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July 14, 2009 at 8:14 AM

This old house: Kitchen remodel already driving me to drink

And so it’s begun: the kitchen remodel. What I failed to tell you when last I wrote about this upcoming event is that there’s more to my remodel than met your eye. In addition to the total kitchen blowout, we’re looking at gutting two old bathrooms and rebuilding one; putting a (presently non-existent) bath on the second floor; and eventually pulling up old berber carpet (used as a “bathroom” more than a few times by our dear old dogs) in order to refinish the scarred wood flooring below it. All the very old single-pane windows downstairs, plus a few upstairs, will be replaced. And happy day! Our contractor showed up yesterday to turn our backyard into a ditch: the better to re-jigger the old sewer line. That’s when he told us we needed to finish clearing out our dining-room-disguised-as-a-pantry ASAP so he might pull up the floor.

The “dining room” used as a pantry (left), now awaiting the ax (right).

A mess? Yes. And that’s just the beginning. (Note: we’re trying to “save” our beloved camelia, but it doesn’t look promising. Keep your fingers crossed.)

Needless to say, we’ve been busy the past two weeks, attempting to prepare for a temporary move — and trying to find the time to make final decisions regarding things like sinks, appliances, cabinetry and wall colors while not spending enormous sums of money. And yes, Mac and I already had one big fight. Not about the cooktop vs. range, maple vs. cherry or gold tones vs. yellow, but about whether we need cable in the rental across the street. Which (thank God and the landlord — our neighbor Shirley) is likely to save us from the divorce proceedings many folks suggest are imminent when it comes to couples and home remodels.

But who’s complaining? The remodel has offered us the opportunity to purge our home of years worth of (cough) “collectibles” and to clear-out cupboards and cabinets filled with a plethora of pastas and legumes, ancient grains, little used pots and pans and booze I didn’t even know I had. The latter included the last dregs of a bottle of 1997 DeLille Cellars marc, half-bottles of who-knows-how-old-it-is Tia Maria, B&B and Drambuie, plus two Grolsch bottles topped off with the homemade blackberry cordial I made (pick berries, wash, add vodka) before Nate was born (need I mention he turned 11 late last month?).

Anyway, you can expect to hear from me regarding the nitty-gritty and nuts and bolts of redoing my kitchen in the months to come. Meanwhile, I’m trying hard not to let this exciting exercise drive me to drink before it’s even truly begun. But I’ve got to tell you: it ain’t easy.

Comments | More in | Topics: Kitchen Remodel


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