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Maddox Kitchen | The Beginning

April 8, 2017

Renovating our kitchen in #renovate48th is a project that I’ve eagerly anticipated since we bought this house almost 2-years ago, I know! It hasn’t even been TWO YEARS.

Its easy to forget how much has changed in this house when you’re living through it, going to sleep and waking up with projects in progress everywhere you look. It’s a good exercise in relinquishing those unrealistic dreams of perfection we all struggle with and the expectation of Pinterest worthy photos every weekend. The truth is, I hope that living in this house with it’s smoky, sticky cabinets with doors that won’t shut will make me forever grateful for a kitchen that’s easy on the eyes and functions as well as it looks (both inside and out).


Already this photo of the kitchen is different, you can see we’re about the rough-in the dishwasher on the left side of the counter and we’ve already painted over the split pea green walls. We left the trim because painting wood windows is really labor intensive and we thought our efforts would be better spent elsewhere.

In this photo you can see the first layer of  old linoleum that was ripped up so we could refinish the original fir floors we found underneath. In this photo you can also see what was a tiny utility closet and then a narrow door to access the dining room and the rest of the  house. We removed this entire wall, closet and the chimney stack inside that once fed the oil furnace in the basement. And check out those walls! Yuck!

Step 1 | Remove Closet and Chimney

Here you can see a better picture of the wall that separated the kitchen from the dining room. The bump out in the wall is where the chimney currently sits. Taking this out created a much better flow into the kitchen from the rest of the house and has enabled us to host more easily than before.

Another picture of the access to the kitchen. Even the linoleum was cracking apart!

Nick beginning to take down the lath and plaster from the closet.

Removing the chimney – we knocked it in from the roof and then carted it out.

Nick and Jon taking care of business.

During this project our sweet neighbor asked if Nick would be “spending lots of time on the roof, because it makes me nervous.” Lucky for her (and me!) This was a one time occurrence as he patched the spot where the chimney once exited the house. The pitch of this roof is fairly steep, so it’s not the easiest to work on.

Step 2 | Remove Wall Separating Dining and Kitchen

We installed a beam to take the load of the roof since the wall we took out was load-bearing.

You can see the hole in the floor where the chimney once went. Its crazy how just exposing the framing made the entire space brighten up.

All done! Just don’t step in the hole…

Step 3 | Remove Linoleum & Refinish Floors

Peeling that stuff off was harder than it looks. And underneath we ended up having to chip away at more linoleum tiles and pull up hundreds of little staples. This ended up saving us lots of money in the long run. By the time the guys came in to refinish the floors we had removed everything and all they had to do was weave in sections of wood to hide where the walls had once stood and sand and seal.

 The floors after weaving in new wood and three passes on the sander.

And after three coats of stain – we opted for the Swedish finish which is best for the northwest and our humidity. We did three coats because we have a larger dog and fir is a pretty soft wood.

That’s it for now! Stay tuned for updates on our progress as we demo and put in a new kitchen in less than 3 weeks!

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