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Welcome to News From Italy, my blog about our Italian Adventure. Although this blog has now ceased publication I will be continuing to blog and I am sincerely hoping that my many followers here will move with me to Travel Tales blog to follow my next adventures wherever they may take me. The links to my other blogs are:-

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our House Renovations - Kitchen


However well equipped one's kitchen is it is no good if something goes wrong!   Now I am very lucky to have a wonderfully equipped kitchen which we are enjoying. We have the luxury of a dishwasher which is maybe an extravagance for the two of us certainly, but when we entertain or have guests staying with us it really comes into its own.

So imagine how frustrating it is when only days before our daughter and her boyfriend arrived that the dishwasher decided to play up! This dishwasher has actually had a mind of its own since day one, as soon after it was installed the door panel fell off, it still worked luckily, just took many weeks to get it repaired, it was also rather annoying having it spoiling the look of the kitchen we were so thrilled with.  This time it seems more serious, an electrical fault rather than cosmetic as every time we switch it on, it puts our power off!  Yes, yes I know we only have 3KW of power and this often happens if you overload the system, but this is something we have learnt how to control. Never try and run the dishwasher when you are cooking, washing or ironing and so on. This happens with nothing else in use every single time you switch it on, so definitely a fault within the dishwasher.

The problem now is trying to get an engineer to come and deal with the situation. It is still under guarantee as it is around a year since the kitchen was installed and it is a five year guarantee. We discovered this fault on Friday(16th) and we spent ages on Saturday morning on the phone, a normal working day here, the engineers phone just rings and rings, it is never answered, you can imagine how we feel about this.  We had the same result on Monday afternoon. a lot of shops and businesses are closed Monday am, then again yesterday morning! By yesterday afternoon we had, not surprisingly had enough and a trip to the supplier of our kitchen was required. It turned out someone had given us the wrong phone number when we originally contacted them about our problem!!  You can imagine how we reacted to this, so this time they phoned the engineer on the spot for us and laid it on about the urgency as we have 'gli ospiti' guests arriving. We now have to wait for the engineer to phone us to arrange an appointment. We have been assured that we will have had a visit by the end of the week which will cost us a 25 Euro call out charge as the appliance is over six months old. There is a five year guarantee on the dishwasher but apparently we still have to pay this initial charge.

Anyway I needed to get this aggravation off my chest so decided to tell you about the kitchen renovations at the same time. At least at this time of year it is easy enough to do the washing up as we will be at the beach for picnics, if not at home eating salads for lunch and in the evenings we will BBQ or eat out.

Now for some photographs.

                                                                         As it was on viewing, this room now classified on the house plans as the kitchen was originally an annexe/store room. On the left hand side of the photograph there is a small bathroom, we have removed this and the walls to incorporate the area into the new kitchen. I will explain in more detail about the layout of the house when we purchased it and how we have changed it another time.

                                                                                                         View along house, from annexe, now kitchen, this area is already looking rather different but not finished yet.

All the renovation work has been done by our very good friend Nick along with my husband David. They have made an excellent team and have both worked extremely hard to turn this house into a lovely home for us. I really do appreciate all the work they have done although they know that sometimes I did get frustrated with the inevitable mess and dust they created.  One of there first tasks was to raise the door height from the annexe into the main house as seen here.

By May of last year the kitchen was being installed and we were able to move from our camp kitchen in another room to the real thing, with so much space.

In October the Stufa/Wood Burring Stove was installed so we were ready for the winter, I wrote a post with photos  about that at the time which you can read by clicking the link. Stufa Installation

Finally this is the finished room.

We are extremely happy with the results of our kitchen renovation and agree with our daughters that it is probably the nicest kitchen we have ever had! It is large light and airy, with three aspects. Two large windows face west and south, while to the east are double patio doors out onto our outdoor living area.

I will in due course write more about the renovation project doing before and after posts.  After almost a year and half we are just about finished with the internal works, which were fairly extensive as when we arrived there was not even an internal staircase! 

If you are interested in seeing more of the works in progress now rather than wait for my before and after posts, there are lots of photos you can look at in My Flickr Albums. Renovations

This afternoon just before I was about to post this the phone rang and would you believe it was a lady phoning on behalf of the dishwasher engineer to make an appointment. Rather she told me that he will be coming and if she understood the directions I gave her the engineer should be here between 8.30am and 9am tomorrow morning. I will of course let you know the outcome.


  1. A stunning kitchen , oh I would love one like that .. the size is fantastic, and a dish washer, only had one once, and not is this house.

    Well done to all, it is Amazing..:-)

  2. What a beautiful job..I like large kitchens..I think it had something to do with my youth..we always were in the kitchen..chatting/eating..
    Same in my Grandmother's home..
    Now it is the same here..Your kitchen looks like a fun place..Good food/Good friends..

  3. Not sure if you got my last comment, my connection keeps dropping and I am about to pull my hair out!!!

    Great kitchen but sorry about the dishwasher. We left mine in S.A. and there it remains. It is not normally a problem but I do regret leaving it behind when we entertain. Before I drop connection yet again.... Diane

  4. So much work to be done, but how nice to have some clever men around the house (whom you don`t have to phone and wait for), and it REALLY was worth all the effort! It is now a beautiful kitchen, and soon your dishwasher will also work again! Enjoy your company and the summer! Cheers from Angela in hot Germany

  5. A fabulous renovation job! Really well done and yes, I'd luuurve to have a kitchen that size...in London - yeah right... It looks like it must have been a lot of work but well worth it, it looks lovely. I only wish I could have helped, I love renovation jobs ;-) Thanks for your lovely comment, I'm so hoping to be able to tell you some good news by tomorrow eve, but I'm trying not to get too excited... Have a lovely week, Love from London x

  6. Your kitchen is lovely. I particularly love all the baskets!

  7. Your kitchen looks massive... lucky you! I love before/after photos. It's always so nice to see the changes. We are always working on something in our house, so I can really appreciate the in-between times.

  8. Wow the kitchen is lovely, I think it's so important to have a good kitchen - it's always the room I'm most interested in when we're house hunting! The first property we bought was based on me loving the kitchen and our recnt house has a kitchen with lots of light - but not much character, yet...

  9. Nice kitchen, full of light and air, just the way it should be!

  10. Hopefully by now, your dishwasher has been restored to working order, and you can enjoy your entire kitchen.
    Your house went under serious renovations, and it paid off. What a large space and I love all the counter tops. My kitchen is where I work on most projects, so I am always running out of space. Your kitchen looks light and airy which I wish for mine.

  11. Isn't it frustrating how a simple thing becomes so complicated? I hope it gets fixed soon! I am living without one at the moment as well.
    What a beautifully planned kitchen!! I love how bright it is with very clean lines. You'll love spending time there, but hopefully not until the dishwasher is fixed!!! Cheers, Susan :)

  12. I am really impressed!! It takes courage to do renovations of that extent – I know, because I haven't yet taken the plunge on our bathroom upgrades, even though I have the money, I can't face the upheaval! But this is very inspiring. Hope your dishwasher is all fixed now. :)

  13. The windows are so great and the counter space! I have 53"/1 meter 30 cm of counter space. 32"/80 cm of that is on top of a wood stove which we might start using this year for heat so I will very probably lose that space come winter. Oh to have counter space...

  14. Anne - Thanks Anne, I am pretty thrilled with it!
    Rosebud Collection - Kitchens have always been the heart of the home for us as well, but this is certainly the largest one we have had.
    Diane - Just this comment, sorry your connection is playing up. Do you still have a place in S.A. then?

    Angela - They have really done a fantastic job of the house and are moving to the outside next after we have all had a summer break.

    Mademoiselle P : Fingers crossed for you then. Thanks for the compliments about the work, it has been well worth the effort.

    Sarah Elizabeth - Thanks Me Too!!

    citymouse - It is quite big, glad you liked the before and after shots.

    JadeLD - Very important, the heart of the home.

    Saretta - Yes it was the perfect room to convert to the kitchen, wait till you see the old one!

    Mya - Sadly no, we are waiting for a part now that was burnt out! It is lovely and light and airy which was exactly why we chose this room to convert to the kitchen.

    Neil and Susan - BBQ's and picnics till is is fixed, waiting for replacement part. Thanks for the complimentary comments about the kitchen.

    Georgianna - Thanks, it keeps us busy! Not fixed yet, awaiting a part.

    Martha - Thanks the last kitchen had a very small amount of work space, but we did have a large kitchen table to work on, is that what you use. I thought you were moving or have your plans changed?

  15. Wow, what a transformation. It must be a joy to work in that huge (and very stylish!) space!! Definitely worth the wait!

    Best wishes,

  16. Natasha - Thanks for the stylish comment, I have to say that we are very pleased and both our daughters approve :)

  17. Well, that's a kitchen!!! It's gorgeous!!! Totally new look. I'm a new follower, I will be back soon and read about your living in Italy!!!

    Un abbraccio xx

  18. Zaira - Welcome and a big thankyou for your compliments.

  19. Fabulous. Have you enough things for all those cupboards?

    I hope the engineer arrived.

  20. travelingsuep - Thankyou Sue, we most certainly do all cupboards and drawers in use, but we have got all food storage, the fridge and dishwasher hidden behind those doors, so not that huge is it? Oh and the engineer did arrive, however two weeks on we are still awaiting replacement part :(

  21. LOVE the storage space and workspace . . and bright look of the room. Job Well done!!!!


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