With just a flick, it caught my eye… the large Essastone bench top, the 900mm wide Smeg oven and cooktop, and the oh-so indulgent Butler’s pantry…
This is the kitchen of our beautiful new home.
We weren’t looking for a new home. We were quite content in the one my husband and I decided to build nearly 18 years ago. But I had a moment, where I flicked through a real estate website to see what was happening in our area… and there it was.
The next day we went to the open inspection. My husband knew he was in trouble the moment he saw the kitchen, and as soon as our son had declared which of the rooms would be his new bedroom.
One week later it was ours.
Now began the bitter-sweet task of preparing our home for sale.
We decided to build our house after our weekends were choc-full of open inspections and houses that all had something wrong with them. We painstakingly redesigned a floor plan, picked out the fixtures and hey presto, months later we had our own home.
And over the years we added tiles, carpet, built-in bookshelves and entertainment unit, outdoor pergola, a vegetable garden, many furnishings and more.
But besides the material objects our home holds so many fond memories…
A house-warming, our wedding (one year after we moved in), our Burmese cat, Oscar, joining us when he was three months old and a surprise 30th birthday for my husband in the backyard! The one and only time the police attended our house, due to some questionable karaoke-singing by one of the neighbours!
We had some wonderful times with our neighbours with parties, get togethers and winery tours. Some have moved away, some stayed and some family dynamics have changed, but we all have wonderful memories and stories to tell!
We’ve hosted many dinner parties, birthday parties, BBQs, Easter celebrations, Mother’s and Father’s Days, large family celebrations and Christmases. The first Christmas we held in our new home we asked all our guests to bring an ornament for our bare tree. It quickly filled up with beautiful ornaments that still today hold a special place in our hearts and on our tree.
Our kitchen would have some stories to tell.
From the elaborate menus I planned for dinner parties to spectacular failures. Thankfully no fires, but smashed crockery and pantry items to spills, including mulled wine from a Christmas in July dinner party.
BBQs were very popular where my husband got in on the cooking and I concentrated on the sides and dessert. And cooked meats in the Webber, a wedding gift still being used today. Hubbie is also pretty adept at cooking breakfast, and to this day I still can’t poach an egg!
One of the biggest changes to our home and lives was the birth of our son. He arrived seven years after we moved into our house. I was determined he would have a very well developed palate and I would spend hours making baby/toddler food for him. Something must have worked as today he asks for smoked salmon with his scrambled eggs and often searches out truffled gnocchi on menus. But he’s still a kid and also enjoys nuggets and chips and (four) cheese pizza.
One of the kitchen failures involved a tart containing goats cheese. The recipe read well, the ingredients were a good combination, the photo and my finished product closely resembled one another (always a good sign!). But one mouthful, our son screwed up his face spat it out and declared it was disgusting. To which, we had to agree. Since then goats cheese has been a long-running family in-joke!
We had nearly 18 years’ worth of ‘stuff’ inside our house to deal with, including my accumulated kitchen stuff and cookbooks. I guess when you move it’s a good time to declutter but it’s so difficult for me to throw our anything from my kitchen. The platter that was a gift from a dear friend was difficult to part with, despite the fact it was cracked and I could not serve food on it. I really struggled with some items even though I hadn’t used them in a long time and therefore why keep them? But I would also rediscover dishes and plates I had tucked away. The cook books were packed into boxes. There were eight large boxes. I don’t know where they’ll all go in the new house but I know I can’t, I won’t, be parting with any of them.
After the first weekend it was sold and going to a new family to make their own memories and enjoy the kitchen that is the heart of a home.
** With thanks to Cocks Auld Real Estate Unley and The Professionals Salisbury for the two kitchen images.