Did you know that there is a difference between a remodel and a renovation? I wasn't sure which one we are having done, so I started doing some research. To me, renovation sounds a lot more extensive. I picture tearing down walls and adding on and completely changing the layout of a room or house. Apparently, I was wrong. That's what it means to remodel. To renovate means to update or restore. It covers things like staining floors, making repairs, changing light fixtures, painting or refacing cabinets---that kind of stuff. Redecorating is to put up some new window treatments, hang some new pictures, and toss some new throw pillows on the couch. We are definitely having a renovation here.
These wide pine plank floors that cover the entire main floor of our house were laid in the mid-eighties when this century-old farmhouse went under a major restoration project. They were in fairly good condition when we moved in ten years ago, but our large family really lives in a house. I mean we really, really live in a house, and we wear it out. In the eighties, the owners changed the main entrance to the very front of the kitchen when they put in a new pebbled driveway and walkway that led to a big covered front porch that leads into the kitchen. The back door of the kitchen leads out to the patio, pool, and down to the greenhouse and barn. That means that nearly all of our foot traffic comes and goes through the kitchen. That side entrance that opens into the foyer between the living room and dining room hardly ever gets used. This has meant a lot of wear and tear on our kitchen floor. The pine is beautiful, but it has splintered and split and lost its finish, so that was our main priority this year.
However, once we decided to not tackle the floors ourselves, but instead hire out, I figured we might as well get some other things taken care of as well. The colors in this house were early American when we moved in. I love colonial style houses, but the mustard-colored walls, forest green cabinets, and dark burgundy doors and trim make this large kitchen so dark. I used to spend my whole day in this room preparing all of our food from scratch, plus canning, freezing, and dehydrating the foods we grew ourselves. This is still the room we spend a good portion of our days in. When friends and family come to visit, the kitchen is where we tend to congregate. Homework is often done here. Card games are played at this table. This room is where everyone finds their birthday presents when they wake up in the morning. It's in front of this black stove that the children warm themselves and drink cocoa after sledding. And of course, this is where all the food is prepared and consumed daily. To sum up, this room is where most of our living is being done, and it needs to be brighter. So we're having every inch of it repainted a much lighter color.
Additionally, there are some repairs that need to be made to the floor, the ceiling, and the backsplash. We're also having a white cast iron sink put in and the wood countertops refinished. I was hoping for some new cabinet doors so that visitors can't see everything on my shelves, but that will have to wait. I think it will motivate me to throw out some old stuff and organize what we have. And there's a new piece of furniture I've been waiting for to place in the one corner of this room that I can't wait to own.
This renovation project starts next Monday, and I snapped all of these photos yesterday morning. Everything in that room has to be taken out and put in our dining room, the hallway, our bedroom, the basement, and probably every other nook and cranny where I can find a space. It feels like a monumental task, but at least that room is going to get a thorough cleaning that it hasn't had in ten years. And I know that a month from now, that room is going to look like a brand new kitchen.
Now I should get to work. I've taken down all the Christmas decorations that I usually leave up until after the Epiphany, and I'm going to start boxing up the things we really don't use very often. I am definitely not looking forward to pulling the stove and refrigerator out of there and seeing what all lies behind. Not to mention what a household of seven is going to do without a kitchen for several weeks, but I'll save that for another post.