The kitchen as a center of a home’s activity (or the challenge of unwelcome visitors)
This wall formed the other side of the galley style kitchen. Although you can’t see it clearly from this photograph, the refrigerator blocked about a quarter of the bedroom doorway. Between the cabinets and countertop to the right and the refrigerator on the left was a covered over brick chimney.
The challenge here was to provide enough refrigerator space. The cabinets and countertop had to be sacrificed to make room for the refrigerator, but they have been reused nicely in the garage. The exposed brick chimney would add some authentic character even though it divided the wall space in half.
The initial demolition here and there revealed that the best course of action was to completely gut the kitchen. Everything was removed right down to the wall studs and floor joists. I can’t think of a good way to describe the feeling of looking at my kitchen completely demolished kitchen.
There was something about the hollow banging sound of walking across loose plywood on the floor joists that made me wonder if I would ever get it done. Still I had to remember that the kitchen had needed much more than a coat of paint and a new sink drainpipe.
This was unnerving too because in the first month living in the house before any kitchen demolition at all, I was awakened by an opossum noisily scrambling around in my kitchen. It had been using a hole in the floor boards under the sink to steal free meals from me!
He had eaten well because he could barely get his rear end squeezed back through the hole! So what do you do when you’re barely awake and there’s an opossum stuck in a hole in your kitchen floor? I don’t think it’s a question ever addressed on “This Old House.”
That was “small potatoes” compared to the evening that I came home just in time to find two raccoons climbing down the bare kitchen wall studs from the attic like they owned the whole place. All of this certainly proves that the kitchen is the center of a home’s activity.
This photograph was taken Spring 2007.