Renovation: One Week Down

We're one week into the reno, and the dust is flying. The electrical is almost done; we are replacing all the old knob-and-tube wiring with the modern stuff, putting in mostly new light fixtures and light switches in sensible places, instead of three feet into the bedroom, or behind the far door to the dining room, or just nowhere at all in Delphine's room. (She had one of those bank-pen-chain pull switches that she didn't have a hope of reaching for another ten years.)

On the main floor, where most of the big changes are happening, the demolition is nearly complete. They have taken down all the walls except that between the kitchen and the dining room, and that which defines the front hall (and keeps the drafts out). They've taken out the old cabinet in the kitchen, the sink and its cabinet, and the old gnarly linoleum tiles and subfloor. They've cut and framed a hole between the kitchen and the dining room, which is going to be finished with some trim salvaged from the original arch between the dining room and the living room. The only demolition which remains to be done is taking up the hardwood in the front hall (we are going to put in vintage-style black and white mosaic tile instead).

Next week the inspector is coming in for the electrical, and then they will patch the walls and start painting upstairs. They are going to move the plumbing for the sink, and put in the vent for the range hood, and lay the new subfloor in the kitchen. It's been fun watching them tear the place apart, but I am really going to enjoy watching them put it back together.

We haven't been able, to the shock of no-one, to salvage and reuse as much as I originally thought we would. I said we would keep the cabinet in the kitchen but quickly changed my mind when I realized how much I like runners on my drawers, and base cabinets that don't go all the way to the floor, and not having huge frames in the way of my stuff, and maybe upper cabinets that are deep enough to store a dinner plate. I got rid of the metal trim on the counter because Jillian's right, it's a total pain to keep clean. I got rid of the stove because there's just no way to make an ancient electric stove into a modern gas stove. I got rid of the cabinet for the sink because again, I wanted to get rid of the frames and have more versatile cabinetry (we are putting a bunch of drawers under the sink cabinet).

I haven't even kept many light fixtures; I kept the pretty fixtures in the girls' rooms, but almost all of the others are gone, with the exception of a gorgeous Nouveau fixture from the front hall which is too dim to be useful but which we will reuse somewhere where we don't need all that much light.

Ironically, we are ripping out a genuine vintage kitchen and replacing it with a vintage-inspired kitchen. Our cabinets are going to be Applad White which is flat-panel painted white, very much like the original cabinet. The floor is going to be Marmoleum in Caribbean, and the countertops will be Formica's Skylark Boomerang. Oh, and the paint is Benjamin Moore's Standish White, which almost exactly matches the floor. I am going to look for a vintage-style wallpaper to do a focal point, and maybe a cute fabric for a little curtain. Three more weeks to go!