Kitchen Renovation:Day 2

Caitlin Lissauer’s sketches

So, our kitchen in our little 1930’s craftsmen cottage in Savannah, Georgia. Looks charming from afar, but up close: let’s just say that giant hole in the ceiling is one of the many mysterious and über gross “blackheads” that appears when you get a closer look.

The beams, like the countertops, were made to look like old reclaimed wood- in truth, every appearance of what could have been classic rustic cottage was barely held together garbage. Most of the beams were not only held together by tiny finishing nails, but were barely attached to anything at all! They were sticky, dusty, sagging SPACE WASTERS, and had to go. About 16″ of ceiling was taken up by these, which also had been used to conceal the multitude of cracked, punctured and split plaster walls and ceiling. Yuck. 

Our cottage is tiny, and no room more so than the kitchen, which shows a perfect example of a point I harp on about CONSTANTLY- the majority of homes contain the #1 over-priced fixture and #1 waste of space: UPPER CABINETS! Placed too high above the counters with a solid 2 feet of empty space above; their bulk consumes the space without making use of it. Like most cabinets, they are pressed wood (cheap garbage), a substance far heavier than hardwood, and mounted so all that weight of crammed kitchen stuff pulls on the walls (which they are only attached to in a handful of screws). So, like the beams, they also have to go- and will be replaced with simple, next to free, lovely open shelves.
And the cafe shutters from the 1980s? Sorry folks- with broken louvers, fixed positions and little natural light to begin with- like the beams, they were disguised dust collectors, stealers of needed space and light, and concealers of deeper issues. OUT!  

In one night, we were able to remove EVERYTHING that was exposed on counters, cabinets, etc (to protect our food and dishes), take down the beams, patch the ceiling holes, remove the shutters, and start on the upper cabinets- a total of 3 hours. 

It is day 2 today, and cabinet removal, deep cleaning of all surfaces to prep for paint, and repairing the surfaces (like the rotted and split countertop, backsplash, walls and ceiling) are first on the docket. 

How I will repair the countertops and backsplash is still undecided- but don’t you worry- my solution will kick some serious DIY ass!