Friday, November 22, 2019

Ready or not...

As mentioned in my last post, we'd hoped to be done with our home remodel this week.  As it turns out, we're not.  We received the wrong hearthstone and may have to wait another few weeks for delivery of the right one, delaying completion of our living room fireplace.  The kitchen's electrical panel also didn't pass muster with the city inspector so changes will have to be made there.  My husband is still cleaning up glue left on the surface of our new wood floors and we haven't hung all our pictures yet.  Nonetheless, with the arrival at last of cooler temperatures and our first rain of the season, it's time to shift my focus back to the garden.  However, as I've made many references to our home remodel over the past 5+ months, I'm not going to leave you hanging without photos of our new space.

First, let me take you back to the beginning.  My husband and I formally kicked off our project in July of 2018 when we approached the city for approval to push out our exterior kitchen wall by 5 feet.  The city required that we get a formal geological survey done first.

Our area is currently designated as an "open spaces hazard zone" (signifying a landslide risk) although the city publicly announced its intention to move that boundary line well beyond our property line in 2012.  As that still hasn't happened, we had to prove that shifting our kitchen wall wasn't going to jeopardize us or anyone else.


By Christmas last year, we finally had the city's approval to move forward.  We worked with an architect on the plan while we waited for our general contractor to clear his schedule to start our project.  In April of this year, my husband started building a temporary kitchen for our use during the remodel.

He tacked the temporary kitchen on to the north side of our house adjacent to our master bedroom


In mid-June, a paving contractor dug the required 5-foot deep foundation for the kitchen extension and, on July 1st, our existing kitchen was demolished.

Everything went!

I subsequently caved and agreed to my husband's desire to remove the funky indoor barbecue unit linked to the living room fireplace to create a more open view between the kitchen and the living room.  This photo shows it halfway through demolition.

The back of the house remained fully open from July through August, which was creepy
 
The new kitchen  with its taller new roof was finally framed in August


In September, things moved into higher gear as the new kitchen was finally fully enclosed and cabinetry went in.  Kitchen counters were installed in early October and we got an entirely new roof and a new HVAC system.  The house interior and exterior also got a new coat of paint.

The roof work was particularly hard on the garden


New wood flooring was installed in half the house in November (in 2 installments) and the fireplace was covered in a coat of plaster.  That brings us to where things stand today.  Here's a look at the renovated spaces.

The front door foyer hasn't changed much except for the flooring.  Unfortunately, the new HVAC vent there meant we had to find another place for our grandfather clock.  Pictures still need to be hung here, among other places.

Ta-dah, the new kitchen!  (Oops, I neglected to clear away the washed dishes before taking this photo.)

We previously had a peninsula and upper shelves dividing the kitchen from the dining area.  Now they're more clearly linked.

This is the new dining area, minus the stone barbecue unit attached to the fireplace.  My husband refers to the new rug here as my "Alice in Wonderland rug."

The living room was always a light space but the removal of the indoor barbecue structure made it feel even more so

The new wood flooring extends from the living room through the dining room and kitchen and down the hallway beyond.  The fireplace will be finished with a stone surround after the hearthstone is delivered and my husband plans to build a wood mantle for it.

As you can see, my husband mostly got the open concept he wanted.  I admit I do like how light and airy the whole space feels now.


So that's it.  Not exactly a final wrap but it'll have to do.  I need to get focused on cleaning up the collateral damage to the garden.  Best wishes for a pleasant weekend!


All material © 2012-2019 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

36 comments:

  1. OMG, Kris! It's amazing! I know it's not done, but wowza: You really took advantage of the great views with all those windows. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After spending more time in the living room recently, Beth, I'm turning a more critical eye to how the back garden looks viewed from that vantage point. I'm already planning some changes.

      Delete
  2. That looks great Kris-with or without the hearthstone ! All the light pouring in and the flow of the rooms opening onto each other is really pleasing.Even though you have a couple more issues to deal with you must be so happy to have the most disruptive aspects of the project over at last.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's remarkable how big the house seems to me after spending 5 months living in half of it, Kathy. Even with the 70 square foot addition to the kitchen it may still be the smallest house in the neighborhood but it lives big!

      Delete
  3. Oh, I know it's not done and you've been disheartened recently by having to go a bit backwards, but wow! It looks wonderful with your furniture in place! You're close, really close, to being done. And some of those photos, with your house laying open to the elements, for example, are amazing. I know the only "elements" in SoCal are the unrelenting sunshine, but still...I wouldn't have slept well with my house open like that. A little premature, but congrats!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For 2 months I lived in fear that I'd walk into the living area one morning and find a family of raccoons - or coyotes! - having a picnic, Alison. That never happened (that I know of) and the part of the house we were living in was walled off from the part under renovation but there was one night when I thought I heard a mysterious scratching noise on the other side of the wall in my office.

      Delete
  4. Wonderful! The kitchen is beautiful and looks much more functional as well. Does it feel like a brand new house? It looks like one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even though much of the house is unchanged, it does feel new, HB. But then 5+ months living in a significantly smaller space, much of it with the kitchen, dining and living room areas literally walled off, may be a factor in that perception.

      Delete
  5. Looks awesome! Very open and airy which is the way to go in CA where heating large spaces isn't as hard as say... Victorian England. Looks like that big picture window in the kitchen will give provide some nice views of the garden?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I expect we have even fewer issues than you do with cold weather, Hans. I've read that LA's weather may resemble that of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in 50 years - it certainly felt like we were well on our way there this month, at least until the sudden cool-down this week. The kitchen window makes me feel as though I'm standing in the garden itself.

      Delete
  6. Looks fantastic. I hope you are pleased and feel the pain was worth the gain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be happier still when all the contractors are gone, Elaine. We now have a plumbing issue in the back of the house, unrelated to the remodel. But then the house is almost 70 years old, even if it's had a face-lift.

      Delete
  7. Wow...it must feel so different to have all that light streaming through the space and have a larger kitchen. Thank you for all the photos! Congrats on almost being at the finish line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Loree. I'm looking forward to actually crossing that finish line.

      Delete
  8. Excellent choices you've made Kris. The remodel looks great. Hope the last details get worked out quickly.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It appears that it was worth the annoyance. It looks beautiful to me. Slice and I are best friends.;) I love the rug. I hope you have a good weekend too. You can be thinking about all that you want and need to do in the garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I plunged into garden chores today, Lisa, playing catch-up sowing seeds and planting bulbs that I should have taken care of in October.

      Delete
  10. I love it - so light and airy. All ready for the feature article in H&G. ;) It must be nice to have the place (almost) to yourselves again. I'm sure Pipig likes roaming free again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd begun to wonder whether our remodel was costing Pipig one of her 9 lives. She's been happily reacquainting herself with her catio. She hated being put out there when the workers were here, apparently feeling more exposed then when hiding under clothes in my closet. She's enjoying curling up on my husband's chair in the living room again too.

      Delete
  11. Kris - it look fabulous! I would kill for your living room having one that faces north and which often seems gloomy especially at this time of year. It will be well worth all the hassle you have gone through when the work is finished.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be happier when the entire project is in the rear view mirror, Anna!

      Delete
  12. It's beautiful, and it looks as though the remodel has brought garden and house that much closer to each other visually. I love the open transition between your dining and kitchen. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If my husband had entirely had his way, the fireplace would have gone with the indoor barbecue but I wasn't quite ready to go that far...

      Delete
  13. Wow, Kris! It looks amazing! I love how you carried the wood floors through the kitchen as well - nice move! It ties everything together so well. I have to say I also love the simple elegance of the new fireplace. I know it will have things added (which will look great too) but I really appreciate how it looks now. And the light.... sigh! Our house is so dark. I confess to a wee bit of envy...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I cleared the plaster to cover the stone, I actually didn't know that we had to wrap the area surrounding the fireplace opening with fire-proof material. I'd have been fine with it as it is, although I do kind of like a mantle - and my husband wants to add his touch to the remodel. He's a very good woodworker.

      Delete
  14. It looks fabulous Kris. I do so envy you the open plan space, I love it as a concept but not possible here in an ancient medieval hovel! Next time.
    So glad that you're in and settled (mostly) before Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful holiday in your lovely new home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Medieval maybe but a hovel it's not, Jessica! With all that you've done with your current house and its garden, surely you don't envision moving on anytime soon, I hope.

      Delete
  15. Hi Kris, it seems that one can build a house from scratch more easily, and often cheaper, than remodeling one. At least that was our experience. But your open, airy look and fabulous views are worth it! I love your white kitchen. Things look like they should have always been that way. Congratulations, and may everything be completed by Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I told one friend that we were planning a remodel, Deb, she told me she thought it'd be smarter to look for a new house. There are times in the course of this project I thought she was probably right. But I was feeling pretty good last week until we hit one roadblock and then another. Hopefully, once these are behind us, I'll let all the stress go - but I won't be doing this again!

      Delete
  16. What an enormous amount of work but if all looks fabulous. I'm so glad you have your house back and everything looking so beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The behind the scenes clean-up continues and the electrician was here to address the city's concerns yesterday. Hopefully, we'll get delivery of the hearthstone next week and the whole project will be behind us. Fingers crossed!

      Delete
  17. Wow, it looks great and all the light looks like it was meant to be. Love the view from the kitchen and adding stone back to the fireplace will complete the indoor-out feel so important to your style home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was VERY apprehensive about removing that indoor BBQ unit, silly as it was, but that action made a major difference in the whole feel of this side of the house. I'm glad we did it, despite the cost.

      Delete
  18. Oh, those projects are never quite finished when you think they will be, but your new space looks wonderful. And I bet it feels wonderful to be in it after all those months of a temporary kitchen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We adapted relatively well to the temporary kitchen. It was interesting to roll out of bed and essentially have breakfast within an arm's reach. I'm glad to be able to roam the full expanse of the house again, though. Our restricted quarters felt dark and the "new" house feels very light and bright by comparison.

      Delete

I enjoy receiving your comments and suggestions!