Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Kitchen Update

I feel good.  It's almost Thanksgiving, I have no kitchen and
it's all okay.  When I started the kitchen renovation, everyone
wanted to know if it would be done for Thanksgiving.  I had a
good idea that it wouldn't be, and I prepared everyone that
usually comes for Thanksgiving dinner that it just wasn't going
to happen this year.  We made dinner reservations months ago.

So instead of planning what would go in this year's stuffing, when
I'd get my shopping done, how long the turkey would take and what
time dinner would be ready, I'm able just to sit back and enjoy it.

No complaining here.

Things continue to move along.  The door between my dining room
and the new kitchen has been sealed up to keep the dust out of the house.
I couldn't wait to get that door open to see the new space from my usual
perspective.  Adding the pantry and old bathroom into the space added
only four feet to the kitchen but it feels much more than that.  

The new pine plank ceiling is installed.

...the walls are all closed up and the window and door casings are in.

Next comes the floor.

A new window has been installed in the dining room that overlooks the porch...

...and a window that has been covered up for at least 70 years has been restored.

When I first saw the house, it seemed odd to me there was only one
upstairs window on the driveway side of the house.  So without any plan
for what I would do if and when I found evidence of an old window, I
started ripping out closets and walls before I even moved in to the house.

Not only did I find a window, I found evidence of an old, very steep
staircase that went up to the back bedroom.  It seemed odd for such a
small house to have a second staircase.  It wouldn't have been a house
for a family with the means to afford a maid.  I later found in various
census records the family occupying the house had a tenant, probably
to help pay the mortgage.

Note the little bits of old wallpaper on the walls and a board that was
up inside the ceiling.  I would guess it's from the late 1800s.

The area where this old staircase was, along with a few feet of the 
dining room, became the new bathroom.

And finally, just outside the new bathroom door, the window has been
restored and brings light to what was a black hole in the house.

This view is from standing in the new bathroom looking toward the
basement door.  I believe the basement door is one of only a few that
are original to the house.  It's 5 feet, 9 inches high.   Adorable.

Work will stop for a little bit waiting for the floor people to
come in and while the kitchen cabinet plans are being finalized.
So I had a little bit of time to set up a little Thanksgiving
vignette.  I don't usually decorate for Thanksgiving but no
dinner planning or cooking to do, I had a little time to play.

With all the mess in the house, I probably won't be doing any
Christmas decorating in the house but I added a beautiful metallic
linen pillow that my friend Carol from 6Wilson made and monogrammed
for me.  It's kind of a mushroom toned metallic that will add a 
subtle bit of bling for the holidays.  You can check them out here.

I have a great deal to be thankful for this year.  My family and
friends are all healthy and happy, I'm getting the kitchen of my 
dreams and I have you that eagerly check in and leave your
thoughtful comments that keep me going.  You're all the best!

To all my American friends, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving.
To the rest of you, I wish you the happiest of holidays.
See you on the other side.


  1. The kitchen is coming along, I love the ceiling, doors and that new window! Can't wait to see everything done. Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. So excited to see the final project - can't wait!!! I'll be doing a kitchen reno in Newport next year so I am going to be drawing inspiration from YOU!! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. What a lovely attitude. Most aren't so gracious in the midst of renovations...

    Have a peaceful Thanksgiving.

  4. Well it is all coming along beautifully. So much to be thankful for. Love that little basement door.

  5. Love the ceiling. And the new window(s). Glad you didn't try to paint today, you'd be frozen to the french doors while the cats looked out demanding food.

    Reservations. What a great thing to make for Thanksgiving dinner! I'm making brussel sprouts.

    xo J

  6. I don't think you could have timed things better — it sounds as though you are due for a Thanksgiving change of pace. Dining out during a renovation is exactly how you should treat yourself. And I would be deleriously happy if I could add four feet to my dining room! Happy Thanksgiving, Steve!

  7. Love your house. You are making progress. Can't wait to see the end result.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family and friends.

    Shirley - Atlanta, GA

  8. I am so excited for your progress Steve! It is gorgeous, and I love all the new light and restored windows. I love a renovation. Thanksgiving will mean so much NEXT year when you host it in your new space. Love the exterior color. I hope the weather stays nice enough to finish that paint job! I hear this week it may be nasty your way. Bless you this holiday and have a great gathering. xo Nancy

  9. Looking at your house as you first saw it stuns me that you were able to see the diamond that it could become. You have such incredible vision.
    It's exciting to see the ceiling! I can't hardly wait to see your finished kitchen.
    I love that pillow. Monograms are so classic and nice bling.
    But I don't really believe you when you say that you won't be doing any Christmas decorating.
    It just wouldn't seem like the Holiday without you fretting over and finishing a fabulous tree. LOL!
    Have a nice relaxing Thanksgiving!

  10. Oh, Thanksgiving reservation IS all coming around. HOw fun will the finale be? Say I, from afar. Give thanks.....I know you are.

  11. That ceiling is to die for! And I'm so glad you added the window back. Restoring is so much better than renovating, no? I'm sad to hear no Christmas decor this was so lovely last year! Enjoy your Thanksgiving off!

  12. Kitchen progress and no dishes to wash--sounds good to me!

    Maybe a little tree on your porch?

  13. LOVE the ceiling...and reservations are so worth it during a reno with a holiday thrown in :)

    It amazes me that anyone would cover a window! Um, especially in a northern area-just makes no sense.

    I've said it before, but again, I just know your house is smiling as you update her look. That will be one happy house when all is said and done!

  14. We, too, are doing renovations, and our kitchen will not be done for 2-3 weeks. I admit, I am glad not to be shopping, planning, pre-cooking etc. etc.! Happy Thanksgiving to you too! Your home is looking great! (I hear you about the dust!)

  15. Now why would they have boarded up that window. Perhaps they didn't want anyone to see their tenant! How very Anne Franke. Watching your house being revealed is like watching a lovely present being unwrapped. I just can't wait to see what you get!

  16. I was happy to see an update. Love the ceiling in the kitchen. I can't wait to see the antique cabinets in place.

  17. Happy Thanksgiving SDF. Looks like there will be a lot to celebrate before too much longer! And nice to have a day off cooking, I'd say. What I love most about this post is the restored window. It must be amazing to have all that light in the hall, and so cool to bring back something from the past. Your house has a serious story. Wow. Do you have any ghosts, by the way? And the new window in the dining room! It must be so light and airy in there now. Covetously, Terri xo

  18. Hi Steve,
    Your cottage is shaping up beautifully! It is wonderful that you discovered the window and restored it. Many times I think Thanksgiving dinner out would not be such a bad idea!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    The Arts by Karena

  19. I adore that ceiling. everything else looks pretty swell, too.

    happy thanksgiving, steve.


  20. I agree with the comment about your ability to see this diamond in the rough. The kitchen will be one we all will faint over, i'msure, fir all the thought and detail youput into everything. Have the loveliest Thanksgiving, my friend!

  21. The ceiling is absolutely perfect!! This space is going to be wonderful and I love that you're using the old store counter for cabinets. It's going to be so unique and stunning. Have a great Thanksgiving dinner out - thinking that will be very fun.

  22. I have an idea as to where you are coming from! My mother has volunteered my house for Thanksgiving and instead of the 'Norman Rockwell' I was hoping it would be, I am fairly certain this is going to be a Griswold Family Gathering... *deep sigh* The kitchen dry wall looks like it's coming along nicely! Any decision on cabinets yet?! Have a good Thanksgiving!

  23. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well Steve. It's really coming along. Will it be ready for Christmas dinner or will that be another reservation at a nice restaurant? Great idea on uncovering the window. Who would do that?

    I'm thinking I'd be pulling up a chair in the unfinished kitchen just looking around, marveling at the work, thinking about the joys and great smells it will bring with friends and family gatherings and all the fantastic meals and finished bottles of wine. It is going to be very cool.

  24. It will be sad not to see one of your amazing trees this year. But I for one, really can't wait to see more updates of your fantastic kitchen, keep them coming!
    Are your cats enjoying the new window?
    I agree with Nita, I love the kitchen ceiling also.
    Wishing you have a Happy Thanksgiving as well!

  25. The window, oh my goodness the new window, what a joy light is. I have been seeking the sunshine ever since moving to the East Coast 35 years ago. I have invested heavily in glass curtain walls in two different houses to increase the light where ever possible. Now that you have that window I feel better. Nice pillow. Thanksgiving greetings to you. Ann

  26. Happy Thanksgiving Steve! As always, just lovely all around!

  27. Cool ceiling, Steve! Very interesting about the old staircase - I love uncovering a home's history. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! Cheers, Loi

  28. PS - Love your vignette: simple and soulful!

  29. and to you steve, wishes for a splendid thanksgiving!
    thank YOU for such inspiring posts to keep coming back to again and again

  30. Love the restored window. Looks like everything is coming together nicely. Happy thanksgiving!

  31. We finished remodeling the Kitchen in our 1884 Victorian about 6 months ago. I am so wishing we had added wood to the ceiling when we had the chance. Your Kitchen is going to be fabulous. Can't wait to see it. Happy Thanksgiving.

  32. Steve, I love the ceiling in your kitchen! This room will be stunning with that planked ceiling, those beautiful cabinets you are making from your antique store cabinet, and the wood floors! What did you decide about the paint color for the cabinets? And the final decisions on lights? I can't wait to see it all come together! The addition of the window is wonderful!
    Reservations for Thanksgiving sounds dreamy!! Wishing you a wonderful holiday!

  33. So much to be thankful about....I'm thankful for finished! You'll soon be there! EnJOY your day. franki

  34. It's coming are one patient dude! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving....don't eat too much.

  35. Everything is coming along so nicely! Like everyone else, I love the kitchen ceiling and the new window in the hall. What an interesting story behind the staircase. Can you imagine being the tenant who had to climb such a narrow, steep staircase every day?

    Happy Thanksgiving, Steve!

  36. It is really going to be nice. I, too, love the ceiling and can't wait to see the finish. Everything you do is so wonderfully thought out. Have a great Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

  37. I LOVE the mis-matched window in the will really lend itself to your unique, individual look!!!!!
    If you listen quietly you can hear turkeys all over the land applauding delayed kitchen renovations............congrats on doing your part!!!!!
    Have a GREAT restaurant Thanksgiving Day!!!!!

    All the best,


  38. Happy Thanksgiving to you Steve. So you get a break, sometimes it is sooooo needed. The work is coming along nicely and looking beautiful. I don't believe you about Christmas, though :)

  39. A ceiling to die for! It all looks so good. Happy Thanksgiving and, i'll wait to see if you really dial back the holiday decorating ....

  40. Hi Steve, Everything about your renovation/restoration looks marvelous. I can't wait to see what you do with that fabulous antique store counter you found! Have a great Thanksgiving - we all have so much to be thankful for!
    Best & blessings to you - Ruth

  41. This is really exciting to see. So much work has been done. The finished reveal will be a blog post to remember, can't wait!!!!! xo

  42. WHAT - no decorated tree this Christmas. Get away with you! I can see it now, some ghostly magnificence set in the centre of your fine new room - go on, you know you want to do it!
    Trust you had a wonderful, and relaxing, Thanksgiving.

  43. Steve,
    Love that ceiling. And adding four feet, that's huge! I mean I know its not really, but I try to imagine taking away four feet of my kitchen and no... Love the restored window too. Must be so nice to have light where you did not before. I'm enjoying the progress on instagram too.

  44. Its coming along nicely...I love the ceiling you put in...its going to look great!

  45. Hi Steve
    I'm a little late to the party! Your progress looks amazing...4 extra feet can make such a huge difference in how functional your kitchen the light the restored window brings into the house and I LOVE the ceiling...are you staining it or painting it...what did you decide on for the floor?

  46. I'm so enjoying your renovation Steve. You have such a cool house. Love reading about all the details. Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving!