If you've ever come to our apartment you will quickly notice that it is the biggest room in the apartment. The phrase life revolves around the kitchen is so very true in our house. We've been living in this apartment for 8 years now. It was supposed to be a temporary stay that turned into a permanent one. With all it's imperfections we grew to love this place. The room, the floor, the plumbing and the electricity is sure in this apartment. It's a more modern apartment building dating between 60-80 years old according to Julien.
The French love doors to all their rooms. Everything in this apartment could be closed of by a door. The first thing we did when we moved in was take the door off the kitchen. Then we finally felt the necessity after 6 years of living in this apartment to knock the wall down. Our family grew from two to four and the time spent in the kitchen pretty much was multiplied by the same number.
Just to give you an idea of the kitchen wall and doorway:
Here's a shot from two years ago today. Baby Alixe! We were mighty cramped when we had people staying with us. Knocking down the wall we gained two meters in our kitchen. The flow of the room felt less congested and what was a dark and cold hallway now has natural light through out most of the day.
Here are few shots of the kitchen wall before it went down the summer of 2010:
As you will notice we did things in phases. We had to because it's expensive to renovate and we had to keep living in the apartment while we did it. We had the wall torn down while we were at Belle Ile on summer vacation two years ago. It was nerve racking to say the least but my brother was supervising while we were gone and everything went fairly well.
And our first view of the wall upon returning to Paris:
This was the beginning of our major renovations to the kitchen. Nothing happened from August 2010 until November 2011. We started to put money aside and planned carefully. We took our time planning because I am horrible at deciding on what I want. This worked out fine because we didn't have anymore vacation time to spend on working on the kitchen and we needed time to save up to make it happen.
I didn't take any photos of the kitchen right before we renovated in November 2011. Too bad. I dug through my Flickr archives and found some shots that will give you a good idea of what a poor lay out our kitchen was.
Here are a few views of the nook portion of our kitchen where our stove and our makeshift cabinets and majority of the storage was:
And this one from the nook towards where the laundry and the kitchen sink was. A total hike when working in the kitchen to go from one side to the other but not surprising in Parisian kitchen layouts. We suspect that when the building recieved their gas lines they pretty much took the easy way to install things along the defunct chimney conduits thus placing the stove on the opposite side of the sink which was installed next to the bathroom. Both of these photos are quite dated having been taken in April 2006 but you get the idea...
And a shot of my fabulous husband with the glimpse of the sink and laundry area behind him.
Our plan for the kitchen renovations that took place in November 2011 was to move the kitchen sink from far end of the kitchen over to the nook and place it right under the window by the water heater. Then move the heater (cutting if from the gas line and moving it two feet to the adjacent wall) out of the nook to make space for the dishwasher which means we had to bring an evacuation and a water source over to the kitchen nook. Confused?
Here's a photo of the heater and we moved it from where it was in the nook to where the kitty grass is in this photo:
In the place of the heater we installed the evacuation for the dishwasher and at the same time we had an Ikea kitchen installed. I have to say it was very easy to pick the kitchen perfect for our needs using the Ikea kitchen planning tool online. We were in desperate need of storage and having a U-shaped nook now it was imporant to utilize the corners to the max. As you could see in the previous photos we had random shelving and cabinets installed. Nothing going all the way to the corner and if anything a HUGE waste of space! But that is now over and done with and we are left with a wonderful, functional kitchen nook and I will share photos of that with you later this week...