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How Dry Wall Can Change Your Life

October 15, 2015

You guys, we are THIS close to having a functioning kitchen again.  Dry wall went up yesterday and everything zoomed ahead a million miles an hour.   You can see all the distinct areas now; the eat in kitchen, the “mudroom”, utility spaces, and kitchen prep and cooking areas.

Dry wall: View from the utility area to the back door

View from the utility area to the back door

The kitchen sink cabinet will extend out from the main wall of cabinets and into the room.  We planned the kitchen so that guests could gather at the table, leaving the kitchen free for prep and cooking, while still allowing interaction between people in both spaces.

Distinct prep and cooking stations will (hopefully) keep mess to a minimum and provide enough space for two cooks at a time.  Small appliances will all find a home in the pantry along with the dog bowls, fridge, and microwave.

Dry Wall: View from the eat-in area into the kitchen

View from the eat-in area into the kitchen

The little area right off the new back door will be a home for coats and shoes.  So not technically a mudroom but close enough.

Dry Wall: View toward the eat-in area and "mudroom"

View toward the eat-in area and “mudroom”

Check out our last update here if you missed it!

On the to-do list:

  • Countertops
  • Drywall
  • Install hardwood floors
  • Assemble cabinets and install fronts
  • Paint and Trim
  • Ceiling patches
  • Shelves for pantry

Kitchen Renovation Update – October!

October 9, 2015

After a whirlwind few months we’re hoping to settle back into our blogging schedule this fall.  We truly appreciate everyone’s support after Neil’s incident and thank you all for your kind thoughts.  He is doing great (!) and we’re excited to finish up the kitchen even more so now in order to support his low sodium diet.

Check out some recent photos of the kitchen renovation:

Kitchen renovation The new subfloor will keep everything safe and level

The new subfloor will keep everything safe and level

Unfortunately, most of the heart of pine flooring could not be saved due to rot.   So that’s all been removed and parts of the subfloor replaced.  A plywood layer over the subfloor takes care of any leftover squeaking and provides a great base for the new oak hardwood.  We picked it up at the coolest salvage yard.

Kitchen Renovation I've probably switched those new lights on and off 200 times since they went it. LED! love it

I’ve probably switched those new lights on and off 200 times since they went it. LED! love it

The three new windows have been framed in.  That was kind of an ordeal because of the ordering process and we’ll have to drive up to Maryland to pick them up.  It was either that or get a different brand that was the same style.  No one would have noticed but us, but we figured we should go ahead do it right.  Replacing the one in the corner is for the best because it had already started to leak.

Kitchen Renovation Check out all those outlets and new plumbing! Not exciting for you, but totally exciting for us

Check out all those outlets and new plumbing! Not exciting for you, but totally exciting for us

The massive cast iron drain pipe has been replaced with PVC and rotated so that it doesn’t stick out into the room.  We’ll be able to squeeze in almost six extra square feet of counter space into that corner now.  werk.

Kitchen Renovation Laundry room framing

Laundry room framing

And Hooray! the laundry room is all framed in.  Neil was saying now the layout is what it should have been all along, and I couldn’t agree more.  Before it was out in the open and you couldn’t walk through a room without seeing it.  Now it shares a wall with the kitchen and has a much slimmer footprint.  Added storage in the form of wall hooks and cabinets will make laundry day a no-stress ordeal.  AND hopefully we’ll never have to go back to the laundromat, fingers crossed.

Kitchen Renovation Can't forget about those pups.

Can’t forget about those pups.

Next week the new flooring and drywall will go in so stay tuned because we’re in the home stretch! Catch up on our last update here if you missed it.


Our Kitchen Progress…

August 27, 2015

Hey Guys! It’s kitchen update time (and hopefully a reveal soon, fingers crossed!!!!).  Most of you know that we love to cook and try out new recipes.  So this whole not having any working appliances and eating out thing is no bueno.

So I’ve become obsessed with cooking shows on Netflix to fill the void.  I especially like the Mind of a Chef series because it’s the best parts of Unwrapped, Bizzare Foods, and Top Chef all smooshed together into 25 minutes of guilt- and commercial-free goodness.  I digress…let’s get to the kitchen renovation updates.

Cabinets are Ordered.  Boom.

It’s all starting to come together.  At least on paper anyway.  The plans have evolved since last time we talked about finishes and we’ve mocked them all up using Ikea’s Home Planner 3D Tool and a mood board.

New Kitchen Layout

We went with a modified layout that gives the most counterspace while still keeping the open flow that has taken so long to uncover.  The upper cabinets will have glossy white doors from Ikea and the base cabinets will get an upgrade with doors, panels, and trim from Semihandmade Doors.

Overhead view of new kitchen layout

We’ll work around the existing chimney from the old kitchen.  The brick is cracked in a lot of places and so we plan to fill them and paint the brick to freshen it up.  By moving the fridge into the pantry, we’re left with plenty of room for extra deep countertops.

Prep area of new kitchen layout

The Base cabinets each have two large drawers and a smaller hidden drawer for utensils and serveware.  A few 1″ filler strips will fill in the gaps on either side.  Integrated handles on the drawers and minimal brass hardware  (or these, what do you like better??) on the uppers will have a streamlined look.

Cooking station of new kitchen layout

Our updated mood board is full of soothing whites that are grounded with natural wood and metal tones.  Check out all of our inspiration here.

Kitchen Inspiration Pinboard

Big thanks to everyone following along.  If you missed anything along the way, you can check out our last update here!  Be sure to weigh in on the hardware options.  Tell us which is your favorite in the comments below!


Kitchen Renovation: Part 3 Demo Update

August 11, 2015
Kitchen Renovation Three Views from Kitchen

Whew! We were in overdrive mode this past Sunday with the kitchen demo and renovation.  But we are finally nearing the finish line with this part of the process.  My parents came over to lend a hand and we worked the whole day removing tiles and plywood from the ceiling, saving molding, removing old plaster, and unearthing the room’s old brick chimney.  Check out our progress below!

Catch up on all our kitchen demo and renovation updates here: Part 1, Part 2

Sunday: Family Day Demolition!

Neil worked on removing a layer of plaster and concrete from the chimney.  Using a hammer and crowbar he chiseled away very carefully to avoid chipping the bricks.  We will clean and repoint the bricks then seal everything.  My dad worked on capping off the electrical and removing plywood panels from the walls and ceiling.

Kitchen Renovation: Neil is removing plaster while my dad caps off an outlet

Neil is removing plaster while my dad caps off an outlet

When the previous owner’s upgraded the original windows, all the window weights were left behind.  We found them all after removing the molding and are planning to use two on our new fence as weights for each gate.

Kitchen Renovation Window Weights Removed

“Reclaimed” window weights…because you know…

After the dust settled and everything was bagged, we dragged everything to the road for pickup.  I realize it was kind of messed up to leave 20 contractor bags, 2 thousand-pound trashcans, and a stack of plywood for the trash guys.  But, we have yet to put anything out for them that they won’t take and you don’t even have to call ahead.  Try THAT in Norfolk!

Kitchen Renovation: Almost all of the old plaster will need to be replaced because it was pulling away from the lathe

Almost all of the old plaster will need to be replaced because it was pulling away from the lathe

An earlier version of the kitchen had a sage green beadboard ceiling, green and yellow laminate, and dark gold walls (of course there were W&M references made).  Paired with an exterior that had yellow siding, forest green porch floors and baby blue ceilings this house was probably the most colorful on the block.

Kitchen Renovation Open Floor Plan


We still need to remove the old subfloor to get to those gorgeous heart of pine boards. Then a few sheets of plywood on the ceiling need to be removed VERY carefully because they are installed over the cabinets.


Kitchen Renovation: Part 2 Demo

August 6, 2015
Kitchen Renovation Wall Removed from Kitchen

You know that commercial where the daughter has to tell her mom that the “new kitchen needs to go to sleep now”?  If Lily could talk that’s what she would tell me.  I’m on a never ending bliss loop of “I wonder what it looks like when…” …it’s 7am …it’s dusk …the lights are off …the lights are on …when I stand in the pantry …and on and on until the dogs get antsy.  Pretty sure looking at that open wall will never get old.  Even in pictures.  Even when those pictures have an embarassingly dusty half empty bottle of fireball (where’s waldo).

If you missed Part 1, check it out here.  Here’s the big reveal from this week’s demo.

Tusday: Sun Porch Wall Demo

BLEW MY MIND!  I knew it would be a lot more space but I had no idea it would look like this.  Shoutout to everyone I called that afternoon babbling about how great it was,  I wasn’t making any sense and you deserve a medal for being cool about it.

Kitchen Renovation Wall Removed Into Kitchen

Wednesday: Installing the Header Beams

Kitchen Renovation with Header from Laundry


Kitchen Renovation Sun Porch

Demo Kitchen Renovation with Header into kitchen

There is a huge difference in heat coming in between the old windows and the new

Kitchen Renovation with Header from Kitchen

Thursday: All the Puppies

Couldn’t resist taking a few shots of the renovation helpers this morning too. You can check out their new hit show on HGTV called “Demo Dogs” this coming this fall.

Demo Kitchen Renovation Doggie Helpers

Hampton and Lily, such good sports