Work continues on the new fosse in our absence. Progress has been slower than hoped because the weather has not been too friendly but a date has been set for the inspection by Satese of the finished job for 20th January, so the work has to be completed by then.
Once the fosse is installed, work can begin on the new drive, so we’re still on course for the outside work to be complete by the end of the month.
There is some progress in our search for a new kitchen. Back in December we had a visit from a salesman from a kitchen company in Tours. We liked one of their ranges of kitchen units in the showroom but after he had been we felt a bit let down. We were already losing confidence in him because he had failed to turn up for his first appointment chez nous, even though we had made an extra trip to Tours to decide on cabinet doors, worktops and handles, which must have shown how keen we were. He looked at our existing kitchen and came up with a pencil design on a piece of paper that looked remarkably like what we already had, except for the addition of things that we didn’t really want but that he insisted were the right things to have. Then he went away promising to email us alternative designs but so far we have heard nothing from him.
So we decided to have a look at displays of kitchens over here to get some ideas for ourselves and try to decide what we really wanted. We liked this range in Ikea with its glass fronted cabinets and the island unit. It had a nice traditional feel to it but with modern features.
Then we called at Magnet and really liked this range of units. The store manager and his staff kept a discreet distance and didn’t pounce on us but when we asked questions they were extremely helpful. This range has the largest variety of shapes and sizes of doors, drawers and cupboards which we thought could be very handy when working round our uneven walls and beams. He also said that they regularly supply kitchens that are shipped abroad.
We were beginning to like the sound of this. Our visit from the kitchen designer from Tours left us feeling nervous and uncomfortable, not at all sure that we would end up with the kitchen we wanted without a struggle. I hate to give in to the lure of dealing in our native language and chicken out of grappling with a French company, but we felt that with something as personal and important as a kitchen we needed to get it right. Principles might have to be sacrificed if necessary.
We made an appointment to return a few days later to talk about it in more detail and explore a possible design. That gave us time to talk to Alex and Nicole about the possibility of fitting the kitchen ourselves, as a joint effort between us and them. They were happy to help and we felt relieved, thinking it would be great to be involved rather than hand the whole project over to strangers, letting it out of our control.
As the planning of our new kitchen evolved we looked around the showroom for ideas and for features that we liked. This island unit caught our eye.
So did this one, although I’m not too sure about the twinkly lights around the bottom!
We were in the showroom for 3½ hours in all and eventually a plan emerged. It is more than thirty years since I had a new kitchen (except that our UK house already had a brand new kitchen, not of our choosing, when we moved in) and things have moved on a bit! The design was done on a computer and everything was displayed on a large screen in front of us so that we could see at every stage how it was working out. Marvellous!
And here it is! This is actually my photo of an A3 print out of an “artist’s impression” of the finished design. The view is from the front door so that on entering the kitchen you will see a nice space and a swish island unit instead of a grotty wall and the back of the sink! (Or a breakfast bar and set of fancy bar stools if the Tours man had his way.)
There’s a bit of fine tuning to be done before the kitchen is manufactured but we’re hoping for delivery in April. With any luck we will have a new floor, staircase and kitchen by the summer. Fingers crossed!