Saturday, June 1, 2013

Adventures in renovation

Argghhhhhh.... this is my second try a this post. I was almost finished when I hit something and EVERY SINGLE WORD disappeared! And I had been quite chatty and creative... darn, hope I can remember at least some of it.

Sooooo, where have I been the last week and half? Well I've been shopping and it wasn't nearly as much fun as I imagined. In fact it was quite nerve wracking. So many decisions to make. I've looked at lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, faucets, paint, tile, front doors, drapes, rugs, furniture and appliances. Boy are appliances expensive! The first place I got prices at was Sears, and I must have "sucker" written on my forehead because by the time the salesman got done with me the total topped $10,000. Not gonna happen. I want nice appliances but that is too much. The kitchen is only 8' X 10' and the thing I like to make most for dinner is a reservation. I have 6 different pizzeria numbers in my cell phone! LOL! So I went to at least another 5 stores and finally got the appliances purchased. My list got severely shortened from all the things I thought I needed at Sears, and I ended up with a nice French door refrigerator, an electric stove with a smooth cooktop and a dishwasher. I spent less than half what Sears quoted and I feel quite virtuous.

The demolition on the kitchen has begun but I thought you might like to see it in its original state - and I do mean original. Here is a picture looking into the kitchen from the living room. Notice how the refrigerator sticks out at least 6 inches into the doorway.

Squeeze past the fridge and step into my kitchen and into 1953. Now those cabinets may have been refaced in the 70's but the counter and the tile on the walls has been untouched since 1953.

See that little bit of counter space to the left of the sink? That is ALL the counter space in the entire kitchen. And those cabinets... yep that is all the cabinetry there was.

Now lets turn to the left and gaze upon the appliances.

Isn't that stove quite the specimen? That is a 1964 Frigidaire Flair stove. It was state of the art. Remember the TV show Bewitched? Samantha had the same stove in her "modern" kitchen.

You push down on a little button by the handle on the front and give it a good pull and the cover slides back and the burners come forward. There are some kind of hydraulics in the doors of the 2 ovens and they open upward. Now both of the ovens and 3 of the 4 burners still work! How many of the appliances I bought this week do you think will still be working in 49 years? Yeah, my guess is none of them too. I thought about keeping this stove and incorporating it into a funky retro kitchen but I'm afraid if I do that it will quit working in about 6 months and I'll have to totally redo my renovation. I'm not taking that chance.

So the demolition has commenced and it has been a lot of work. There was ceramic tile on the walls that went from the floor to a little past the window ledges. It was set in concrete on a wire lathe and it did not want to come off. My son's kitchen has the same tile and they reglazed it but we are changing too much to salvage it. Here's how it looks today - the wall where the appliances were...

and the wall where the sink, countertop and cabinets were. GONE!!!!

Now it will be a while before I can show some "after" pictures. Tom, my contractor, is trying to finish up the house around the corner in the next 2 weeks and he has to do another kitchen remodel before he can finish mine up. I keep telling myself it will be August before this is finished. However there has been other work done in the house. They have reframed the closet in my bedroom. They removed the huge heavy sliding doors that wouldn't stay on the track and are going to put up nice bi-fold doors. They've spackled the cracks and sanded the plaster and started painting and walls and the woodwork. I'm very happy with my color choices. They look even better on the wall than they did in the store. They took up the carpet in a couple of rooms and the hardwood underneath looks great. It is going to need minimal refinishing - yeah! In the basement where my studio will be they have worked on framing the walls and the bathroom and have worked out how to close off the laundry area and the furnace area. It is going to be nice.

Next week I'll tell you about the furniture/drapes/rug shopping. I have a new found respect for interior designers. I want it to look like "me" so I'm not getting everything from one place. I've shopped IKEA, Pier 1, Front Room Furnishings, Penneys, Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond to name a few stores I've been in. I know it won't come as a surprise to you that I have incorporated a bit of yellow into every single room! Even the living room/dining room which is several shades of khaki - I think it is going to look great.

So I hope to get a bit of sewing done tomorrow. I have several quilts back from the long arm gals and I'd like to get the binding on a couple of them so I can have something to take to Show n Tell at the quilt guild meeting on Monday night.

Happy stitching-
carol fun


  1. How cool was that retro kitchen ~ I completely understand your worry about keeping that stove/oven though. Were you able to salvage it and sell it off, or did it go completely away?

  2. The house is quite a project but will be so worth it when it is done!

  3. What a huge project you've taken on. Just imagine the satisfaction you'll feel when it's finished, and it's all YOURS!! Yippee!

  4. Wow! That is going to be a lot of work but so worth it when you are done. Our house was a fixer upper and we worked our butts off, did all of it ourself but oh how we love living here. Good luck!

  5. Smart idea to redo the kitchen. It didn't look very functional the way it was. I look forward to seeing the "after" pictures! :0)

  6. I have to say that I do like the retro kitchen, but it is definitely time for a change. I can't wait to see the finished room - and hopefully more counter space! BTW, didn't anyone know that it's not good to put a refrigerator next to a stove?

  7. It's looking fabulous, Carol. I'm so excited for you - it'll be finished very soon.

  8. Sounds like you are having fun.

  9. Parts of the retro kitchen were cool--not sure about locating a stove and refrigerator side by side.

    Looking forward to your after photos--will be so worth it.

  10. The stove is very much like my husband's grandmother's. She must have thought she was living in the space age to have a cooktop that pulled out like a drawer! Can't wait to see the final reveal.

  11. This is exciting. I never saw a stove like that. One tiny counter space is crazy!

  12. I am so taken with that stove! It looks almost brand new - so shiny. You are right, though, if you didn't replace it, it would probably give you fits later! Enjoy all this even though I am sure it's tiring - you will have one beautiful home when you are finished! Carol

  13. Wow, now that's a vintage kitchen for sure. I used to have a kitchen about that size and you will definitely want more counter space or maybe an island. Good times!

  14. Awesome Carol = I know it will look just like you when you are done.


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