The English Kitchen:

16 March 2012
The English Kitchen:

My son and his wife recently bought their first home, an 1870 Victorian, which was really exciting for everyone.  It was wonderful except it really needed a new kitchen and it was located in Rowhedge, Essex County, England.  You may be guessing what happened next.  We wanted to go over to see them, the new house and our new granddaughter.  Of course they asked us if while we were doing this “could we build a new kitchen?”

I figured if we worked hard, and there were no huge challenges, we could do it.  We found we needed to rebuild all the supports in the floor before we could start, a small surprise. Everything in the walls was brick, no wood, so building techniques would have to be adjusted.  Then I had to learn to speak “British” when asking for supplies at the building wholesalers.  It was a lot of fun.

My son and his wife wanted to have the kitchen look like it was in keeping with the themes in the house.  So, we decided to make all the upper cabinets from scratch and buy the lower cabinets from a cabinet shop.  We also decided to make all the door fronts and drawers to continue the period look.

As the tile floor was being laid my son and I started making doors and cabinet pieces.  When the tile was laid we started hanging the upper units, building face frames and shelves.  My son built most of the uppers while I worked on the doors and drawers.  Normally I would do this sort of work in my shop; on this occasion, however, it was the back yard with some tables and a tarp to ward off the sprinkles!

We both worked very hard, and every day the kitchen looked more and more like people could probably cook there.

By the end of our stay, we had all the cabinets in place.  We had the doors and drawers on and working, the new oven working, with a new sink and dishwasher working and some priming of the cabinets completed.  My wife and I left them with a working kitchen, they had to finish painting.

It was a lot of fun, something we will remember forever.

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