Living without a kitchen for several weeks will be challenging. But preparing for the experience has been friggin' exhausting. Let's hear it for ripe tomatoes.
After clearing out and storing all our non-essential paraphernalia -- why do we own so much stuff? -- I turned my awesome organizational skills toward setting up the field kitchen downstairs. The main expanse is normally my studio work table. Before I retired, it functioned as my office desk, easily accomodating a computer, printer, and flatbed scanner, with plenty of room left over. Now the microwave, toaster and toaster oven are at one end, the cutting board and general prep area at the other. Desk, you have served us well.
Elsewhere in the finished basement, we set up a breakfast cart, bar, and -- in a corner that's always been underutilized -- a gracious dining room:
Upstairs, in our so-called dressing room -- which doubles as a cat-art gallery and triples as my yoga space -- we established the animal feeding and treat station. Their accustomed bowls are arrayed around the perimeter of the room. In the morning the cats come in and stretch with me.
The official start of the job was marked by the arrival, mid-yesterday, of the dumpster and porta-potty:
Steve spent several hours digging through heavy clay to prepare the foundation for the new deck supports. China Rose conducted the pre-inspection:
I'm hoping my Marathon conifer, which is now over six feet tall, survives the framing and other outside work. Perhaps my festive pink ribbon will protect it:
As soon as Steve's truck pulled into the driveway this morning, Jerry and I began unloading the refrigerator. Steve and a helper then carried it to the garage, where it'll live for the duration. (That's the dishwasher, which we'll reinstall, behind it in the photo). I carted essential foodstuffs -- I love that word -- to the smaller fridge that lives downstairs, conveniently adjacent to our temporary kitchen, and shlepped items we probably won't be using for a while -- pancake syrup, whole wheat flour, exotic seeds and grains -- to the one in the garage. This sort of logistical triage is every bit as tiring as the multiple trips up and down stairs.
So much for prep; on to the remodel itself. How's that going? Well before noon, the old cabinets and some other fixtures were in the garage, awaiting pickup by the Rebuilding Center.
I forgot to post a "before" picture earlier of the beam that runs east-west through the kitchen, a remnant of an earlier remodel. The original owners of our house sacrificed a portion of their kitchen deck -- sort of similar to what we're doing -- and bumped out to create a dining area. The beam will go, and the ceiling will be raised to match the height of the rest of the room. This alteration, which we wouldn't have imagined was possible -- and thanks to Jack Barnes, our architect, for pointing out the potential -- is going to make a huge difference.
Note the darker yellow paint splotches on the wall. It would never have occured to me to paint the kitchen yellow -- I'm a blue-green person and still somewhat averse to red and orange in my personal environment -- but the people we bought the house from thought differently. Combined with the bright green floor, it made me smile every time I walked into the room, especially during our grim, gray winters. So we're sticking with yellow walls, though a darker shade to harmonize better with the new floor, cabinet and countertop colors.
Jer and I snuck into the construction zone while the guys were on lunch break. We're already down to the walls. The first photo was the stove area, the second one the sink. Amazing.