Tuesday, 6 March 2012

We have a kitchen

So, finally, our kitchen is finished!
It looks like this.

We got the adequate space we wanted for the washing machine in the end.

Our things fit right in and look pretty on the shelf.

We have a new cooker - a small, inexpensive sort that works properly.

There's somewhere to sit and eat lunch.


When we moved in, it looked like this:

 I feel very pleased that we don't need all that storage - though we do have a secret weapon.  Just through the doorway from our kitchen is the understairs cupboard, footprint about 3'x3', which we use as a pantry.  It looks like this:

My apologies if you feel five photographs of the inside of a pantry seems a little obsessive.  One of my keenest interests is in small space / simple living, and I feel carried away with joy when I behold the successfulness of my pantry, which has got everything in it BUT all visible and accessible and easy to clean.  I clasp my hands and gaze at it like a hamster.


365 366 Day 66 Tuesday March 6th     
(if you don’t know what I’m talking about, see here)
Unsuccessful hat.   


kat said...

loving it! Very inviting and calm, a good space to eat porridge and oat cakes!

Elin said...

I like your kitchen, simple, well planned and beautiful. I find the English way of having washing machines in the kitchen a bit interesting though, in Sweden they are almost always in the bathroom or in a utility room/basement. It just one of these cultural differences I believe.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations my friend!

You see it was worth all the aggravation :-)

Your kitchen is so homey and clean and simple - perfect!

Ember, I reopened the other blog and kept the other two...they all have their respective jobs. One for words, one for simple living, one for sewing. Compartmentalized, organized, simple :)

Have a blessed day my friend,


VickyF said...

By washing machine, do you mean a dishwasher or a clothes washer? Just curious :) Love what you have done!
Vicky (new follower)

Daisyanon said...

Beautiful Ember! I love the big table and it all looks so calm and spacious.

Love the pantry as well. I would love a pantry.

Buzzfloyd said...

Hooray! How exciting and beautiful! What is that strange, crumpled pink and white stuff you've been eating? I don't know if it's just my dodgy eyesight, but I can't make out what it is at all.

Ember said...

Coleslaw, Buzz :0)

Interesting, Elin - yes I *think* our Dutch friends have their washing machines in the bathroom too, and judging by the Ultimate Makeover Home Edition prog, our US friends too.

Hi VickyF - nice to meet you! It's a clothes washer - we don't wash dishes in a machine :0)

Porridge - I *love* porridge, kat!

Maria - your blog seems to have morphed from a planet to a solar system!

Yes, Daisyanon - and in an ideal world the pantry would include a north-facing outside wall with a stone shelf, just like when I were a lass!

Hawthorne said...

It looks SIMPLY lovely, Ember! ;-)

I've always wanted a nice, deep sink like that - is it called a Belfast sink? Great for handwashing clothes!

God bless your new kitchen and all that goes on in it x x

Ember said...

:0) Glad you like it, Hawthorne! x

Daisyanon said...

LOL! A cold pantry with a stone or marble shelf is on my wish list for the next house as well.

I have long regretted not installing one of these which could have easily been done, when I had my present kitchen refurbished.

Ganeida said...

At various times in my life I have been without a working kitchen. I feel your joy! ☺ Love the table. It has a nice monastic feel to it. Also love the ceramic tub ~ for different reasons & such a serene blue for the walls ~ like our bleached summer skies. Hmmm, on second thoughts perhaps it's more lavenderish? My pixels aren't co~operating about your colour choice. It all looks very nice & wonderful to have it finally done!

Ember said...

:0) I'm looking forward to the Wretched Wretch being able to have a bath in that sink - I thing he's still small enough - my own children loved the novelty of sink baths when they were little!

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Hooray for having a kitchen again!

Ember said...

Yes indeedy!

Sharmayne said...

What a fantastic improvement! I can see why you are so happy with it all.... it works so well and looks just lovely!

Ember said...

:0) Thank you, Sharmayne!

BLD in MT said...

It is just fantastic! Its so drastically and wonderfully different than what you started with! Good work!

Ember said...


We wanted four things:
1) A kitchen where we could eat and chat together as well as cook
2) To let the light in unimpeded by blocky cupboards
3) Kitchen units designed and made by a local craftsman working for himself and using (at least some) reclaimed materials, not a mass-produced factory product.
4) For the window to be fully exposed not partly obscured by kitchen units.

Rapunzel said...

Gazing like a hamster clasps his paws and gazes? Or gazing just the same way you customarily clasp our hands and gaze at hamsters?

Either way it's a lovely pantry, and the pantry is my favorite room of any house!

Your new kitchen is beautiful,like the loveliness of a bride whose dear family have been trying to marry her off for twenty years or so. The extended waiting makes it more special!

Ember said...

:0) The first one. The hamster gazing, not gazing at the hamster.

And yes, indeed - you speak truth! We moved into this house in November of 2009, knowing that ONE thing we wanted to change was the kitchen. But we had to renovate and repair from top to bottom - including having the wall re-pointed round the entire circumference of an eighty-foot garden!
When we moved in the kitchen ceiling was falling down so we did repair that; but, in the course of the time we've been here, twice we've run out of money and had to stop and allow funds to re-establish. The kitchen has been the Final Thing, the Last Stretch.
It's true Alice wants some tweaks to her room decor and her window is dodgy, but every other place is now Totally Overhauled. Phew!

Monastic Housewife said...

It looks so lovely and light!
And calm.
The sink is fabulous and your pantry looks like a great space that's easy to access.
I'm sure you are going to be happy working in your new kitchen.

Bean said...

Very nice. Obviously a lot of thought went into the design and it shows. Simple lines, and a pleasing elegance.
Love it.


Ember said...

:0) Thank you, Trish.

Bean, yes - though what we ended up with seems simple enough, it did take us ages and ages to decide upon it - hey, there are 5 strong-minded people living in this house; it takes us ages to decide on anything!

Anonymous said...

I want your kitchen :-D

Ember said...


Tess said...

Love both the kitchen and the pantry. I especially like the calm background colour you've painted the kitchen walls - it works beautifully with the wood and is so restful.

Ember said...

:0) Fired Earth. "Malm". x

Asta Lander said...

Penelope - your kitchen - I am sure when your guests enter it they feel they can breather easier. Beautiful.
Asta x

Ember said...

Asta . . . I know you . . . you are on Facebook - one of the two ladies with the fab Simply Living Challenge page, yes? Good to see you! x

Slippyroad said...

I didn't see your kitchen until several days after you posted it. Then I had to contemplate a bit. The differences between your kitchen and mine are interesting. If you include your table, your counter space is about the same as mine, but your fridge and stove are so small. People are amazed at the amount of cooking I do in the little space I have, but I am amazed you can cook on such a small stove. Do you make big batches of things, or do you only cook in small batches? I make large batches and then freeze the food in smaller batches. We have a large upright freezer and a separate large fridge (with no freezer). We also have a chest freezer in the basement. These all start out being packed full in the fall and we eat out of them through the winter. There is always a push starting about now to eat up what is in the freezers so that we can start filling them up again. The strawberries begin to ripen at the beginning of July and we fill the freezers through the summer.

You must be close to stores and be able to buy nearly every day. We buy our fresh food every week or every other week, but we mostly eat from our stored food.It is better quality and much cheaper than anything we could buy.

Ember said...

Hi Slippyroad :0)
We do not have a big garden, so though we have squeezed in a good lot of veggie beds and fruit trees, and can provide most of the veggies we need through most of the summer we don't have large amounts left over to freeze, provided we don;t mind eating a lot of each thing while it's in season. We are considering getting an extra freezer to put in the shed as we are increasing the number of veggie beds, but we are reluctant to have more stuff and use more electricity.
Yea, we do have stores nearby - we live in a town, in a quite road backing onto parkland but near shops and bus-stops so we don't depend on a car.
We try to get most of whatever we buy from small, local, family firms. We try to keep down food miles and be mindful of social justice, animal welfare and the wellbeing of all creation in our purchases. We like to support small farmers, growers and artisans.
We live very frugally, but not penitentially so - we eat out when we feel like it, and enjoy occasional luxuries and extravagances; we like to celebrate life while still living simply and quietly.
Hope that's an adequate response - only just come home from a few days away and head still spinning a bit!

Slippyroad said...

Oh, I didn't really need a response, but thanks for it all the same.

Ember said...


Oh - and batch cooking - the main thing we do that for is pulses (dried beans and peas). It's cheaper and kinder to the Earth (less packaging and transportation) to buy them dried than tinned, but it's a long business to soak and cook them, and that doesn't work with our last-minute "Er . . . what shall we have for supper?" moments. So I soak a whole bag of dried beans (maybe 500g?) and cook them up in the pressure cooker, dividing the cooked potful into family sized portions to freeze. De-frosting takes awhile but at least it can be hurried up.

wanderlust said...

Hi Please can I ask you if the entire kitchen was painted with Malm or did you use any other colours as well. I love the look of your kitchen and am currently pulling my hairs out trying to decide shades for our kitchen walls. thanks so much Sunita

Pen Wilcock said...

Hiya - sorry for the delay in publishing your comment - I was going to see if the others can remember what the second colour paint was, but I still haven;t checked. The paints we used were, I think, both Fired Earth, though we would have looked at Farrow and Ball too. We used a more deep/shadowy colour (Malm) and a lighter creamy colour (probably Chalk White or something)
Basically the two options were other to paint the dark colour in the dark places and the light colour in the light places, and thus heighten the contrast between dark and light; or - and we chose this option - to decrease the contrasts by painting the darker colour on the walls the light falls on and the lighter colour in the shadowy places.
Our house is not especially light though the kitchen is one of the lighter rooms. At one time the ceiling was pale blue, and when we repainted we either went for a pale Fired Earth colour like the Chalk White, or (and I think we did this) got a pot of the special bright white light-reflective paint that has little reflective particles in it to increase the light. x