Between Naps on the Porch at: http://www.betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/
~It took twenty years....but I finally got my kitchen. Not an easy task. This old house was full of deterrents. Poor structure, granite boulders for a foundation and nothing but dirt under the floorboards. The main beam across the breakfast room floor was a tree with bark still showing on it and little stubs where the branches once were. Crude, to put it mildly. So...for hubby to remodel and make this house whole, the approach was a bit out of the ordinary. Each time we would start to talk about the kitchen, we'd become overwhelmed and decide on restoring and remodeling another room. Our granddaughter who began doing dishes at the old sink when she was four was becoming a teenager before our eyes. Yet, the old kitchen was still there. Eventually, we had to come clean. The kitchen was staring us in the face. It was bad.
~Over the years we've held many a family gathering here. During road race week each August, we would often have 25 people or more for dinner each night. Naturally, with summer weather, we could provide seating outdoors. But the prep work, cooking and the clean up always took place in our kitchen at that little sink. When I told people that our oven door was held closed by a bungee cord, they would chuckle but assume that I was kidding. I wasn't. It was true. Everything about the old gas stove was broken. The cook top burners worked (sort of) but had to be lit with a match. I could cook a mean roast in the oven but not much else since it was always at a 450-500 degree temperature, no matter how you set it. Why didn't we get a new stove you might ask? Well...because we needed the space heater that was in the side of the old one. Since this old house didn't have central heat until a few years ago, space heaters were our only source of heat in the winter. A large floor furnace in the living room that pumped hot air out when needed and the aforementioned space heater in the side of the kitchen stove were all that kept the pipes from bursting each frosty New England winter.
~Fast forward to the kitchen remodel. The job took four years...hubby did all the work himself. Yes, I said 4 years! That's how long we used the powder room sink for all our needs. And, we still had those big summer get togethers. I temporarily transformed our mud room into a make-shift kitchen directly across from the powder room. Hubby changed the faucet on the little sink to a wet bar faucet, which is very high, so that we could get pots and the coffee pot underneath to fill with water. Looking back, I can't imagine how we did it. But, we did. Climbing the step ladder to get to the hanging staircase that led to our bedroom each night for a week(see photo), was a real kicker! We've managed to live with a lot of adversity in this old house, but this experience took the proverbial cake.
~Yet...look at us now! When I asked hubby to build cabinets that were new but looked fitting in an old kitchen, he gave me that "look" that he always gives me, but then proceeded to do exactly what I had in mind. I also asked for open shelving. The low ceilings in this house needed a visual bump to keep the entire project from looking top heavy. Add to that, I'd become accustomed to not having any upper cabinets in the old space. I rather liked having all our dishes and glasses at hand and they look pretty as well. The tall pantry cupboard that we built many years ago, stands alongside the refrigerator and conveniently holds all our canned and packaged goods along with two shelves of spices.
~Thanks to the plentiful color pallet of Old Century Paint Colours, we were able to find just the right shade of green called Olde Pewter. It's almost an "army blanket" green. The color contrasts nicely with the limestone tiles on the counter trimmed in painted pine that give the look of old but the convenience of new. They are easy to keep clean with the solid appeal of stone. Ah...but the best part of our kitchen redo is the sink. A big, deep, black siligranite sink that is so generous in size, you could bathe triplets in it. Topped off with a black faucet, it is the centerpiece in the room. You can't miss it! Not to take away from the furniture style lower cabinets that hubby crafted, complete with footed bottoms and the little wooden knobs he makes that I adore. So simple yet utterly divine and actually an entirely different metamorphosis due to the repurposed pine flooring that he used to build the doors and bottom cabinet.
~Speaking of the floor, we chose a prefinished heart pine board floor in 6 inch widths that's not only beautiful, but a breeze to keep clean. Our old kitchen had a door that led into a breakfast room that was used as our tv room. Hubby took down the wall to reveal a large open area where I can now watch tv as I cook. Since he reads, and reads, and reads, and reads in his spare time, we needed book shelves as well as a sink. The far wall that once housed a breakfront and mirror now keeps his books in good order and surrounds our new flat screen tv in a most perfect yet unobtrusive spot. It's a terrific room.
~I still hate to cook, but I love being in our new kitchen. Coming downstairs each morning, a smile grows on my face when I step into our sunfilled, happy kitchen.
~Even though it's new, it still has the charm of yesteryear that's perfect in our old house, circa 1724.