There has never been a fitted kitchen so when the house was emptied only a Belfast sink was left. The sink was not original and so there was no reason to retain it. To try to create a 'Victorian kitchen' would not be practical and we decided not to attempt this since the Victorian style units available are a bit kitsch. We opted for cherrywood units, granite worktops and a slate floor since this should not date quickly and will be sympathetic to the house. Before the kitchen could be fitted I demolished a large pantry to open up the space and had a new ring main fitted. The sash and case windows were replaced with new hardwood units since the window line is slightly below worktop level and replacement would have been difficult later. The ceiling was lowered slightly and channel lined to accommodate electrical wiring and insulation (it has a flat roof above). Eventually I got round to fitting the grey slate floor.

The kitchen was my biggest headache in the first two months. I had the two weeks before we moved in to install a makeshift operational kitchen. This was at the same time as the plumber was removing the old lead plumbing and installing the central heating. One other complication was that I was working full-time so I had to work in the dark evenings. The first task was the demolition of the brick pantry which I did myself (actually it was a lot of fun). The least enjoyable task was the plastering. I recall it was November, it was freezing cold (no heating in house yet) and I was paddling about in slippery plaster. I bought some second hand kitchen units including a sink and taps and also an old electric cooker. These were put in just before we moved in. This kitchen was functional but not pretty. The proper kitchen units eventually arrived and kitchen number 2 was fitted just before Christmas 2000.

The first two pictures show before and after images

As it was! Fittings include a small Belfast sink and pulley. There is a large pantry to the right and a smaller cupboard to the left of the utility room door. The floor is concrete. Click on the image to see the same view today.

Another view before we touched it. Features include 1940s? fireplace and hot water tank. These seem to work in harmony with the vinyl floor and wallpaper! Click on the image to see the same view today.

The pantry has to go. It is removed relatively easily with hand tools. The old bricks are retained for use in the garden.

The pantry was half panelled and so I had to develop my plastering skills. Not as easy as you might think!

Old fireplace and hot tank is removed. A big new combi boiler is fitted.

Iron supports for the hot tank are removed along with the lead and some copper pipe tails. The patch up job begins.

The temporary kitchen is installed and we move in. It is not quite ready for the House and Gardens photographer yet! The Vax takes up permanent residence in the kitchen and I am made to promise never to use the angle grinder in the house again.

We suffer this kitchen for a few weeks while the new kitchen units and the new kitchen windows are on order.

Out with the old sash and case and new hardwood double glazed units are fitted. I rip out the temporary sink and frame up the bottom of the window in preparation for the new units.

The ceiling is insulated and lined. New low voltage track lighting is fitted.

New units and a Smeg range style cooker go in and the ceiling is darkened with woodstain.

There are a lot of units, but these are relatively easy to fit.

The advent calendars and novelty dishtowel indicate the proximity to Christmas and my deadline.

We make do with chipboard for worktops over Christmas since the units needed to be in place before we can template and order the granite worktops. Many of the details such as the pelmets and cabinet lighting are completed during the Christmas holidays.

30mm granite work tops are fitted and the walls are partly tiled.

The slate floor has been fitted and the walls are decorated. The kitchen is now finished!