Happiness is…

Getting a brand new dishwasher!  After nearly three years without a dishwasher, I finally have the space for one.  This is why.  And this is what my little beauty looks like:

I chose white because when I eventually put in a new kitchen my stainless steel fridge freezer will be right next to it.  I chose a freestanding model because I don’t know what brand of kitchen I will have, except that it will be white, and a freestanding unit has more space than an integrated model.  This is baby can take a 14 place setting!

If happiness is getting a brand new dishwasher, then love is having your honey install it.  However, things did not go as smoothly as planned.  The dishwasher fit into the space that was left by the washing machine.  However, the door wouldn’t open all the way because of the architrave around the back door.  I was so desperate, I would have made do.  But no, my sweetie had other ideas.  It just took him a few minutes to work it out.  After a lot of huffing and puffing and a fair amount of swearing, he finally managed to move the small cupboard over to the left.  That cupboard on the left side of the dishwasher was pretty much where the dishwasher is now.  What a genius!  He could see how much it meant to me to be able to use the dishwasher.  I had even been saving up some dishes to put in it!

So, instead of wasting time and water doing the dishes by hand, we can spend our time doing other things! 🙂  I know that you can’t put everything in the dishwasher, but I can live with that.   I am so happy with my new appliance that I can barely contain it!  What thing in your kitchen makes you happy?

When is a Garden Shed not a Garden Shed?

When it is a laundry room!

My house came with a brick outbuilding attached to the back of the house.  One side used to house the coal shed and the other side had an outside toilet, which still worked.  The electrics were a bit dodgy as the roof leaked.  Even the electrician wouldn’t go near it!  I always thought that the building would make a great place for my washing machine and tumble dryer, but the plumbers didn’t seem so keen on the idea as they tried to put me off with inflated charges, or concocted tales of it being too complicated to do.  So, I gave up on that idea and went to plan B, which was to re-design the kitchen.  In the meantime, I had the roof mended so the shed could dry out and use it just for storage.

Now, I just happen to have a lovely man in my life who is capable of doing things.  I can’t tell you what he said to me when I told him what the plumbers told me. I came home from work one day to find that the toilet had been ripped out of the shed.  Is that true love or what?  When the man gets an idea in his head, there is no stopping him.  Hence no before photos.  I just never got a chance.  Imagine, however:  old dusty bricks with peeling paint, exposed roof void with cobwebs, rotting wooden doors with rusty hinges, damp brick floors.  All in all, it was pretty dark and dingy.

Here is the outside of the shed.  I have brand new doors! (the outside of the shed will be painted next year when the weather is better!)

And here is the inside.


The wall was knocked down between the two areas as it wasn’t load bearing.  The floors were levelled out and the electrics were re-done as they turned out to work after all!  A platform was made for the washing machine and countertops from Ikea were used as support.  The whole shed was lined in drywall and new lighting was installed.  There is a thermostatic heater that comes on to stop residual water in the washing machine, as well as the pipes, from freezing, .  Skirting boards were installed to give the room a bit of class and to make it look like a proper room.  The walls were painted with one coat of Dulux Kitchen paint in matt Grecian Spa 5, and a top coat of the same colour in the Bathroom paint which has a soft sheen for easy wiping.  One of my old turquoise kitchen cabinets was installed at the other end of the shed.  It contains all of my ASCP and other paint samples and leftovers.  No point in getting rid of a perfectly good cabinet; it is a shed after all!  The floor was painted with two coats of  grey floor paint.

I am so pleased with my new laundry room! It is so lovely, I almost don’t want to use it for storage.  Although it is outside, it is only two steps from the back door and I don’t have to listen to the noise the appliances make.  Now I have room for a dishwasher! 🙂

So shiny and bright!

I am in love!  With my new kitchen appliances. Yeah, yeah, I know that is a bit weird, but when you are  faced with this every day…

Old hob and oven

This is the hideous and horrible and horrendous (but very clean!) old oven and hob.  This is what was in my kitchen when I moved in nearly two years ago.  This is an old-fashioned electric plate hob.  I hate electric plate hobs.   They take forever to heat up and take ages to cool down.  I would sometimes forget to turn them off as you can’t tell if they are on!  There is no control with these.  For someone with control issues, this really sucks.  I really like to be in control in the kitchen!

Please don’t judge the rest of the decor.  I actually like the turquoise in my kitchen and when I redo the kitchen, I will probably have this colour on my walls.

This is what I have now!

I have a new oven, hob and fridge-freezer.  They are so shiny and bright!  I took these photos on a grey day and they were reflecting whatever light there was in the room!

There is a long story behind my new oven.  It started 11 years ago, that’s how long this story is.  I bought this top-of-the-line oven in the January 2000 sale to use in the house I moved into the month before.  It never got used in my old house.  In fact, it has been in dry storage, in all of its original packaging, for the last 11 years.  It would still be in its original packaging today if my sweetie didn’t convince me to use it in my current kitchen.  I am still working on a design for the kitchen and as I really have nowhere to store this lovely, shiny oven, it was really a good idea to install it and finally use it.  After all, we didn’t even know if it would work!  And he wanted something to do!

The old, white oven worked fine.  It was just old, and white.  So, my sweetheart installed the new oven, the timer worked, but when we turned it on, it kept tripping out the mains.  That man spent hours on that thing trying to work out what the problem was but it wasn’t happening.  So, the old oven went back in, until the following week.  This time he had extra tools with him.  When testing all the parts, they seemed to work fine, but when it came time to connect the darn thing and turn it on, phewt, the power was tripped out!  Now, a lesser man would have thrown in the towel, but no, not this one!  He waited, and he thought, and he tried one more thing, and it worked!  All it needed was a new connecting cable to the mains as the existing one, although adequate for the old oven, didn’t work with the new oven.  Who knew?  If it was an afterthought, it was because we were working with an 11-year-old appliance that had never been used.  Who knows what might have happened to it while it was being stored and moved around? Anyway, the man is a genius!

In the process of installing the new oven, we discovered that there was a gas point to connect a gas hob!  Hellooo!!!  Who in their right mind would really choose to install electric hobs when they could be cooking with gas????  Anyway, I decided to buy a new gas hob (stove, for my Americans) in the January 2012 sales, and throw in a new fridge-freezer to boot.

One would think that purchasing kitchen appliances would be a piece of cake.  It isn’t.  There are too many choices.  Too many brands.  Too many energy ratings.  Too many sizes!  Fortunately, I had already done the research on the gas hob last year when I was looking at new kitchens.  I wanted one with a wok burner.  The size was pre-determined as I had to use it in my existing space.  I really wanted 5 burners, but that meant a larger size and I couldn’t have that without ripping out my kitchen to make room for a larger extractor fan.  Anyway, I cooked for a family of 5 and had numerous dinner parties with up to 10 people over a period of 25 years with only 4 burners.  Now that there is only me and the sweetheart and occasional guest, I think I can manage with just 4 burners, as long as one of them was a wok burner!

I also wanted an American sized fridge.   I just don’t have the space for it at this time and not without ripping out the whole kitchen.  I am not ready to re-do the kitchen as I haven’t found a design plan I am totally happy with.   Anyway, I have also lived without a huge fridge-freezer for over 25 years so it isn’t going to hurt me now!  I just need something bigger than what I had.  I had such a dinky freezer that there really wasn’t much room to freeze anything.  For someone who is used to cooking for an army, I want to be able to freeze leftovers so I don’t have to cook so much!

I did so much research on fridge-freezers that my eyeballs and head wanted to explode!  Here is my method.  First I went to a couple of appliance retailers to see what they had on offer.  That took me a few hours.  I then narrowed it down to style, colour and size and the fact that they needed to be frost-free.  This narrowed down my choices.  Then I left it till the next day where I spent the whole day online researching and pricing the items.  I even created a spreadsheet with pictures so I could easily compare items.  Being a visual person, this was really helpful to me. On the third day, I contacted local distributors to get the best price.  On the fourth day, I made the order.  Yes, it took me four days to buy a fridge-freezer and gas hob.  It was exhausting.  This is what I used to do when ordering kitchens when I had my design and construction business.  I really love my new fridge-freezer.  It has more than twice the amount of storage space than I previously had and is only 60cm wide, the size of a kitchen cabinet.  At just over 180cm tall, I almost need a step-ladder to reach the back of the top shelf!  Best of all, it has a wine-rack inside!

My sweetie installed my gas hob for me.  I love it so much!  I am now cooking with gas!  I am in control!  To me, there is nothing sexier than a man who can and I am so happy to have one of those in my life.   I let him help me cook.  Well, just because he installed the appliances …..!  Maybe I will let him have free reign of the kitchen next time.  Maybe! 😉