Sunday, July 25, 2010

A History of Our Kitchen

When we first looked at this house, as much as we loved it, I knew the kitchen had some issues. It was giving off a distinctively '70s vibe; problem was, it was 1970s, not 1870s, and it just didn't mesh with the rest of the house.

This house has been owned by five families (including us). The man who built it, Judge H, lived here with his two unmarried daughters, and when he died, they remained. When they passed on sometime in the 1950s or '60s , the house was sold to Dr. and Mrs. R, who found a house still running on coal (which needed to be shoveled into the furnace twice a day) and with a very tiny afterthought of a kitchen. Over the course of their tenure, the house was updated and remodeled extensively with new electric, plumbing, and a significant rearranging of the floorplan. The old kitchen became a den; the old office became a dining room, and the old dining room and part of the side porch became a new big kitchen.

This newly remodeled kitchen was well done for its time, with high quality oak Wood-Mode cabinetry and white countertops and backsplash fashioned from a new material called Corian. When the R's had to move, they sold the house to Dr. and Mrs. S, whose presence in the home is expressed by their kids' names inside the hall closet and on the basement floor. After them came Dr. and Mrs. M, who updated some appliances, added a lot of recessed lighting, and devoted a ton of energy to the landscaping. They decided to move across the country, and now--here we are.

The kitchen as it currently stands has seen 42 years and four families (including at least ten kids), and really for all that it is in remarkable shape. The cabinets still seem solidly attached to the wall; the countertops, while scratched and stained and gouged and melted, perform as a countertop should; the appliances  (5 to 15 years old) all have their quirks but work well enough. So why are we ripping it all out, some of you might ask? (For others of you, the phrase "42 years and four families" may have sent you running hysterically for your sledgehammer and axe, I don't know.) I'll cover some of our reasons in the next post.

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