Monday, May 12, 2008

The Kitchen

Before.....



Horribly overexposed before photo.



Where the dishwasher on wheels use to be.



Looking from living room with view of old overhead cabinets.



Looking towards old dining nook.

Although we knew we would be remodeling the kitchen at some point, we were thinking that we could live in it 'as is' for awhile. So how does one go from the 'as is' status to a full blown gutting? Well, it all began with the stove. The original owners accidentally removed the stove that was there so I began to look for a cheap temporary stove. Well, we started thinking that if we're going to spend $200 on a cheap stove, we might as well spend a bit more for a permanent one. We took that rationale with about everything that followed and so it goes, we ended up gutting the kitchen on one lazy summer afternoon.



Holes from electrician and plumber.


Taking up flooring.

As a note for safety, I would like to add that we sent out samples of all of our flooring. We were lucky in that the layers of linoleum were all asbestos-free BUT some linoleum squares used to line the cabinets, did test positive and were removed using extra precautions.

After peeling away several layers of flooring, hubby discovered the original fir floors - never used, although did sustain thousands of staples from flooring above it. Once the cabinets were out (donated to our local Re-Build It Center), the electrician came, creating huge holes in the original plaster so we used dry wall to patch holes and then re-plastered the walls.


We hired a cabinetmaker just up the road to build our cabinets. It was important to us for the cabinets to be free from the chemicals used in most modern cabinetry. We also wanted to recreate a nice old country kitchen that would allow for some more modern conveniences (dishwasher, stove, etc. )

The cabinets are inset (like the original cabinets were) and mimic the Shaker paneling of the built-in pie safe we chose to save and use as a pantry. It took forever to paint all of the cabinets.


This is the interior of the old pie safe, which I've since learned is an old California Cooler. See bottom link for more on that. We didn't touch the old interior shelving. All they needed was to be wiped down with a damp sponge. 

Go here to read about the old pie safe (California Cooler). 

We ended up finding some great butcher block from IKEA which was only $80 for one long slab. We needed three, so we ended up spending about $240 on our counter materials - great deal. We bought food safe stain from the Environmental Supply Store to bring out a nice rich hue in the wood. The product we used was by Safecoat, the color we chose was cedar. 

After...







Photo updates: 2010






Note: This was all completed the first year we owned the house (minus the Marvin window). It was several months later, after we hired the contractor for Phase II of our remodel, that an engineer arrived on site to establish our structural support needs for the the new dormer upstairs. A real sweet old-school engineer from the Midwest showed up (adorable man) and during our first round of talks, suggested that we carry the dormer load on a support post that would run from the upstairs, through my brand new 'old-fashioned' kitchen, and down into the basement.

This was a blow as you can imagine. So when I turned to him and said, "there must be another way, I don't want to run a "large beam through my kitchen," he responded with an innocent query as to whether we'd be "updating" it soon anyway. At first I was offended as obviously (or not), we just did that! They found another way to support the dormer, and in the end we decided that it was a complement as we apparently had pulled off our goal of making the kitchen look original!


The Living Room

Before...


This is our charming living room. Well, I should say that this is the living room as we found it back in the summer of 2006. This is also a good first introduction to the 1970's decorating phenomenon that took this house by storm...paneling.


North facing wall - the windows and door will be replaced.


As you can see, we couldn't wait to tear down the paneling.


Upon doing so, we discovered the original brick fireplace, the original plaster walls (painted pea green to match the pea green carpet), and the remnants of an old roof leak that we were already aware of. We had to hire a professional chimney repairman to remove stove insert and to restore fireplace and chimney to working order. Thankfully, it was in good shape.



As you can see, we covered up the bookcases that were on either end of the fireplace. We did this because we wanted the fireplace to be the focal point of the room.

Also, note in the photo above that the ceiling is exposed lathe. The plaster was removed and replaced with drywall.


The bookcases are gone!


The local craftsman who built our kitchen cabinets, also helped us design and build our reproduction fireplace mantle. It took a great deal of restraint to not pull up the ugly green carpeting immediately but after six months of hard work, and with much more hard work ahead of us, we peeled some away to help keep us motivated.


This is our Christmas 2006 miracle. After giving ourselves a move-in goal date of Christmas, our months of hard work finally paid off. Moving into a house with twinkling lights, adorned mantle and a decorated tree ended up being a perfect first day in the house. And I mean that it was literally our first day sleeping in the house. By then, we had chalked up about five months of living in the small one room apartment over the barn, working day and night on the main house.


We enjoyed a few months living in the house before Phase II began (see above). The contractor we hired said that we could remain living in the house while they did the rest of the work but I realize now that there are many definitions of the word 'living.'


This is Christmas one year later and new windows have been put in and the rest of the remodel has been completed.Can you tell how relieved hubby is?

Left to do in living room: buy a fabulous new couch and chairs...more photos to come!

UPDATES: February 17,2009...Christmas of 2009



Our new couch and chairs (Rowe Furniture) arrived just before Christmas of 2009. As you can see, we decided to brighten up the room with lighter furniture giving it a crisp, fresh look.




Once we bought our new couch and chairs, the paint color we chose several years ago looked a bit dull. After trying out several swatches of different colors, we decided to go with white. We wanted the room to be as bright and crisp as possible (living in the Northwest, this is especially nice during the rainy months).

We also wanted the outside views to come in, and the furniture and art to be more of a statement than the color of the walls. So white it was...




I found a mirror that was a bit more proportionate to the mirror we had over the mantle before. I also found a great deal on some old brass sconces that add nice extra detail.



The brick fireplace was painted because it was not original to the house. We believe the blond bricks were installed (probably due to repair) sometime in the 70's. I really love the look of stone and brick so perhaps one day, we'll reface it with something that would be more period appropriate.



As in previous years, it was nice to celebrate Christmas with our 'new' room. We had waited a long time (due to the expense of the remodel), to buy new furniture so it was a great addition to the Christmas festivities.




Here are more pictures of Christmas 2009.

Below, are pictures of the living room after Christmas.





Friday, May 9, 2008

Downstairs Bedroom #2

Before...


As it was when we bought it.


Just after we tore down the faux paneling. Note: Jackson Pollack strikes again.

After...





This room includes the following upgrades: new Marvin replacement windows, new base and quarter round base mouldings, and new paint.

Downstairs Bedroom #1

Before...


Paneling was something the previous owners loved so much that they pretty much used it in every single room of the house.

To complement the look of the faux wood paneling, they also were huge fans of faux wood contact paper. This lovely adhesive (something that took me hours upon hours to remove) covered doors and door trim.

This is what the walls looked like after the paneling was removed (Jackson Polluck must have shown up with a glue gun). Also, you can see the first effort (of many) to remove the faux wood contact paper from the trim and door. 

Knowing that this paint contained low levels of lead (we had it tested), we opted to plaster over glue art rather than scrape glue off. Replastering not only gave us the smooth finish we were looking for but also, sealed in the lead based paint.
After new coat of plaster.
Here it is after a fresh coat of paint.
After...




This was our bedroom for two years, minus the time we spent up in the guest house over the barn. Now it is a guest room for visitors who are too scared to walk up to the guest house on a dark country night (Mom) or visitors who just find it a lot more fun to stay closer to us (Mom).

This room is now our nursery...go here to see pictures. 

The Bathroom

Before...



This is the bathroom as we found it. As you can see, it was a marvelous example of the 1970's era with the classic assembly of beads, wood paneling, linoleum and to tie it all together, one homemade metal doo-dad to hold the shower nozzle in its place. Being quite green around the ears, we actually looked at this at the time and thought...just take down beads, ...pull off wood paneling, ...replace toilet, ...add a few coats of paint...easy.




Well, as you can see there was a bit more to it than that. Here is sweetie pie in our newly gutted bathroom taking the last row of microscopic staples out of the last layer (of which they were three) of flooring. And those are safety goggles that he's wearing - kind of retro huh? Note: Safety goggles and HEPA face masks became a part of our facial features.

And when we weren't wearing the masks - like for instance during the small amount of time we weren't working on the house (sleeping hours), we had long mask divots running down our faces (it took hours for them to fade). The divots made hubby look more rugged and handsome. They just made me look old.




Fast forward past electrical, insulation, drywall, paint and here we are with hubby installing new floor tile. As you can see he is wearing a winter coat and hat inside. That's because we hadn't yet turned on the heat because we were living up in the guest house.

After...


Layout stayed the same but with new bathtub, sink and toilet.




Shutters are from Horizon Shutters.


Medicine cabinet is the only original piece left of old bathroom.


Reproduction cross handle faucets from Rejuventation.





PHOTO UPDATES: June 2011 


Go here to see full post. 


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