You’re on a roll and now you pray it lasts…*

*Lyrics from Matthew Wilder’s hit 80’s song “Break My Stride.” The video is pretty remarkable – the fashion, the dancing, the Solid Gold. I’ve been saving this one up for today’s post.

Day 1: Client Kitchen & Bath Renovation

It’s hard to imagine that last year at this time Jeff and I were excitedly and nervously counting the days in our own renovation, already hitting day 11 by the beginning of August. Well, today was day 1 for my clients’ (heretofore known as Mr & Mrs K) kitchen and bathroom renovation. I don’t know that they’re as nervous or excited as we were, but I know that they’ll be counting the days as we did. How can you not? I mean, when more than half of your house is taken over by teams of people, tools and materials; when the only sounds you can hear during the daytime are hammers banging, power tools vibrating, and things being heaved into a large, and loud, dumpster, it’s pretty hard not to pay attention.

Though today was the first real day – the first day that proper, noisy, dusty and space-changing demolition began – the power and plumbing loss kicked off the start of the process last week. And it is a process. It begins with an idea, then follows a budgetary path, zigging and zagging all over until a clear design path emerges. It settles into a trajectory that’s hard to escape once launched, and onto a journey that seems to continue on for months after the actual finish. At least that’s how we experienced it. Mr & Mrs K will have to judge for themselves if that’s what they feel after they go through it.

For now, though, I am (happily) surrounded by familiar faces, familiar sounds, familiar issues and fluidly changing design plans. One thing (of the many, many) that I learned (the hard way) during my brief time at NESAD (New England School of Art and Design) was how to let go of a specific design idea in the service of a larger concept. Mr & Mrs K are having to do that now – both with their budgetary ideas and their combined vision for the space. The design will continue evolve as we unearth unknowns; as they make choice after choice (and purchase after purchase); as the physical parameters of the space inform our own imagination; and, as the days march on, enumerating all of our commitment to the vision, the end goal, and the process that is renovation.

The scope of the renovation is clear – put the sad, sagging kitchen out of its misery so that a new, beautiful, useful and timeless one may rise in its place, not unlike a phoenix. From ashes to ashes, and sawdust to sawdust, so too shall the space be reclaimed by newer, non-broken, non-disintegrating parts. We thank the former kitchen for its life, but welcome a new life in its stead. Some pictures of the before and the during. Enjoy!


    1. So Happy Home Post author

      That’s an excellent question… I’m the designer on this project (working closely with the homeowners, of course), and am acting as the lead carpenter/GC’s adjunct project-keep-it-moving-along-er. And I’m blogging it (and therefore the photographer as well). And I’m helping out wherever, and whenever I’m needed (today I helped the electrician out by removing some bits of lathe – exciting!). Pretty much their bitch. But in a good way. It is exciting. I’m so glad you’re going to follow along!

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