Tuesday, December 02, 2003


DECEMBER 2, 2003

As reported earlier, the installation of the kitchen began this morning. As of five o’clock, the cabinets are finished…almost. There is still one small “filler” piece that will need to be installed when the fireplace work is complete, and for some reason, they had to take one of the drawers from under the sink. These drawers under the sink are one of my great discoveries about Italian kitchen design.

I first saw this design in the kitchen cabinet showroom. In the following months, I have seen them in countless magazine layouts, but if I had seen them in a magazine first, I don’t think I would have even noticed. Seeing them in person, I was very impressed. Instead of having two cabinet doors beneath the kitchen sink, this design is for two deep drawers that are as wide as the sink itself. The top drawer has a “U” shape cut in the center of it, to accommodate the plumbing. The bottom shelf is quite generous, and for us, will hold our various recycling bins. I think it is such a great, logical use of this space that usually turns into an abyss filled with kitchen cleaning products. In future reports, I’ll let you know if I like these drawers as much in practice as I do in theory.

Another interesting thing that I realized only two days ago is that I don’t have the standard drawer above each base cabinet. I do have a four drawer stack under the oven, and two deep drawers beneath the cooktop, but for now, I’m trying to figure out where my silverware and kitchen utensils will go! I do plan to install the hanging system that is so popular in Italy. With this system, you mount a bar, usually chrome, on the wall behind your countertop. Various sized shelves, like small wire baskets, are available to hang from this rod. You can buy small shelves for spices, larger ones for olive oil. You can buy paper towel holders and angled cookbook holders. You can also buy “S” hooks to hang your larger cooking utensils from. It’s just a great system to keep the counter uncluttered, yet still have everything at your fingertips. So far, I’ve seen the best selection of shelves at Genevieve Lethu, the Williams Sonoma of Italy (although they are a French company). Again, I’ll keep you posted on how this system works for me.

Back to the installation. As I suspected, other people will come tomorrow to do the finish work on the fireplace, and to install the ceramic tile above the backsplash. The plumber will be here sometime in the next day or two to hook up the sink and the connections for the gas oven and cooktop. He is still waiting for something for the water softener, and is hoping to finish everything at the same time. He also needs to finish assembling the box for the shower stall.

The electrician is supposed to be here in the morning. We have lights in the new bathroom, pantry, entryway and kitchen for him to install. The refrigerator will not plug into the receptacle that is there, so I guess that will have to be changed. I moved the kitchen table around, and just as I suspected, the new overhead lamp (I hesitate to use the word “chandelier, lest you get the wrong idea) will have to be moved slightly forward.

As for the drawer that was taken way, I’m not sure why this cut wasn’t made at the factory. The granite for the sink was pre-cut, so where the sink would be was a definite. Maybe there was a problem that I’m not aware of. Right now my biggest concern is when this drawer will return. I asked if they would bring it back tomorrow, and of course they looked at me as if I had asked to have everything gold-plated. I did tell them that it must be returned before the 13th of December, since that’s when we’ll leave for the U.S. I hope I actually get to use and enjoy my new kitchen for at least a few days before then!

Simultaneously, the new door to the garden was installed today. Gioberto began the work yesterday, and said he would finish within two hours today. The two tuned into 8, and there are still a few things left for tomorrow morning! Gioberto and his brother, Adolfo worked hard all day long, first making sure the door frame was level, then re-bricking and mortaring the wall back to its normal state. The next part of the project involved hanging the exterior shutters…but wait, that’s a story all its own. I have started to take pictures, and I’ll post everything from start to finish in the next day or two.

We had to run to the store to pick up another under-cabinet light for the electrician to install, and by the time we got home, it was too dark to take more pictures. I’ll take some in the morning, and will also take pictures of the fireplace as it gets finished, and of the ceramic tile backsplash.


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