Recently we unintentionally acted on some sound property advice: always buy the cheapest house in the best street. Well not literally as it’s an apartment not a house and not in a street either but a harbour side development. Oh, and we had already paid a deposit before hearing the advice. Being a Spanish owned holiday home since it was built 35 odd years ago the décor of woodchip walls in baby poo yellow and orange shiny pine furniture really sold it to us. Extra plug sockets had simply been stuck onto the walls with the exposed wiring adding that extra touch of class!
Strangely the owners were most bemused and upset when we asked them to remove the furniture as it would do us perfectly well they said. We kindly explained that we had our own furniture rather than tell them it would all be best put on a bonfire. The obligatory Christ pictures and the scary ornamental dolls head were thus consigned to history. The galley type kitchen looked and smelt like the black hole of Calcutta, recreating the Spanish mausoleum effect perfectly with kitchen units stained a dark mahogany and dark green peeling Formica worktops.
Once the kitchen units were ripped out, the true size was revealed and the joyous process of choosing a kitchen began. In preparation we girded our loins and visited Leroy Merlin, Brico something and IKEA. Even though the Swedes failed to qualify for the World Cup they won this game. Leaving the store with 5 different brochures a Sunday morning was set aside for me to go onto the IKEA website and design the kitchen of our dreams, what could go wrong?
After registering on the site and putting in the height/width/depth plus the shape all at first went swimmingly. A CAD image of the kitchen space appeared on screen and I was invited to pick whatever units and appliances were desired. Then apparently they would be popped into place in our virtual kitchen.
I managed to get a built in fridge unit up against a wall, even turned it 90 degrees and opened and closed some drawers. Then briefly a sink unit appeared but it vanished from the screen. Einstein’s observation on the definition of stupidity being repeating the same action but expecting a different result each time should be the motto attached to the IKEA software program. After clicking a picture of an oven it tantalisingly showed for mere moments. I clicked again, then again in a different manner. Whatever was chosen just would not appear in our kitchen picture.
Yet when I checked the handy shopping list I had spent 8000€ on 5 ovens, 5 hobs, and 5 units to hold them, plus 3 sinks and 2 fridges. Delete! Start again then again some more.Morning became afternoon with the same results each time and plenty of cursing, as however I approached the cunning computer game I could not find the treasure chest which held the Sword of Thor. Not a peek either of Super Mario or Pac Man so I gave up after 3 long hours and had a beer.
A few days later my wife admitted to trying the website again using a work computer. I suspect she just wanted to prove how crap her husband is! Luckily the Gods smiled on me, indeed husbands everywhere as she too was unable to play the fiendish IKEA kitchen game. Plan B was then put into effect. Good old squared paper and scissors with the kitchen drawn exactly to scale. I cut out little shapes to scale to resemble cupboards, washing machines and the like. We happily played with our little paper jigsaw kitchen and shuffled bits about until happy with the positioning. Then we sellotaped everything into place on with the descriptions and product codes. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!
Part II soon – The Visit!