On the other side of the kitchen was (notice the past tense) a room with lovely views of the front garden and park through the bay window. As it had a built in nook in the wall that is shared with the kitchen, Ben saw this as being a perfect spot to hang a flat screen TV. Add a couple well placed comfy Lazy Boys and voila! A family room is born. This room is situated on the south facing side of the house, so from sunrise to mid afternoon, it continues to enjoy bright light all day long.
The kitchen on the other hand, which sits behind this room and faces north – was dark and unwelcoming. This large yet claustrophobic space was screaming for a gigantic gulp of fresh air. Simply solved: the “TV” wall had to go. Ben resisted, both realtors were unsure, but I remained adamant. The heart of the house would not pump freely until these rooms were united as one! Yes, way dramatic, but hey, I got my way!
As soon as the barrier began to be removed, you could almost hear the entire house take a gigantic deep breath. In an instant, the kitchen had gone from 2 windows to 6 and the light poured in.
My evil plan was that there would be a half wall and kitchen bar between the two rooms. This would provide a space for cabinets and the sink, while also making a wonderful place to hang with the kids while they did their homework, or entertain friends while preparing a meal. Best of all, Ben loved how it was shaping up too. Removing so much wall did require a mega beam to be installed, with supports that extend into the basement foundation.
Probably the absolute coolest two finds during this phase of the renovation were the original floor joists – 225 year old tree trunks complete with bark – and also the signature found behind one of the old wall cabinets of the last person to renovate the home’s kitchen, Mr. Joe Marsh on Aug 10th 1965. Fifty-four years between kitchen renovations sounds about right!
We had hoped to find an old hardwood floor under the dated linoleum, but alas, it was a mishmash of God Help Us! Because the floor was so uneven, and we wanted to lay new hardwood to tie in with the now front kitchen (aka “the Honey a TV room is a terrible idea”), we decided to tear up the mess and our contractor lay an all new subfloor. He also sistered up a number of the tree trunk floor joists to provide additional support. Day by day, the transformation of the space was incredible.
Just wait until the cabinets and countertops go in! Next time, my friends. I think Mr. Marsh will approve.