We recently moved house. I know, I know I have mentioned this before, in fact I may have opened another blog entry exactly like this before, I forget, its my age you know. A thousand, humble apologies.
The house is basically a three bed 1930s detached with a big double storey back extension and a spare room plonked over the garage. It is actually nicer than I am making it sound here.
Whoever did the extension was clearly a man. And here is why.
Let’s start in the kitchen. On the surface it looks quite pleasant, one may even say smart. Cream, gloss cupboards and black, possibly granite, worktops. I may sound like I am gloating now but bear with.
In my old house I had a worktop which was speckled in shades of beige and brown. I cannot remember the actual name of the colour, something poncy no doubt, but it could have been called ‘Toast Crumb Camouflage’. It was absolutely brilliant. Unless you actually put your eyes at counter level all manner of grot could be lying around totally unseen. Black granite is, shall we say, not as forgiving. Even when it is wiped down it needs buffing to remove the water marks left by my rock hard water. I was not put on this earth to buff worktops. Seriously.
Another smart but totally useless area is the in built draining board which consists of three shallow grooves carved into the granite vaguely sloping towards the sink (which I may add is hardly big enough to wash a mug in- more later). Things do not drain on it. Glasses, mugs, snack pots etc sit upside down on it until you remove them the next morning and the water that has remained trapped inside falls out. I have been banned from putting a plastic draining tray on it by ‘he who must mostly be ignored’ but I am reaching breaking point.
Back to the mouse’s bath that is my sink. Not even the smallest washing up bowl known to man will fit in it. (It is however deep enough to drown in.) So I have to be scrupulously careful about tipping out dregs etc before starting the washing up process. And yes before some smart Alec says it (husband take note) I could take all those dregs to the futility room sink but I don’t because I am in a hurry. And anyway it is just annoying.
And it is even more irritating because the integral dishwasher (which just means it has a cream gloss door attached to it, has reduced my magnetic noticeboard surfaces by one, and provides a much smaller inside capacity due to it BEING IN A CUPBAORD) is utter pants. I cannot fit my usual cooking pans in it (remember I am catering for a small army, or so it feels), the powder flap doesn’t open properly and it doesn’t clean anything, except water glasses used for water by someone who wasn’t wearing lipstick. I do a lot more hand washing than when I had my German machine, which I actually left behind. Sobs…
And then there are no drawers. Well that is a lie there are three normal sized drawers- cutlery, large cutlery, tea towels. And two ‘pan’ drawers. Which take roughly half my pans. And bizarrely two refrigeration drawers which are vast and currently contain the Ribena and the ketchup, which my kids now maintain is un-pourable as a result. This leaves me no cloth/ duster/ scourer/ extension cables/ random instruction booklets drawer; no cling film, foil, sandwich bag drawer; and no drawer for aprons, random party stuff, candles, matches, keys for locks I have no idea about & spare batteries. Unless I want them refrigerated, I am left with shelves in cupboards for this stuff. And my husband unpacked the kitchen (what was I thinking) so all the things I use most are out of reach. I can easily re-waterproof your mackintosh here but don’t come knocking if you have a blinding headache or require an emergency plaster.
What else? The built in cooker’s automatic setting doesn’t work. Which leaves me with considerable cottage pie dilemmas. And the hob is electric. Very easy to clean, which is useful when everything I cook on it either boils over or doesn’t boil at all. But not so clever when your offspring use it as a work surface for the bread bag after you have just finished boiling over some rice. And actually not that easy to clean in those circumstances.
And then it has cream gloss doors. Need I say more. Not really but I will. No-one in their right mind when designing a kitchen for a five bed house (which presumably will mean children will reside in it) would sit down and think, hmm I know, cream gloss doors would work… no, no, no… they do not work on any level…unless you are one of those poor unfortunates addicted to cleaning. Let’s put it this way I empathise more with the dirty bu**ers on Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, not those in rubber gloves…
Whoever designed the kitchen, therefore, had clearly hardly used one, the design breaking, as it does, my three principles for successful kitchens:
You can never have too may drawers.
A dishwasher can never be too big.
Camouflage is key.