For over a year now, our kitchen has been the not-so-well-hidden secret of our tiny house. Of even more minuscule proportions, the kitchen somehow managed to convey a sense of dinginess which permeated the rest of the house, along with the mystery smell that emanated from it. Determined not to be too rash – or extravagant – we decided to replace the worktops and have some shelving fitted. Trying to be sympathetic to a period property with the necessity for modern conveniences is a challenge, but less so when there just isn’t the space. Fortunately, we booked a carpenter who was both very small and very used to working with period properties.
C fell in love with some full stave oak worktops, made from long planks of quartered oak in nearby Norfolk. This was the single extravagance in the kitchen and it really made all the difference.

Once our fantastic carpenter had installed the worktop, he also put in a new sink, taps, and plenty of shelving for jars and spices. We decided to leave the tiles, simply because we couldn’t agree on anything better and also because we cant afford 80 18th century Delft tiles just yet. I had set to work repainting the cabinets in a muted Farrow & Ball shade in anticipation of these changes; finishing them off with copper handles I managed to track down in Iceland (after an exhaustive Google search). I was also seduced by what I thought was a very cool, bespoke copper rail. I like it, but I’ve come to accept that I bought a small bit of copper pipe with some brackets from B&Q for more than a three course meal in the local pub. It gets top marks for branding though.

The slightly tatty cooker and hob remains; a relic to the valiant effort the previous owner made to bring this little cottage into the 20th century. I don’t mind it so much, so for now, it can stay.


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