Finally our electric oven is re-connected, Oh the luxury! It must have been close to two months now, and finally we have a fully functioning kitchen. Not aesthetically complete, but fully functioning none the less.
Its hard when your renovating such an important room to make do for that period of time. Its one thing when you bring in trades, they can usually fit a kitchen in the matter of a couple of days. But when it is as big a job as restoration of the building, and THEN the renovation of a kitchen it is an entirely different process. Add on doing it yourself, with a young family....well. Its not easy.
Having been through this process a few times now, with several different houses I know it is a season. I know it will pass, and I have no desire to run myself ragged through an already difficult process trying to keep up all we already did. When life if stressful, I focus on mental health, on rest, on our little family.
If you have been reading my blog for a while now, you might notice a pattern. When things get hard we lean on conveniences. I'm OK with that. When we pick up extra work, when we pick up challenge's, we must lay something down to make room for that. Or we will end up stressed out, over tired, and resenting the things we truly value. Each and every time, when the challenge or the stress disperses, we quickly find ourselves back in our familiar and enjoyable lifestyle.
If your a die hard simple living person who does everything from scratch all the time I might have just about lost you about now. And that's ok too. I'm here to represent the completely ordinary, the un-spectacular and the bumbling along kinda people. Trying to live simply, growing over time, and simply enjoying the things we value in life and creating our life style to suit that.
When people ask us "how do you do it all?!" And the simple answer is, we don't. When we renovate, especially on such a big scale that where our energy goes. That and our family. We support the local family owned and run chippy shop once a week, twice if things are completely falling apart. We eat spag bol for three nights in a row, eggs on toast, and slow cooked casseroles of whatever-needs-to-be-used-up-and-thrown-in-a-pot. The thing is when you are working to save such a huge amount of money on trades, something has to give. For us to spend a little extra on our grocery bill is the compromise we make. For us, life is all about compromise.
We have estimated, that once our kitchen renovations are completely finished, including the tiles and so forth, floors laid it will have cost us approx. $8000-$8500. We saved money by keeping the vintage electric oven.
Kitchen from Ikea : $5700 (including sink, taps, handles, dishwasher, range hood)
Wood oven: $300 (Will sell the old one for parts to re-coup some of the cost, this number reflects this.)
Big re-cycled wood beam: $160
Electrical: $400 (Grant laid all the new wiring in the ceiling and removed the old wiring and the electrician checked it all over, and did all the correct fittings to the power board, safety switches etc.)
The rest went on bits and bobs needed when you renovate.
I reckon if we have of used trades this figure would have doubled, if not close to tripled considering the structural work like the demolition of the wall, new ceiling, treating the salt damp, restoring the brick fireplace, plastering, hours spent laying wiring, fitting the kitchen, tiling etc. It does not take long for the trades to add up on an old house like ours. Things are never as simple on an old place, and you will always encounter problems, which take time, which then costs more money. Living rurally means tradies charge extra to come out here too. We have local trades, but things that are a little more specialist like stone masons and kitchen cabinetry companies.
When hanging a collection, it helps to lay it out, then take a digital photo to refer to as you go along to reference as spacing and layout.
Since having the kitchen in I have found time in my day to potter about and fluff up my nest. Sometimes picking up simple living jobs we had let slip. Other times doing those fun little projects. Hanging my vintage plate collection was one of them. None of them are valuable, they are all bought from op-shops. But I love them all!
Anyway, the boys are all hovering about so it must be dinner!