When we were first married, our house looked very different to how it does now. It is an old property which has always been in my husband’s family. When I looked at the old photos it really seems like a life time ago.
This is what we started out with for a kitchen – an old bedroom which had not been slept in for a long time. As we ripped everything out we found old newspapers and cigarette packs in the walls, peeling back years and years of history. Once we were back to bare walls and a bare floor we could start creating our dream.
Our first year of marriage was a little different, I was still finishing my degree in Edinburgh, coming home odd weekends when we could afford it. When I returned for Christmas our Rayburn had been delivered. This was probably the most exciting delivery ever. We had talked so much about getting a Rayburn and were over the moon when we found somewhere that sold reconditioned older models and re-enamelled them. We built our kitchen around the Rayburn, and even now it is the focal point.
I fell in love with the look of a Fired Earth kitchen, however it was never going to be a practical option due to the cost and that our space was small. Paul and his father instead said they would make it themselves, they are my dream team.
On our loft we found a set of doors from an old press. They were a turquoise blue colour and provided the inspiration for our colour scheme. We repainted them and bought black hinges and handles. There wasn’t enough of the old doors for the whole kitchen so we made the rest from MDF, adding the grooves to look like wooden boards and distressing them to match. (Look how cute baby Maxie was!) I knew I wanted a Belfast sink, I couldn’t imagine anything else in this space.
For the worktops we looked at granite, it was going to be a big expense and neither of us were 100% convinced it was going to fit in with the look we wanted. We had put down the solid oak floor and had this brain wave to use left over floor boards for a worktop with tiles inserted. A lot of people thought it was going to be awful, maybe they still do, but for me it was the right choice.
There was a long wait to finish the upper cabinets and they stayed looking like open shelves for a long time. The plate rack above the sink is another of my favourite features, we don’t have a dishwasher, so I they go into the rack to dry over the sink.
Our mothers put up the wallpaper, there is a crease on one side of the chimney breast where they had to stop to answer to phone when we called with the news that Maxie had been born, apparently they had to tell each other to stop crying so they could get that sheet finished!
The mantle piece was also custom made by my dream team. The brass bar is perfect for drying wet socks. Our Rayburn is solid fuel, we burn wood and peat which we cut and dry every year. The Rayburn provides all our hot water, heats the kitchen and is where we do all our cooking. We had talked about getting a “normal” cooker, and set ourselves 6 months before we got rid of our old cooker to see how we would do. In those 6 months we used the old cooker ONCE to bake a cake after an 8 hour flight delay. And now its been 9 years since we got rid of the old cooker and have not missed it. We got rid of our microwave for the same reason.
I think that concludes our kitchen transformation. I am so proud of this room and so thankful to all the people who help us so much.
Truthfully there is no where I would rather spend time. I am currently sitting typing sitting on the couch by the fire having spent the morning baking with Agnes.
Final mention has to go to the view from the window…
Thanks for reading,
Hazel Ann x