Monday, 7 July 2008

Perfect Storm

So, off we went to the shops, only one problem, the branch of Ikea that stocked the shelves I wanted in the desired colour didn't have a branch of the paint shop nearby. Which to choose, paint or shelves?

We chose shelves. If I still didn't like the paint colour the next morning I could run into Dumfries and change it. Decision made we headed up the M8 to Glasgow just in time to hit the rush hour traffic. A one hour journey turned into a three hour slog and we finally got to the store at about seven thirty. Still, that time on a wet Thursday turned out to be a great time for shopping, we were about the only customers in the place: glorious.We were able to mooch and stroke and dawdle without getting in anybody's way. We tried out swivel chairs (wheeee!), pulled out drawers (swishhh), and wondered aloud at who would buy that! Then we got to the shelves and, 'oh my god' there were the green ones. Not pantry, or pea-soup, or apple but photo-shopped grass. I stroked the elegant birch-ply version but Bob was having none of it: we had endured the agonies of the M8 at rush hour for the green ones, and it was the green ones we were taking home. I could see his point, but...

He wrote down the warehouse location of the green shelves and off we went to aisle 8, location 3. Picking up a hanging rail and hooks, a magnetic knife holder, a wall hanging dish drainer and a pot lid holder on the way. Ikea does that to you, everything's so cheap you can't help putting a lot of it into your trolley. Still, I managed to resist the pale wood venetian blind and the large squashy cushions.

Aisle 8, location 3 turned out to be an empty hole: no shelves of any colour and just as I was thinking we'd have to go to aisle 14, location 7 and get the birch-ply after all we spotted that unmistakable colour further up the row. The label said "Lack side table" but the goods looked remarkably like shelves so Bob pulled one out. Shelves they were, so we loaded six of them onto the trolley and went off to check the bargain basement before going to pay.

We finally got home at ten o'clock where, thank goodness because I was starving, Stevie had bought Moules Mariniere for supper. As we were sitting down to eat Bob put one of the green shelves against the wall so I could see what it looked like against the paint colour.

The next morning I woke up scandalously late and staggered into the kitchen and there, leaning nonchalantly against the thunder cloud-blue wall was the grass-green shelf. While my tea was cooling I got out the paint and applied another coat. It's not a warm colour, true, it's a broody, don't mess with me colour, but it turns out it's exactly what the room needed. Or exactly what I needed, I don't know which. Anyone else might walk in and go 'arghh!'

Getting the shelves up was a bit on the trying side: the walls aren't even, the corners aren't right angles, the joists seem to just end randomly. So I didn't get my seamless run of three perfect rows of corner shelving. I got one and a half imperfect rows and a steel rail. We have used three of the six shelves we bought. On Monday we will try to put two more up on the wall above the table and the last one in the utility room. Why does nothing ever go to plan, other people seem to have the kitchens they want? But, see the pictures below, despite the problems I'm really quite taken with it. The room couldn't be more different to how it was before. It reminds me of a makeshift basement bar that serves tapas and strangely potent tequila based cocktails.

Before: this is a photo of the working corner of the kitchen at Christmas, so it's a bit more cluttered than normal.

After: this is how the same spot looks now.


debra said...

I don't know if other people have the kitchens they want, Eryl. Every time I use my cupboards, I realize how much I hate them--40some years ago,my father-in-law, an architect, designed them with "touch latches". This means that I have to push the wood to make them open---only they don't open half of the time, and the other half, they stick.
Those shelves are vibrant. Just the thing to brighten things up, yes?

Eryl Shields said...

I have touch latches on my bedroom wardrobes, they are a problem, but I've found a good sharp kick at the bottom usually gets them open.However, one or two of them won't shut at all, that's really annoying.

The shelves are definitely vibrant aren't they!?

Kim Ayres said...

Looks good!

You have to use a spirit level with shelves in old houses, because they never look right.

We had a similar problem trying to hang a painting of my father's above the fireplace - if we put it level with the mantelpiece it looked wonky one way, and if we put it level with the ceiling it looked wonky the other way.

Of course using a spirit level then only made it look wonky in every direction

Eryl Shields said...

My spirit level is on the up again, now I've reorganised my cupboards.

PI said...

You actually bought green shelves? My God that's sophistication. Why can't we have an Ikea in Taunton?

Kanani said...

Looks so much cleaner! Where'd the dishes and microwave go? I have a love/hate relationship with IKEA. It's so far from where I live and then that floorplan --there's no such thing as getting out of an IKEA quickly!
But I'm going this week for some bookshelves for the Living room. And by the way, I have those same shelves that are in your kitchen in my living room only they're dark brown! Odd how two people so far away could have the same furnishings!

Eryl Shields said...

Pat ~ I know several people who would think green shelves the height of bad taste!

I'm amazed to hear that there isn't an Ikea in Taunton, I thought they were everywhere.

Kanani ~ the dishes are now in a cupboard and the microwave has migrated to the window alcove at the other end of the room.

You're right, Ikea can be a nightmare and it does sap your time, I only go when I absolutely have to and when it's quiet.

Mary Witzl said...

I too wondered where your microwave went. And part of me greedily wondered if you got rid of those nice plate racks. Did you? I yearn for some of these, not that we have any place to put them! It seems like such an easier way to store plates.

I like the green. Anything but that awful 'avocado green' (which never is the color of avocadoes) that they used to use for fridges back in the 70s.

Eryl Shields said...

Oh Mary, when Mark came to take the washstand I offered him the plate rack too and he took it, so it's off to New Zealand. I'd have given it to anybody who came by! One of the things I disliked about it was that it got really grubby between the slats and the only way to clean it was to unscrew them, scrub it out, re-oil it and put it back together, it took hours!

I do believe that 'avocado' green is coming back, as all things 70s are. Remember the avocado bathroom suites, you couldn't rent a flat without one when I was young? I never saw fridges in that colour though, you must have been more radical in California.

Alesa Warcan said...

Your kitchen... Seems delightfully functional! We just moved into our new place a few months ago and we haven't spent any time getting it finalised... The potshop took precedence... It'll be done soon, now, and I can start working on getting the kitchen the way I like it.