The Monet Kitchen…

Here’s my confession: I have a Monet kitchen.

I don’t mean Monet in the sense that my kitchen is pretty as a picture. I mean “Monet” in the Clueless sense, where Cher is explaining how some girls look pretty until you take a closer look:

It’s like a painting, see? From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess. 

That’s my kitchen.

I moved into this house about four years ago, buying from a DIY enthusiast. Friends, you should never buy a house from a DIY enthusiast.

It was two years work just to bring the DIY loft conversion up to scratch. Then there was the roof, the electrics, the bathrooms… putting in new wiring and walls meant redecorating, then the dodgy damp proofing meant redecorating AGAIN and in all of this work, the kitchen (which functions) has been shoved to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list.

It’s a DIY kitchen.

The previous owner put in the kitchen himself. Using the wrong floor adhesive meant the tiles all moved and cracked. Making his own kickboards under the kitchen units, on a shifting floor, didn’t work so well – the kickboards move, and have massive gaps between them.

Next, Mr DIY turned his attention to the worktop, and made his own wooden (WOODEN) splashback. Not being noted for its waterproofing abilities, the wood has gradually swollen and split, allowing water to seep into the counter tops which have also swollen and split. I’ve lost count of the number of t-shirts I’ve ripped because they’ve got caught on an errant bit of worktop laminate that’s peeling off the counter.

The swollen worktop means the cupboard which used to box in the boiler pipes also swelled, starting to push the boiler off the wall – so we had to ditch the cupboard entirely, and instead opted for the rustic charm of bare pipework in the kitchen. Joy…

To this charming scene, we can add home-fitted under-cupboard lighting which works approximately one day out of ten (randomly, the lights come on if you slam a cupboard door, but basically ignore the command of a light switch).

There was no door on the kitchen when we moved in, so we added one, but I haven’t quite got around to plastering above the new door frame.

So that’s my kitchen.

And I cannot express in words quite how GUTTED I am that I can’t enter the competition over on Tots100 this week to win £2,500 to make over a room in your house. Because I think £2,500 might actually be enough to undo all the Disaster DIY going on in my kitchen.



Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 16th October 2012 / 10:44 pm

    That’s our kitchen. Except we’re the DIYers. Well, my dad started it and then buggered off and died and now we kind of patchwork things as and when they happen. It’s also our bathroom and… OK, our whole house. Except maybe the loo that my mother-in-law sorted out, which is about the only room that looks OK. Why am I not entering? Because, apparently, £2,500 would not be anywhere near enough to do even one room, therefore we would need to spend extra that we don’t have. Yes, I’m not sure I understand the logic, either. Good luck with your kitchen, anyway.
    Tasha Goddard recently posted..This Is Not My Hat by Jon KlassenMy Profile

    • Super amazing mum
      17th October 2012 / 5:59 am

      You can enter the kitchen! I had a quote and it was just under £2.5k to refit out kitchen….have a look at my disaster zone……..can’t be as bad as that surely???!

    • 17th October 2012 / 9:20 am

      Tasha, As Sophie says, you’d be amazed what £2.5K can get you if you shop around. Don’t think in terms of Grand Designs where they are spending silly money on things. Howdens & IKEA are both great for kitchens for example. IKEA has online kitchen planning tool, so you get to price it as well.
      Monika aka mumonthebrink recently posted..Outstanding house renovation projectsMy Profile

    • 17th October 2012 / 6:35 pm

      Are you kidding me? You can do LOADS with £2.5k, even if it’s only part of a total job – in my mind, £2.5k would pay for a new kitchen floor and windows. Or replace the dodgy roof on the utility room. Or build in a larder with shelves in the space under the stairs… Oh, the endless possibilities!

      Go for it, I say. And if you do want to completely re-do a total room £2.5k easily covers a bedroom, lounge or bathroom! And you could even put it towards a garden revamp!

  2. Super amazing mum
    17th October 2012 / 5:56 am

    Thank you for posting YOUR kitchen……I agree,they are similar but mine is still worse.,.,at least your cupboards have doors and your walls are NOT blue/yellow clashing aertex! Shame you can’t enter!

    We bought of a DIY enthusiast as well, have also had to fix loft conversion, leaking shower room, re wire whole house and brand new boiler!

    I am mortified every time someone comes around, I need to win as it is my turn to *do* Xmas this year and I fear the kitchen will have fallen down by then!!

    • 17th October 2012 / 6:36 pm

      It is a shame for me – I admit *sad face*

      But someone will get an amazing prize out of it, which is pretty cool 🙂

  3. 17th October 2012 / 12:38 pm

    As an expat I feel your pain about not being allowed to enter the competition. I’d love to redo my bathroom and get rid of the stupid bath where a shower cubicle and the washing machine could fit. But then I suppose I’d have to do something in the space left by the washing machine in the kitchen… it never ends.
    Midlife Singlemum recently posted..Listography: 5 Things I’d Like To Be reincarnated AsMy Profile

    • 17th October 2012 / 6:36 pm

      Never-ending is how I feel about our house, too!

  4. 17th October 2012 / 3:11 pm

    I say go for it! 🙂 Good luck! x

  5. 17th October 2012 / 6:55 pm

    You have matching worktops, thats luxury in my book, luxury…. 🙂
    claire recently posted..Forest SchoolMy Profile

  6. 19th October 2012 / 10:38 pm

    You have work tops, I don’t, I’m trying to bake and decorate cakes on a folding table whilst cooking meals for the family…shame you can’t enter x

  7. 20th October 2012 / 8:33 pm

    At least you have a co-ordinating toaster! And on the bright side, not entering means you can’t be disappointed when you don’t win.
    allotmentmum recently posted..Making the living room liveableMy Profile

  8. 25th October 2012 / 7:51 pm

    *sigh* our whole house “is a full-on Monet” …and little Mr is about to start crawling which fills me with horror for what he might stumble upon!

    …You might not be able to enter the Tots100 comp – but tomorrow nights lottery might be a good shout! #itcouldbeyou

  9. 26th October 2012 / 12:46 pm

    Eek! Luckily we did our own Kitchen so any jobs needed can only be blamed on….my OH 😉
    Amanda recently posted..Discovering NatureMy Profile

  10. 29th October 2012 / 12:08 pm

    I’m a big believer that you can update rooms for small amounts of cash, not that £2,500 is a small amount of cash, but you could absolutely give it a great revamp for that kind of price. Kitchens can be soooo expensive, but they don’t have to be 🙂
    Jen recently posted..Selfridges Guest Post: Cold ComfortsMy Profile