The kitchen is practically finished and I was excited to share some photos with you. The practically finished part will be revealed in a moment.
Click on the photos to enlarge them...
First, I searched for some photos of my kitchen as it was. I hated it. I lived with it for almost 13 years and tried to do things to make it feel cheerful and cozy while also creating light but I just could not make it work. Our living room is a U shape and the kitchen falls in the middle of the house with no window and no natural light. I called it "The Black Hole".
I realize I must have really hated it as I cannot find a photo of the kitchen. Only this photo taken in the kitchen of a gift I made for my niece's baby. You get a pretty good idea from this photo how dark it was in there. I have not changed the lights and the cupboards are the same but it now is a different world to me at least. Gone are the teal plain doors that shined but still looked dark... Gone is the drab and heavy drainboard of beech that always looked dirty... Gone is the floral tile border we had put in as an attempt to cheer up the space...
I now have a kitchen that reflects my love of old Dutch. The "bones" of the kitchen have not changed but we have a "new" kitchen for a very budget price. We had fun searching for the elements which I knew I wanted to include in the kitchen. It really feels like my own creation since we did the remodel this way and not just go into a kitchen shop to order a new kitchen. Both Jos and I have enjoyed watching it come together.
I knew a couple of elements I wanted to use including this tap which I matches the smaller version of our tap in the downstairs half bath or WC as we call it. I love the nostalgic look of the porcelain knobs with hot and cold.
Our new tiles are called "Hollandse witjes". These tiles are still being produced from as early as the 17th century. In order to be "witjes" they must measure 13 cm by 13 cm. They are all uneven and not necessarily perfectly square. They have a highly glazed finish which is why they were well loved. The tiles reflect light very well and created a light look to a dark kitchen back in the 1600s. What worked then, certainly works now. Our handyman stayed later than he intended the first day he did the finishing last week, even though it was his birthday. He wanted to see how the tiles were going to look so we did one wall before he left. I handed him the tiles in the order I wanted them put up. There are three shades which needed randomly placed. By enlarging this photo, you can really see how the tiles are uneven. This is what gives them their charm.
These wooden knobs are also still being made and can be found in very old Dutch farmhouses. One of the first things we searched for was a wood turner who still makes these.
I started out wanting a white sink but Jos talked me into going with the stainless steel again for ease of cleaning. I really like the shape of this sink now that it is in.
The drainboard is also the same look as found in original old Dutch kitchens.
We choose a cream color when we had our doors sprayed. I am very happy with how they turned out. Jos just painted my shelves which were also antriciet. We still have to touch up the walls after putting the shelves back and we are finished.
Here is my great gaping hole where the oven will be. I choose an antriciet nostalgic look oven and hob which they don't keep stock as they are not ordered often according to the company. I will wait patiently as I am sure it will be worth it. But having to eat takeaways for more than a month is not an option for me. Jos drilled an opening for my gas to connect to a loose hob which we were able to buy cheaply secondhand until the appliances arrive. We just made sure the hole falls within the area that our new hob will be placed. After all, necessity is the mother of invention as the saying goes...
My wall of speculaas moulds remains as it was. I really have a weakness for these beautiful cookie forms and the cookies themselves. *grins*
This cupboard used to go right up to the ceiling and extended out with hallogen spots to the other side. I was so glad to see the spots gone but also liked having the cupboard above the built in fridge gone also to create a more open feeling. The side was antriciet and we had it drywalled and skimmed so I could use the same paint as the rest of the room. This does not jump out at you now when you come into the dining area of our living room.
Edit: My mother just asked me if the tile are yellow but they look more so than they are in real life. They are the creamy color of real butter.