Friday, August 5, 2011

Demolition Derby

Ahhhhh!!! We're officially in the kitchen remodel funnel! Well, technically we're kitchen-less at the moment and I guess technically we could make a decision: spend every free moment we have in the next two months laboring over as close to the kitchen of our dreams as our architecture and budget will allow or just live indefinitely without a kitchen...washing dishes in the basement utility sink and learning the fine art of microwave and toaster oven cooking....

Sorry, I know everyone and their mother is using instagram photo filters these days, but it's really the only way to make this whole mess of a project look semi-romantic and exciting...
Anyways, last Saturday Jean's brother-in-law and I grabbed our sledge hammers and obliterated the kitchen down to the studs and subfloor. The space feels so cool raw. Makes us just want to leave it as is except for the no sink, oven, cooktop, or countertop part.

The diagonally-laid solid wood subfloor is particularly cool...

Even our (leaky) temporary sink has some tempting rustic charm...

Wouldn't it be a shame to seal up that hidden neitherland area above the ceiling of our stairs? It's like a whole other entirely useless room in there!

We're hoping that all this roughing it will be worth it when we finally complete the project. To keep our spirits and motivation up, we have to continually refer to the sketchup model of the final space.

We're so excited to have an open kitchen that we can actually hang out in! The center island is going to awesome for prep, eating, and talking. The low seating area at the back will allow us to utilize our over abundance of dining chairs (ridiculous considering we don't have a dining room).
Framing the island is a steel structure our friend Nick at Piano Nobile is making for us to support the span. It will be powdercoated steel profiles with an incorporated rail for hanging pots and pans, plants, utensils, etc.

The kitchen will also get all new electrical and a reclaimed oak hardwood floor, new appliances, etc. So, yeah, it's going to be a long journey, but at this point we don't really have any choice. ONWARD WITH THE KITCHEN!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Dylan brings the Hammer down on some pesky concrete!

Jared, the Happy Vermonter.

Curb Appeal?

Believe it or not - this amount of progress has taken a year+ to achieve! Now we're breaking ground, buying trees, sawing timbers, and surveying our land! Huzzah!

The Goal:

1. Take out our mini-rockeries that dissolved into weedy sidewalks.

2. Replace them with a feature that will extend our landscape-able front yard and create a little distance and privacy from the sidewalk.

3. Plant some handsome trees to soften the corners of our house and screen our view of the sidewalk.

We feel SO GOOD about even getting this far. We've been joking lately about what an HGtv show starring us would look like - and this would be the bulk of the 2010 season of The Dupe:

J&D&J&C: Let's do something about the front yard! All in Favor say Aye! The Ayes have it!

J&D&J&C: Whaddowedo?

J&C: We like stone walls because we're from New England.

J&D: A friend of our made metal boxes to frame their front yard - they are really simple and modern.

C: .....metal? like, rusty metal? .......

J&D: Yeah, like in these cool pictures (indicating cool pictures)

J&C: ok... that could be cool. How much will it cost?


OK, I started writing this out, and I think it might be better summarized. Essentially we ALL got very much on board with metal boxes, and then got startled by the material cost, and then (with much debate) worked our way back to being on board with the cost, only to be startled AGAIN by the additional cost if installation. We went back to entertaining more economical ideas like landscaping timbers and "Home Depot" stone walls. J&C were rooting for stone, J&D were rooting for timbers. D&C swapped perspectives after a trip to Lowes and eventually we all landed on timbers thanks to the desire to just MAKE A DECISION!

Don't get me started on the tree buying decision, just know that we are the proud owners of 2 matching Japanese Maples - Acer Palmatum Osakazuki to be precise!

High Fives for Springtime progress!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Starting 2011 With a Big SHABANG! (through our kitchen wall)

HAPPY 2011!!!
Dylan & I started the year with a big bang.....through our wall between our kitchen & living room on New Year's Day!!

This is just PHASE 1 of only-god-knows-how-many-phases-we'll-take-to-do-our-kitchen-remodel project.
We decided that this year we're gonna actually devote some time/effort/$$ for our house that's been a little neglected....
But also we just got tired of the middle wall that divided our living room & kitchen, which made our kitchen feel too closed off since the living room & kitchen is where both of us hang out majority of the time.

So as the first step, we decided to tear some stuff out to start the project.... and also release all the stress built up from 2010!!

Here's what it looked like BEFORE looking from the living room.

Dylan specking the wall to see what's up.
We took some time to tarp everything off...which is always surprisingly time consuming and not very exciting...
But then we started to tear out the first side of the drywall!!
And since I forgot to take photos, let's fast forward past making bunch of dusty mess, making grunting & hammering noises, taking down the upper cabinets and then tearing out the other side of the wall ....
TA-DA...we went through the wall!

Along the way I had to take this photo of this awesome texture, which was previously our 70's mauve colored tiled back splash wall....

Then we noticed that there's a mysterious half beam on the left side....yes, we just opened a whole can of worms.... This is gonna be an interesting challenge....

But here's what it looks like AFTER!
I know!...NOT that impressive looking at all!
Just to warn you, there's gonna be a whole lot of BEFORE/AFTER photos of stuff like this where the 'after' photos are just gonna look worse than before since it's probably just gonna be things getting torn up more and more....but hopefully that will change where the 'after' photos will get better as we get to do more exciting things.
But at least now you can see the whole kitchen from the living room!
The best part is that there's tons of light coming from the living room now, which is totally great!
I'm totally stoked about it even with just this raw-open wall. :D

Now we need to go figure out what to do with that weird half-beam....