It occurred to me that I haven't actually posted any photos of the kitchen. It is because I hate it and I don't want to write negative posts. But I do want to document the current situation and get the complaints off my chest. Feel free to skip this post, for it is excessively negative.
It is the worst kitchen that I have ever cooked in. I am of the firm opinion that the person who planned it did not actually cook beyond pushing a button on a microwave. Everyone who visits me for the first time exclaims how cute the kitchen is. The space is cute, sure, but don't let the fluted oak fool you, this kitchen is horrible. It is very badly planned and the execution is even worse. I believe this is someone's DIY they should have left to the professionals.
Someone thought it wise to put the oven between the sink and the fridge, so every time I bake, the fridge has to work extra hard to keep things cool because there is no insulation between the two. As a result, I don't bake often.
And putting the oven next to the sink without any counter space does two things: first, there is nowhere to put things down that are destined for the fridge, or to be taken out. The top of the oven is too high for me, totally interrupting the workflow. Second, extensive water damage between the sink and the wooden side panel of the oven cabinet. The counter is split there, and patched with silicone caulk. At least it doesn't leak currently. It does leak between the wall and the counter because the genius who built the kitchen thought that just putting a slat on top of the counter without any caulk is sufficient (it's not).
Since the sink is recessed into the counter, but has a raised lip all around, all the water just sits all around it, on top of the wood. Wiping it off all the time while doing the dishes pisses me off every time. I so miss the sink I had in the previous flat — a stainless steel counter with a sink in one piece. It was so easy to keep clean!
But wait, that's not all. There are more things wrong with the sink area. The most notable being that it gets absolutely no light. The fridge and the oven block all the available light. There is a lamp there, but I should not have to switch it on at midday. Another is that where the counter around the sink joins to the counter at the back, there is a really noticeable and crooked step, filled with silicone caulk again.
Storage is another big problem. I've made the shallow cabinet under the original counter into a pantry, but I have only one upper cabinet, so I have no space to store my dishes. Most of that cabinet is taken up by two sets of dinnerware and tea. The corner cabinet has this wire carousel that is a complete waste of space in the corners. What cabinets or drawers there are, they are either insufficient or too big/deep or in the wrong place... Oh yeah, and the freezer is too big. It has four compartments, one of which actually contains food, the rest hold my best wool fabric and a couple of wool WIPs. It's moth proof, you see, and I have no other use for it.
The cabinets are from IKEA and thus particle board. They have also been modified by hacking pieces out of the walls to make the various bits fit together. There is a substantial gap between the drawer unit and the wall, proudly displaying the cut out in the door jamb where the original counter was. The middle cabinet door is permanently crooked because someone ripped the upper hinge out of the cabinet wall, and they could not fix the particle board well enough.
The vent hood is installed too low and I constantly hit my head on it as I lean in to taste. The result is I don't like to cook much... (Me! I used to love to cook!) The black tile is lovely in itself, but it's installed on top (sic!) of the previous layer of tile (WTF?!). The back wall has been painted, wallpapered over, and painted again. I'm at loss of words here, WTF is not sufficient. There is no caulk on that side anywhere.
On the wall with the doors, there is a remnant of the original wall dividing the kitchen from the dining area. On the kitchen side of that wall there is an original wood counter and underneath that is another particle board cabinet. It is not secured to the wall very well, so it is drooping on one side, pulling the counter down with it because it's screwed into the counter more securely than into the wall...
Then there are these random details like the vent to outside that's been just stuffed with foam, the electric cable from the vent hood to the lamp, the jagged laminate floor, the glued down threshold between the room and the dining room which has come loose... Basically I want to gut this kitchen and get rid of everything, I'm so disgusted with it.
There are a few things I do like about it. The original counter — it is gorgeous and a definite keeper. Size — I like that it is tiny, and with a sensible layout, this kitchen is going to be excellent. Two doors — I like that there are two access points. I have considered blocking one for more counter space, but I want to preserve the period feel, and I really like having two doors.