A year ago we finished remodelling our kitchen and had the opportunity to spend some money on kitchen appliances we might not normally have bought. After having gotten used to them in the time since, I can explain what the benefits and drawbacks of some of them are when compared with more common ways.
In our old kitchen, we used to keep wine in the fridge, and when there wasn’t enough room, in the garage to keep it cool. This used to work fine apart from sometimes the fridge would get too full and we would have to drink wine directly from the garage, which wasn’t always cool enough. Even when there were a few bottles in the fridge, we drink a lot of wine every day in my house – around five bottles a day between three of us when we get back from the pub – so we invariably ended up having to make several trips out to the garage. This was all made much better by purchasing a wine cooler like the ones at Cooling Wine. Now we don’t have the problem of wine not being cool enough or having to go outside to the garage. The only drawback is that we probably drink more wine now and the cost builds up.
In the old kitchen we used to have an aga which was used for heating the house and had an oven compartment plus two hobs Every morning and evening we would have to empty the hot ashes out (which can be quite dangerous) and fill it with coal. If it had gone out, we needed to get it going again, which could be a little bit tricky. We had to monitor the amount of coal we had and be prepared to order more before it ran out. Once we got the new kitchen we slung the aga out and the travellers took it. We got a boiler and underfloor heating to keep the house warm and bought an electric cooker. It has a larger oven compartment than the aga and four hobs. It’s not as homely as an aga and it doesn’t really have any charm, but it can do its job well. Unlike an aga, it’s either on or off and you don’t have to fill it up with coal or empty out the ashes. In fact, we’ve done away with coal altogether and our bunker is empty. I miss the aga but the electric cooker is easier to use.
We got a large extractor fan in the new kitchen whereas we didn’t really have anything for that purpose in our old one. We are all heavy smokers and so if we are all concentrated in one place for a long period, that place will become very smoky. We just used to leave the back door open in summer to ventilate it a bit. In winter we’d flick our ash down the sink and just leave the window ajar slightly. In the new kitchen we are wary of staining the new surfaces with cigarette smoke, that’s why we ensure that the extractor fan is on. I like the new kitchen and its smart surfaces, but I prefer the days of keeping warm next to the aga, smoking and drinking away all cosily together.
Whenever you’re planning to renovate your house, no matter how practical things seem, don’t underestimate the feeling of loss that you’ll have from ripping the heart out of what is already there – a small part of you may regret it for a long time. In the end it’s up to you, it’s your house and you should make the changes you want to see and how to make it more liveable.