It seems like a few weeks since I wrote about the kitchen renovation – and that’s because it is. Because, unfortunately, nothing majorly monumental has been happening. Not because the builders have walked off the job, or because they are lazy. Far from it. They have kept turning up in the very wintry weather we’ve been having but frozen pipes have put paid to the big progress we’d hoped for. But, small steps and all that. Some things have been happening, and this is where we’re up to…
We really deliberated over the lighting, plumping eventually for spotlights, lighting under the new shelves and soft LED lighting under the two new steps into the kitchen. We had considered having either our three beautiful concrete lightbulb style pendants from Moth in West Didsbury, or a big central pendant, suspended from the newly opened up ceiling. But – when we tested what it would look like, neither looked quite right. So, spotlights it was – but we wanted black surrounds, which made things a bit trickier. We did source them – and they were beautiful, in a very stylish matte finish – but at 45 euros each, we just couldn’t justify the expense as we needed twelve. However, our electrician was not to be defeated and sourced some brushed chrome alternatives, which we were going to have sprayed black – but once fitted, we changed our minds as they look fab. And worked out much less expensive! Result 🙂
Plastering has recently recommenced as the temperature has picked up and the pipes are no longer frozen. The walls are slowly but surely starting to look smooth, with clean lines. The two end beams (above the new window and the door) are being boarded out, ready for plastering. We’re keeping the main beams – and still deciding how these should be finished – but the two end ones weren’t in the best condition, so covering them was the best option.
Most of the big electrical work has been done – new cabling is in and the power supply has been increased. We know progress has been made here, as we no longer have spaghetti wires strewn across the floor and one of the socket facias is in. Our electrician has played another blinder with the dimmer system – it’s all a bit fancy-dan (multiple settings, timer facility etc), and all done with the flick of a switch. Who knew a dimmer could be so exciting?
Although not strictly kitchen-renovation related, a very big thing happened over the weekend. After much planning and discussing and trying to find the right person to do the job, we were introduced to Bepo, stone-mason extraordinaire. He arrived at 10am on Sunday morning – yes, Sunday morning! – and by noon, with very little noise or dust and dirt, the well had been carefully dismantled and the Istrian stone panels were sitting outside the front door, ready to be rebuilt.
The space that has now been created in The Well Room is amazing, and we can really start making this into a “real” room. The plan is having lighting put into the chamber (all of the wiring is already in there) and have a reinforced glass cover made and fitted. The stone flooring will be covered as it is really, really cold. Simple pine boards will be laid, which will eventually be painted to match what we are going to have in the living room, so that it all flows. The whitewashed stone walls are also going too – the room has been FREEZING over the winter, and so insulation is going to be fixed, and then plasterboard will be fitted so that it will be warmer. A woodburner will be installed in the corner and once a new front door has been fitted, all gaps will be sealed around it, and the windows.
So, where is The Well now? We could have made quite a bit of money if we had decided to sell the slabs – apparently, they are quite the things amongst people who are renovating houses, and people will pay quite a lot for Istrian stone. But the well is part of the house. Part of its history – which we are begining to uncover, and so selling this bit of history just isn’t an option for us. She is now being renovated and re-positioned on the big platform outside the front door – and we think will become the new home for our black bamboo plant…
So, the weather may have set us back with the kitchen renovation, but hands haven’t been idle here. The kitchen is actually ready for installation, so it’s definitely all hands on deck now for the final push. The plastering will hopefully be finished by tonight, and then tomorrow, the laying of the underfloor heating will begin. Next tasks will be the new flooring and the finishing touches to the electrics. Then – the painting! We’re going over to the dark side in the kitchen, having opted for Farrow & Ball Hague Blue. On walls and ceiling. Let’s hope it works 😉