Sunday, 5 August 2012

Light. Bright. Extravagance

The kitchen faces north, east, east and our main aim has been to make it lighter and brighter – we refitted the kitchen after a couple of years of living here, and painted everything white including the floor, which is now becoming nicely worn.

As you can see the room was previously painted a quite dark blue/purple. We also removed a lot of the wall cabinets, partly because the wall was damp and secondly it made the room seem bigger without them!

We put in a planning request to change the window to patio doors, but as the house is Grade II listed – the request was unfortunately rejected, I would never buy a listed house again – too restricting, although as discussed in the previous post I can fully appreciate the system for preserving houses.

The white light fitting above the table is the most extravagant item (in monetary terms) in the entire house. We first saw it in a shop in Nottingham, but dismissed the idea of buying it because of the price. However, I coveted it for several weeks and eventually found an ex-display model on the internet; I really wrestled with decision of whether to buy or not to buy – and eventually managed to justify it to myself because of the slightly reduced price of the display model.

I must admit to being a little shocked by its size when it first arrived (it looked so much smaller in the shop!) but luckily the house has tall ceilings, and it does double as an excellent drying rack! 


  1. Hi A - jetlagged... so have resorted to blogging at 4.30am! email server down so unable to access mail, hope all is well. Px

  2. I like the fact that the floor is becoming worn, as it gives you a living document of how the space in your kitchen is used. The areas that you stand in, and how you navigate across the room. It's a much lighter, and brighter room now, and looks a very inviting space to gather, and spend time in, even without patio doors.
    The light is just an amazing object in itself (even without being an actual functioning item!), and I love the decadence of using it as a drying rack - that comment made me laugh a lot - but of course is a completely practical solution too!
    Do you spend a lot of time in the kitchen in the summer? Having a table in the kitchen is one of my 'wants' but ours is too small.

  3. I thankfully have no regrets about purchasing the light fitting, once the decision is made and the deed is done there is no going back, and I'm sure this light will follow us from home to home for many years to come (tall ceilings permitting) - the drying rack was purely incidental and happened quite naturally - a perfect solution and it enables the light to become multi-functional!
    I was quite accepting of the council's decision to disallow the patio doors - and although they would connect the outside to indoors quite effectively it makes little difference to us as we still tend to use the kitchen for a range of uses (see previous post).

  4. It's interesting that you say once the deed is done there's no going back - I think there's something interesting about an object that one covets. You know that it's instinctively right for a space - you can't help but re-visit the 'seeing of it' in your head, which then makes you want it more.
    Also the types of objects that we carry around with us from place to place over the years, even though they may not fit exactly into our 'new' abode, we cannot part with them. Do they hold too much purpose, or too many memories?
    I'll be interested to know whether you have your light in years to come, and if so, if it's still in the kitchen!

  5. You sum up the coveted object really succinctly and I totally agree; it can go either way though – how many times have you dismissed or talked yourself out of owning a particular object of desire, only to regret it later. I find that I often have to justify purchases (to myself)– is this perhaps a gender thing?

    I think it’s highly likely the light fitting will be around for a long time. I find it difficult to throw things away, and so I am more likely to hoard unwanted items in the loft rather than sell them on e-bay. This is partly through guilt and partly because I convince myself that one day I will want/need the item and it will be able to take on a new lease of life (although in reality this rarely happens). Naturally the old kitchen light is now in said loft; it had a good innings and has been used in either the kitchen or dining room of our previous three homes since about 1992.

  6. You are right - I have regretted not acquiring items in the past - but now I do try to grab my chances whilst I can - is this wisdom, or just a realisation that life passes us by so quickly? Hmmm, justification of purchases - always seem to be price-dependent for me. Think it's probably person specific, and definitely linked both to budget and self-worth in equal measure!
    I think I may find it easier than you to part with items, as I have made up some scenario in my head that I have had the opportunity to enjoy them for a period of time, and then for some particular reason I pass on the item to someone else to enjoy. Or am I making that up simply because I don't have much loft space?
    It sounds from your comment like you could be ready to part with 'old' kitchen light?

    Recently there have been a few tv programmes about hoarders. Some quite gratuitous and sensationalist, others more interesting, as they try to explore the psychological underpinning of the condition and support individuals who are hoarding, rather than just use them as spectacle. It's quite fascinating finding out about the attachments formed to objects, and reasons why these items are kept. It seemed an incredibly difficult and complex process for the 'hoarders' go through to overcome - some people just could not cope with the disturbance of their possessions being thrown away or even moved, so they decided to end the process and go back to their 'hoarding' lives again.
    Their existence seemed to be totally ruled by the aquisition and thus the compulsion to preserve any item that came into their possession - causing themselves a lot of pressure and stress, as the space where they lived got more difficult to navigate and they became encumbered in their homes, due to the amount of items they had. Although this would continue indefinitely if they were left alone, their families wanted to have a different relationship with them, and neighbours were both angry (at the 'mess'), but supportive up to a point, once they understood the condition.

  7. Yes, I saw the various programmes about the hoarders, thankfully I am not quite in that league yet! but perhaps I should take a leaf out of your (rather liberating) book and try and clear the loft. My mother makes a point of NEVER putting anything in the loft despite having a small house with limited storage, her premise being that if it is in the attic and out of sight she obviously has no need for it.
    My friend D has the opposite problem she has the most amazing walk in attic, which amongst other things, acts as her drying space and is strung with washing lines; over the years it has become the storage space for varied friends who have moved on and stored items 'temporarily' with D. This drives her partner to distraction as she refuses to throw anything away, but it is an on-going joke that whenever she appears wearing something new, it was undoubtedly 'found in the attic'.

  8. Well P, this post has brought up a lot of 'stuff' to deal with - psychologically and physically - S & I have just spent the last 3 days completely blitzing our house! Some items have changed rooms, some of the good stuff has been donated to charity, a lot has gone to the Recycling Centre, and some to the tip. It's amazing what the pondering of 'getting rid of things' brings up psychologically, the process is quite difficult as you have to confront yourself (empathy with the hoarders here) and then chose to deal with it, or not. I think it's been a while coming anyway, and a few instances have resulted in recent events - moving our 'dining table' upstairs was a first step after a conversation on how my studio should be more like a studio, rather than a studio-come-dining-room. I found this a little difficult at first, as it becomes a statement that my practice is worthy enough to occupy a whole room in our house, (and thus also sacrificing a traditional use of space) rather than just working in that space, and then tidying stuff away again. Plus, with that comes the (self-imposed) pressure of then, some kind of 'living up to expectations.' Also in discussing with you, your working practice centering around the kitchen table, made me realise that I had not 'completed' my studio,of it being only a working space. It was still much more decorative, rather than functional - now I do like both, so it will probably never be just functional, but anyway, it's getting there much more now ...

  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Blog Archive