Demolition begins. Goodbye trashy counters and sink. That one square of green plastic backsplash remains to taunt me…
Now to find out if Hidden Horrors lurk below the surface. With luck, the structure revealed by the removal of the soffits existed purely to form the soffits. It doesn’t appear to be weight-bearing, but The Experts will advise us tomorrow.
(Yes, the active laundry was removed long before the crew arrived.)
More updates as things develop further. Photo credits and thanks to the Resident Male, for documenting today’s progress.
Things here at String Central are about to be totally up-ended. We’ve now lived in the New House for about 10 years, which makes it not so new any more. In truth it hasn’t been new for quite a while, having been built in 1911 or so.
When we bought it we looked around and fell in love with the place. Some parts more than others: the large, open layout, the abundance of surviving original woodwork and detail, the high coffered ceilings in the living and dining rooms, having a tiny library(!) plus sufficient space for all of the bedrooms, office areas, and workrooms a family with a wide variety of solitary pursuit interests needs.
On the problem areas, we’ve gone through a long list of improvements over the years, most having to do with systems: heat, insulation, wiring; or structure. New plumbing, a full-house rewire to get rid of (barely) functioning knob-and-tube, secure/weather-tight basement windows, a new heating system with a separate upstairs heat zone, insulation, a new roof, and a new driveway are just a few. Other than rehabbing the poorly functional upstairs bath, we haven’t done much in the way of aesthetics or livability, beyond addressing basic needs.
But no longer.
After 10 years we are about to begin a major kitchen rehab, and FINALLY be rid of the sagging mint Formica countertops, the droopy cabinets, the dismally scratched (and hideously pink) floor tile, plastic sheet backsplashes; and the outdated, poor functionality of our layout. I can hardly wait!
Here’s the official set of Before Pictures:
In the shots above you can see the partial wall between the prep and dinette areas, that breaks up the space without adding value. They are remnants of what had originally been a full wall, separating a back day-room for maid’s work from the kitchen proper. This is now our eat-in area and will remain so, but the partial wall is going.
In this one you can see the patched- in wasted space above the cabinets in between them and the equally useless dropped soffits above the cabinets themselves. That overhead space will be put to far better use.
And here are the mint green counters and plastic backsplash of the inconveniently far from everything Other Counter. It’s the clutter-magnet area where we stash recycling, and although absent in this shot, where pantry overflow usually sits. This space will also no longer sit idle.
Although we do have an pantry, it is of very little use, with narrow shelves too shallow to accommodate most cans, boxes, or jars. The front part is a hinged armature that is very difficult to move if you want to access similarly shallow dead shelf space behind. We are in sore need of effective pantry space. The new design will address this, too.
The rusted, creaky round-abouts (lazy susans) are an invitation for stuff to fall behind and jam the mechanism, with center poles that preclude larger items. The gadget garage isn’t bad, but tends to be another clutter-magnet area, and uses up more useful space than it provides in return. Technology for corner cabinetry has vastly improved since the ‘80s. I’m looking forward to the new solution.
On overall design, the current kitchen/dinette area, although it looks large, is not wide enough to add an island or peninsula without serious bottleneck or access issues, so we are not going to radically change the footprint. However, the current arrangement of appliances and countertops isn’t very efficient. We end up doing 90% of our prep work in the two foot space between the sink and the stove. The stove itself does not have a vent to the outside, which doesn’t add to ease of keeping the room clean. And the kitchen is dark, with too many lights that don’t manage to provide illumination of the actual work areas.
So it’s time for all of it to go.
In the mean time, we’ve moved out of the kitchen, so the crew can come in tomorrow to start demolition. We’ve crammed everything into the living and dining rooms, and will live without stove, oven or microwave, dishwasher or useful kitchen sink for the time being:
We plan to address all of these issues. Stay tuned to see how!
For my knitting and stitching pals – don’t worry. This isn’t going to turn into a home-improvement blog. I continue to plug away on the wavy infinity scarf/cowl, plus progress on a pair of socks. I always have a pair going, as “briefcase knitting” to do while waiting for appointments, on line, or in other away-from-home-base moments of idleness.
It’s slow going. As I’ve said before, I spend as much time untangling as I do knitting. And I still need to pay attention to the pattern. I haven’t memorized the thing yet. So it’s difficult to do when I’m watching TV in the evenings – my favorite time to do handwork. Especially so because we’re re-watching our set of Lone Wolf and Cub TV series DVDs, which are in Japanese with subtitles, and on Netflix, the Norwegian series, Occupied, similarly subtitled from Norwegian.
So there you have it. Chaos is about to descend. But at least I can knit my way through it, while nibbling sandwiches in the dining room.
It’s been lonely here at String. So few posts over such a long period of time. I apologize for that. Life has been hectic, with work deadlines, the close of Younger Daughter’s school year, and house projects just getting under way.
For a start, here’s Younger Daughter, decked out for Junior Prom.
No copycat column dress for her, she took inspiration from decades past, and found a bargain repro-1950s dress on line. Much child/parent conspiring took place to round out the outfit. The rhinestones for example are excavated from my jewelry box, and ultimately belonged to my grandmother and great-aunt. Younger Daughter looked great, and had a wonderful time. And not a bit of envy for dance-able comfort from some of her more elaborately dressed peers.
On the Trifles sampler, I ran into a roadblock. I tried drafting and tracing meshed gears, which I intend to use as a background, filling each one with a different counted blackwork-style filling. But I wasn’t finding a great amount of success. So I caved in and bought a plastic stencil. I’ll use selected bits of it, tracing the precision cut cams onto the cloth and tiling the thing where needed (it’s calculated to do that!). More on this once I get going.
I’m also working on a two-person knit-along with Friend Kim – a mesh-knit three-quarter sleeve pullover from a Kate Bellando pattern. I think we’re both at about the same mid-sleeve point:
For the record, we’re both using SMC Select Reflect, a light DK/heavy sport yarn in rayon/cotton blend. I can say that both of us have had extreme problems making gauge and have had to adjust needle size and move down in selected garment size to compensate.
And I’ve done a ton of socks as I noodled out the various problems and challenges, above. This pair was knit up from a hand-painted sock blank – Plymouth Happy Choices, in the Fiesta color.
In essence, a sock blank is a long scarf-like machine knitted strip that a dyer then paints with her or his chosen colors. When the scarf is unraveled for use, its patterns knit up in unexpected ways. I knit mine straight from the blank rather than re-winding, working my standard figure-8 toe, short-rowed heel sock. The crinkle made no difference in the finished product, and the convenience of working from something that wouldn’t escape and skitter down six rows was perfect for airplane knitting. The lace pattern on the ankle is from Walker’s fourth treasury.
And on larger, family projects – we start to consider redoing our kitchen. The floor tiles are worn past their surface color, the cabinets and countertops are sagging beyond simple repair or re-use, and the layout/look is inefficient and dated. The room was spruced up around 1980, as a peace offering between the warring couple that sold the house to us. I have detested the shell pink/mint green/faux Colonial cabinet combo from the day we moved in. Before pix in next post, for sure. Ten years is enough, and it’s time!