Now we’re cooking

We went about things in circles really: no sooner had we set up our make-shift kitchen with a free-standing stove…

and replaced the rusted out heater so we could get the central heating going, than we cleared it all out again to prepare for the complete renovation.

Pulled out the existing sink and bench shelf,

and removed the floor tiles with a power chisel – which took 3 days! (Perhaps we should have just tiled over them?)

At least the wall tiles were easy to get off.

Stripped a little wallpaper – but seeing that it was in good condition and had a cute rustic country pattern that went perfectly with our chosen style, left it on 2 of the walls as a feature.

A fair amount of plastering was required, and even a bit of cement repair work.

We washed away countless years of grime with sugar soap (or the closest thing we could find anyway: St Marc Oxydrine)… before painting, and then laid the floor tiles.

Assembled flat packs, and put in the cupboards and benches, changing our minds mid-stream on the original sink we had chosen which looked far too big in this little kitchen.

At least we were smart enough to position the overhead cupboards so we had hardly any cuts to make in the wall tiles.

It was very difficult aligning the cupboards on the uneven wall and we regretted not lining with plasterboard first.

Tony was in charge of plumbing and electrics…


and later stripped and varnished the pantry door which came up beautifully, and tied in with our skirting.

From this:      

                                                               To this:

We ended up with only just enough room for a new compact little fridge – having misjudged the space required for our larger fridge – it’s helpful to be able to open the fridge door n’est-ce pas? (We re-assigned the larger one to the upstairs kitchen along with the double-bowl sink.)

From this: 

To this:

The bulk of the work took us 3 weeks, but the kitchen wasn’t actually completed until our next trip, when I finally finished off the end wall, which we had left because we were expecting to have to replace the central heating unit (still going strong – touch wood!) So it was back to plastering, painting, and attaching skirting about 8 months later.

All in all, a huge learning curve and great team effort.


About frenchfry36

South African by birth, British by right, Australian by oath, French by choice.
This entry was posted in France, Renovating in France and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Now we’re cooking

  1. A labour of love well-handled.

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