Island living

I’ve always wanted an island in the kitchen.  It’s the dream.  That’s when you know your kitchen is amazing.  As an example, our friend Sarah has an amazing kitchen.  She has an island.

When we were planning our kitchen, I originally didn’t think we could have one because the fridge will now be at the other side of the room, and I thought it would be annoying to have to walk round something if I was cooking.  Now the walls are down, we’re thinking we might fit a cheeky slim one in by the front door.  It may have to take the form of a breakfast bar, more of a peninsula, but it would still count!

Obviously, this is further down the line.  We have a butcher’s block at the moment which could go there (but I maintain it doesn’t go and will spoil the effect of the new kitchen).  Not sure what Barry would do if I just listed it on eBay…

The new kitchen arrives today!  It will probably be less exciting when everything’s boxed up and we’ve still got to paint and rip out the old kitchen, but until then, I’ll be excited!  Photos to follow.

In the meantime, you’ll have to make do with photos of the progress.  Left is the hole where a cupboard used to be, and below shows no upstand or cupboard for the boiler.

As a side note, why do you think builders place boilers a silly distance from the wall?

Lists, charts and automobiles

We have quite a hefty list of things to do, both in the living room and kitchen, and although it’s scary, we do need to get it down. Then it needs to be put into some semblance of order, and Barry is even contemplating the implementation of a Gantt chart.

While this may sound like an excuse to do anything but the job at hand, there is actually reasoning behind this. For those of you who don’t know, the idea of a Gantt chart is for you to plan what you need to do, when, and by whom, and plot it on a chart. It’s all about following the critical path, and for this, you need to know which jobs depend on other jobs being done. This is the longest the entire project should take, in an ideal world. As a simple example, we clearly can’t put the kitchen in until the plastering has been done, and we can’t plaster the walls until the ones we’re removing have been taken down. You get the idea.

It’s just a little tool to set us on track and give us a plan for each DIY day. Ours would be based on weekends only, but if Barry decided to take time off work, or we decided to spend a few evenings working on it, the schedule could be altered. Perhaps one undertaking may take longer than we thought. It also also allows you to see what jobs can be done that don’t depend on other tasks. For example, although I can’t take down a wall or move electrics, I can do paint touch-ups, clean or sand walls, fill holes with plaster, etc. I’m also not too shabby wielding a screwdriver. Drills are beyond me though!

On another note, we’ve been looking at some fabulous vertical radiators for beside the dryer in the kitchen/bottom of the stairs, shown here, but can’t decide on a colour at the moment.  Wickes have a nice range, but we may end up on eBay.  It’s a good use of the space, because we’re actually losing the only three radiators in that part of the house by losing the walls.  We’re also considering heated flooring (although slippers are cheaper!).  As we’ll be able to fit a table and chairs in the kitchen when we’re done, we will hopefully be spending more time in there, so it would be worthwhile.

Barry’s now blocked off the toilet and sink, although we had several comments from friends and family about the open plan loo (pictured right).

He’s sealed the drains with a nylon expanding plug, silicone, and expanding foam.  He did notice a full length of copper pipe down the drain, so God only knows what else is down there; no wonder we had problems!

Pictured below are the spots where they were, RIP little toilet and sink.  Show some respect; a moment’s silence please.