It’s been a weird, wild, and wonderful (in a weird way) day. I am posting much later on Tuesdays than typical – I’m lucky to get one out at all. So I’ll make this quick…
I’ve spent a lot of time decorating my house, which was built in 1896 (hence #KRIProject1896), and making the rooms I love beautiful and work well for our family. All the while, there are several rooms I have never loved, and have never decorated or, God forbid, photographed for all the world to see.
You see, somewhere along the way, the house which we now own developed an identity crisis. The “front of the house” is blessed with beautiful mouldings, excellent proportions, and many original architectural details. My living room, the foyer, vestibule, library, and dining room are all great!
However, when you move into the “back of the house” – the ‘workhorse’ areas like the kitchen, family room, mudroom, and powder room look like they belong to another house. Truly. It’s not that they’re horrible – they just are totally disconnected, both aesthetically and spatially, from the rest of the house.
By all indications, these rooms fell victim to a late 90s ‘remuddling’ effort (credit to my friend Amy Mitchell for this perfect term!). Now, I can’t know what the condition of these spaces was before that (perhaps there was once an 80’s oak-trimmed white laminate kitchen?), and obviously the original state of the kitchen would not have been aesthetically rich, as it was, like many Victorian kitchens, a place where domestic servants went about their work and homeowners would not deign to enter…
But somewhere along the way, someone decided to put up contemporary/minimal flat stock window and door casings, beadboard, windows that look nothing like any other windows on the house, and basic clamshell crown mouldings. Whhhhyyyyy?? So without further adieu, here are the parts of my house I’ve been hiding from you all of this time – freshly emptied in preparation for the fun!
In addition to the windows, I can’t stand the plantation shutters! They block too much of what could be really good natural light, and they are a pain to open and close.
Between the dining room and the kitchen is an awkward space that can’t decide if it’s a butler’s pantry or breakfast room. It is too big for the former, and too small for the latter. A tremendous waste of space, either way you look at it.
Like I said, it is not a horrible kitchen. It was just supposed to be in a different house – not my Georgian Revival-y Victorian. Note the state-of-the-art undercounter microwave – or, should I say, microwave under the counter. Really people??
The back hall connects the mudroom with the kitchen, as well as the powder room and back stairs. It’s a muddle of tucked-in little closets that promoted clutter, for sure. I had to fight the husband to keep the back stairs – I mean, what kind of Victorian home doesn’t have a back staircase! Sacrilege!
My powder room – kind of pathetic. Nothing interesting happening here, but lots more beadboard, that’s for certain!
OMG the mudroom. So this space takes the cake for most dysfunctional of the bunch (no easy feat). It sits on top of a deck (not a foundation), and the floor is a (gross) wool carpet remnant from the basement flooring (don’t even get me started on this…). It is heated, sort of, but not cooled or insulated, and it’s pretty tiny. I think at one point, this room was indeed the outdoors, which it pretty much still feels like most of the year. The back stairs are just beyond that window.
These were taken early this morning, right before my walkthrough with the demo crew. I’ll get into more detail in the coming weeks on the layout, and how we’re changing it (for the way better).
I popped in early this evening to pick up a few critical items (i.e. a pacifier and a white noise machine 🙂 ), and could not believe the progress – in just ONE DAY! After four years of anticipation, this was very satisfying. Check it out…
The kitchen – bye bye!
That dated backsplash doesn’t stand a chance.
Awkward butler’s pantry no more! (By the way, I’m totally fascinated by the innards of the walls of old houses!)
I’m excited to share more of our plans over the coming weeks and months! You can follow along here on the blog, and/or on Instagram, where I will be on Stories quite a bit, documenting the whole process. #KRIProject1896. I hope you’ll join me! But not right now…right now I need a nap…at 9:45PM…it’s been that kind of a day.
Oh, and I’ll be back on Thursday with my Week 3 One Room Challenge update. I’m headed to High Point spring market that same morning, and hope to have a trends and finds post ready for Tuesday. xoxo