Friday, 7 September 2012

Kitchen Work Weekend Update (at long last!)

I know it's been a couple of weeks since this actually occurred, but I promise you can have lots of pictures to make up for it.

So, for our first monthly work weekend, we decided to try to make headway on finishing off all of the loose ends in the kitchen. We decided that this included decorating, as the patching of plaster on the walls and ceiling, and general grubbiness of the place, was making all of the good work we'd done look a bit shabby.

In the pursuit of making our decision about a paint colour quicker, I turned to Photoshop. We'd try discussing paint colours before and got absolutely nowhere, but I think that's because when someone says "let's paint it green!", everyone imagines their least favourite shade of green and objects! In anticipation of a long discussion, I decided to go around the co-op and Photoshop the kitchen to each of their favourite colours, so we could usefully compare them in the meeting. The photo on the top left shows the original kitchen, and then there are 7 options which people either chose, or suggested and then let me choose.

When it came to deciding the colour, I showed everyone the images on the right and opinion quickly narrowed it down to the scarlet (bottom left) and the deep orange (top right). It's a dingy room but with lots of pale surfaces, so everyone was keen to inject a bit of personality and colour. In the end we had a majority vote (oo-er!) and it was 4 votes to 3 for the scarlet.

Lloyd and I popped off the the shops and took the laptop with us, and managed to get a paint mixed which, while similar, was not identical. Everyone likes it though, so the process does seem to work, and certainly cut down a lot of discussion time. I think we'll be using it again in the future.

So, onto the picture spam! Many of these photos were taken by Toby, one of our volunteers (along with the beauteous Gemma from Random Camel Housing Co-op).

Hannah and Lloyd working on the recycled futon shelves

Finn gets involved in the DIY :)

That's 7 metres of new shelves for the kitchen!

Other work completed included building epic shelves for our enormous communal spice and food collection, and making some headway on the floor tiling (which has turned into an enormous job, quite out of proportion with how big it should have been). Cassian and Adam also fitted a new light on the basement stairs so we no longer hit our heads on the bulb. Win! It's little jobs like that which make the house feel a lot better.

Rob from The Drive Housing Co-op fitted an extractor for us while he was visiting a few weeks ago, so all in all the kitchen is starting to feel really posh. Once the tiling's done I think some new lighting might be in order, and then it will be amazing. While big jobs like the garden and the roofs rumble on for ages, finishing something that we use loads every day has really helped give us a greater sense of ownership over the house, and it's a great thing to show visitors to demonstrate how different co-op life is from privately rented accommodation.

To demonstrate how awesome we are, here's a before-and-after shot of the kitchen, and some gratuitous shelf pr0n.

Before: so drab! so dull! so institutional!

After: characterful and gorgeous!
Sexy shelves made from a tatted futon.

Glorious from every angle.

The next work weekend is on September 22nd-23rd and will be focussing on turning the upstairs kitchen (what's left of it) into a beautiful spare room for your selves to stay in. Get in touch if you fancy coming along.

- Hannah


  1. When I heard you'd painted your kitchen red I thought it might be a case of co-op colours but it looks great! :)

  2. your color choosing scheme was so very clever!