I can spend whole days in my kitchen and not even notice I have been confined to one room for hours on end. It is by no means of vast proportions, measuring roughly 3.5m x 4.5m, but to me it is the perfect room. It is where I am now, actually.
By perfect I don’t mean the decor, as such, or the layout, moreso the feel and functions. It multi-tasks, in somuch as a room can. It is quite obviously a kitchen, having all the usual fittings – cupboards, sink, kettle, dishwasher, hob, oven, fridge, microwave – as well as an extendable table and six chairs. At the same time it is so much more than a kitchen.
For a start it serves as commnication central in our house. Of the two windows, one looks out the side of the house allowing me a view over the comings and goings of the neighbours, should I chose to look, and it overlooks the garden gate too. The second window looks out on the garden. Anyone approaching the front door has to walk past it. Needless to say our doorbell doesn’t get much use since we have usually seen our visitors coming and have opened the door already. I generally do my blogging and anything else computer-related from the kitchen too because the light is better here than at my small and incredibly untidy desk in the no man’s land between the livingroom and playroom.
|Cooking with figs from the garden
My cookery book collection is housed in one corner on a five-shelf-high bookshelf. On the short stretch of wall between the shelf and the window to the garden we have our set up our learing area. It features a map of Europe, a multilingual alphabet poster and our garden birds identification cards. As the boys have got to pre-school and school age so many questions have come up about nature, spelling, geography or food that this corner with the means for them (and us as parents) to answer their questions grew organically over the past couple of years, beginning with the bird cards. Jars of pens, pencils and safety scissors adorn the window sill along with an atlas, craft books and pre-school activity books.
|Part of our learning corner
Any regular readers may have noticed the grey flooring that appears in the background of many of my photos. No, we don’t have this throughout the house. It is only in the kitchen. When we bought the house I was delighted that we had a decent-sized shed, a garage and a guest room. I imagined I would have plenty of space to complete all my upcycling projects. And I do. Space is not the issue. Trying to fit these projects into life with three small boys is the issue. The kitchen is the only place where they can get done, unless I employ a nanny (not an option). So the kitchen has developed a parallel life as an atelier.
I am not the only one who gets creative in the kitchen. My children have a great love of experimenting, especially if it involves water, paint, food colouring or homemade volcanos. Again, the kitchen sacrifices its original function and becomes a science lab for an afternoon now and again.
Not least among the many and varied roles of this most wonderful of rooms is it that it serves as my refuge. Here I have my coffee maker, my pantry and my well-stocked wine rack. I have my books and my radio. I can write, bake or watch the children play in the garden. I can sit with a cuppa, my feet resting on a Tripp-Trapp, and feed Number Three. I can browse my craft books and cookbooks and favourite blogs. I can rest, cook or dream.