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I put this blog together during the remodel of our 1912 Arts and Crafts bungalow kitchen to share pictures, progress and commiserations with friends and family. The blog eventually became a kind of companion and record of the journey, like a long and newsy letter to a friend who wants to know every detail and appreciates the strange and wonderful adventure of having your kitchen demolished and then rebuilt.
It’s been four years and everything about the remodel has stood the test of time. We still love it, and say that out loud just about every day. We’ve had important conversations here, raised a glass to family milestones in a kitchen jammed with friends, made important decisions sitting at the table. That’s what kitchens are for, as well as for feeding and caring for the family.
There really isn’t anything we would have done differently, or wish we had more of, or less of. Maybe another recessed light in the clean-up part of the kitchen. Maybe an electrical outlet in the wall by the table. But these are not deal breakers, and if they were that important, we’d add them. But we haven’t.
The kitchen speaks for itself and has been a solid, worthwhile investment in the house and family. What lingers about the process is a continued gratefulness for being able to work with Joe Petrina and the Petrina Construction team, who took such good care of us during the process in addition to their outstanding construction work. And the patient and exacting work of architect Stephanie Tottingham, who knows that getting the space right is first about getting a feel for the family and its needs.
One note about the posts here on the blog: you can’t miss my constant companion Lucy, the Australian shepherd, the sweetest dog I’ve ever known. Whenever I was taking pictures (or, really, doing just about anything), she was right beside me, and made it into quite a few of the photos. She was my shadow, my alter-ego, our family’s escort through life. She died way too early, after a short illness in the fall of 2011, at age seven.
After construction and throughout her remaining years, Lucy staked out her favorite spot in the kitchen, right smack in the middle of things where she could keep her watchful eye on all of us.
That’s the thing about kitchens: they are where life happens.
Jeffrey got the bottom plate and floor joists in place today, helping us to better visualize the footprint of this place. Tomorrow the floor goes on and perhaps the beginnings of some of the walls. As other commenters have observed, now might be the time everything begins to looks smaller. Hmm. I’m thinking that when that gable end is extended and overhanging a couple feet west beyond the edge of foundation, it’s actually going to look bigger (and the backyard is going to look smaller).
Below is what the crawlspace looks like now…the last day of daylight on this spot. The post in the middle is a brace for the roof and will go away, leaving a pretty big space for the canoe and a few other items. Grading of this space still needed some work…it’s hard to see in the far back, but the trench excavated for the footing hadn’t been filled in. Granted it will be completely covered by vis-queen, but it’s a very uneven space. Since the time for filling is now before the lid goes on, Marie and I spent a couple hours tonight moving rocks and dirt around to fill and flatten out the grade to make the whole space more usable.
It is incredibly hot in Portland at the moment, and forecast to get hotter. The temperature in the backyard, measured under the eave up high near the top bracket where the temp sensor is, was 106 degrees. Inside the house it is 89 degrees. Quite uncomfortable. Fortunately we’ve been away camping in the woods for the last four days. But progress continues despite the heat:
July 27, 2009: Footings in. The orange chalkline marks the outer edge of the forms for the foundation walls. I’m betting the guys will get an early start tomorrow…just too hot to be back there in the afternoon. The plan is to pour the foundation walls this Friday. Joe has helped the crew plan for an opening in the foundation under the stair landing, about where the electrical comes up in this picture, so we can slide the canoe under the addition.