An old house story, Part 2

The P.O.’s (previous owners) of 118 Henry Street had a very specific vision when they commissioned the addition. Designed as a family room, it was the best insulated and quietest room in the house. When we first were considering the purchase, our meetings with the old couple would always find them in the back room, the addition, watching TV. They bragged about how warm the room was in winter. It was dark, quiet and cave like.

As mentioned in Part 1, the entrance to the addition was cut into the back wall of the kitchen, also the back wall of the house. This entrance removed a very large part of the usable wall space in the kitchen. The loss of this wall in tandem with the kitchen remodel, removed all remaining hints of the original 1921 kitchen floor plan or design.

Not long after finishing the mudroom, we innocently believed that the kitchen would be the next room to restore. My no-love-lost affair with the kitchen had begun even before purchasing the house and some…umm…changes to the floor plan had occurred early on.

We planned to take almost 2 years to repair and restore the kitchen. Unfortunately, we could not have predicted what the hurricane seasons of 2004-06, combined with the melt water from winter snowfalls would do to our plans. We basically spent almost 3 full years dealing with the effects from roof leaks, bad plumbing (hint: that ain’t exactly clean water), and other old house horrors.

Still, in 2004, our hope, and naivety, were strong…so began the wholesale demolition.

Our final plan for the kitchen has changed a couple of times. It’s really good that we were coerced by circumstances into taking our time and considering all possible designs.

Here is an excerpt from the current floor plan:


The mudroom renovation gave us another room

Here is the proposed kitchen/addition floor plan:


We’ve always used the “real” living room as our family room

The overall goals for this part of the Henry Street restoration/remodel are:

  1. Carole and I will split the addition as work space for our projects, tools, and materials
  2. We will restore the usable wall space in the kitchen so we don’t have to put the stove in an island, and
  3. Make the mudroom a “real” mudroom, not a laundry room

It’s pretty evident how important restoring that back wall is to the whole plan.