Demolition Phase V // The Last of the Demo // The Kitchen

6.12.2015


This is a rather small and somewhat confusing space, so I'll start with a floor plan of what it was and what it is now.


What it was:


You can see how little useable space is actually in here. 
No. 1 - this is the stove.  This was blocking flow through the room and was also incredibly dangerous.  Come around the corner and set your lunch bag on the stove?  No good. 


No. 2 - the sink - a nice composite sink, but totally not our style. It now resides in the shop. 

No. 3 - This is a lovely little cabinet topped with the faux granite.  It was made out of some sort of plastic - it wasn't even wood.  It also now resides in the shop (it holds sanding belts quite nicely!) also, another thing of note, there was a water hookup line behind that cabinet, which wouldn't let it slide against the wall - it stuck out about 8 inches.  Also underneath it was a huge hole in the floor where the dryer used to vent. 

No.4 - the refrigerator - totally blocks the flow of the room. Gotta move!  Also, it created a dark gloomy corner by the bathroom. 

No.  5 - This is the chimney - very hidden under paneling and behind that built in broom closet.  I just felt like it would be under there.


No. 6 - this is said broom closet.  I had nothing against it personally, actually it was quite usable, but it was right in front of a perfectly lovely chimney. 


What it is now:
You can see that we changed it around quite a bit.  Eliminating that door to the porch gave us a lot more wall space to work with.  We also removed the wall between the kitchen and the living room, which made the kitchen so much brighter.  We ripped off the closet to reveal a lovely brick chimney which we're in the process of cleaning and sealing.

No.1 - no more dangerous stove!  Instead we put a smaller shelf which matches the cupboards.  It has the same countertop as the rest of the kitchen to keep a cohesive look.   It also is perfectly sized to hold our microwave. 


No. 2 - a huge 1940s enamel double drain board sink!  Found this baby in the basement.  Post to come. 


No. 3 - We found this gorgeous and perfectly-sized hutch at an architectural salvage shop in Paullina, IA.  It used to be a science cabinet in a school in Ida Grove - more on that later too.


No. 4 - This is a counter-height table I made from some old legs we found in Illinois.  It lends a perfect place for food prep and for eating quick meals.


No. 5 - this is another small cabinet that I made to store pots and pans.  It matches the kitchen cabinets.  You can also see how we relocated the fridge and oven. 


No. 6 - the glorious chimney!

No. 7 - we had to create this stub wall to hide an air duct. The wall does give a nice separation to the rooms, somewhere to put the fridge, and somewhere to put light switches.

So, now that you have your bearings, here are some photos of the "before" nastiness!



When we moved in, the kitchen was by far the most, ah, "colorful" room of the house.  It featured not one, but three different varieties of paneling and ceiling tile.  We had our faux stone wall (also note the little cabinet I was referring to earlier and in the far left side of the picture - that's the chimney but it's hiding!)




Our wall of painted faux bead board and that door in to the porch:




And our "backsplash" of faux granite: 
(very fancy)


The first problem with the kitchen was, of course, the fact that it was carpeted.  CARPETED!  It was stained and stinky and featured some very dangerous floor outlets with no covers.  The second problem was the ceiling tiles.  The tiles were locking in moisture on the ceiling and there  The third problem was the variety of materials being utilized.  We needed to create some more cohesion, and well, less ugly.  First thing to go was the carpet.  Then the backsplash.  Then the wall paneling, then the ceiling tiles.





Not only was there carpet in the kitchen but there was carpet, then linoleum, then subfloor, and in some areas more carpet.  You can see in the above picture how completely not fun it was going to be to remove all that subfloor.  We discovered that a pitchfork is actually the perfect tool for removing subfloor but you have to be careful or your wood floor will end up with a little more "character" than you originally intended. 
Under the massive mess of carpet and linoleum we found gorgeous 125 year-old southern pine floors.  Which we sanded and stained and poly-ed and that is another post!


As you can see, there was another door in the kitchen.  This eliminated all the usable wall space, and we decided that the entrance to the porch should probably be moved to allow for more kitchen space.












We found lime green paint under all the paneling.... interesting.  Oh, and the ceiling was pink.










Moral of the Story:
Exploratory holes in walls
and ceilings and cabinets are good!
And, always test for lead paint and asbestos - thankfully, we haven't had either come back positive.

Hello, World!

5.13.2015

Dear world:




Sorry it's been so long since I've posted anything.  I feel like there is just too much to share and I don't even know where to start!  I suppose I should finish demo posts, (look for the Kitchen demo posts this week) then it's on to the more fun - the before and after's!


We took a bit of a pause after finishing the kitchen, living room, dining room, and library.  Our family kept warning us not to "burn ourselves out" and we might have gotten close.  We took a few weeks off, and are now chomping at the bit to dig in and remodel the rest of the first floor.





Demolition Phase IV // Plaster and Insulation and Snakes

3.11.2015

Snow shovels in the living room became quite commonplace.
After we demoed all the nasty paneling, we discovered plaster walls which were in okay shape.  I figured I could fill the big holes and skim coat the whole thing and we'd have lovely original plaster walls.  Plaster makes me so happy, it is just right.  However, that wasn't going to be an option.  Noticing the walls were a bit chilly and since we already had massive holes in the walls where doors once were - I decided to do a little exploratory demolition just to make sure nothing was going to be a problem in the future.  I bashed a huge hole in the plaster and to my dismay, I discovered only a big, cold, black void.  No insulation.  None at all.

Library Before and After // A Little Break From Demo

3.02.2015



Hello, there!

I'm going to take a little break from documenting the demolition process and show a finished before and after.  This room is the Library.  When we moved in, it was the master bedroom, or so we were told.  It is a small room (about 11' x 13') and it had two doors, one coming in from the living room, and one going in to the bathroom.  The bathroom already had a door and the second door was just... awkward.  We had no need to keep the master on the first floor, and weren't in need of another "room" down there, so we decided to turn it in to a library.