Cottage Update- Kitchen Demo

Yawn.  Busy weekend for me- drinks with Courtney and Ashley on Friday and then my good friend, Jenny came down from for a couple of nights.  Having her here got me SO anxious to move into the house and be a proper hostess. I get excited thinking about guest bedding, pretty soaps for the bathroom, and my bar cart restocked for entertaining.  But I’m getting ahead of myself- first we need to complete the construction phase.


Last week, my carpenter, Angelo made major progress in my kitchen in three days.  As a reminder, this is how my kitchen looked when I bought it.

Angelo went to town carefully removing the cabinets (I plan to re-use them.) The backsplash tile didn’t come off the wall too easily and the drywall ended up coming down too.  We are going to take the opportunity with the exposed walls to add proper insulation and re-work faulty wiring.

Next we took down the plaster wall between the kitchen and dining room.  As you can see there are two ducts in the wall that will need to be relocated.  I won’t be able to have a completely open space, but we are trying to work out a way to get it as wide as possible.


Between the wall coming down and the drop ceiling being removed, there was a ton of debris!  It was a little overwhelming to see the mess.


But when I returned to the house a few hours later, Angelo had neatly piled up the firring strips and piled the debris into bucket loads.  Notice my kitchen cabinets?  They are living in my dining room for now.


Next we removed the tile floor.


Like the rest of the first floor, the sub-floor is antique pine.  I was really pleased with its condition!  I’m hoping it will be able to be patched and refinished.  My flooring guy will be coming by this week and I’ll know more after that.


Here is the kitchen right now.  I’m anxious to get the drywall up and have the floors finished!  We have to go back to real work though, so it may be a little while.


  1. Tara

    oh my gosh– I am so excited to see what you do with your kitchen! I am totally overwhelmed with the idea of a kitchen reno that we will absolutely have to do before we try to sell this house (last reno was 1963ish) but I am also thrilled with the possibility of organized cabinets from the get go.

    Good luck and I can’t wait to see what you and your dad come up with!

  2. Kat

    Great progress!! And that’s awesome you’ll be able to salvage that floor.

  3. I can’t wait to see the finished product- I know it will be gorgeous. Love following along with the progress and all the instagram shots of your cottage.

  4. so excited to follow along on this journey with you! what is your timeframe for construction/moving in?

  5. So much progress already- you’re going at lightening speed with this and I LOVE it!!

  6. WOW that is a lot of mess in a small space! Excited to see how wide you’re able to get the opening between the two spaces. Is the layout mostly remaining the same with your reusing the cabinets?

  7. @Katie- not sure on the time frame since we are only working on my house in between breaks on other jobs. Also we decided to gut my bathroom(!) so that will delay move in some more. I’d love to move in around Thanksgiving, but that might not be realistc

  8. @Maggie- No I am totally changing the layout! Since I am painting the cabinets, I can rearrange them. I may need to cut one in half.

  9. Good luck Naomi! It’s going to look so great I can tell already. Excited to see what you do to transform the somewhat dated cabinets!

  10. Kristen

    OMG talk about a fresh start! Can’t wait to see the final product!

  11. I’ll be interested to see how you work around that duct work. I’ll have a similar situation when we reno our kitchen so I’m curious. Another lucky score with the pine! Hope things keep going your way. Seems like every time we attempt a project in our house there’s some nice (read:awful) surprise hiding for us!

  12. I’m so glad you found original wood floors in your kitchen! That’s amazing! We renovated our 1920 colonial and found fir underneath three layers of other flooring. We were able to salvage them, patch them and they look incredible. Plus, we got to save some of the little dings and marks from the original kitchen layout. I’ll be curious to hear how your flooring people like working with the old wood – our people found that although the wood was ‘soft’ it was so old and cured that it behaved like a harder-than-oak hardwood!

    Good luck, and thanks for all the updates. I love renovations, especially when I don’t have to live through them! :)

  13. Ashley

    Pretty smart to reuse those cabinets. I can’t even imagine the magic you’ll perform on them. And how neat and tidy is Angelo? Love that.

    P.S. It was wonderful seeing you on Friday!

  14. good progress being made! I love watching the progress so thanks for sharing it.. my husband does this for a living and I’m always like, “where are the pictures?” but he’s too busy working to stop and take pictures. keep it coming!

  15. Erin

    Gah, I’m so jealous of your contractor connections! I really need an Angelo… and a Naomi to plan our new kitchen.

  16. How exciting! And, your contractor works crazy-fast. Hey…if you have lathe…then you have plaster! I know, that wall is gone, but I’m guessing real plaster on your other interior walls, yes? I have it too, and I love it :D .

    Fascinated to hear how you’re planning to reuse the cabinets. If I’m seeing them correctly, they’re from the ’80s. Don’t know what your odds are on solid-wood boxes, but since you can’t get solid-wood boxes these days for love nor money, I would sure keep them if you have them. If those doors are what I think they are, though, I cannot imagine how they would be saved. I always watch home improvement shows and get cranky with how much people throw out when small tweaks (and a small budget) could easily make it something they loved, but I have always thought those white laminate cabinet doors with the oak strips on bottom were a total loss. So if you keep them, I am about to learn something new.

    Quick! Finish your other projects and get back to it! :)

  17. This is the best part of renovation. Can’t wait to see finish project and see the result.

  18. Melissa

    Oh my! You sure don’t waste any time! It’s great to see it as a blank slate and imagine all the possibilities. I can’t wait to see what you do with the place! Good luck!

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