Category Archives: Furniture

New kitchen

Click on images to enlarge.

Whilst the original kitchen layout was ideal and practical there was one flaw. Whenever we had friends over, for some reason we always seemed to end up in the kitchen. Although there was perfectly comfortable furniture in the front room, our guests would inevitably congregate in the kitchen and stand around the central unit. As the kitchen units came into the centre of the room there was no room for seating. A new design was called for.

The revamped kitchen reverted to having units around the sides but this time I made a central island that could be moved around to create a galley style kitchen or dining kitchen or anything else in between.

I acquired several sheets of the green(ish) Formica to laminate the unit doors and surrounded them with a strip of brushed stainless steel to give the contrasting effect. The wall panels and island end panels were thin MDF board covered in a brushed steel effect Formica. To move the island I included a substantial tubular handle at each end made from some damaged aluminium scaffold which I skimmed and brushed on the lathe.

The long upper middle panel on the island is a pull out shelf to provide a little extra worktop which ids ideal when dishing up food for guests. When the shelf is pulled out completely, the legs beneath can be folded out to make a small coffee table.

The problem with seating was overcome by the built in car seat hidden away in the island which came from a Saab estate. These cost me a whole 99p from Ebay and with a bit of help from a purpose built steel frame and a few castors they were good to go.

The narrow cupboard on the side wall houses a bench seat from a Mercedes CLK finished in a nice grey leather. Unfortunately I had to pay a bit more for these but at £5 they didn’t break the bank.

Original kitchen

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My kitchen is classed as a ‘kitchen/diner’ measuring 4m by 4m. This is all well and good but having units around the sides makes for constantly walking back and forth from one unit to another. Of course this all makes me sound very lazy but when a wheelchair has to negotiate the units it becomes a little more of an ordeal.

Then again, the units in a galley style kitchen are often too close together to spin a wheelchair between them. The answer was to build units that were uniquely shaped to incorporate the best of both worlds.

The units in the resulting layout effectively divided the kitchen into a kitchen area and a utility area. The taper of the units enabled everything on the kitchen side to remain close at hand at the inner end where the fridge, sink and dishwasher stood (by the red circle in diagram). The opening gap as you move into the room provided the space required to manoeuvre a wheelchair with ease.

Due to the size of the main worktop, I made it up from laminating thin chipboard layers on site to form one substantial worktop. Once set and shaped to fit I covered it with the grey Formica laminate to provide the finish and durability.

This kitchen layout served us well for many years but everything has to change