3. Improvising A Small Kitchen

by Tonie
(Saint Petersburg, Russia)

New Kitchen Floor!

New Kitchen Floor!

We've lived in this apartment for over 6 months now, but it's nowhere near done. We had to move in as soon as the floor, ceiling & walls were ready, and all the furniture we had at that point were some old hand-me-downs from our families!

So here's our current kitchen at night (inset is a reminder of what it looked like at the outset!)

"Russian" Wall Art

Just in case you’re wondering – the thing on the right-hand wall that looks like a Russian icon is actually a chocolate box :-)

The oval portrait shows Catherine the Great - the empress who very successfully reigned throughout the second half of the 18th century, and corresponded extensively with Diderot and other Encyclopedians and Enlightenment personalities.

The landscape at the bottom (the reproduction of an oil painting) shows one of the nicest squares in the historical center of Saint-Petersburg on a festive night:

Underneath Her Majesty's image, and above the narrow side 'table' (where the future sofa will be), I’ve pinned a few honeymoon souvenirs on a board - train tickets from Florence to Rome, a postcard of the Colosseo, a business card from the nicest gift shop I've ever seen (in Florence), and a map of Rome with our visit traced over it.

New Kitchen Floor Plan

I decided to develop a new floor plan for the kitchen/dining area, because even though it’s usually just the two of us dining here, I wanted the design to be flexible enough for us to receive guests comfortably. So here's the new floor plan:

This will require many bespoke pieces, but we knew that anyway - most of the furniture for this apartment will be made to measure, to replace the old stuff we currently have.
  • The kitchen sofa is going to be a sofabed that folds out to double width.
  • We’ll have an extending table that folds out to double width as well, and
  • the folding chairs will be stored in the closet (with sliding mirror doors) behind the door.

Wall Mirror

I've always wanted to have a mirror on the wall to the right of the window, so I made a model with painters' tape and tinfoil (apologies, Environment ... I promise to bake chicken in it afterwards!)

Now I know exactly what I need
  • 12 beveled mirror panes, 25x30 cm each, plus
  • 10 cm wide moldings to make a frame.

Here's a picture of the kitchen with the "mirror" drawn into it (also includes the future curtains).

That's it for now ... next up, a new lamp over the kitchen table!

Renate's comment: ... loved that chocolate box, Tonie! What a cool idea for inexpensive wall art! The floor tiles look great, too. I can see how this kitchen will change once the sofa & new chairs arrive. Do keep us updated!

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