A long-planned project is coming to fruition this week.

It all started last November. Mr Snail and I were in the kitchen when the was a sudden creak. Before either of us had time to react, there was more groaning and then the shelves fell, spectacularly, off the wall. Admittedly they had a lot of cookery books on them and a large mixing bowl and a brass jam kettle, but even so it was a surprise. The mixing bowl did not survive, and the clothes airer that was beneath them was rather distorted (it’s metal – if it had been wood, it would have been smashed), but everything else survived pretty much unscathed. Except the shelves, and the wall. We were left with holes in the  wall and damage to the plasterboard (dry-wall) . The lower brackets were still attached to the wall, but the upper shelf (the culprit, as it turned out) had departed from the wall in its entirety with the brackets still attached and taken quite a bit of the plasterboard with it.

So, what to do? List the cookery books on e-bay? Put up new shelves? Buy some floor-standing shelves? Or dither for ages in a state of major indecision? So we went for the last one. I filled the holes in the wall; we bought some paint… and then we stalled… for a couple of months. The wall remained unpainted. The brackets that were still attached remained in the wall, we considered various pieces of furniture… and then we did nothing. Until a friend happened to phone one day and mention that his 30-year-old son had moved back in with them and was looking for work.

Admittedly, this doesn’t sound like the answer to many solutions, but Richard’s son is, in fact, a very skilled cabinet-maker. And so, after a bit of discussion, we commissioned Tim to make us a fitted storage unit for the kitchen – somewhere to store all the preserving equipment as well as all the preserved food I make each summer. In addition, there will be shelves standing on part of the work-surface, so they won’t be able to fall off the wall and I can keep all my books – hurrah!


we have a plan!

After much discussion, we agreed on a design and then came the issue of sourcing the timber. Tim visited a local saw mill to make sure the wood was good quality and stored properly before ordering it. Of course, when it arrived, some wasn’t up to spec. so more had to be ordered. Then he hurt his back and that delayed things a bit. During all this time, Tim was moving out of his parent’s home and setting up his new workshop, but we didn’t mind that it was taking a bit of time, we weren’t in a rush.


a sunny wall – with a few of Pauline’s light-catcher rainbows

And then, on Saturday I got a phone call to say that he was nearly ready to install the cupboards and would this week be convenient? The answer, of course, was “yes”, but that meant spending Sunday making the space ready. There was a dresser to be moved and a wall to be painted. Of course, once all the preparation had been done, the wall was painted fairly quickly… which is where the yellow comes in. We bought environmentally friendly paint, which goes on like a dream and does not smell (there are no VOCs in it). It’s the same brand that we used to paint the limery and that has stood up well to a very challenging environment, so this should be good for the kitchen.

And now, we await the arrival of Tim later in the week… apparently he’s just oiling the work top one last time. I can’t wait!

Leave a comment


  1. Annie

     /  July 24, 2017

    It all sounds fab, and he sounds like an idea candidate to make the frame & doors that will hold stained glass to go in the hole between the kitchen and lounge. I guess it would need to be done remotely then couriered to us, but if he is interested then so are we. 🙂

  2. There is absolutely nothing to beat a piece of bespoke furniture which does exactly what you want it to do, looks exactly as you want it to, and best of all, will last….forever. Looking forward to seeing photos, soon, I hope!

  3. Laurie Graves

     /  July 24, 2017

    Yay!!! Can’t wait to see the storage unit.

  4. What are the odds you’d be standing right there when the shelf launched? Have fun with your new space!

  5. Looking forward to seeing it!

  6. How exciting! Even the instigation for this new piece of furniture sounds exciting – if not a little horrifying at the time!

  7. Oh I love a good project. And I know all about dithering, too. It’s wonderful, though, when it all comes together. I love yellow in a kitchen. It’s warm and cheerful. I am so excited for you and can’t wait to see the installed cabinets.

  8. That looks like a lovely yellow – is it F&B? That photo of the freshly painted wall could almost be used as a publicity shot.

    • Yes, it is F&B – we started using it a few years ago on the reccommendation of our local eco-paint shop. The colours are always lovely and eventually, I suspect, the whole house will be done with it! This particualr colour is called Citron and it’s Modern Emulsion, which has a lovely subtle sheen to it. We had a disaster with some Dulux paint a few years ago (such poor quality) that I’ve decided it’s worth paying the extra for good paint.

  9. catstitches

     /  July 25, 2017

    Looking forward to see the finished project!

  10. I’m glad to hear it’s all coming together and I love yellow. I painted the whole outside of my house yellow when I moved in. Just not inside. I had the bedroom closet shelves come down as it was loaded with tubs of fabric. 😦 I’m glad you didn’t lose any books or anything you couldn’t replace. People would ask me what I was going to do with this space or that and I would just say I was waiting for the house to tell me what it wanted. I think that kind of happened with your space. It’s coming together perfectly. Looking forward to seeing finished photos.

    • I think you are right – sometimes you have to listen to what your environment is telling you. Tim is due to arrive tomorrow to start installation – I’m ridiculously excited about a cupboard!


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