Stripped Bare

Progress has been slow on the kitchen remodel these last six months. Going to school during the spring semester took all of my time. The day class was over we were off to Lake Tahoe and then to England. Now that all that’s finished, my only priority is to get the kitchen finished.

I thought I knew what base cabinets we wanted from IKEA. But looking at a plan on paper just doesn’t give me the feel I need to make decisions. So I drew outlines in chalk on the floor and good thing, too! I had converted a measurement on paper wrong and the cabinets wouldn’t have fit. We had to pour over the catalog another couple of hours debating our choices. Neither of us enjoys this part. I’m a very slow shopper. I have to look at a thing from every angle over and over to feel if it’s right.

In preparation for hiring an electrician to get the wiring up to code, we spent the weekend tearing down the drywall on the two walls where we plan to put the new base cabinets and counters.

Before: January 9, 2006

kitchen remodel

After: June 5, 2006

Now that the drywall is gone with its yellow stripe, I can see strong horizontal patterns which makes the room seem bigger. For the first time, I’m beginning to visualize what it could look like. I’m feeling a bit more enthusiastic now.

kitchen remodel

We always find a few surprises as we tear things down. For some reason we can’t figure two sections have rough boards nailed between the studs. The section on the right does have the plumbing to the bathroom behind it…maybe they wanted to protect that. But there’s nothing behind the boards on the left. (I’m always hoping someone hid money.)

In the space between the two boarded sections we found an electric cable, cut off without even electric tape wrapping the tip. I haven’t tested it to see if it’s live; I’m assuming it is. A note written on the stud says it’s the wiring for the extractor fan. I wonder what happened to that fan? After a dishwasher, that is the thing we’ve wanted most for this kitchen.

In the next section we found our first nest of cockroaches. When I first started pulling off walls I always expected critters to scurry out and until this weekend none had. One spot (next to the bathroom plumbing, of course) had a score of them resulting in a lot of squealing on our part and spraying insecticide and hiding in the living room until we thought it was safe to go back in the kitchen.

kitchen remodel

Behind the microwave is a door to our bedroom. We’ve blocked it off for years and tend to forget about it. But we opened it while we were working Saturday to remind ourselves just how odd it is. This is a house of doors. There are doors in every wall. At one time this house didn’t have air conditioning, just a whole house fan. So all the doors were an aid to circulation. However, we are going to wall off this door.

2 Responses to “Stripped Bare”

  1. bill Responds:

    When we were remodeling our kitchen, I was up in the attic pulling some new wires. I felt around in the insulation and discovered the end of a bare wire, like you found, without even tape on the end. Luckily the breaker was off at the time, or I might not be writing this.

    Bill, I always enjoy comparing notes with you. Hearing that someone finished a project like this encourages me. You did finish, didn’t you? — mss

  2. Katherine Responds:

    Those art prints in your bedroom look vaguely familiar!

    Yep. Mom stuck the temple rubbings of Thai musicians in the garage. One Christmas trip, I brought them back on the plane. I’ve had them for about 20 years, but it wasn’t until last year that I finally spent the big bucks ($600!) to get them reframed. I still really like them. — mss

The surface and beneath the surface