Old House New Ideas

MoccasinFebruary 18, 2014

A couple of years back I started planning changes to our cottage kitchen. It sort of morphed into several other changes along the way, including a sitting area to the master bedroom, a new entry, an addition to the 8x12 kitchen, reshaping the back deck, and adding an outdoor shower. Include in this a whole house flooring replacement to ash hardwood. Also, a new roof in architectural shingles to include the sunporch roof being standing seam metal. I mean, I cannot give up the sound of rain on the roof ENTIRELY.

We already restored the decrepit cement block garage to become my Teahouse studio, so that is our temp storage spot while the remodel is in progress. We'll be redoing electrical, gas, and plumbing to meet current hurricane building standards. And just about this Saturday, there will be plans ready for issuing a building permit. That is BIG NEWS for me. It will probably avoid a DIVORCE at our house as well!

Since I cannot post the architectural drawings, I have the pencil drawings for different elevations of the remodel. Pretty details are not included here....things like the book shelves in several rooms, or storage builtins. What we can do ourself will be pulled out of the contractor's work and done by ourselves as time permits. I still love to paint, so I will be doing some of that.

So I'll be uploading a few of the recent drawings of the old and new space. NEW space is something like 9' deep by about 29' wide. Fourteen feet of width of the is in the kitchen. The rest is a sitting area added to the master, with a 2' deep full room-width closet at the far end, to supplement the walk-in closet. The entire back wall of this new space will be picture windows and 2 exterior doors opening onto a full width 8' deep deck, with a view of our back garden. I have my hosta garden back there. And, we love to garden. So there will be an outdoor shower at one end of the deck. I LOVE an outdoor shower!

Anyway, without further ado, the first pencil drawing. Hope you can blow it up to view the detail. My advice to anyone who thinks you'll never realize your dream, is to not give up. Eventually you will reach resolution.

So here is the latest for White Dove Cottage, a white stucco cottage built in 1950 in Mobile Alabama between Mobile Bay and Dog River, south of I-10 and in hurricane zone.

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Exciting! How long do you anticipate the renovation to last? M

Best of luck!!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 1:43PM
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So wonderful to see your plans!!! Is that the cooktop in the middle of the other area? I really like all the windows! What a beautiful view you'll have of your garden...and the deck sounds fantastic. And the outdoor shower...what a great addition. I'm looking forward to seeing all your progress :)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:10PM
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Hi Lass.....the cooking side of the kitchen is on the north. I'll include the north elevation here, and then what I call the West elevation in the next post.

I have all of my flooring and a new undercounter 2 drawer GE fridge out in my Teahouse. AND my 24" Bertazzoni gas range is out there too. Plus lighting fixtures, stainless steel open shelving for either side of the range, no upper cabs on that side.

Basically, the kitchen is a galley style. Only the cooking/north side has a short 42" bar at the left/dining room end, and at the other end, a Teed-up run of base cabs which face the glass back wall. I can use about 4' of that 7' long counter top from the cooking side as well.

Countertops beside the range will be stainless steel. The bartop, the 7' working top at the other end, and the sink-southside countertops will all be quartz Silestone 'Stellar Snow'....the same material my DH put in his cape up in Massachusetts (it is great to work on and it is pretty).

I plan to have the existing m/wave under the counter to left of range. The entire space on the NORTH wall is 8' which I'm keeping as the footprint of the OLD kitchen. Both front and back walls (East/West) existing walls will be mostly gone, leaving only reinforced headers at the top all across the room, with some wall stubs (as short as possible, even if it means I must use a post midwall to carry part of the load. I figure the posts will give the illusion of a cooking alcove, which will keep traffic away from the cook space, and any accidents will be minimal. Or so I hope. And the bar will let someone kibitz with the cook, or the adjacent counter space (like a peninsula) will accommodate an assistant out of MY WAY. (The assistant probably DH, we don't have many guests.)

If you recall, I trashed the 30" electrical range some time ago, like maybe FOUR YEARS AGO. Since then I've cooked on a 2burner Waring Pro catering hotplate, a m/w/convection Sharp oven, an electric fry pan, a rice cooker, a 6 qt slow cooker, and my latest favorite thing, a Breville Smart Convection Toaster Oven....which is the cat's meow! Love it. My Bertazzoni has a convection oven too, but not in use at this time of course.

Okay, here's the NORTH ELEVATION...which extends to the arched doorway in the dining room. I'm planning to hang a Vizio LED TV on the wall adjacent to the arched doorway, with a swivel mount if I want to watch while cooking. Otherwise, anyone on the window seat can watch. I'm removing the TV from above the living room fireplace, since it really has no place being in a room we use for chatting quietly with our visitors. I'm also putting bifold french doors on the doorway into the living room, because THAT ROOM will be our GUEST ROOM.....perhaps with a Murphy bed built into the storage/shelving along its north wall. One major project in the living room is adding an entryway, which requires changing the front door and the roofline facing the street, to the west. So when that is done, I can stand in the entryway and see all the way through the house and the deck out to our back garden.. But someone at the door cannot see anything but perhaps the entry, until they step inside. That change really makes me feel good, and more private. All new flooring will be 5.25" Bellawood Ash Select, which is very light toned. I do not like dark floors. As our eyes grow older, I need lightness all around me.

So thanks for checking out the plans.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 2:58PM
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Maybe I put up the wrong thing, cause I don't see the m/wave on the bottom half between the bar and the range.

But note the door which leads to our master sitting area is a surface mounted 36: wide cypress door (salvaged from our river house destroyed by Hurricane Katrina) and it will be mounted with barn door hardware.

Here is the third scan of my pencil drawings, hope this one is the north elevation alone....but.....

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 3:04PM
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Do you have an 'overhead' view, like a blueprint? That might make it easier to follow :)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 3:24PM
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And now the WEST ELEVATION, which shows the base cabs looking toward the cooking side. This space is probably my favorite spot in the entire plan. It is the longest and widest part of my work space. I will have the GE undercounter fridge in the lineup. On one side I'll have a narrow cab to store some stuff like my rolling pin and baking tools. On the other side of the little fridge will be the popup mixer stand with the KitchenAid 6qt mixer cause I cannot lift it myself. And then next to that will be a cab for most of my mixing bowls and baking supplies. This end of the 7' work space will be accessible from the cooking alcove. The counter at this end will be wider than the 24-25" to cover the gap created by the wall stub, making this at least 30" deep because it was an exterior wall. Standing there at the counter facing west, I take a few steps to my left and there is the big Whirlpool side-by-side fridge.....which will have the 18" tall pantry to the left of it, and the 18" base cab/tambour door covered small appliance garage for other tools.

I plan to hang my oval pot rack from the ceiling above the peninsula so I can use it from either side, prep side or cooking side. Plus, any space left on the 9' wide wall with my barn door will have pegboard for other gadgets and smaller cookware/bakeware/etc just like Julia Childs had in HER kitchen. I am a big fan of good ole Julia and studied her kitchen details, adapting ideas where I find them useful.
My sweet little Breville Smart Convection oven will not be on the countertop but on a wooden shelf approximately over the GE fridge. It will have wrought iron brackets which are extremely heavy duty and are salvaged from our old house. Another similar pair of these brackets will be used to hold up the bar.....both will be painted white.

Colors? Well, I consider stainless steel to be gray, and the Stellar Snow has flecks of gray in the white, which reads as a soft gray mix. My appliances are stainless, so is the sink, so are the counters beside the range, so are the shelves either side of the range hood. My cabs will be white. The knobs/drawer pulls will be stainless or polished nickel. I see some subway tile on the sink side, but the dining room and kitchen walls will be a Behr soft yellow (they discontinued my favorite yellow, THREADED GOLD, but I will have them mix it. It is a soft yellow ochre, very earthy and not harsh like egg yolk, and not chrome yellowish either. So the color scheme is white/gray/yellow with green plants and some orange now and then. (I like the LeCreuset Flame cookware, but only have a couple of pieces).

The addition will have beadboard walls and white painted ceilings. Not much wall space will be exposed there however, because the new part along the south exposure is to be totally covered with the stacking w/dryer, the tall pantry, the tall fridge, and the tall appliance cab.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 3:40PM
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Nashvillebuild......sorry I missed your question of how long I expect it to last.......sigh....considering I am tired of all the waiting, any length of time will be too long!

But perhaps if the gen contractor has all his crews available, I'd say 6 weeks perhaps 7......I'm not able to judge yet. But, it will require some demolition of our old back porch which has stucco 3 walls, the old deck, three walls within the house (2 of those walls being external walls), rerouting and upgrading electrical service and putting the line underground, installing a transfer switch for our generator for emergency power. Upgrading the gas service and relocating the gas meter to the front, with a larger capacity line for a gas stove, and tankless gas waterheater. Perhaps replacing incoming water supply and sewer line so the insurance company will give us a cheaper homeowners insurance rate.....meeting building codes for hurricane winds, a new entry constructed, a deck with the synthetic wood (I forget what it's called but it need no maintenance). Plus, with a couple of exceptions the installation of all new hardwood flooring, with new high baseboards. Plus I'm wanting a power line w/ breaker box run to my cement block "Teahouse" where I will have my 3 parrots, my winter sanctuary for tropical plants, my studio with painting and computer and sewing.

So if he comes in with 7 weeks, or 9 weeks, I'll be happy to have it done and over with. We've used this general contractor on the last two successful projects, but my DH ended up finishing the detail work. This time, I want it turn key DONE, because DH is so slow, and he gets grouchy and I don't want to deal with his attitude.....I do not intend to argue with him, and that can make life difficult when it happens. At least the contractor will TRY to do what I ask, or else tell me why it won't work without getting emotional about it. Which is why I enjoy working with him.

Let's hope the building permit is issued by the end of February, that gives us March and April, before the weather gets so hot and hurricane season arrives. Many contractors are busy these days, because Airbus construction is giving impetus to a boom here in Mobile. About time, I'd say. The economy sure can use some boosting.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 4:22PM
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Sounds like some amazing things you are planning. BTW- You had me at "outdoor shower."

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:52PM
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