24 Oct 2013

Kitchen distraction

In my previously mentioned manic state, powerless to do anything of real value which would speed up the start of work on site, I decided that I would begin to tackle the kitchen design.  Charlie had told me that there would be plenty of time to tackle this later, but I needed to be doing something rather than nothing.

Picture please a small yapping dog that you watch chasing its tail, going round and round in circles - that was me!
I asked for A3 paper floor plans from CLD and got myself an kitchen design appointment at IKEA.  It seemed like the best place to start as they got a Which Report Best Buy award. They are also the kitchen used in practically every feature I read of architects building their own homes i.e. people with high design ideals but small budget.  Using the cabinets and then getting your own high end worktop seems to be the thing to do.

I was delighted because at the moment IKEA in Bristol are offering free kitchen design appointments, so there was nothing to lose. I emerged 4.5hrs later exhausted, despondent and with very little to show for myself. The guys who i worked with seemed nice enough, but other than just read out the prompts provided by the kitchen planning programme they weren't much use on the design front - don't know what i was expecting really. The brochures they produce can be very inspiring and creative but you don't get those designers instore! The computer programme needs a huge kick up the rear, it is painfully slow.  We tried out a number of radically different kitchen plans but I haven't found the right layout yet.  On the plus side I found out that I can fit my kitchen using the simple applad kitchen and all their highest end appliances (which i am very unlikely to use but useful to price against) for less than £5K!  I can see the big attraction now.


I think that if at all possible I really don't want an off-the-shelf fitted kitchen (famous last words!).  No offence to everyone out there, but i'm hoping we can do something more original.  A big part of the concept of this building is sustainability.  Fitted kitchens inevitably get ripped out after 10yrs as they become dated and unfashionable. My builder hit the nail on the head when he said in his recent TV debut "This never goes out of fashion because it was never in fashion!".  I love it!

I'm afraid the whole high gloss thing leaves me cold. I had one of those kitchens before (rented flat) and I was forever rubbing out the fingerprints.  Also the top glossy layer had started to blister and peel and i had to go around colouring in the gaps with a permanent marker.

Kitchen showrooms don't get me excited, just bemused.  There is just too much shiny perfection i think.  The thing that gets me excited is how the space will work on a practical level - everyone who knows us knows how central food and cooking is to our life. So the first thing to address is simply what is going to go where.  This is where I do want perfection.  How will I use the space and make it work best for us?  The final look can come later, for me it is a secondary consideration - although i do want it to look amazing!

Charlie has reassured me that he will make sure I have an amazing kitchen.  So the endorphins can flow again as I release that stress and pressure, deep breaths once again.  But I am going to start seriously looking at what appliances we want - the choices seem overwhelming...

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