Our 50s Kitchen Renovation - Week 1

Week one of our kitchen renovation was a lot of prep work.  Since we were going to be without our kitchen for so long, we set up a temporary kitchen, so that we weren't paying money to eat out all the time.  A few weeks ago, we purchased a new refrigerator and had it temporarily installed in the library/studio.  We also purchased a hot plate and borrowed a microwave for cooking.  I spent a day making chili and lasagna, so I could freeze portions to be eaten during the renovation.   We removed books from our bookshelves to make room for food and dishes.

We constructed a little food-prep space by placing a piece of melamine across a shelf and a side table.  One of my cabinets was completely refinished already, so we moved that in, to hold pots and pans.

My goal, during renovation was to make sure we had some space that wasn't completely overrun with packed boxes and construction materials, so I set up a small eating area as well.  The room was tight, but still a place we could hang out without feeling claustrophobic.

 Temporary cooking area

Temporary cooking area

 Temporary eating area

Temporary eating area

Once I had the kitchen packed up, Chris and I removed all the old cabinets from the wall.  Since I was refinishing them, we wanted to make sure they were organized in the barn, so I could get at them easily.  We had a bit of trouble taking them down, at first.  We removed all of the screws and the cabinets seemed to be still attached, but we finally figured out that they were hanging on metal cleats, so things went much more smoothly after that.  

Our house was built in 1886.  One of the cool things about living in an old house is finding old things left by previous owners.  A few years ago I pulled up floorboards in our attic and found lots of antique and vintage items. Nothing worth anything, but still fun to find. I was pretty excited to see what we might find when the walls came down in out kitchen.   When we removed the cabinets, we found a number small, vintage items.  The kitchen was originally renovated in the 50s, so the most things we found were from the 1950s or later. 

Once all the cabinets were out, we were ready for the work to begin.  Since we knew it was going to be loud, messy and dusty, we decided to leave the house for the day and let Jeremy, our contractor do his work in peace.  Chris and I decided to take a trip to Fun Spot, in Laconia, NH, to play video games.  When we returned, later that day, the contractor had removed the plaster from the walls and had started on the ceiling.  He wisely hung drop clothes and plastic between the kitchen and the rest of the house, to help minimize the dust debris, but it was still a mess!  There was officially no backing out of the project now.