I believe this is about the fourth post I have begun writing since Christmas, but with one distraction after another, I have finished none of them.
We are in the midst of converting a former kitchen and mudroom/entry way/laundry, both separate rooms, into one room. This will be the pantry/laundry room/mudroom. I believe, at one time, or even today...this room might have been called a scullery.
A scullery is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as a back kitchen, a room for washing up dishes, cutting up food, etc. In other words, an overflow kitchen. A scullery would have been where game Birds and Animals were prepared for cooking. The word is close to what our room will be intended for. It has a pantry in it, after all.
But sculleries have a bad name. In speaking with an older English client, I was told sculleries were the worst part of a home, where all the messy, dirty parts of keeping a home were done. I found a site explaining that the scullery maid was the lowest of the low, often found in workhouses and paid a very small sum.
But these days, as I tried to explain to my client, they even sell scullery sinks, which are very like laundry tubs. Our refurbished room has a new laundry tub in a cabinet, not a scullery sink, but I have no problem with imagination. There is also a very small cabinet, which was passed down to me many years ago. It came from an old scullery in Victoria. It will be repainted, leaving the old marks and dents still apparent. Graham will build a new top, out of Maple Wood we brought from the Coast.
The room will also have a linen closet. When we moved into this house, I remember wandering through, with a pile of towels in my arms. I asked...Where's the linen closet?... There was none. Our linens have been stored in one of the bedroom closets. In great disarray, I might add.
We'd taken out the dividing wall a month or so ago. But there was still drywalling and mudding to do. And there was a door to the crawl space which was taken out. There is a floor door now, giving us more space.
Moving the plumbing and electricity for the washer and dryer took some time. Then Graham built the stands for the washer and dryer. They are front loading machines and are meant to be on a stand, in order to reach the farthest points for that errant sock or hand towel.
I am accustomed to renovating...I have been a part of renovating each house I have ever lived in. Or a part of building anew. I'm not sure which one is worse, when it comes to anxiety and stress and just plain exhaustion.
But in only ten days, the scullery is almost done. There will be painting and flooring to do, but these are easy projects. I'm looking forward to moving in. I picture myself coming in with arm loads of flowers from the garden, and cutting the stems on the long, stone counter to fit the vases which will be stored in one cupboard or another, all in order. It's a great vision!
A completed scullery means the World to me. It will allow me to be much more organized, with regards to homekeeping. There will be an ironing board always at the ready, with hangers and such all prepared to do their duty. There will be the pantry, where large foodstuffs, such as bags of flour and sugar and large boxes of cereal will be kept. The broom closet will finally be used as such, with the vacuum cleaner and all the other items used to clean this home in one place.
Our Dogs will now be able to come in through the garage, instead of through our bedroom. Since the washer/dryer will be moved and in their place, a bench for sitting whilst putting on footwear will be built, there will be ever so much more room for muddy, wet Dogs to come in and be towelled off.
Doesn't all this sound like a scullery? Without the scullery maid, unfortunately. I suppose I will fill those shoes!
This was a great project to do over Christmas and New Year's this year. With no travelling in the forecast, it was easy to concentrate on getting this room done, almost the final renovation we'll be doing in this house. The bathrooms will be next.
And after that, we will have finished what we set out to do when we bought this home. We've changed it completely...building a kitchen in a totally different spot in the house, painting each room, installing new lighting fixtures, changing the flooring throughout...and not to be forgotten, also building a woodworking shop for Graham.
Outside, we have built raised beds for flowers and vegetables. I discovered early on there was no point in digging the Earth where we live. There are far too many Rocks and Boulders. And we have gravelled a large portion of the front garden as well as the driveway, all the way to the Shop.
Only refurbishments to the bathrooms and changing the fence line to include the Shop are left to be done.
It is a good feeling, going into 2011 with most of the goals we set for our home met.
Even if there is no scullery maid...
Happy Belated New Year, everyone!!