Friday, 24 July 2009

The war cabinet

So the week has drawn to a close and no, Teia and Isaac didn't make it back this week, or return any calls. So there is still no splashback, remedied counter top surface, yada yada yada. My patience has officially worn thin. It's been nearly a year for petesake, and the job so far should have taken around four months. Five tops.

The reason we're waiting on Teia to do the work is because we've already paid him for the materials and would be £600 out of pocket if we let him off the hook. Isaac on the other hand is responsible for the concrete counter top, and unfortunately it didn't seal properly so his return visit is effectively correcting work from before.

The other bit of work that Teia had included in his costings was the construction and installation of a bespoke wall cabinet. The original purpose of which was to house this ugly boiler, but would also provide storage and a fold-out bar (as per mid century storage designs by Pierre Koenig). I'm thinking a high gloss finish on MDF should do the trick so if you know of any cabinet makers near London please leave a comment with their details.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Interior products catalogue

Jeepers, doesn't time fly? Two weeks since a blog update and a year since we were getting the building quotes in. Teia and Isaac are back next week (in between gigging with their band) to do the splashback and re-surface the concrete counter top.

In the meantime, I've been perusing products in the new Wallpaper* House - a directory of over 200 items selected by the team. Yes it's a work plug but entirely relevant, or rather it would be if we had unlimited funds available to furnish the house properly...

Monday, 6 July 2009

Kitchen drama

Happy days - Teia's been back to the house a couple of times this past week to make lists of things that are still to get done. He even managed to put the first coat on the kitchen wall where the splashback is going to go. As you can see it's a pretty strong colour - I have fluorescent socks in a similar shade. The idea was to break up the white with something a bit punchy... and yeah, it's pretty punchy. I'm getting used to it, and am looking forward to the second coat and the glass for a proper analysis. (Of course by then, it'll be too late to change it but hey ho).

On a different note, it was raining this evening so I had the sliding doors open a smidge. I heard a heck of a racket which turned out to be an enormous wood pigeon which had either crawled in underneath the door on dropped in from the top. Goodness knows why. And how come we've never had a problem with birds popping in when the entire end of the house is wide open? Anyway, in a pure cliché I got Rob to chase it out with a broom. Luckily all the poop ended up on the black ledge... gross. Will hose it off tomorrow.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

A good cuppa joe

I like coffee. Most mornings I have a short espresso, and on weekends spend time frothing a smidgeon of milk to have a macchiato. Recently I was reading Easy Living magazine (I was on holiday. I don't usually read it) and there was an article on how to make the best coffee at home. The "experts" reckoned that you should grind your beans with a burr grinder, and then put them into a cafetiere (aka the Bodum plunger style) as you'd have to "spend thousands" to get a halfway decent domestic espresso machine. The optimum pressure to make good coffee was 9 bars, and you couldn't achieve this with a non-commercial machine, apparently.

Well I'm going to contradict Easy Living's advice. What's the point of having a burr grinder if you're going to put your freshly ground beans into a plunger? If you can spend money on a grinder, you may as well get a La Pavoni machine. You don't actually need one with a pressure gauge, but if you can afford it £319 will buy you a machine that'll produce coffee as- good as any you'll get in Italy (and a zillion times better than the rubbish they produce at Starbucks).

These pics are of our machine and as you can see the gauge is up to 10 bars. I like a thick crema as much as the next girl. Our grinder is Dualit and cost £60 on Amazon (though thanks to the strength of the Euro is now listed at £85, ouch) and we get our beans from Climpson & Sons in Broadway market, but you can
buy them online.