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First Year in the House Retrospect: Kitchen and Floor

  • Aaron F.

    I haven’t had many posts the past few days mainly because I had taken a few days off to devote my time to working on the house.  With the summer gone and the cold weather approaching, I’ve moved the focus back into the house.  Nicole and I have been in this new house for a little over a year now and the amount of work we’ve done while working full time, is pretty crazy.  This week we are finishing off (minus some molding etc) another big section of the house.  I should have pictures of the finished product sometime this weekend.  For the next few days leading up, I figured I’d post everything we’ve done this year in consecutive posts as a recap.
Looking back on this, its amazing to me still.  This kitchen was unbelievable.  It was astonishing to me that people actually lived here in the shape it was in.  There was a weird basin sin on the wall that looked like it was from 1942 and everything else was in really awful shape.  This room and the bathroom were definitely the worst rooms of the house.

This wall of the kitchen has wooden built-in cabinets.  I remember Nicole and I being torn on weather or not to keep them, but after numerous opinions from other people, it turned out that the wood used to build them was considered to be the cheapest, lowest grade, product of its time.  Combining that with the fact that it was pretty beat up, we decided to get rid of them.  Looking back on it, I’m glad that we did.

The wall on the left we decided to knock out and open up the kitchen.  The kitchen was a little cramped and with the larger appliances of today, it would have been worse.  This would make it feel less crammed and open the room up with light.

Unfortunately, like most of the house, there is no insulation.  I’ve made it a point to throw insulation in the walls at every importunity given.   You learn a lot doing this stuff and I was lucky enough to be able to work on and off with the kitchen contractor and learn even more.

Hidden behind the plaster wall was this brick chimney.  We decided to go with it and figured it would add something unique to the room.  The amount of work involved in bringing this to life made me second guess my decision. but I went with it.  About 8 hours, a chisel, wire brush, and some hydrochloric acid, I scraped and uncovered that brick like it was some ancient artifact.

When it comes to colors and decor, I step aside and let Nicole do her thing.  She spends hours looking at stuff like this and has a pretty good eye.  Basically, for most things, she will narrow it down to a few choices and then we decide.  I’m not good with most of this stuff.

These lamps, Nicole had found online.  We weren’t sure they would work when we saw them in person, but they ended up looking awesome. 

Bamboo flooring.  One lesson learned from this is that Bamboo flooring is not much cheaper then hardwood and a bigger pain in the ass to put down.  Even worse, it is not very resistant to dents and scratches.  The home improvements channels would speak about bamboo like it was this easy thing to use.  It’s totally not.  The rest of the house will NOT be bamboo.