at last…. kitchen reveal part 1

Welcome to my new kitchen.

Its finally finished and usable. I cooked dinner yesterday for the first time in 6 months… amazing!

So how about a quick tour?

First, the new, improved, bigger window centered in the middle of the wall. With the sink below it. I can now see out of the kitchen without cricking my neck and banging my head on cupboard corners.

I ended up going with an outdoor blind for the window covering, mainly cause I couldn’t make up my mind with so many choices, and cause I just liked the grey and white stripes.

I will be putting shelves up to hold everyday items and display items and cause I just love open shelves. Till then, I’ve put the kettle and hot drink stuff in one of my old made over wooden trays to stop them from spreading all over the benchtop.

This close up also shows the tassie oak benchtop we had made especially.

I love it!! I spent a couple of days sanding and varnishing it to get it just perfect and it was worth it.

The opposite wall from the window has had the pantry cupboard removed and now holds one of my antique kitchen dressers. This one had to have some minor work done to it as it was sagging in the middle (had to put a support in the middle under the top and add a couple of legs in the middle underneath).

A 60s step stool just fits in that corner and comes in handy for reaching things in the pantry and the colour just happens to work well with the colour I chose to paint the doors.

Some old tins act as display and storage for small stuff.

The door to the right leads to the entry area where the fridge, microwave and pantry live. The door on the left leads to the hallway and the rest of the house. These doors are almost always open, but I wanted to bring a bit of colour into the room.

The kitchen is all white – Dulux Antique White USA on the woodwork and on the cabinets. Dulux China White 3/4 strength on the walls… a slightly creamier white. The minty green I used on the doors is a colour I mixed up myself and had the guys at the paint store match for me.

I had mentioned experimenting with milk paint (the jury is still out on that) and my favourite colour in that was one called Lichen. My minty green is very similar to that but a bit greener. I wanted to match that antique green you see so often on old things.

I’m actually very pleased with the colour. First I tried the caramel colour I got a sample of thinking I’d match the stove but in a darker tone.


That failed.

Which is when I went to green. I love it. The result is a kitchen thats fresh and clean looking.

As a backsplash for the stove I got an old glass door from the tip shop and mounted it to the wall with clips. That was my economical contribution to the kitchen. Backsplash – $5. Clips – $14.95.

Ok. Ok. You have to excuse the un-colour-coordinated towel. I was in such a hurry to get things in working order! Why not notice the good stuff, like the old billy (which id used to make tea over an open fire) holds my wooden spoons…
and an old galvanised box holds oils and vinegar close to hand. With felt bits underneath so it doesn’t scratch the bench.
Actually, these were meant to live in my planned mobile kitchen cart but I don’t think I have room for it.
On the right of the kitchen is this big window into the living room… a handy thing really, as you’re not disconnected from the rest of the house when you’re cooking, you can watch tv and it allows heat from the woodheater to circulate through to the kitchen.
The ledge comes in handy to display bowls which also hold fruit. Now if we can stop ourselves from piling crap up there we’ll be right!

To the right of the ‘window’ are the phone jack and a power point. I’ve always had a drawer as shelf thing there to hold the phone but this time I went all out and made a proper cabinet out of an old drawer for our phones. I’ll be sharing this in another post later on. Stay tuned.

I have since placed a greek rag rug given to me by an aunt in Greece in front of the sink to add some warmth. Coincidentally it has some of the bluey green in it! (Your mom Mina, tell her I love it!)

My old mixer and blender are back in their spot on the tiny shelf between the doors and my old clock is back on the wall. This was an electric clock I bought on ebay many years ago and which came from Tasmania. Its back again, now battery operated!

So there you have it.
I really need some sleep. I’ve been working 14 hour days lately just to get the house back in order, back to being clean and tidy.

false alarm – kitchen update

Ok, I’m curious how the women out there in blogdom can do these great reveals where they show ‘after’ photos featuring perfect rooms all set up with the right curtains, the right cushions, the right furniture, the right artfuly placed ‘random’ items.

Even when my kitchen is finished, it won’t be finished enough for that perfect ‘after’ photo.

For one thing, I plan to put up shelves and I don’t want to put them up till I live in it a while and decide where I want what…

For another, I won’t have the perfect dishes for a while, and I won’t have the kitchen dresser painted for who knows how long…

I guess you won’t so much get a ‘finished’ photo but periodic ‘after’ photos every time I add to or change something… cause I’m nothing if not in a constant state of updating, rearranging and changing things.

Meanwhile, yes, you heard right.

The kitchen isn’t finished yet.

It would have been finished but for the sink…

See, when Handyman was doing the plumbing, moving pipes from the old sink position to the new one (back when we had a hole in the floor), he calculated that the sink would be centered in the window and put the pipe there. But when he put the sink in the bench and showed it to me, the sink looked too far to the left.

Visually, the sink looks centered when its further to the right, cause the eye sees the bowls as the center.

So, Handyman moved the sink to where the boss (me) wanted it and now he has to find a joiner of some sort to connect the offset pipes.

Here are some photos I took this morning.

You can see the rangehood and glass splashback, the stove, the dishwasher with its protective film still on it, the sink with our two taps..

Same wall but you can see the cornice that needs painting and the handprints on the rangehood stainless steel cover.

This is the window into the living room. Note the decorative corner bits. Love them.

Now I have a dilemma. What type of window covering do I put on the window? A roller blind? Curtains? Lace? Doily curtains? Modern? Shabby? I have no idea. Well, I have an idea but I’m not sure. Any thoughts from my silent readers?

The window faces east so summer afternoons are hot hot hot. And on winter evenings I need a window covering that will keep the heat in. The rest of the time I want the window open to the view.

I await your thoughts.


only the tail to go – kitchen update

There’s a saying in Greece which says “You’ve eaten the donkey, only the tail to go”.

My cousin Zefi reminded me of it on FB today and I had to laugh.

Its true. The kitchen is almost done. Sure, there’s still a lot to do, but its really almost finished.

Handyman will be back tomorrow with a few plumbing bits we need and he’ll finish connecting the sink and dishwasher and the kitchen, from his point of view, will be finished!

Of course, as you know, my job is just beginning.

You’ll remember that, cause I’ve been tediously itemising my To Do list with monotonous regularity.

Still, I’m kinda excited…

If I don’t sleep for the next three days and get all the painting, cleaning, polyurethaning, organising and moving done by Thursday… I might be able to make Wayne a home cooked meal and surprise him when he gets home from work.

Yeah. Don’t hold your breath.


Its a nice dream.

Not long now!


i made a door – and kitchen update

I’ve always wanted to make a door…

I finally made one.

Isn’t it beautiful?

Ok… so its only 11in high.

Its still a beautiful door!

Its part of something I’ve been working on for the new kitchen… Hopefully it’ll be ready to share soon.

Meanwhile… the kitchen progresses.

Today the cornices were all finished. Some of the corner trims went up. The hole for the sink was cut. The bench edges were rounded. The bench was glued together.

Tomorrow Handyman says he’ll finish.

I really really really hope so.

Cause even after he finishes the kitchen won’t be ready to use.

I figure it’ll be next weekend before we can actually use the kitchen.

What with getting home late Mon-Wed, I won’t have time to get much done till Thursday. Not that I won’t plan to.

I always have the best intentions. I plan to get my entire To Do list done in 2 days. I plan to.

I never actually do.

Things always take longer than I plan they will and I’m tireder than I plan to be.

What is it about plans, mice and men…?

Well, either way, its getting closer… I can almost taste my own home cooking… I really miss pasta. And home made soup!



when will it all end?

I’m itchy… itching to get things moving in the kitchen.

I want it finished yesterday.

I want to move furniture in there and put things away and get organised, everything in its place, a place for everything and all that stuff.

I want to cook!

(I don’t often say that.)

Handyman is putting up cornice as we speak. The plinth is up. The rangehood is almost finished.

The benchtop is still not glued together. The cornice needs undercoating and painting. The edging and trims need putting in and painting. The sink needs putting in. So does the dishwasher. The plumbing needs to be connected.

The benchtop will need 3 more coats of polyurethane.

THEN I’ll be able to use the kitchen.

It seems like its still so far away. So much for “it’ll be finished this week”… a sick Handyman doesn’t help.

Meanwhile my patience is running really low on the mess in the house. There are things everywhere and I can’t bring myself to care enough to move them, put them away or anything. Not till I can start putting things where they belong… like in the kitchen.

To make matters worse I went to get a cracker snack pack from the pantry yesterday and found mouse poop in the box and some of the packs had been chewed through and crackers eaten.


I want to clean EVERYTHING. Then put it all in mouse proof plastic containers. Or glass.


Winter is really here. We started rugging the horses overnight this week and yesterday was the first time we left rugs on during the day.

It rained pretty heavily overnight and everything on the front porch got wet. When its windy and wet the rain comes in at an angle onto the porch.

I think I need to get some of those plastic roller blinds…

The garden is still looking good, most things are still flowering and looking pretty and I’m enjoying it while it lasts. I’m eager to see how it comes through winter and what grows in spring.

The potato vine is climbing up the wire trellis I put up for it and I predict it’ll provide a nice spot to sit in summer. Providing we aren’t pestered by so many wasps again. We had so many this year. I’m finding wasp carcasses everywhere at the moment.

I’m still working on a couple of things for the kitchen, possibly. I’m liking one of the projects I did with the milk paint but I’m still not sold on the others. We’ll see…

I better go out and do something before I go stir crazy.


hiccup – kitchen update among other things

 This is what the kitchen looks like right now.

Its what it looked like yesterday afternoon.

Handyman was sick today.

Today wasn’t a great day for me either. I began to doubt that everything will be finished by the end of the week. I was not happy.

Meanwhile, I spent quite a lot of time in the workshop… I started a few projects and continued work on a few things I started ages ago then left languishing. I’ll have photos soon… unless they’re total failures… in which case I should share them anyway so you can see how badly I can stuff up at times.

I’ve been experimenting with some milk paint I bought recently. I’ve never used it before and I’m still not sure if I like it…

Either that or I’m just doing it all wrong…

Eh. Its all about learning and experiencing new things.

Learning from our stuff ups.

And finding ways to fix them or get rid of them.


the benchtop – kitchen update

Just a quick note to let you know things are progressing in the kitchen. Despite being laid up with my back for 2 days, then another 2 days with some stomach bug, I’ve managed to do all the painting – walls, door and window frames, skirting boards.

Yesterday afternoon Handyman brought over the kitchen bench. Today he’s fitting it.

Easier said than done as there’s that nasty 45 degree angle to contend with. Lucky it was Wayne who insisted it be done that way so I don’t have to feel guilty when I see how had it is to get just right.

The other day he put the rangehood up and we discovered that when they sell these things they don’t give you nearly enough stainless steel cover for the vent… you have to buy more! Seriously, we have a low ceiling in the kitchen and it was about 2 inches short of being safe and steady!

Wayne has made a ‘plinth’ for it to sit on on the ceiling. Looks very art deco. I’m painting that today so the job can be finished.

Besides the benchtop to put in, the sink to be fitted, the plumbing to be joined up, the dishwasher put in place, the edge trims for corners and the cornice, there’s not much else to do…

ha ha ha.


ouch – kitchen update


I woke up with a very stiff neck this morning. I’ve got a heat pack on it but to be honest I don’t hold out much hope for that.

I’ll just have to cowboy up and work through the pain.

Why, you may ask.

I finally got to do some actual work in the kitchen. I had planned to do the painting during the week, in short bursts every afternoon after work. But you know how it is. Daylight savings turns off, its dark at 6pm and my body says “wind down”.

Not to mention that we’ve been home late almost every day this week and small bugs like to dive bomb wet paint at night.

So yesterday, my regular day off, was it. I got up early and got into it straight away.

I undercoated the ceiling and plaster wall in one type of undercoat. I undercoated the pine lined walls in another type. And I undercoated the door and window frames in oil based undercoat.

I undercoated the skirting boards which are cut and ready to go in. I want those suckers painted before they go in so I don’t have to crawl around on the floor to paint them.

I didn’t even stop for lunch.

Well… I did stop around 11am…

The dogs had been barking persistently for a long time before it registered that it was not normal. So I went out and sure enough, there was a wallaby near the dam.

An obviously sick wallaby.

Last year we had them dropping like flies in the area. Cats spread toxoplasmosis, which native animals have no immunity to. It attacks their nervous system, they go blind and wobbly and basically die of starvation.

I did not want that to happen to this little fellow. I put on my boots, grabbed a blanket and a dog cage and went out to catch it.

It was obviously blind cause it couldn’t see me but it had keen hearing. It ran off towards the stable and trapped itself in a corner where I managed to catch it easily.

I took it to the vet. If there’s a chance it can be cured they’ll pass it on to wild life carers. If not they will put it down. A way better death than weeks of getting sicker and starving to death.

I hate it when I see them suffer. That was my good deed for the day.

Anyway, I grabbed a frappe from McDonald’s cause I’m addicted to them and if there’s something I just can’t resist, its temptation. The vet is right opposite McD’s….

You could say I had a liquid lunch.

I didn’t stop till after 5pm when all undercoats were done.

I also put in a bit of time packing all my fabrics into plastic containers to empty the old kitchen dresser which I’ll be moving to the kitchen.

This morning I have a dog to groom, then its back to work. doing topcoats. I hope to have one topcoat on everything today, another tomorrow.

Handyman will be here tomorrow to get back to work and he promises he’ll work through till the kitchen is finished. He told the other guy he’s been working for that he has to finish my job. Even if he has to sleep here to get it done by the end of the week.

I better get the guest room ready!


baby steps – kitchen update

We seem to be progressing, albeit slowly, in our kitchen makeover.

I’m beginning to breath normally again.

This last week I undercoated and did a topcoat of some timber trims, including the moulding for the new kitchen window. Handyman came on Friday and put it in and it looks great!

Yesterday he was here again and he put in the duct for the rangehood including the roof thingy..

and sanded back the patches on the ceiling (plaster dust everywhere…) and helped me rescue a bird from one of the walls of the casita.


The dogs were going bezerk at something in the wall. Romeo was trying to eat the door! I had no choice. I asked Handyman to help me cut a hole in the wall so we could find what was in there and get it out. Save the dogs doing more remodeling down there like they did last time…

I put on gloves, cringing at the thought I’d be finding a rat nest complete with an angry mother rat and her 93 babies… only to find a bird which had gotten in the wall cavity and couldn’t get out.

And a mummified carcass of a bird long gone which had obviously suffered the same fate.

Bird got out safely. The wall lives another day.

Handyman will be back again today to finish the rangehood on the inside – put the ceiling plate in and the rangehood’s stainless cover. He says we can then cook.

I said I refuse to cook till I can wash up properly…

When I’m not walking around in circles wondering where to start and being overwhelmed by all the options of jobs to do, I do occasionally get a few things done.

I sanded back all the wood filler so that once the plastering is finished I can paint both the ceiling and the walls.

I’ve painted the kitchen door (the one from the entry/pantry area) a colour I got a sample of cause I loved it on the swatch. Its called Caramel Craving… whats not to like about that?

Turns out its not quite as yummy on a full door. I’m afraid Wayne will call it ‘duck sh#@!t yellow’ – one of his favourite colours (not). His opinion is that they must have had a huge sale on that murky mustardy yellow colour a few years ago cause so many houses around here are painted in it.

Well… on paper its the same colour as the stove, only in a much darker tint. We’ll see how it looks once the door is in. Its only paint after all!

Meanwhile I did a few small jobs that needed finishing. Cleaned out the workshop area. Mended a broken drawer in the coffee table. Did a bit of potting. Sorted out some things to be burned or thrown out.

There’s work to do today. The sun is showing through the clouds occasionally… maybe I can finish that fascia today and never have to worry about it again.



the pits – kitchen update

Please tell me why it is that I find myself lying in bed awake at night with lists of things to do running through my head, unable to sleep. The gap filling, the painting, the sanding, the order of things in which things need to be done. There are mice in the office/temporary breakfast prep area. I’ve been finding mouse poop on the desk. The guest room smells suspiciously mouse-pee-ey. I need to buy a zillion plastic storage boxes and pack everything in them. I need to clean out both rooms, throw out anything mouse-stinky. I need to rip up the carpet and throw it out of the office.

I itch to get up and get doing things, but I don’t. I lie there hoping for rest and sleep.

All these things and more whir around my head at night keeping me awake, no matter how many times I tell myself to think of something caaaah-lm…. like the still waters of the Aegean early in the morning…

Then, the next day, I get up early to actually DO things, and I feel like this:

The house is still a pigsty. There are piles of crap to be thrown out, sorted and put away. There are things to find which may be lost forever under the mountain of timber offcuts and gap filler tubs that were tossed in corners to be put away later.

In fact, I haven’t been able to find my orbital sander this morning.

Maybe that’s partly the reason for my renovation-breakdown…

I got up, still fighting a tightness in my chest that seems to have lodged there for the last 3 days… Stress? Kitchen makeover depression? Overwhelmed-renovator related asthma?

So, I get up and get a running start. I put on and hung out 3 loads of washing in the futile hope that the foggy air will dry them. I fill holes and gaps in the pine lined walls. I lightly sand and do a 2nd coat of paint on the kitchen door which is lying flat in the grooming room right now. I lightly sand and do a 1st topcoat on the moulding and trims.

I look for, and can’t find my orbital sander. I consider hand sanding, or using the corner sander on the gapfiller…

I look at the drill and the broken cabinet on the porch and consider taking it apart to scavenge.

I look at the mess on the porch and remember I told Handyman I’d make room for him to put the cornice tomorrow.

And somewhere around there I lose all will to live.

I better go get my inhaler.

cough, cough, wheeze.

I better go do something or I’ll be beating myself up for wasting time instead of sleeping tonight.