The kitchen walls are up! When it was the “schoolhouse,” the room was divided in half and was pretty dark, but now that it’s one continuous space (and you can see through some of the existing walls) it feels so much bigger!
Much of the kitchen workspace and appliances will be on the left side of the room as seen in the above image. In the original plan, the space to the right of the side door was going to be used as a small office area, but we’ll likely put cabinetry there and utilize it as a small pantry. The kitchen won’t have any upper cabinets (not enough space and they’d make the room feel heavy), so having the pantry will free us from having to store food what will already be limited cabinet space.
The sink will live underneath the above window facing the river. If you have to wash dishes, you might as well give yourself a view to look at (as seen below).
We’ll have another small window above the cabinets on the south wall, and the fridge will live just to the right of the side door (as seen in the above photo).
The rebuilt schoolhouse/kitchen structure can be seen above on the left. Once she gets her roof back on, things will start to make a bit more sense, but before that can happen, the roof of the main structure has to come off. Brace yourself for it; things got weird. That’s coming up next.
Before getting new walls laid our and built on the first floor, we had to iron out the floor plan. Throughout this process, we learned that when dealing with such an old house, architectural plans can only take you so far, and decisions often have to get made in real time when new discoveries are made in the walls. Case in point, the configuration of the first floor bedroom, staircase, and bathrooms. We moved the staircase to the opposite wall (I’m sure our architect was really impressed when we broke that news to him. Sorry Patrick!), moved the laundry upstairs, and reworked the bathroom layouts. All of this is to say that if you ever have the pleasure of taking on a significant renovation, particularly of an older structure, go into the project with very flexible ideas and expectations. Sometimes you’ll find yourself designing a bathroom around a toilet that can only be in one particular spot, and that’s OK! These decisions that feel absurd and frustrating in the moment will hopefully just become the cute quirks of your house that you can roll your eyes at later.
Level floors are in sight! Once the old flooring came out, the crew put a new sill on top of the concrete foundation wall. Then, after a couple of months of resting on temporary bridging, the back wall was brought back down to rest on the sill. Sigh of relief.
With the new sill in place, floor joists went in quickly and a new, level floor system was born.
Throughout the renovation process, this structure continues to surprise me with its ability to expand and contract. In the previous post, that dirt floor looked so small! It’s always so surprising when the house can seem like a different size from one day to the next. The joists look so long and spacious!
It’s difficult to walk on joists and film it all at once: