Stage 1: Upstairs Kitchen

It’s been a busy few days in reno land here at the house (you can catch up on our master plan here). You’ll remember that we are converting this 90 year old house into a set of upstairs/downstairs flats. Nick’s been upgrading little things all over the house, but the first room to get hardcore reno work is the back room upstairs which is turning into the kitchen for the upstairs flat.

People have been asking us “So what are you working on first? Is there an order to it or are you just tackling a bunch of things at once?”. Our renovation schedule is basically dependent on the fact that since we also live here, we must have a functional kitchen and bathroom at all times (this is the minimum standard to satisfy my lady of leisure needs). Currently there is a functional kitchen downstairs and a functional bathroom upstairs. Which means that our schedule looks like this:

  1. Use downstairs kitchen and upstairs bathroom
  2. Renovate upstairs kitchen
  3. Move kitchen things upstairs and use upstairs kitchen
  4. Renovate downstairs kitchen and bathroom
  5. Move kitchen and bathroom things back downstairs
  6. Renovate upstairs bathroom

The words upstairs and downstairs have lost all meaning I just typed them so many times.

Anyway so that’s the basic plan, with the addition of a bunch of other things along the way. Nick’s been hard at work at the upstairs kitchen over the past little while and things are starting to happen!

This is what the room looked like beforehand:

bed 5

bed 6

I know, right?

So there were a litany of things to do. First off, Nick tore up a section of the floor so that he could start running new electrical and plumbing:


Mmmm, splintery. Now you’ll notice in the first picture I posted above, there’s a bulkhead-looking stack running along the back wall. This is an old back chimney stack that ran through the whole house that is now entirely useless. So, it only made sense to tear it out and maximize our kitchen space. When Nick tore off the drywall, he discovered the stack had six (SIX!!!) layers of wallpaper underneath. Take a deep breath, it’s going to get worse before it gets better:


AHHH!!!! This is my nightmare. Anyway so once all the wallpaper was ripped off, the boys came in and destroyed the chimney:


It’s like we got a skylight!!! Ummmm…. no. The bricks even broke Nick’s poor hammer…


After that, Nick ripped up the rest of the floor and now we’re getting ready to have the plumbing/electrical inspected, then we lay new floor and put in cabinetry! The FUN stuff!

As all the smashy smash has been happening, I’ve been listening to a loud non-stop all-Beyonce playlist. Obviously.

So there you have it! More fun things to come. If you’re a building nerd like Nick and you LOVE photos of gross rusty pipes and electrical wires, check out his construction Facebook page here.

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