decided the sensible, if less exciting, option was to make the most of the footprint of our downstairs and do the extension / renovation that the last people got so horribly wrong. I should point out that beyond the doorway at the back of the kitchen was about 25 square feet of dead space which was made up of a walk way and an airing cupboard. O.K, 25 square feet is not much but when you think how little room we had you'll appreciate that every little helps to re-coin a phrase.

So, we've ripped out the old, smashed through the wall at the end, dismantled the airing cupboard 'room', installed stud wall and turned what was the old bathroom into a downstairs cloakroom and a play area for Jake. I say this in the past tense yet technically it's not happened yet. I should say it's what we are doing, not what we have done. Anyway, work is progressing nicely and the room should be ready for the kitchen fitters to start on Monday and we 'should' be back in by the end of next week.

Then they will start the loft conversion. All in all, four weeks of disruption is not much to bear given the end result but a month of living between parents and out of a car (especially when you only have one car between you) seems to last a lot longer than say, a month spent on a beach in the Seychelles. We're lucky that our parents have the space and the inclination to put us up and grateful, but home is home all the same and we can wait to get back to clean up the mess.

Until now I always rubbished claims that babies and toddlers were expensive. We get £80odd a month from the government and that more than covers Jake's food and nappies but it's only now when I'm building a bigger kitchen so we can house his toys and then building him a room in our roof, that I realise how bloody expensive he is!

Here's some of what we're up to.

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