a little over a year ago, this was how my kitchen looked. you'll notice the lack of kitcheny bits one normally expects - sink, stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, countertops (i could go on). it was a long spring and summer, i can tell you. i've already mentioned before that i did a lot of cooking outside on an old stove we picked up from an antique dealer. we also ate quite a lot of kebabs and pizza. it wasn't much fun and it got me dreaming about the kitchen appliances i would have when the kitchen once again was back to normal.
things slowly moved towards normalcy. we actually moved the kitchen from one side of the room to the other, so pipes and drains had to be changed. at one point there was a giant hole dug under the stairs. i was rather alarmed one especially stressful day that it appeared that my chopped up body might fit very nicely into it, but thankfully that feeling passed. oak flooring was laid. the sink was moved and functioning again. the walls repaired and prepared for a fresh coat of paint.
and then those appliances we had ordered were delivered. that was a truly joyous day. especially when the red retro smeg refrigerator was in place. and the dishwasher (it's a miele, because we love that top silverware drawer, so much better for the silverware than those baskets). so we were using free containers that came with the cat food as our trash cans, big deal, there was counter space and a dishwasher and a cheery tile backsplash.
and although the layout may look a bit strange, with the stove at the end of the big island, which is made out of a wonderful 21-drawer antique counter from an old village shop on which we put an oak countertop, it actually functions really well. there's a deep window sill right behind where i keep the olive oil and other cooking essentials right at hand and i tend to put a tray on some of the unused burners for a spoon rest while i'm cooking. it works really well, as i don't often use all six burners at once. the stove is smeg, like the refrigerator, and has two ovens. i wanted a stove that could handle thanksgiving and i'll find out this year if it can, as we're hosting a large thanksgiving feast.
another of the items i considered essential was a kitchenaid mixer (i had an ugly, tho' heavy-duty electrolux one previously). and blender. and food processor. we husband drew the line at the espresso machine (with me kicking and screaming about that one), so we still have to go out for lattes or make them the old-fashioned way with a bodum stovetop frother. the food processor doesn't show in this picture, as i keep it in the pantry when i'm not using it. mostly because it's black. they didn't have a red one in stock and i couldn't wait, so i settled for black (i also got a discount on the display model, so call me cheap). i use the food processor less often than i use the mixer, tho' it comes out at least once or twice a week, as does the blender (which lives on top of the fridge).
and this is pretty much how it looks today. i'll admit i was resistant to having the big-ass t.v. in the room, but it has turned out to be quite ok. it means that sabin can be there, playing the Wii while i'm cooking and we can interact and spend time together that we might not otherwise spend if she had to play in another room. the kitchenaid mixer is something that i use nearly every day, which is why it gets a place of honor on the counter at all times. down in the the far bottom drawer you'll find the toaster. it's a longstanding tradition in husband's family to keep the toaster in a drawer, so that's where ours is. we just leave the drawer open while it's toasting.
the lamp you can see above the stove is actually an ingenious fan - one that doesn't need a bunch of ugly ductwork. you just regularly send the filters through the dishwasher (it blinks to tell you when) and it absorbs cooking odors and grease. totally brilliant design from elica.
one thing that is, for some (e.g. my mother), curiously absent from my kitchen, is a microwave. i haven't had one in over a decade and there hasn't been a single, solitary time that i've missed it. if your cup of coffee or tea has gone cold, make yourself a new one for heaven's sake, it'll taste better anyway! we even managed to relearn how to make popcorn on the stovetop and so we never suffer without a microwave.
we love the drawer unit that makes up the island. it's big enough that you can have people working on both sides, especially when it's time to make lots of cut-out cookies. while i'm preparing dinner, the guests can sit on the other side and talk to me while they sip a cocktail. it makes it a very social space, which is how the kitchen should be. it's really the center of our home. and although the house is for sale, we will try to recreate such a space in whatever new house we move to.