Our irrigator guy came over the other afternoon for a look at our kitchen renovation progress. He chuffed at the salvaged St. Charles cabinets
, halfway installed. "You're installing those things?!?! Most people are busy ripping them out! Nice shiny feet, though!"
We're about halfway through the kitchen renovation which has held its share of surprises, including that St. Charles cabinets work great perched on IKEA feet. I thought instead of glossy coverage of the before-and-afters I'd give you a long look so you, like us, can rejoice when this journey is over!
Here is the 1946 era kitchen in the earliest known photos in the 90s. It has green tile with sputnik style accent tiles and backsplash, undermounted porcelain (?) sink, wall-mounted faucet, and white painted wood built-in cabinets. Looks like the butler pantry area at the back has already been ripped up to accommodate the soffit for the A/C.
At some point, Home Depot salvaged order cabinets were installed with Formica countertops that were never really attached to the cabinets. Matthew delights in the fact then whenever he gets a utensil jammed in the drawer, all he has to do is lift the Formica. To previous owner's credit, they wanted to redo the counters before we bought the place but we insisted that it would be time and resources wasted, we wanted to do it ourselves.
The calm before the storm. The galley waits silently for the prybar. We had been procrastinating on this job for years, but the catalyst came when our 80's era SubZero fridge punked out on a hot spring night.
We found a new fridge pronto and then ripped out the butler pantry area. And found a HOLE! In the brick WALL!!!
A HOLE! IN THE BRICK WALL! At the corner of the home. Theories abound, but no answers yet.
OK first problem solved. Mason worked for 10 hours and patched up the hole.
A fresh coat of paint at the butler pantry area, repositioning of our huger-than-realized new fridge, and installation of the first St. Charles cabinet at the end of our new huge 2-person prep area.
At this point, we begin to realize how beautiful the uninterrupted brick wall texture is, and consider LIFE WITHOUT UPPER CABINETS. I live with it for a day or two and agree, we should scrape down and patch up the divots in the wall as if it may never see upper cabinets ever again. IKEA birch butcherblock serves as temporary and possibly permanent work surface. Matthew has all the new kitchen measurements and breaks marked up on blue tape along the edge of the Formica. The original sputnik tile, framed in black on the left, may be incorporated into a counter surface of some sort.
Matthew puts some elbow grease into taking off the high points with a chisel.
Much Durham's Rock Hard Water Putty patching and grinding later, and you can see the original kitchen paint color was tan.
A fresh coat of paint later, and the wall is delicious enough to eat off. Space where there was once only clutter. The dishwasher and more old undercabinets are removed. Naturally the new sink, faucet and dishwasher deliveries are delayed and don't arrive in time for installation over the long holiday weekend, so we're stuck without a garbage disposal or dishwasher.
The IKEA cabinet legs are relatively easy to install and cake to level. Sparks fly as Matthew grinds a little to make things right on the vented sink cabinet.
This week: appliance and plumbing deliveries! Can we have supper in our eat-in-kitchen without shouting over the din of the new dishwasher?!? Stay tuned!