Before & After: A Temporary, Modular Solution to a Crumbling French Kitchen

Before & After: A Temporary, Modular Solution to a Crumbling French Kitchen

(Image credit: Tiina of Chez Nous N°21)

Who hasn't dreamt of falling in love with an old house at the bottom of a mountain in France? Tiina is living our collective dream while tackling the very real problem of a non-functional kitchen. Her temporary solution keeps the romance while adding an affordable usability until its time for a full kitchen reno.

(Image credit: Tiina of Chez Nous N°21)

From Tiina: We, my husband and I, fell in love with a floor of a crumbling old kitchen in a crumbling old house by the foot of the Montagne Noire in the autumn of 2016. Having spent a couple of years renting here in France we thought the time was right to buy, and so we tied ourselves to this fixer upper from hell. As many similar properties in this region, ours came with two cuisines, one with a leaky roof and another with three cupboards, a sink and nothing else. And of course, that lovely old floor.

(Image credit: Tiina of Chez Nous N°21)

Having moved in four months ago, getting this kitchen up and running was our first priority, but as we are living in the property while restoring it, building a fitted kitchen straight away was not realistic. Luckily we had lived with this type of a non-kitchen before (properties without a fitted kitchen qualify for a lower tax-bracket) and already had the components for a modular kitchen.

(Image credit: Tiina of Chez Nous N°21)

We spent hardly any money putting this temporary cooking space together, focusing on deep cleaning the century old encaustic tiles, the crumbling old plaster and the tile work. Despite hogging up a lion's share of the valuable space in this 10 square meter room, we could not go without our fridge-freezer. The other appliances, however, the little oven currently living inside an old side table and the portable two plate induction top that can be stored stored under our make-shift butchers block counter, were originally bought second hand.

(Image credit: Tiina of Chez Nous N°21)

Both of us are keen cooks and where this kitchen is a bit too hygge for my taste, it works for us. Modular living has taught me to have a place for everything and everything in its place – after all, this dinky space housing our cooking related hoard is always just one misplaced plate away from chaos. As said, this is a temporary solution, but a highly functional one, created by combining thrifted antiques and space-saving IKEA classics.

Thank you, Tiina! You can see more on Chez Nous N°21

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