Maybe my blog is going to be seasonal. It seems we didn’t do a ton of work to the house during the fall and winter, and now we’re picking back up again. I did forget a major project we completed at the very end of the summer and enjoyed a few times before it got cold: the backyard pergola. But, I’ll get to that in a little bit. The newest project is the kitchen.
Really, it started with this idea that we just can’t live in the dirty, grungy cave of a kitchen we have now for much longer. And then we toyed around with completely gutting it and reorganizing everything to just updating what we have. I think we’ll land somewhere in the middle.
Our house is a like a big square:
two rooms at the front (entryway and living room), two rooms in the middle (day parlor and dining room), and two rooms at the back (kitchen and bedroom). Each room is about the same size, so they are all basically little squares within the big square that is the house’s footprint. Within the kitchen’s square, we have a little space carved out for the bathroom and a small pantry. The bathroom door is in the kitchen. Very attractive, I can assure you. And it wastes a wall. At the same time, we have this tiny little pantry (that we pretty much use as a tool shed for all these house projects) and the refrigerator lives there. It’s very strange. Anyways, we decided to switch things up a bit. Here’s what’s going on:
This isn’t entirely updated because we’re not putting a pantry or base cabinets back into the pantry area. And we’re not doing a half wall with bar stools separating the dining room and kitchen – it’ll just big a big, wide doorway like the rest of the doorways in the house.
At any rate, currently the bathroom door is where the fridge will go. And the fridge is at the end of the pantry area, which you access through a small doorway. That’s what we’re working on now. Here are some pictures:
So this is what we started with. As you can see, that’s the pantry area to the left (with cool old drawers for flour) and the fridge.
We took out the cabinets and found some old wallpaper, and for some reason this wall was built using exterior siding (You’ll find out why in a minute). You can see the rest of the kitchen from here (obviously a construction zone).
This is the entrance to the pantry area from a different angle. That’s the wall we are taking down, and where the new entrance to the bathroom will be. We had thought that this wall was a more recent addition from when the bathroom was added, but were surprised to find that it’s a wall exactly like all the other walls in the house: made of 2 layers of wood, one vertical and one horizontal. The little room also had baseboard trim.
This is the new bathroom door, it will be a sliding pocket door. It’s solid wood and we thought the design complimented the house (obviously the other two doors in this picture don’t match, so we aren’t really concerned about doors matching). Oh yeah, I painted the dining room blue.
This is a picture of some REALLY old linoleum we found in the pantry area.
So here’s the pantry area completely cleared out (fridge is in the dining room). There was this panel, and we knew based on looking at the outside of the house that there was a boarded up window frame here. Sure enough, we found the frame and it was filled with insulation.
We took out the insulation and were really surprised to find the window was still there, although half of the panes are broken. You can see the plywood that is on the outside of the house here – it’s really a boarded up window. The plan is to have the panes of glass replaced, allowing a lot of light into the space – it’s so dark right now because it’s basically a closet. This is a very tall window – almost floor to ceiling. Most in the house are this height.
We removed the wall between the pantry and the bathroom. It was A LOT of work to take out those two layers of walls, and they’re not 2×4 studded walls, it was just solid layers of wood. The new pocket door will go along this wall. The current bathroom door (just to the right of that hanging apron) is where the fridge will go.
We’ve now figured out that in order to put in the new wall in the space in the picture above, we need to widen the entrance to the former pantry. We took off some thin plywood (the kitchen is lined with it), and found this awesome wallpaper. It’s so delicate and detailed. I need someone to date all the wallpaper we’ve found in this house. Every room has something different and cool.
Under the wallpaper we discovered fire damage. Which is probably why on the opposite side of this wall, the horizontal boards were exterior siding – they probably just rebuilt the wall with what they had on hand. What we can’t figure out is when this fire happened – the horizontal boards are exactly like the others in the house, so it has to have happened near the time the house was built. And the wallpaper in the kitchen has some detailing that reminds me of Craftsman style. Underneath that is another layer of wallpaper with some shimmery parts that is very similar to other types of wallpaper we’ve found throughout the house – another indication it is probably very old. We know there was a fire in the house because when we drywalled the ceiling we discovered extensive fire damage coming from the kitchen. Considering the kitchen is covered in a layer of thin plywood, I’m guessing we’re in for finding a lot more interesting fire damage as we move forward!
I’ll be sure to continue to update our progress on this project!