A Promise Fulfilled 2

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Before resuming my tales of the big kitchen renovation, I wanted to mention my current knitting project. The last few months I been knitting the Squish Me hat patten, a wonderful simple design, that holds it’s shape/form, perfect for all day wear. Completed two for myself in Stone Soup and just now knitting one for Anne in Better Breakfast (it looks really small, too small, may end up ripping back and starting over). This is my first time working with Stone Soup and it’s like a revelation of sorts, it’s softer than imagined and really loving the natural tweed it offers. Looking forward to using it with other projects, may become my go to yarn or reference yarn for future projects. If you have not tried it, give a try and let me know what you think.

The renovation, the official living room is on the other side of the house, we have a standard colonial house where you have a center hallway with rooms on either side. Today’s lifestyle dictates a bit of a different approach, more of an open plan layout, with kitchen, dining room and living room being co- joined, open to one another. Many advantages to this concept, one being, affords the meal creator to interact with company – personally does not work well with me, as I need total focus on any meal that I’m preparing, any disruptions are cause for ruination of said meal (incidentally the same for knitting, shh- can not talk and knit either). Originally we intended to basically keep the old foot print of the kitchen, only moving the doorway, enlarging the single door to french doors more centrally located. After demolition and new walls were being created, one of the journeyman noted “have you considered opening up the kitchen”, creating one great one room. Speaking of revelations, no we had not considered this, but as you see, this allowed for a larger island and gives the impression of a much larger feeling place.


Schematic of new kitchen design, note wall with door opening, resulting in a smaller island and less total kitchen space.

The new living room, probably more akin to a victorian parlor as it is a much more intimate (smaller) space. For several years, Anne and I shared this space as an office, great views, cozy in the winter (only room in the house that was completely insulated). I made the desks with a friend in his workshop, Willie, what a great guy, Father of Bil that I mentioned in previous blog, and Willie’s wife Lillian now works with. It took weeks to create the office furniture, I learned a lot. Like the kitchen we intended to have the option of closing off the parlor with french doors, but upon seeing the openness of the kitchen, decided it would it be more advantageous not to have doors. In the end the design evolved from three partitioned rooms to rooms being open to one another, could not be happier.


Old office, we were able to salvage the ceiling and re-install in the parlor.


New: Opening to parlor.


New: Parlor, a cozy intimate space. Made the coffee table, it’s walnut.


New: Parlor, glass book case was converted from Basilia credenza hutch in dining room – great place for all of Anne’s cook books.

Closets offer much needed storage, something we were in much need of, especially a coat closet. I remember mentioning this to the supervisor on site, just sort of casually, more of a placeholder as I intended to re-use our existing Ikea free standing wardrobes for closets. Next day I was pleasantly surprised to see framing for two closets, one of which was for our bicycles.  I realize this is perhaps a tad bit extreme, but when you consider that our garage stands apart from the house and is not conditioned space, hopefully this offers some semblance of justification.


New: Coat closet.


New: Bicycle closet.


Old: Center hallway, would store bicycles here. Had to destroy the piano, broken sound board, could not find any takers.

Had hoped to end on a cliff hanger of sorts, providing a sneak peek of on my next project, but alas Anne revealed all in her last blog. More on this another time, as well a little more about my participation in the kitchen renovation. Next week will write more about my knitting prowess. Stay tuned.

18 thoughts on “A Promise Fulfilled 2

  1. That bike closet is a brilliant idea! Love the ceiling in the parlor…and the table you made! Again, I glimpse some wonderful art all about. Thanks for the tour!

  2. Thanks David, my dad did some renovation in my house. As a kid I loved the smell of fresh cut wood!! It’s just great to read your blog, can’t wait to read about the garden this spring and summer!

  3. Love that you are sticking w/your knitting, David. Your hats look great.

    It is so fun to see your remodel. The parlor is lovely (actually, every room/ space seems perfect). The bicycle closet is wonderful, such a fantastic solution to keeping them readily available but out of sight. Fun, too, to get glimpses of your handcrafted furniture!

    Thank you for taking the time to write. Your’s and Anne’s blogs are always a treat!

  4. Awesome hats, I’d love it if my hubby would learn and make me something!!! I think the bike closet is awesome, if the bikes are important they deserve it!

  5. So much fun to see the development of the renovation…and for people who bike as kuch as you and Anne, the bike closet is a brilliant solution ro free up your hallway.

    That hat for Anne looks great too…

  6. I really enjoy reading your blog posts David. Your knitting looks great and I love the coffee table, it’s beautiful!

  7. The Squish Me is my favorite hat pattern–yours look terrific! And speaking of terrific, the renovation is stunning!

  8. Your knitting skills have greatly improved. Can wait to see your next renovation project completed.

  9. can i just say?? the bike closet has not only saved the appearance of our entryway, but is probably the most-used closet in the house; not at all extreme! (and easily converted to storage for other things as life or a future buyer demands). as josée said, simply brilliant.
    if our house didn’t serve our life patterns, what good would it be??

    an secondly, please don’t rip out that hat!! if it doesn’t fit me, i’m sure it will fit baby eli very soon. better to just start over.

  10. David,
    Love the hats! The bike closet is a brilliant idea. Looking forward to next time.

  11. I have to ask if you or Ann have read anything by David Giffel, an Akron writer who has written about reclaiming his falling down house in Akron (Building a family in a Falling Down House, and The Hard Way on Purpose)? There is no yarn in his story, but I think you would find him a kindred soul. Keep the remodeling stories coming!

  12. Very thoughtful of you to destroy the piano with the cracked soundboard — not everyone would have done that highly moral thing, which is why many young families find themselves with affordable but unplayable pianos — good work!

  13. Look at you go, David!!! And are you kidding?? Don’t rip that hat! You know how small anne says her head is. It might just fit!!

  14. David – did you find anything interesting as you took down all those walls and ceilings? When we did our downstairs bathroom, we uncovered a niche (former medicine cabinet) containing a note that said, “We put up this wall paper, April 3, 1958. Signed, Grandma, Mary, Bill, Don, Eddie, Teresa.” Also a postcard-sized drawing of a man in a police uniform – we think the father of the house.
    Love everything you did!

  15. Actually, I thought the bike closet was a brilliant way to keep them securely at hand but out of view. But then I live in a community where some people spend more on their bike than their car. You would be the envy of the neighborhood for sure.

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