Pembroke Kitchen

What a summer! A major plumbing malfunction occurred in July. It rained from the bathroom into the kitchen for several days before the plumbers could arrive. By then, I was tired of using the basement bathroom (think cinder blocks and cobwebs) and frustrated by the amount of damage to my kitchen ceiling and wall.

Our kitchen was dreadful to begin with. It was a visual cacophony of country apples and cheap laminated white counter tops, covered by an ancient drop ceiling, encased by 1970's era wood paneling, yet partially redeemed by a decent floor and oak cabinets. I painted the paneling in 2007 and that was the end of any desire to "quick fix",... until the 2011 Deluge.

9 June 2011

9 June 2011
The plumbers popped out ceiling tiles and tore out soggy plaster pathways to access and replace the century-old pipes. It wasn't an easy fix, especially removing the wet wall in order to remove the cast iron main stack.

Unfortunately, they extended the new pipes lower than the original ceiling. I wanted to restore to the actual ceiling height and I was a bit ticked off at the setback but there was little I could do.

Our contractor gave us a ballpark estimate in early July and then scheduled to began work towards the end of the month. Insurance would cover as much as possible, with a $500 deductible. We had a minor setback when the company's executives reviewed everything and determined that their initial estimate was too conservative for the amount of work that needed to be done. I still don't have the final bill (yes, I'm worried) but the job isn't technically finished yet.

The best part of this entire process was demolition. We saved a fair amount of money by doing it on our own. I tore my way through ancient wallpaper and cheap wood.

Old homes have wonderful discoveries in walls, and our house wasn't the exception. The downstairs laundry chute and folding ironing board niche were hidden behind a section of the paneling. Faux (pink!) bricks once adorned the lower portion of the kitchen, topped by nasty country cutesie wallpaper, circa 1970s.

24 July 2011 Laundry chute and ironing board found.

25 July 2011  Panels removed, faux brick exposed.

24 July 2011 Color choices reflective of original colors.

 I selected my color and counter top choices well before demolition began but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they were close to what was originally in the kitchen.

We are not in a financial position to install luxury items. My dream kitchen would have Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, Travertine floor tile, glass wall tile and sleek fixtures. I told Better Half early into this project that pouring gasoline into the middle of the room and tossing in a match would be a major improvement, so I'm not too concerned with a quick yet less elegant change. I'm more than happy having new laminate counters, smooth walls, no exposed pipes,  an inexpensive light and smartly painted beadboard.

The contractor, limited by what the insurance was willing to pay, was quick to agree with my decisions.  He sent in Mike the Carpenter, a friendly fellow with a good eye for details. Everything fell into place at that point.

27 July 2011 Beadboard up and pipes framed.

29 July 2011 Drywall up.
5 Aug 2011 Walls primed.

11 Aug 2011  A Zen moment for me.

The painter will (hopefully) return tomorrow to finish the trim. I'll upload final pictures once the work is completed.

I've loaded some things back into the kitchen but my dining room has suffered from the clutter. It reminds me of a hoarder house. I can't find anything.

27 July A hoarder's dining room???