How the kitchen took over our homes

My last kitchen was a nightmare. From behind the front door of the handsome Georgian town house was a hodgepodge of a building. The dark and unwelcoming kitchen was at the rear in a poorly constructed 1970s extension. At one point this kitchen must have represented an ideal, but it really needed knocking down and rethinking. The only space for our fridge freezer was in the covered yard.

The roof leaked and the appliances gradually fell apart; when the handle came off the oven door my husband replaced it with one from a can of paint. We lived for 10 years with a chipped laminate worktop and orange carpet tiles.

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