Give Table

The past few weeks have been a killer. Lots of work (not complaining) has left little time for anything else. All work and no play, that's me! Not always, just lately. And when I work sun up to sun down for days in a row, I get annoyed. I act put-upon and sometimes I forget to wash my hair (I work from home so this is totally ALLOWED). Anyway, this past Tuesday was a big day with a big deadline. I stressed and worried and worked and in the end, I conquered.

Post victory, I settled in for a little craigslist browse, something mindless to begin my decompression. I always start in the Free section because you never know...

Title: Give Table
Reaction: Interesting wording. Ah, pic included. click!

The ad was quick to the point, some dimensions followed by two blurry photos of two tables. One, an 80's bore. The other, excuse me, some sort of Saarinen-style tulip table? Say what?

I gasp, nearly jump from my seat. Do I need this? I must, it's FREE. Hmm, size is nice. 30" diameter x 28" tall. I bust out the tape measure and check my kitchen table. Looky there, 28" tall. I wrote the author to ask if it was still around. She said yes, please come get it right away!

Now, I just mentioned how much I love my farm table. And I do, I really do! But in working out kitchen layouts I'm having a hard time fitting it in. It's another rectangle in a sea of rectangles, and I was just at the beginning of considering something round for the space. I do have other ideas for my farm table, so... my feelings of guilt are minimal.

We hopped in the Jeep and headed out to Lafayette. During the drive, some time was spent pondering whether the table could actually be authentic. I was totally kidding myself, but man, what a score that would be! We knocked on the door and the cutest French girl let us in. There was our new table, in all its free glory. It's got stains, a chip, some rust. But that silhouette is to die. Don't you agree?

We got it home and I couldn't be happier. It's just the sweetest little thing and is going to be perfect in a kitchen nook. Apartment Therapy has a post where someone had an identical base repainted at an Oakland shop. This is a great option for down the road. For now, I'll just clean it up a bit.

A couple of tiny succulents on top and I've completely forgotten about my deadlines...


Skinny legs and all

Oh the kitchen. Probably the most important room in the house and ours is destroyed! One thing I've learned about us during this process, we like to tear stuff down. It feels good. It feels successful. The catch though, what to do next!

We are first-timers after all. I've never built a kitchen. But I do have a very distinct idea of what I want this kitchen to be: all white cabinets (since eternity I've wanted this) with dark countertops, a black center island with two turned legs and industrial stools. I want dark stained wood floors (against the better judgment of nearly every contractor I've met) and a sliding barn door to the back studio would be keen. I'd like to incorporate my old farm table. I want a backsplash made from Heath tiles and an entire wall covered in chalkboard paint. How about a sun tunnel? Better lighting is a must of course, likely some recessed, plus pendants from Schoolhouse. Stainless appliances are a no-brainer. There there's a new window... I entered a raffle at the Temescal Fair, cross your fingers!

Okay Tonya, time to climb off that cloud. Those are all fantastic dreams, fantastical really considering the current state of our wallets. Termites and all that, expensive. But while we recoup funds for this kitchen makeover, we decided to finish demo so that when the time comes, we're ready. Anything we can do ourselves, we do.

{my beloved farm table, you will have a place here!}

This being the old house it is, our walls are plaster and lathe. Which is charming in its own lumpy way, but some of it had to go. In certain areas it was literally falling from the wall in massive chunks, namely behind the old washer/dryer. So down it went.

The house lacks insulation on all exterior walls. When we repaired the fireplace wall in the living room, we added insulation. Not only does it warm up the place but it also helps cut noise from the street. Value! Anyway, I figured since this kitchen is a gut, might as well take the exterior wall down to studs too. You learn so much about your house doing this. We found both windows were wider and taller. The door to the back studio (which used to lead outside before the addition) was also wider, or maybe it had a window panel down its side.

 {exterior wall, to the right of the fridge is our pantry}

The kitchen had a double-bowl stainless sink that worked fine. We thought we'd be able to demo around it and prop it up with a couple 2x4s. Ha! The ignorance... of course it came crashing to the ground. So we took this opportunity to buy our first cabinet and dream sink. I've been pricing about town and like so many of us, landed on Ikea. We're going with Lidingo for the most part (intend to customize somehow, mix it up a bit) and the Domsjo sink can't be beat. To help support the sink and give us more liveable space (I expect we're going to be in this state quite a while) I built a couple makeshift countertops. It's simple 2x4s, MDF and particle board. Both counters cost about $50 with paint. Mike wasn't a believer and I'm still trying to prove this was worth it. I figure when it's all said and done, my fake counters will make the perfect worktable in the garage.

{DIY build on the fly. Its function: support the sink and provide valuable workspace}

 {view up the steps from the "back studio", that's fancy talk for addition, and "addition" is fancy talk for porch with walls.}

There are two vents for a stove. The one hanging out of the ceiling is current, but the behemoth behind is from the olden days. Still not sure if we plan to remove it, it really isn't in the way. Right next to it is a little built-in cabinet we plan to keep, either as a broom closet or giant spice rack. The drywall on the right is the back of a closet in the dining room. The left wall is repairable, just uneven from poorly done patches. Can you picture the entire span of that wall as a chalkboard? I can...

{opposite view walking in from the dining room}

Ugh, those floors and that ceiling! The ceiling is a nightmare. I need to call in reinforcements. There is drywall on top of plaster in SOME spots, plus that header from the wall we took out, plus that entrance to the attic is getting moved to the hallway. It's going to take a lot of work to level it out, a project for the pros. I want to swap out that door for a sliding barn door, in a vibrant color maybe? Still no verdict on that window. I need the light big time so I don't want to wall it in necessarily.

I wanted to leave you with something pretty. The window above the sink gets crazy light, so it's lined up with plants that currently have no where else to go. Adorable, yes?

So there you have it. Our little kitchen, skinny legs and all. We still don't have a stove, we still use the old basement refrigerator. But we're actually enjoying the log cabin feel of our exposed skeleton. Don't worry kitchen, we have big plans for you...