The images you are about to see have not been retouched. Really. The truth is that I have been creating these amazing dishes in the kitchen from Hell.
Don’t believe me?
Please note the missing doors, rotted counter, mold on the back of the sink, and hole in the ceiling with the bucket to catch the water that leaks from the bathtub.
-yep the upstairs bathroom is the next project. It will also be a do it yourself ordeal because we were quoted a minimum of 30,000.000 to have minimal work done. That is another story for another blog, right?
Anyway. That is only part of it. The stove is horrible. I thought, when I bought it, a stainless steel top would be great… It wasn’t.
At least not in this particular brand. The top gets too hot (Shiloh got a 2nd degree burn when she was 8 from leaning her arm on it when it was in cleaning mode), it bakes on any spills, and you can’t get them off without ruining the finish…which causes rust. I will be the first to say I am a messy cook… but also? This company should stick to what they know. Like kick-ass refrigerators, IYKWIM.
On the same wall is a small counter that holds the microwave and then a double oven but only the top oven works. There are cabinets to the ceiling over the oven and refrigerator next to it. Here is the vertical from the pocket doors to the kitchen wall.
The pantry is fabulous, large and roomy…about the size of a half bathroom. I will be working on that soon but not now. Next to the pantry is a counter.
One the left as you face the sink is a 7 foot peninsula with two dishwashers underneath it. Only one works. The countertop is chipped and stained but not rotted.
Going into the dining area there is a 10 ft long counter with missing doors, glass cabinets over it then a door to the hall.
On the next wall we have pocket doors to the parlor and a small window.
The back wall has another small window, a fireplace without any tile or brick on it, and a door.
Then there is a small area of wall between the dining area and kitchen, before the peninsula begins and that has floor to ceiling bookcases.
My kitchen has good bones. It is light, airy, has a fireplace, and has more storage than even I can use up. It is large enough to truly be a family gathering place…to give you an idea the table you see is a 9 foot table that seats eight luxuriously and easily will seat 12. The antique heart pine floors are not in the best of shape but they are beautiful and warm. A ten foot ceiling gives the feeling of spaciousness. Best of all, the book cases keep not only my huge collection of cookbooks handy, but also our homeschool books.
The downside is that there is missing trim, it needs to be repainted, there are holes in walls and ceiling….it is hard to clean… and on and on.
I had planned on redoing the kitchen 10 years ago when we bought the house but life got in the way… and then it got in the way again and again…and pretty soon there was no money to do it.
Marc gave me an amazing gift this Christmas when he decided to take money from his IRA and redo the kitchen for me with his own two hands…and a hammer…and a bunch of really loud power tools.
This all began the week after Thanksgiving. We are now at a point that I can’t cook much and even if I do it is simple, easy, and not photo-worthy. So, for the next week or so I will share my remodel with you…step by step.
Our house was built sometime around 1910 in Oak Cliff, Texas -which is now a part of Dallas. It was built by a wealthy family and you can tell by the size and some of the things I know about it – and them. In 1950 it was cut into 4 pieces and moved 30 miles to Lancaster. During the move it lost some of it’s architectural accents… like the top floor. If you are interested you can read more about the house and see images of more of the rooms at Old Houses.
Anyway. The house is really a transitional Queen Anne – Arts and Crafts Colonial. Sadly nearly all of the interior was “updated” before we owned the house and the stained glass transoms, several fireplaces, and all of the woodwork (including the staircase) were replaced. Since I don’t know exactly how it looked, except as an admirer of Edwardian/Arts and Crafts styles I am choosing to go with how I think the family would have decorated it given their social status and the area that the house was in.
When you restore an old house you have to make choices about how detail oriented you will be. I know that Arts and Crafts kitchens were white. White walls, white tile, white painted cabinets. A few had wood or copper counters in the Butler’s Pantries but rarely was the kitchen anything to look at at all. It was decorated for sanitary cleanliness not beauty. So, while some may look at how my kitchen ends up and say that it is not a period kitchen (and they would be right) I say, in my defense, that it is a beautiful kitchen that gives more than a nod to the aesthetic of the day and the design history of the house.
And of course, our budget.
My favorite go-to books on Arts and Crafts style kitchens are available at Amazon. I highly recommend them if you are contemplating a 1900-1935 kitchen remodel.
Tomorrow I’ll share how I created my priority list and decided what was a necessity for my personal kitchen style. I’ll also give you a peek at the choice for countertops and other necessities and why I decided on what I decided on.
images:© 2011 Marye Audet