...and left it in my back yard. Yes, we did tell them to take the kitchen, but it's one thing to talk about it, and a completely different one to see it. The kitchen remodel is the first step in our massive house remodel. I didn't get a chance to take "before" pictures, so you'll have to use your imagination. (Remember to click the pictures to view them in a larger size.)
The kitchen in this house is (was?) weird. It is accessed through the dining room and through the back door of the house, though you have to climb about 5 steps from the back door landing. When you come in through the dining room, there is a set of stairs immediately to your right leading upstairs. At the base of these stairs is a long add-on landing stair that is going to be cut back and turned into a regular step so that we can shift and widen the doorway.
In the "old" kitchen, immediately to your right from the dining room entrance was the beginning of the shelves. Because of the bottom steps, these cupboards weren't very deep to allow walkway space. The main kitchen cupboards followed the wall on the left, sort of in the form of 1/2 of a hexagon; the first and last cupboards were diagonal (yes, the edge of the shelf was different lengths) with the longer portion of the hexagon being more at a true counter depth. The kitchen sink was in the middle of this wall (the other side of the wall is the living room, with the chimney in between.
In the new kitchen, this wall will begin with the refridgerator at the foot of the stairs (remember that the foot of the stairs and doorway will be shifted to accommodate the fridge) then cupboards, then the stove will live approximately where the old sink was.
At the end of that counter/row of cupboards are three windows. Immediately under the left window used to be a large-ish radiator that was removed about 2 weeks ago. This radiator blocked access to one of the cupboards; you could literally open the door about 3 inches. These windows will stay there, but we're raising them to accommodate more counters and the sink will go there.
Because the bottom of these windows was so low, there was really no place to put counters or anything. We had a small table there, but it usually got used as a dumping spot rather than an actual place to sit and eat.
So far, the kitchen probably doesn't sound that bad, with the exception of the unusable cupboard where the radiator was. Continuing down the wall with the windows (north facing wall) is where things turn strange. About half way down the wall, the ceiling drops about a foot and there is an obvious difference. At some point in the house's past, there was a small porch attached to the kitchen. A similar porch remains upstairs, but the kitchen one had been reclaimed to creat more space. This porch is where the old fridge, the stove, and a few miscellaneous cupboards lived.
When the cupboard was reclaimed, one window was added, a lovely east-facing window that brings in a lot of beautiful morning light. The wall behind the cupboards and stove (the right-hand wall if you're looking directly into the porch area from the main kitchen, more or less as in the above picture) borders those 5 steps up from the back door. Where the stove used to live was the edge between the porch and the kitchen proper.
The kitchen door there is the east wall where the edge of the porch used to be, then there is another 4 or so feet of wall that borders the other side of the stairs leading upstairs. Here is a very not-to-scale quick rendition of what the kitchen used to look like:
The new kitchen will be a little more user friendly. Instead of a radiator, we're going to have a small heating fan under some of the cupboards. But most importantly, about 1/2 of the add-on porch will include a main floor bathroom, It will just be a toilet and sink, but it will be so nice to have not only a second toilet but also one on the main floor (I can't believe a family of four lived here for 18 years with only one bathroom....).
The remaining pictures are more or less related to some of the interesting things the demolition uncovered. Old wall paper, different layers of flooring, ceilings, etc. Perhaps the most interesting one is the picture of the ceiling that is immediately under the upstairs bathroom:
This is the the evidence of damage caused by leaks in the bathroom upstairs, the bathroom that we remodeled on our own when all we really wanted to do was paint it.