Saturday, May 16, 2009

Baby pictures

I already established that Aaron looks like Genevieve. Now let's see how they compare to their parents:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kitchen Renovation, Part 2

Before you put in the new stuff, you have to take out the old stuff. In other words, demolition time! John took out the old cabinets, which turned out to be basically shelves nailed to the walls with sides and doors attached. Probably dated back to before they made prefab cabinets. We ended up putting the doors and drawers out on the curb, and some lady driving by saw them and was so happy to take them. The ugly bifold doors we set out also went quickly. That's one perk of living on a busy street--we can get rid of just about anything within an hour. John burned all the scrap wood that was leftover in our fire pit on the patio. We had gale-force winds, pouring rain and even hail, but he kept that fire going all day!

Then he attacked the floors. One of the really neat things about owning an old house is finding clues to what it looked like in previous eras. Peeling back the layers, we found:

Dingy white linoleum, circa 1990. Under that was a layer of plywood.

The next layer. Faux brick linoleum, circa 1970.

The next layer. Geometric pattern on yellow faux marble linoleum, circa 1950.
Under that was underlayment that was attached with about 200 nails and/or staples per square foot, making for a difficult job. It probably contained asbestos, too. Under that is the original wood planks of the floor. Some of the cracks are large enough to see right through to the ground under the house. Our suspicions that there is no insulation under there are confirmed!
There were also multiple layers of wallpaper. Here they are in reverse chronological order:

There was also light blue paint and cream paint in various places. The cream paint covered our brick backsplash, which turned out to not be real bricks, just tiles made to look like brick. Can't you just see what the place must have looked like in the 1970's with the fake brick on the walls and floor and the "country" wallpaper?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Kitchen Renovation, Part I

I've been wanting to redo my kitchen for a few years. When the second child thing didn't seem to be working for a while there we started looking at kitchen cabinets. Then we found out Aaron was on the way and decided to put that project off in favor of the office renovation (so that he could have a bedroom).

The biggest reasons for wanting to reno the kitchen:
1) I hate the floor. It always looks dingy and dirty, and there's nothing you can do about it.
2) The cabinets were poorly constructed, poorly painted and starting to fall apart.
3) The radiator is awful. It takes up a lot of space and only manages to heat up the drawers holding my plastic bags and aluminum foil.
4) Just to update the style.

So about 6 weeks ago, a big cabinet door ripped off (not off the hinges, the wood came apart), and that was my excuse for really needing to get this done. It was great timing since my sister, who happens to be an interior designer, was visiting. I had also just spent about 8 weeks watching HGTV while on maternity leave. So together we came up with a design for the room and went shopping!

Here are two sketches that she made:
Low countertop with glass shelves above.

New built-in seating.