A good spot for a breakfast bar:
Well, leave it to me to not have a picture of the fireplace before we took it apart, but there it is after we took the brick down. Back in the eighties, home buyers must have been crazy about molding. We have it all over our living room. It was my job to delicately remove the molding, keeping it whole and uninjured, in case we want to use it again. Below is the area just to the left of the fireplace--the opening to the kitchen:
To open up the kitchen, we essentially had to saw that upper wall in half. It happened to be a load-bearing wall. You can tell, by the 2x10's that ran across it. (They're on the far right.)
See the chimney? All shiny and silver? It's a piece of tin. My husband climbed up on the roof using some old rock-climbing gear to dismantle it.
We have a beautiful Live Oak there that is starting to lean on our house. I don't know how much longer we get to keep the Live Oak. We do need the house, as it shelters us from storms. Plus, I think there's a town ordinance against living in tents. Here's a view of the chimney work from the inside:
Of course, electrical things had to be re-wired and unexpected decisions had to be made about lighting fixtures and say, how about a wine cooler?! Decide now because now's when the wiring goes in!
The re-do also left a hole in the ceiling, which needed to be patched:
Throughout the first morning--a good five or six hours, really--my daughter was chipper and excited and chirping. She carried the bricks from the fireplace, one at a time, to the side yard, and she helped me sweep:
Are you loving our totally awesome turquoise wallpaper? It's actually quite tasteful, just outdated and not very us. Sunday night, our friends who are also working on their kitchen, came over to pick up their daughter and commiserate over pizza and wine. Since they were in the middle of leveling their floor, they counseled us to get the tile up as quickly as possible before my father-in-law arrives to help lay down the new tile. I'd helped remove their tile and they had some helpful equipment.
So Monday, I took it upon myself:
Kneepads, mask, gloves and goggles required. That's the jackhammer I used above. I was about three hours into it and a little more than halfway through it when my friend showed up to help me finish the job. Hurray! Lots of sweat and aches in that job. The tile had to be picked up and carried out to the back of the old pickup truck. We finished before 5:00. I did it to move the work along and to impress my husband. My husband, it turns out, is harder to impress than I'd imagined.
Underneath the tile was linoleum, which we pulled up last night. Underneath the linoleum is some papery glue, which we will scrape up this morning. It appears to be water soluble and should come up easily. [Update: did I say it should come up easily? Lord help me--I'll be here all day and part of the next!]
Isn't it interesting that your fireplace is really just a three-sided tin box, sitting on top of cinder blocks, surrounded by bricks? Look at all that wasted kitchen space the fireplace was taking up!
Yesterday, in addition to editing some pages for a local magazine, I began the arduous task of wiping up the dust. I imagine I'll be finding thick layers of it for some time. So, essentially, it's not much different from life before the kitchen renovation.
Labels: Flower Mound, renovation