La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France at the time. We chose it while on the road, moving house the first time round, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like we did and like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, after yet another stint in Ireland, we're back in France @ Le Mas d'Ayen

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Kitchen - The Reveal

This kitchen in our forever home (for now, at least) had to be a place where I wanted to be in, cook in, entertain in, relax in. And it had to open up the house to the stunning view outside.

Stunning view. Tick.

Want to be in here. Tick. Like to cook in. Entertain in. Tick. Tick.

Relaxing. Tick !

When we moved in (April 2013) the kitchen was much smaller. And while maybe trendy and in vogue it wasn't the kitchen for me. You know, me being the serious cook that I am !
Not enough cupboard space or work surface. Not to speak about the positioning of cooker/sink. 
Having to manoeuvre, with a pot full of boiling hot water and potatoes to be drained, from stove to sink, no fun !
The porcelain floor tiles of a highly polished and super white nature where not only a dick to clean, they felt cold and made me feel as if I was forever on an ice skate rink. Lethal !

Never mind. I've kept a tile. And this is what I use it for.

After drawings being made up by the architect and planning permission granted the works started in earnest in July 2014.
The ground works were the scariest part, I found.

The walls went up, roof on, windows in. Plasterers came and went. Flooring in. And the painting could get underway in November. Clémence and Hugo, our fantastic French volunteers at the time made short shrift of that job.

Not only did they do a great job with the painting, but they assembled all the IKEA cabinets, while a friend of ours, who is a joiner/carpenter placed them and added the worktops.

We went for IKEA cabinets, because we like IKEA and we've had plenty of IKEA kitchens before.  
IKEA ? Can I have my bonus now ?
Our choice was the LAXARBY door and drawer front because it has a solid wood frame with a wood veneer panel.
I didn't like the white stained look that seemed to have a pink tint shining through and thus I set to work and painted the whole lot with Autentico Chalk Paint - eggshell. I used Swedish Blue for the island cabinets and Ice Cream for all the others.
In the above photo collage (top right) you can see the difference in colour. The two top drawers are painted, the bottom one is not.
The worktop came from the local sawmill and is Douglas Fir.
I oiled this with white Danish oil, suitable for kitchen worktops.

The floor tiles are Travertine, laid in a Versailles pattern.

I am the proud owner of a double sink under the window to throw dirty dishes into  The one on the island is extremely well positioned to drain boiled potatoes with ease. I also use it for washing vegetables, etc.

And there you have it. Our kitchen, which I started using fully a couple of weeks before Christmas last year. 
Hope you like the result.

Patricia xxx...x


  1. Like it? Love it! I am insanely jealous. It's mahoosive! About the same size as my house. You are a very lucky lady AND such an amazing view. With your happy helpers you've done a fantastic job. X

    1. Thanks.
      Can you imagine the mess I make, spreading out over the counter tops. ;)

  2. I love it, what a perfect space & that view is to die for! xx

    1. The view is indeed gorgeous. We've been spending all our days here since it was finished. We might as well tear the rest of the house down. :)

  3. Absolutely lovely.......absolutely

  4. Drooling blog reader ... TICK!!

    It is lovely, amazingly so ... but I have to confess to loving small kitchens for myself.........., but I do love looking at other peoples amazing designs. It must feel like all the work and upheaval was worth it now it's all over.

    1. I understand the love for small (and cosy) kitchens, I've had plenty. When they are well laid out they are much easier than a large space. It took me a while to get used to long distance travel in this one, but now everything has its proper place and it works out very well.

  5. Anonymous8:30 pm

    Wow! Your kitchen is gorgeous! What a fabulous view. I really love the layout and your choices in colors and the tiled floor .... everything!


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