Oh, 227 Hamilton's main floor, just a wee spot with only a small living area and an eat-in kitchen. Not exactly a haven large enough for entertaining, but we made it more so by literally taking out every wall on the floor, making it totally open concept. Which ended up requiring a few way overpriced visits from a structural engineer as per our city inspector's instructions, and a couple of large steel beams and jack-posts to ensure the house would remain standing without the aid of interior walls. Ahem. Well, anyway, we knew that, right?
The view from the front door, which was one of the original photos posted when the house was first listed for sale. The door to the living room is to the right and the door seen down the hall is to the kitchen. The kitchen and living room were completely closed off from one another. I didn't see the house like this, by the time I made it to Newfoundland from New Orleans, Dean had gotten out the sledgehammer and things looked quite....different.
And this is the hall now, standing in just about the same spot, with your back to the front door after first entering the house. Excuse the slant of the photo that makes it look like the house must be rocking like a ship at sea. It's not. However, my poor "holding a camera straight" skills are showing. The window at the end of the hall was turned into a door.
Keep in mind that these are the pictures that resulted in us saying to ourselves "What great potential this house has. We must buy it". Although it ended up working out, I suspect I must have been watching too much HGTV to even get the idea we could tackle such a thing.
The living room fireplace. The original red brick was covered by press board, and the new brick surround was an odd yellowy-brown. An elderly couple had lived in the home most of their lives, and had both passed away within the last couple of years. We bought the house from their adult children, who had grown up there. In fact, in the home's 110 year old history, we had only been the third family to own it.
Standing in the living room, looking towards the front door after Dean and his buddy Mr. Sledgehammer were together a couple of weeks. Oh, and don't forget Mr. Reciprocating Saw, he was also quite helpful in taking the walls down.
In the living room, looking towards the kitchen. The beginning of the our open concept vision taking shape. Good-bye yellowy-brown brick, hello original red brick. Feeling brighter and more spacious already. Also, very dusty.
Progress, as we get the rest of the walls removed and the drywall goes up. Dean put up most of the big sheets, and I actually cut and put up the smaller pieces.
Standing in the living room looking towards the kitchen, some paint on the drywall, but the fireplace brick hadn't been cleaned up and restored at that point. This was during the prime and paint the crown and baseboard marathon, which lasted the better part of a week, as I recall.
Same stage, but looking to the left of the chimney, towards the stairs. I think this is when it finally felt like we were actually moving towards something, rather than demolishing something.
Cooking with gas now, we actually have finished walls and floors. It was Dean's idea to hang the television on the chimney, which gave us room to have twice the seating we could have originally had in the living room. Good call buddy. Because the fireplace could not be used, we ran the television wires down inside it and put the cable box and other components where a fire would be. When I covered the opening with a fireplace screen later on, you could barely see them. Notice my slipper clad feet in this photo, looks like I was relaxing.
And finally, all finished. Here's the view you'd see when you first walked through the front door and looked to your right.
Here's the view looking from the hall, with your back to the kitchen. A small room, but we manged to pack lots of seating in there. Cozy.
Standing in the bay window, looking towards the kitchen. Even managed to squeeze a Christmas tree in there. Wanted to decorate the railing with boughs and lights, but once again, ran out of steam by this point.
And here's the kitchen when we purchased the house, photos compliments once again of the MLS real estate listings.
These were the only cupboards in the entire kitchen, and the wee little sink. I fear that this wouldn't have held all my gadgets. I'm not sure if that's an indication that the kitchen lacked storage, or if I have too many kitchen tools.
Demolition on it's way, always the most fun at first. There was a bunch of really neat sewing patterns from the 50's stuck on the walls when we took off the wallpaper, but it was covered with drywall before I had the chance to take any pictures.
Lots of holes in the chimney, some filled in with beach rocks, likely to vent the various old wood stoves that would have been the only source of heat when the house was built.
Dean, Keith and Liam working on the installation of the cupboards, which we bought at a salvage yard and finished on our own.
Layout of the kitchen almost complete, with most of the cupboards laid out, sub-floor put down and appliances in place.
Cupboards finally finished, plus granite tile counters and tumbled marble back splash installed (Dean and I became quite a tile laying team throughout this process). And limelight hydrangeas from my mom's garden.
Remember I had mentioned that Dean had taken out that window at the end of the hall to install a door? Well, here's when it ceased being a window but before it was a door. It was just a giant hole in the house at this point.
And the view of the finished kitchen when standing at the new back door. Much more cupboard space than the original kitchen.
View when standing in the middle of the kitchen, looking towards the back door. Love all the light that this room gets first thing in the morning. So bright!
Standing at the sink, which overlooks the front door. Because of the location of the chimney, it was difficult to make the main floor truly open concept, but at least it didn't feel so isolated from the living room when cooking or doing dishes in the kitchen when we were done.
My Nanny Mullett gave me a bunch of vintage glass ornaments last year that she decorated with in the 60's and 70's, which I displayed in a hurricane glass this Christmas. Love them.
My favorite feature of the kitchen is the exposed brick of the chimney, which we put shelving on to display some wine and martini glasses. Love the old red brick contrasted against the shiny black granite and the maple cupboards.
It's details like this that make the house unique and true to it's 110 year old age and history. Love the blend of the old and new.
This floor was quite a challenge, we literally designed the kitchen layout ourselves. Designing kitchens is harder than it looks, no doubt.
That concludes the tour of the main floor. Next time, I'll bring you through the changes to the basement, which went from wood covering a dirt floor and thick cardboard walls to actual living space.