The first thing we did Saturday morning was measure our soon-to-be kitchen.
Five feet by nine feet may not sound like much, but it feels enormous compared to our current cuisine. The room still smells of fresh paint and rings with the sound of empty space. As with many unfurnished apartments in Paris, ours comes with a very bare kitchen. Saturday morning, it sported only a sink, a thick row of white tiles (and the occasional blue-flowered one), and several perplexing electrical sockets.
Our weekend mission: measure, understand the electrical situation, find appropriate appliances and start building the kitchen in our new apartment. By 10:00 Saturday night, we had come to realize that we would have to make a number of concessions: No, we couldn’t fit in a traditional-sized refrigerator- we’d have to find one to slide into the 83 x 57 x 60 cm space reserved for it. No, it wouldn’t be a good idea to plug both an oven and a stovetop into the mysterious socket coming out of the right-hand wall (it didn’t seem likely that they’d both fit into the space allotted to them, anyway)- instead we’d have to find a cuisinière (oven and stovetop in one) with these measurements: 85 x 60 x 62 cm. No, we couldn’t put in traditional kitchen cabinets under a traditional countertop on the left-hand wall because the outlets (a mere 18 cm from the ground) needed to be kept uncovered. By the end of the day, both our heads were swirling with numbers (centimeters, meters, inches, arm lengths, 71 cm on one side, 69.5 on the other) and no amount of calculating, or recalculating, seemed to make anything clearer.
Sunday, 9:30pm: The new kitchen has begun its transformation. The fridge fits perfectly, except for a few centimeters out the front, the cuisinière’s been ordered (and will be hooked up by an electrician who knows what the different colored wires mean) and the wooden countertop/shelves are waiting for us to put them up. What a weekend!
Despite, the lack of a functional kitchen, we still managed to eat our first meal in our new apartment. Sitting on the wooden floor, between the open French window and an old boarded-up fireplace, we couldn’t be more content: a baguette, a round of soft cheese and a small box of sweet cheery tomatoes (of course!).
Next project: set up the much-awaited countertop