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In the tradition of Through the Keyhole, we are encouraging residents with beautiful, different and downright quirky abodes to throw open their doors to Southsea Lifestyle readers and share how they have made their mark on their home. Words by Kate Thompson.

Lindsay Harrison and her family survived for months on food prepared in a microwave or toaster and the dramas that can only unfold when you agree to the back of your house being removed to make way for something better.

There was the crack that was exposed, running down the length of their home, caused by a WW11 bombing raid.

The building company, Sea Salt 47 then discovered that the extension that had been added before they bought their Victorian midterrace home 18 years ago, had no foundations and was gradually moving away from the house.

But after weeks of patiently waiting for her beautiful new kitchen-diner to be completed (ably assisted by architect, Stephanie Marshall), the moment of truth had finally arrived.

The piece of furniture, around which the design for the whole room had been built, was brought down from the bedroom where it had been temporarily stored.

Affectionately now known as the ‘gin cupboard,’it is a sturdy piece of wooden furniture, that from the outside only hints at the stylish but practical interior within. The top lifts and folds to reveal glittering glasses, while the doors below open onto a wellstocked wine rack and storage for spirits.

Hubby Simon and a mate manfully manoeuvred the hefty cupboard down the stairs and shifted it into the kitchen with an expectant shove.

“Would you believe it was 5mm too big for the space that had been left for it,” she said.

Builder Steve was quick to remedy the situation. He unfurled a canvas roll that contained all his grandfather’s carpentry tools, lovingly treasured over many years, and shaved off the requisite excess from the edge of the wooden worktop he had recently installed.

“The thing I love most about my kitchen is that it includes special pieces of furniture like the ‘gin cupboard.’ We bought it from an antiques shop in Norfolk – we had been travelling up and down for weeks to see my mother-in-law in hospital and one day, when it was all getting a bit much, I just had to stop and think about something else.

“And that’s when we found it and now it is one of our most treasured items.”

Posted in: Articles, Home & Garden