Thursday, May 16, 2013

Le puits d'argent

I wasn't kidding when I called it the Money Pit. Since we closed in late December, all I seem to do is write checks. Our new home is a veritable Pandora's box of revelations. Most of which seem to always cost at least over one thousand dollars!
You can go back...
George W. and Emma Cook built a beautiful home for themselves in 1918. Originally the sun room had casement windows. At some point they were replaced with standard fare in order to "save energy".
Back to the future.
We've reinstalled casements and the room is no longer ordinary, it's extraordinary! One might question whether changing windows could transform but their impact is worth the cash!
A real sleeper.
Before air conditioning, most homes had an enclosed area that could be opened up to the summer breezes. In 1937 the Money Pit was remodeled to become The Ramona Apartments. Located upstairs, our sleeping porch had lost it's casement windows. Over the years many renovations occurred. For instance, the servant's staircase became this arched kitchen alcove. It's window opening onto the main stair hall below. Given it was not original, we immediately gutted it!
Wake up!
Now it's been transformed into one huge space. This will be my office and home to our television viewing. Frank has already informed me that he needs his "space". And given we have over 6,000 viable feet of it... my wonderful partner shall have it!
What's cooking?
The biggest transformations are taking place on the main floor. All "mechanicals" have been completed and inspected. That means that sheet rock is finally going up in the kitchen. Next a new oak floor and then our new cabinets will be installed.
Cocktails anyone?
When all is completed, our new home will look much like it appeared originally. We've taken the old kitchen footprint and divided it into three spaces. The larger kitchen area replicates what was there historically. We've added a new butlers pantry (shown left). That opening above is a remnant of the door to the servant's stairs. Long removed, we've repurposed this space into an elegant bar and transition from the back hall to kitchen.
Take a powder!
In order to gain a Powder Room off the front hall, we removed an unused chimney and the remnants of the back staircase from the kitchen. While this new room doesn't look like much yet, we're excited about this "sensitive" alteration to the original floor plan. We've done everything possible to integrate modern conveniences into our historic home. With matching doors and millwork, I doubt anyone will guess it hasn't always been there!
What a difference...
The areas at the far end of this "before" photo are now the Powder Room (left) and Butler's Pantry (right). Tomorrow I'll share further photo updates on our progress. Thanks to Mike, Dave, and Jeana for making our dreams come true!