Apologies for the mini blogging break. I’ve either been asleep (too much) or DIY-ing (not enough) sorry. This weekend most of the new kitchen units were installed which is mega exciting. For now though, I’m still bringing you up to where we are now so here is the tale of tearing apart the kitchen:

Removing the kitchen cupboards was actually the first big DIY thing I did in the penthouse (after stripping wallpaper in the bedroom).

I knew the kitchen would be the first room to be refurbished so I knew I’d need to gut it. I didn’t realise how much I’d enjoy that though!

I started by removing the oven (with my Mum’s help) and bashing out the surround that had been built around it. This, like lots of other bits of woodwork in the flat, was made of scraps of wood and held together with an assortment of nails and screws.


Next up was pinging the tiles off the wall – a very satisfying job! I used a cold chisel and mallet. Luckily most of the tiles came off in one or two pieces rather than in a squillion tiny and time-consuming fragments. I did learn quite quickly though that if you fill a normal black sack with broken tiles then a) you can’t lift it, and b) it will rip and tile bits and tile dust will go everywhere. Sigh.

I’ve found that tearing things apart is like pulling at a loose thread, it sort of spirals into bigger things than you originally thought. Once the first area of tiles had come down I started eyeing up the cabinets…

On something of a whim I started taking the cabinets apart, as – you know – people do when they’re a bit bored.

In true ‘thread-pulling’ style, I started by just investigating how the built-in fridge and freezer were installed then removing the plinth then taking a few cabinet doors off then…



Before I knew it I was trying to remove the worktop with a kitchen knife. Whilst this got the job done it probably isn’t recommended so please don’t try it!

The base cabinets came out quite easily as they were just held together with a few screws so they were soon stacked up in various rooms of the flat getting in the way of everything else (this has been a running theme of doing anything in the penthouse so far).

With a little help from the electricians who cut off a big chunk of worktop for me, the next step was to remove the wall cabinets. They didn’t come out quite so easily so I channelled my ceiling rage into ripping them off the wall. Very satisfying!


Next was ripping off wallpaper and the polystyrene coving from the top of the walls. And yes, I do often do DIY in socks and yes these are one of my favourite pairs.

Kitchen demo

I’ve been removing wallpaper and filling holes but the kitchen walls aren’t as smooth as the bedroom but they do have signs of what was there before unlike the other rooms I’ve stripped. I found some old tiles behind where the oven was and we worked out that the kitchen originally had a built-in cupboard/larder which was removed at some point leaving very wonky walls and floors! The walls have dark green paint on the bottom half with orange above a gap about an inch thick (some sort of dado rail at an odd height or a tile detail?).

Kitchen wall

Check out the big holes in the wall where various screws have been over time plus the bigger hole where there was an old socket. That’s part of our temporary kitchen set-up in the bottom left of the photo (it doesn’t normally include two bottles of wine but two types of chutney is fairly normal!).

A pipe had been boxed in around the top of two walls. When I removed the boxing in (boxed-ined ness? boxyness?) I discovered that someone had painstakingly wallpapered it to match the pattern behind it. The pipe doesn’t actually go anywhere now (it used to feed the old boiler) so that will hopefully be coming down – I’m certainly not wallpapering it to match what ever ends up on the walls!

Kitchen pipe

I managed to squeeze in a bit of work in the kitchen before the units were installed (though not as much as I’d hoped) so even before the new units went in it already looked different (and less orange and green!)

I’ll try to get an interim post up soon before telling you about installing the new kitchen cabinets!


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