Monday, May 21, 2012

before, during....(no after)

I so hope there are "after" photos of our kitchen sometime soon, but here is at least enough progress being made at this point, that I can see my beauuuuutiful kitchen beginning to emerge.  Whee!

Our house was built in 1932 when kitchens were enclosed and appliances moved with you like furniture. There was a formal dining room just outside our kitchen, there was also a very small room off the kitchen that was a breakfast nook, and then there was another wee room off the breakfast nook and dining room  which something like a "drawing room" (or some sort of casual family room type space). 

In the late 1950's or possibly very early 60's, the new owners (the orthodontist whose wife did a lot of entertaining, town historians tell me), blew the kitchen open and remodeled it into the kitchen that we purchased:

(note that the futon is only parked there because we were about to dismantle it and store it and sell it; we never used this space as a living room....and also note that we normally would not keep a torche lamp in a kitchen...but the old knob and tube wiring had been cut at this point, and that was our only lighting for awhile!)

So what you are seeing here is what you'd be seeing if you were standing in the original 1930's dining room. An original 1930's kitchen would have been completely separated from the other living areas. What TheDoc'sWife did was to add a pass-through that had bi-fold or tri-fold doors on it so that the kitchen could be open and closed as needed for entertaining. She also added a very square doorway cut open (maybe it had a swinging door?), but it's right there at right angles to what was an existing arched doorway between the kitchen and the original breakfast nook.  When she added that new doorway, it created a sort of odd angled post right in the middle of everything (and the post had to stay because it holds up the house!).

So like I said, the breakfast nook was just through that arched doorway to the right there over by the tall curtains, and the drawing room was just right off of that (it would be just to the right of where I was standing when I took the photo). Both breakfast nook and drawing room where probably about 10 feet by 10 feet, originally.  What TheDoc'sWife also did at that time, which I don't have a clear photo of, was to remove the walls between that breakfast nook and drawing room. We believe that was probably her formal dining area....and hey, as far as we are concerned, that is where a formal dining table should go. 

But that leaves the original 1930's dining room used in the 1960's as...I don't know what!  A big giant hallway?  I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how she may have used it. It may have just been a big open space, because as it turns out, the doc and his wife had a daughter with physical and developmental disabilities, and this maybe have been where she sat in her wheelchair so she could visit with mom while mom cooked.  We may never know.  What I do know though, is that the people who owned the house right before us used the original 1930's dining room as their dining room (I can tell by the light fixtures they put in), and they used the old breakfast nook and drawing room that had been blown open as some sort of office area (because we can see the old modem hook-ups).


Here is peek at what we have done so far.

We opened up the old pass through, widened it, then took out the square doorway, and made it one big opening, then an arch was added to mirror the other original arch in the back.  Maybe I should point out though, the the original arch back there aint so original anymore either, because we had that doorway widened to be more wheelchair friendly.  Anyhow, opening the arch and adding cabinetry to it to make a bar area help anchor the post and help it make more sense and not just be some free standing thing to stub your toe on.

The pass through has dropped down from being bar height to counter height, and then we let the kitchen sort of ooze out a bit into the old 1930's dining room by way of adding a counter height seating bar on that side. 

 Let me show you from the kitchen side:

So TheDoc'sWife may have sat at this side of the counter on a barstool shelling peas or something and looking out into the old 1930's dining room / 1960's mystery room.  In fact, off to the left there, you can see what was the old drawing room where we are putting our dining room table. 

Anyhow, look at the kitchen side of the bar now.

So when I cook, I will prep on the kitchen side, while people will sit and hang out on the bar side.  There will be a little prep sink going in there on the far right of that counter top too, and that counter will be bamboo.

I guess in this last shot you can sort of see more where we intend on putting our dining room table there, over where that chair is,  and I don' t know if you can see it, but if you look on the floor there you can sort of see some darker brown stripes in the wood.  Those are original 1930's decorative wood inlays in the floor, and where those lines are, that's where the 1930's wall was separating the breakfast nook from the drawing room.

Can you handle one more before-and-during?

This is taken from where the original breakfast nook would have been. I'm standing just under the arched entry into the kitchen, right next to those tall curtains. To the very far left of the frame you can see the futon for sale, and beyond that, the formal living room. Dead ahead there is the 1960's bar and pass through with a sort of butler's pantry next to it (it was all fitted out to hold wine glasses and bar stuff. Kinda cool!)   In between the butlers pantry and the double ranges (neither one functional, and one with completely shattered glass...yay, repo'd homes! LOL), is a doorway leading to the stairway to the second level, plus the hallway leading to the downstairs bedrooms and bath.

Let me give you a better shot of that range area. It's classic.

HolyRetro,Batman!!! Right??!!!  You must know that there was a part of me that almost just refinished the cabinets and put in a drop in range and kept the dual ovens.  I mean, as fracked up as this kitchen is, it's pretty damn cool in it's own charming sort of way.

 I mean, I am charmed to death by stuff like this.

Even though it's pretty beat up and  I know it would suck ass to cook on this beast, my heart has a soft spot for the old stuff.   Well, even if I had wanted to keep all this, the whole house wired up on knob and tube, and we have even seen evidence of where the wiring was starting to show signs of burning through the studs and beams. Scary!!!!  And even though having two ranges is a cool thing, have two tiny ranges is not.  These ovens weren't even big enough for a standard sheet pan or a good sized turkey.

Okay, so here is where we are at as of today in the stove area:

Where the butler's pantry used to be, the fridge is now going.  The stove stayed in the same place, but what I have coming in will be a 36" duel fuel range (and it's very fancy...but the former chef in me could not resist).  Foodie that I am, there is also a second oven being installed over in another part of the kitchen, in a lower cabinet, and it is the home version of a professional steam and convection oven...but I'll have to tell you more about that another day because my fingers are starting to hurt from all this typing! hahahaha

So there ya' have it! Those photos were taken today just after the ceiling was primed for painting.  The cabinets were shipped primed, but not painted, but are being painted in place all during this week.  The counter top guy came today to template for the counter tops near the stove and sink area....and I haven't even shown you that side of the room yet.... jeez! Another time (I also need to write about the hood, because our good friend and handyman designed it and built it and it is awesome).  Anyhow, the stove and sink areas are getting a dark gray quartz surface, even though the bar area will be bamboo.  We are fans of mismatched counter tops.  Also happening today, the tile guy came to look things over so he could create a bid.  It was a busy day full of meetings with 4 different subcontractors!  Cabinet, paint, tile, counter top! Woohoo!!

Things are moving along!  We're well beyond the original mid-April projected completion date, but we're back to having a ball rolling, I think the bad energy TheTurkey contractor left behind has finally cleared, and as I sat there meeting with subcontractors today, I started to get really really excited.

I am falling love with my kitchen :-)


Lorena said...

You have NO IDEA how much I want to hop on a plane and come visit this kitchen (okay, and you, who am I kidding?!) in person!

Anonymous said...

Your kitchen is going to be FABULOUS!! I'm so excited for you.

Love, Karen TDL

PS Ward can't wait to see the finished product.

Kimberly said...

Oh, this is going to be so beautiful!!! I love what you have done and can't wait to see this. Now get back to your knitting.