mama’s in the kitchen & she’s confused

On to the kitchen. Actually, this is probably the room that has most of the stuff that belongs in it, actually in it, at this point, since I’ve moved quite a bit of the kitchen stuff over to the flat now.

But let’s pretend I haven’t done that yet. Here’s some pics of the empty kitchen.

Peach. It’s not one of my favorite colors. If there’s a color I don’t usually pick for any kind of use whatsoever, it’s peach. But we work with what we have, right?

The kitchen is a bit weird. Well, make that pretty weird. Um. A lot weird. I get the distinct impression that whoever set this kitchen up doesn’t actually cook.

First of all, it’s where you enter the flat. I’m told that this courtyard used to have a cafe in it, but I’m not sure if it was in what is now the house agent’s office below us or if it was in fact our flat, or if it was one of the other flats. But regardless, you enter the flat by coming up a set of narrow stairs to the deck and then into the kitchen. For people for whom everything happens in the kitchen, this may work well, but I’m having a hard time thinking entering through my kitchen will be all that impressive on the night of a dinner party.

Notice the ubiquitous butler sink. What you can’t see in the photos is that the hardware at the sink is all corroded copper. (I’m hoping the Maas polish will help with that.) And the grouting around the sink is in pretty bad condition. A re-grouting job (*shudder*) may be in my future.

See those drawers to the left of the sink? Examine them closely. Because that’s it. There’s only two more drawers in the entire kitchen, and those other two drawers are pretty small. I’m hoping they’ll be big enough for the silverware, because…

Well, because the kitchen cabinets are very weirdly set up. Okay, maybe they’re not weird. Maybe we should just say that I wouldn’t have done it this way.

Note, for instance, that the refrigerator is on the other side of the peninsula counter.

Remember the old rule of kitchen design? There’s supposed to be a work triangle of the sink, stove top, and refrigerator. Here we have a work triangle of the sink, stove top, and the washer. (I guess for when, you know, in the middle of dinner you want to check on the progress of the washing.) The fridge isn’t even in the same room, effectively. Every time you’re wanting something out of the fridge…you have to leave the room and walk to the fridge and then back.

Also, because the dishwasher is to the right of the sink, the dish cupboards would normally be either to the left of the sink or in those cabinets in the peninsula next to the washer, right?

Well, no, not really, because the dining room is entered to the left of the fridge, so maybe the designer meant for the dishes to be unloaded to the peninsula, and their storage should be on the cabinets on the side of the dining room, right? And there’s a display cabinet, lighted even, right there, in front of God and everybody, just for that purpose, right?

Hmm. No, not really, and this is why: all of those cabinets you see on the right wall, and all of the cabinets you can’t see on the other side of the peninsula are too shallow to hold dinner plates. In fact, the only cabinets able to hold the dinner plates are the ones in the peninsula to the left of the washer (where you would normally place items for preparing food and baking, like mixing bowls and graters and such) and the corner cupboards to the left of the sink (where the spices and other items necessary for cooking at the stove top would usually go).

So now I’m trying to figure out where to put the plateware. Do I keep it all together and only have glassware and display-worthy items in the display cupboards with all of the plateware in the cupboard to the left of the washer? Or do I keep some of the glassware and some of the plateware in the display cupboards and put the dinner plates in the peninsula cupboard? (Which has the handy side effect of keeping the dinner plates close by for plating food.)

And the top drawer to the left of the sink would normally hold the silverware…but I don’t like having my utensils out on the counter (grease and dust magnets, is my feeling), and there’s no other drawers big enough to hold them, so they sort of have to go there. The silverware may or may not fit in the shallow drawers under the display cabinets, which, if that’s where the plateware is going, is where it should go…unless the plateware ends up in the peninsula. So utensils may have to go second drawer down, which isn’t ideal but…

So I think I’m just going to do what most everyone does: put everything somewhere or other and move it around as we go to see what works best. (Usually I plan everything out logically first, see.) Right now I’ve got the bulk of the plateware and glassware in the display cabinets, with overflow in the peninsula cabinets on the dining room side, with the dinner plates on the other side of the peninsula, with the mixing bowls.

That mirror in the hilariously oversized frame? It’s nailed to the wall, so no taking it down. I will find a small bench to put opposite it against the refrigerator so people can take muddy wet boots off while in the kitchen. (Oops, in UK English, that should be “whilst in the kitchen,” I think.)

The weird plate rack thing that can’t hold plates bigger than about 6″ diameter on the wall to the right of the kitchen door? Also nailed to the wall. And we can’t figure out what you’re supposed to put in it. I’m thinking about using it as a mail sorter and hanging hooks from the shelf below to hold jackets to dry over the radiator in winter.

My favorite bit about the kitchen, I don’t have a picture of, yet. I’ll take one later to show you, because it’s hilarious. There’s a corner of the kitchen where the doors are so arranged that if you open them both (they only open to a 45 degree angle, you see), you can’t get to anything in the area behind the doors…not without taking the doors off the hinges, anyway.

Luckily, what’s behind it is the back of the washer.

I know this all sounds like I’m running the place down, but I really do like our flat. If I can get this kitchen to work successfully for me, it’ll probably be about the most triumphant thing about the flat, but no one will be able to tell!

8 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. 1

    It does indeed sound like a hilariously terrible kitchen. I’m none too fond of ours either – it’s okay, just ridiculously undersized for a 4-bedroom house, and with exactly ONE drawer; unless you count the two deep drawers for plates, pots etc. Yes, so that’s one drawer for ALL the pots, one drawer for ALL plates and bowls, one drawer for ALL the silverware and utensils. (Which explains why we’ve hung most of the utensils on the wall, dust be damned.)

    Again: a family-sized house. All the other rooms are fairly generously sized. It beggars understanding.

  2. 2

    …but at least it isn’t peach.

  3. Zina #

    Okay, okay, I was thinking to myself, “yes, omg, yes, it sounds like Robynn’s kitchen is indeed worse than mine, one drawer, omg…oh wait, it’s not peach.”

    I was even sorry for you up ’til then. ;)

  4. Zina #

    Well, actually, I’m still sorry for you having to survive in your kitchen…but not as sorry as I am for me having to deal with a peach one. :)

  5. 5

    You have my sympathies on the peach. It’s one of my least favourite colours too.

    Your kitchen looks to be larger than I thought it would be; or larger than the average kitchen in an apartment/flat. You’ll be able to have people around you whilst you cook. (do I get bonus points for the use of ‘whilst’?)


  6. Zina #

    I never remember to use “whilst”. :)

    See, that’s another problem with that kitchen. It’s huge, but so poorly put together that there’s actually nowhere for anyone to stand that’s out of the way except for if they’re walking through the kitchen from the front door to the hallway or dining room. And then they’d be in the way of anyone trying to do just that.

    By all rights, there should be enough room for a couple of chairs for a country kitchen sort of thing, but nooooo.*

    It’s because there’s nowhere in that kitchen that isn’t between the fridge, the sink, and the work surfaces. Well, there’s one place — between the fridge and the closet with the boiler.

    So it’ll be the same as always — everyone standing in the kitchen until I get fed up and shepherd them out of the kitchen, repeating the process several times all evening.

    *grouse grouse grouse

  7. 7

    Btw there’s no earthly reason to force yourself to say “whilst”. It’s not so much British as archaic, and banned in the style guides of most publications.

  8. Zina #

    Except that soooo many of the British people I know use it! Does this mean I’m allowed to make fun of them to their faces now? ;)

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