Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Guest Bath Construction

By the middle of last week, the center of the house was a disaster. 

The portion of the original floor under the closets was, I believe, the original staircase to the basement (under the second staircase).  The joists that filled in that space were really insufficient for a bathroom so everything got ripped out and replaced.  New engineered joists were sistered alongside a few of the other old joists  just to better carry the weight of a tub full of water. 

By the end of the week, I would get up in the morning, go out my front door, down the sidewalk to the little alleyway, through the arbor and in the back door to take a shower.  The blogarazzi missed their chance to catch me walking down the alley in my PJs and bedhead.  This little charade prevented a battle with the cats who hate the temporary door being closed and sit nearby on high alert waiting for a chance to escape and roll around in the dusty mess.  

But things are looking a little better now.  I did a major cleaning on Friday night so I could use the kitchen for the weekend. 

Here's one side of the kitchen before.

And here's we are as of Sunday.  I had to push the stove down about an inch but I was able to squeeze the dishwasher right into place.   

The center table which is much-needed work space is about a foot too big and I'm going to have to find a solution until I can get to (afford) redoing the kitchen.


Here's the "before" of door on the kitchen-dining room wall.

And here's what that looks like now.  There's a sight line all the way down to the front windows in the living room which I what I love about the upstairs.  A few of you had some suggestions when you saw the floor plans and I'm really considering implementing those ideas.  You are all SO smart!

Here is the view from the living room looking back to the kitchen before.

And here it is now.  The door to the bathroom foyer is on the right.  I can't wait to get that window in there.  Having light come in from both sides of the house will be amazing.

When I first saw what this looked like, I totally freaked out.  I put in an emergency e-mail to The Architects.  Like they could fix it.  I've calmed down a bit and I'm actually liking it.  It's a good thing because I haven't heard back from the slackers.

This was the view looking in to the kitchen before.

I've always detested those double doors but the view is less dated than having to see that sink area from the living room.  In the end, this will look straight down a new kitchen island to the range and range hood which I hope to be a very attractive one.  Flanking that will be glass fronted cabinets with all my nicest serving peices.  It should look great.

Hoping to finish up this messy work so I can take a break in the work for the summer. 


  1. Steve,
    I know you have lots of big plans for the kitchen, but I have to say I already like it better. And the sightline to the front window is wonderful! I may have missed this somewhere in one of your posts, but I'm wondering - do you do any of the work yourself? It seems (to me, probably not to you!)like everything gets done so FAST at your place!

  2. Karin,
    I don't do any of the construction type stuff. I'll sand a floor or install tile, and of course paint and wallpaper, but that's about it.

    Sam is in the middle of a big project and is waiting on kitchen cabinets so he and another guy are really putting in a lot of hours to get this little phase done.

  3. oh you are one of those that does the panic call to the architect. designer or whoever when things first start to happen in a reno. It always happens on every big job. I always have to talk people down until they get used to the new feel of their home....but now i think i will just ignore them.

    it is going to look fabulous......

  4. Yikes, Raz, I didn't think I was but maybe you're right! I'm usually pretty good about visualizing a space just by looking at a floor plan. I think it was the plastic that was taped up that made the house look like one big hallway. Or maybe I'm just a drama queen.

  5. I am alerting "Architectural Digest" immediately. Your cottage is going to look stunning on the cover.

    The enfilade is such a classic move. Bleinheim Palace, if you look it up on wiki, has 9 rooms with all doorways aligned, the National Gallery, London has 15. But who's counting.

    If you quit for the summer all of us who depend on your bright spirit will be taking up a collection to keep you in business. Love your house. Ann

  6. It's looking great. What part did you freak out about???

  7. I've looked at your 'before and after' posts and it's amazing to see the progress you've achieved so far. I'm on the same situation of converting my little 1953 house to a more 'me' style. It's very rewarding for me to see all the small transformations/renovations I'm able to do as my budget allows. I love what you've done!

  8. hey steve,

    i love it, love it, love it. what an improvement. i'm usually all about leaving things be and making them work but this is just really great. i think the best part will be getting sun from both sides now.

  9. Ann,
    I never even thought about it being an enfilade. It's genius!

  10. Excellent site lines Steve and progress. As noted, congratulations on your enfilade. Now I want Architects. xo Terri

  11. Oh those sight lines are fabulous...and that hall wall is perfect for a gallery. :)

  12. It looks great. You made me laugh at your morning routine to shower. Have a great day!

  13. Love the straight site line through the house. I can't wait to see what you'll do with the bathroom and then the kitchen. I know they both will be great just like the rest of your house. What big projects! I'd love to be your neighbor and watch you going out and around to get to your morning shower. Too funny!

  14. Pretty excited guest bathroom will be done for the summer and you'll be taking a break.

    When shall we come?

    I'm the kind of visual person who has to see things up close and personal, so while I think it looks fantastic.....I might need a closer look.

    xo jane

  15. love, love, love it all!!! but, question- what part were you freaking out about?? the view into the kitchen?!
    and, kudos to you for living in the house while this is all going on;)


  16. Well, I had to look at your blog seeing An Urban Cottage amongst the commentors on A Fisherman's Cottage, and so glad I did. I love the exterior of your house. You have some interesting architecture in the States, different in many instances and ways to our own, and houses and how people live in them, is something that interests me.
    As for the work in progres.. having lived in old houses that need lots of TLC (not to mention help!) I know only too well that feeling of dust everywhere, 'will it ever look right?', and the sheer joy when the workmen have gone, the house is one's own again to play with and get right. Though always being tweaked in my case!
    Good feng shui, if you are into that kind of thing, with that long view through rooms etc., good flow.I may just have to call back again sometime, if that's OK with you?
    Be happy.

  17. Isn't it amazing what makes us happy living during a renovation! I remember it well! How will you decorate the bath? Mini claw-foot, subway, mini black & white hex tile on the floor? Combo tub/shower with Carrera marble? Sorry, my imagination is running amok! Love all your progress!

  18. Geez, once again I am flabbergasted by the speed at which you get things done!

    I love the new open feeling though the house into the kitchen and can just picture exactly how that gorgeous stove and hood will look as you walk into the house. There is something beautiful about seeing a hearth as you walk into a home.

    Thanks for the TSP tip. I found an article on This Old House about painting kitchen cabinets which also recommends its use.


  19. so you now have an "enfilade" in your urban cottage! I love it.

  20. It's the most organized and clean construction site I've ever seen...
    which is really no surprised now that I think about it!