The kitchen is situated in the basement of the building. The adjacent courtyard lets in plenty of light and fresh air.
June 2013: At the Kensington Dollshouse Festival in London I bought real flagstones for the kitchen floor. (Marl flagstones by Richard Stacey). The example which was shown at Richard's stand had the perfect colour: grey with a hint of ochre. When I got home and opened the packet, the stones were much more yellow than the example I had seen. I wasn't happy with them at all, but I decided to lay the floor anyway and try to soften the yellow colour with paint.
After laying the flagstones the was a big difference in height between the stones, however, that was easily remedied by going over them with the sanding machine. I had to do this outside as it was an incredibly dusty job! But it was an easy job and the floor became beautifully smooth.
As per the intructions by Richard Stacey, I first sealed the floor before grouting. After the grouting the clour of the floor was a little better already, but only after applying some watery acrylic paint I was really happy with it. As a final finish I put a layer of wax on the floor. The floor now has that soft shine which old stone floors often have.
I had just enough stones for the floor, but only because I didn't put any stones where the sink and the wall cabinet will go. You always need more than you think!
A year before I started work on this kitchen I found a very nice AGA stove kit by Gable End Designs. The stove is a miniature copy of the beautiful AGA stove which was designed in 1922 by the Swedish Nobel prize winner Dr. Gustaf Dalen. The cast iron cooke works on the principle of heat retention. The cooking is done on the two hotplates under the chrome lids on top of the cooker and in the ovens. The four ovens each have a different temperature. The cooker is always warm and also serves as a heater, making the kitchen a favourite place in the house.
Except for the chrome lids, the AGA kit is made up of plastic parts. The instructions said to spray the parts with car paint, which I did. In my real kitchen I also have an AGA and the warm chrome lids are perfect for drying paint.
For the inside of the oven doors and the ovens I used silver/grey paint which I then dirtied and aged a little to make them look like the real ovens. Putting the details to the front and the lids of the AGA was a meticulous job, but it makes the cooker look much more real.
The next step was making the windows. As I wrote before, I use real glass for the windows of this house. I am getting better at cutting the glass, as I managed to cut the three panes for these windows without breaking any.
The kitchen window and door overlook a courtyard (photo below left). The house is built as a series of seperate room boxes which will form one house once they're all finished. Only then I will start on finishing the exterior of the house. I fear it will be many years before the exterior will look like a real house. Until then it will not look very pretty as it is plain unfinished plywood.
The sink will be positioned underneath the window. The window can be opened so the cooking smells can be easily vented outside. Behind the AGA I will make a wall covered in old Dutch white tiles incorporating two Delft blue tile panels. I painted the two tile panels during a porcelain painting class by Cocky Wildschut on real miniature tiles after 17th century examples.
I bought the kitchen chair several years ago from Colin Bird at a fair in London.
November 2013: I have started making the kitchen cabinets. The cabinets, the sink and the pump are based on ones which could be found in 17th and 18th century kitchens. When I wanted to attach the doors to the cabinets I found I still had 6 hinges in the size I needed. While I was working, two hinges disappeared. Where to? I have no idea, but I couldn't find them anywhere. The third door will have to wait for hinges until I buy new ones.
Against the wall above the kitchen worktop I am installing the porcelain tiles which were handmade by Idske and which I won in her blog 'give away'. Next to the kitchen cabinets I made a Dutch door which opens onto the inner courtyard.
After painting the cabinets a lovely green, I decided the colour was too strong against the blue of the tiles and the porcelain I want to use in the kitchen. I mixed the green paint with a little bit of beige and grey into a much softer green which looks great with both the wall tiles and the floor.
Both the sink and the worktop were painted to look like marble. By adding the same colours beige and grey I used in the other paint mixes, the colours, even though completely different, will relate well to eachother. They have the same colour genes, so to speak.
On the wall behind the AGA I have put old Dutch style wall tiles, the same ones I have used in my other kitchen. They're made with paper, paint, spray lacquer and spackling paste. And a LOT of cutting and gluing. But I love how they look so it is worth the amount of work. You can find a short tutorial on making these tiles here. The porcelain tiles with the dog and the cat were painted by me after 17th/18th century originals.
Often these types of tile tableaux were found in pairs like this dog and cat which were representatives of the good and the bad. The dog represented the good, loyalty, watchfulness and honesty. The cat represented the bad, the incarnation of the devil (witches), carelessness and loose sexual morals.
These two hanging on your kitchen walls would serve as an every day reminder of the choices we have and make in life.