Sunday, 22 April 2012

Phase I: Kitchen.a.

Kitchen (before)
The heart of our home.

We moved late in  November, and had our Winter Holidays in this Kitchen. For the first time ever, we had family (my Dad) to our home for a decadent dinner, and despite burning the heirloom ginger cookies and not being able to find the lobster crackers, we were happy with our temporary heart.

It was discovered that Dad had grown up kitty-corner from this house. Over wine, we learned a small bit about the twice-removed former residents (one of whom is an award-winning Canadian writer!). My Mom (who was in the hospital with knee surgery at the time) found some old photographs of my Dad and Aunt as children with this house in the background (weird!), as well as a photo of the neighbourhood way-back-when. Although the sense of history was undeniable through just experiencing the creaking & sighing of floors, quirky features, and pokey layout on a day-to-day basis, having a personal connection to this house through my Dad's family was even more a positive affirmation we had leaped into this project at the "right" time. We knew we were home.

South facing window with excellent southern exposure.

Original Material:
Cupboards are... yuk all over (not original, not even functioning), countertop is ceramic tile (a personal pet peeve), flooring is laminate on top of... 800 layers of vinyl, on top of original hardwood.
Walls are lathe & plaster, with panelboard. Loads of wallpaper and vinyl underneath backsplash. Deconstruction was messy... ugly... and scandalously revealing.

Surprises included: wiring (described as "upgraded" in the Realtor's flyer) needed a complete overhaul (...oh Hi 10% budget contingency! How nice to use you already!) and new panel cha-ching cha-ching, floor joists to be sistered & new subfloor, and that the load bearing wall was not bearing anything at all... yay?

There is not a whole lot more satisfying than tearing down walls. Immediate destruction is cathartic, and the results of opening up the Kitchen into that Bedroom space was exhilarating. Four more months of camping in the basement slurping soup and chilli was not an unhappy thought for that moment.

Although I shovelled so much debris out of that Kitchen window my arms sore for 300 years... the man & teenager knocked those walls into oblivion like real live Superheroes... my Superheroes.

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