Image borrowed from Pinterest
It’s been a long time since I talked about any real changes to our home on this blog.
Sure, we’ve done a little bit of shopping in terms of home décor, and I’ve filled our house with enough moustache memorabilia to last a lifetime (or at least until the next set of shopping sales!) but the reason behind this is because we’ve been waiting to start our next big project – the kitchen.
I feel like a little bit of a broken record when it comes to this subject . And I find it comes up every day in some sense:
“Karen, you should buy this dress, it would totally suit you!”
I can’t go shopping when I don’t have a kitchen.
“Karen, look at these dinosaur cookie cutters. They’re so you!”
I love them! But can’t use them until I have a kitchen.
“Karen, when are you having kids?”
Christ, one step at a time. Wait until we have a kitchen…
It feels like life is on hold whilst the room is still in what I consider to be a state of refurbishment. Sure, it’s liveable, and we certainly haven’t gone hungry thanks to a bargain “retro” (read: old) oven purchase, but it’s admittedly been a struggle to remain my usual chirpy self on some days – just ask Joe. Poor thing takes the brunt of my moping whenever I see a funny apron or a gorgeous cake stand that I want so so bad! (Damn you Cath Kidston!)
But, as ever I’m being dramatic. The bottom line is, we have our very own home and at some point within the next year – fingers crossed – this worry will be no more.
At least, this is what I’ve been telling myself, until we had a bit of a hiccup this last month. After getting the go ahead from our building team and from the bank in terms of financing, once we called up to get the project officially underway, the bank decided they’d unfortunately given us incorrect information and that we didn’t in fact qualify for home improvement finances.
Although I won’t be discussing finances on this blog in any detail, needless to say, Joe and I were left shocked, silent and what I can only describe as utterly heartbroken.
Here was our plan in a very small nutshell:
Knock down the outhouse at the back of the current kitchen and rebuild as part of the house (but with a little extra space). Then, make this into one large kitchen/diner.
It’s true that we could build a beautiful kitchen in the space we have, without any additional building work. It would easily be big enough and would obviously be a significantly cheaper job.
But it’s not part of the plan. We bought this house with the very purpose of extending at the back. This isn’t just about a kitchen though and being greedy with more space than we actually need. Ultimately, it’s what the room represents which is why we’ve got so emotional over yet another delay.
For me, some of the best family memories I have from growing up involved sitting around a dinner table and catching up with my family. Not in front of the TV or in the queue of a drive-through. At a proper table in a family kitchen-diner. I want that for my future family. Life is busy and for me, that dedicated time being prioritised is just so important.
I’ll give you an example why.
My step-dad is one of my heroes but at one point he was a stranger to me. Having dinner together every night forced us to get to know each other. We would discuss the world, the news, how we felt about his cooking (usually always amazing) or he would pick a topic for the evening and say something like: “What’s your favourite album of all time. Go” (For the record, mine is Tears for Fears – The Hurting) We always got the opportunity to catch up and spend that quality time together which I really cherish.
At the moment we don’t have the space for a proper dining area. I want somewhere we can have our parents around for dinner to repay them for all the times they’ve done it for us. I want to have our (future) kids sits around a table and tell me about their sucky homework, and for our friends to tell us what they’ve been up to, and my sister to pull funny faces at me whilst she eats – as she has done for as long as I can remember.
That’s what a kitchen/diner means to me. It’s a room for family. It’s the heart of the home.
I know how lucky we are to even have this opportunity on our door, and it’s a choice we opted into, despite knowing it would be difficult, and costly. At the minute, we’re both feeling pretty downtrodden about the whole thing as we’ve been mucked about a lot and have had to spend most of our evenings and lunchtimes on hold to poor customer service staff, which is frustrating at the best of times. But, ultimately, it will be worth it in the end. And I guess it’s all part of growing up.
I hope this post doesn’t come across as whiny. Sometimes it’s nice to just write down how I’m feeling. I’m hoping I’ll read this back in a year’s time, at our family table, sit back and really take a moment to appreciate what it took to get there.
I’m not giving up on that idea easily.
Image borrowed from eBay
[P.S Sorry about the epic length of this post!]