New Space

For me, the most incredible aspect of this remodeling project was the opportunity to design it from scratch. After coming up with our final configuration, my respect for kitchen designers (who deliver plans for awesome spaces they will never personally use) has risen enormously.  I have been planning my dream kitchen in my mind, and via notebooks containing clippings of designer features, for years.  Even so, it was very difficult to arrive at a design that looks good, and covers all of the I-needs and I-wants.  The electrical issues were particularly mind-boggling.  Luckily, Greg is the job electrician, and he keeps me honest.  (“Nice coffee station. You are going to plug the pot in WHERE?”)  Change orders have been few and far between, but last week-end (as he was putting away his electrical equipment for good), I realized we had never incorporated under-cabinet lighting into the design, and the upper cabinets are due to be installed in a few days…

Okay, I promised pictures of the new space.   Unfortunately, they are in-progress photos, and don’t show the finished space.  As a blogger, I need to do a better job of capturing each stage of our progress.  (My operational mode has been to finish one phase and rush headlong into the next.)

Below is the kitchen layout before:

ellijay house 025

(Yes, that’s my good-looking hubs, working at the dining room table, right after we moved into the house in 2011. Check out the original paint job on the walls. NICE…..)


And this is the new space, now:

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Below is the new dining room:


A “feature” of this mountain house that has always bugged me is the entrance into the house from the garage. Once you opened the door, you were abruptly deposited (HELLO!) into the living room/dining room.  To my mind, that was just wrong.   A transitional space, even a tiny, psychological one, was needed (although, trust me, this design flaw never bothered the men, or the dogs, in the household)!  The insertion of a knee-wall, shown below, was a simple fix:


Also, the old dining area was transformed into an informal eating area for the three of us. Therefore, a separation between that new eating area & the new dining spaces was also required:

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(Yes, that’s me, unhappily balancing on tip-toes, on a ladder, in order to paint the exposed beams in the new dining room ceiling!)

It must be obvious by now that I am not an “open space concept” devotee. Never have been.  I feel much happier in finite spaces (actual rooms, instead of parts of the house that “flow” (i.e., leak or dribble into each other).  It is much more difficult to decorate large spaces, and in my opinion, there is nothing cozy about them.  Also, I don’t want my dinner guests to see the piled-up pots & pans that were used to prepare their food.  IMHO, that’s what doors & walls are for.

Next post will cover the layout and design decisions & products chosen for the dining room & kitchen. But for now, I leave you with visions of what we are living with during construction:

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The prize at the end of all of the chaos are the views, below, that we can fully enjoy very soon!

our backyard2

our backyard

Until the next post!


About vkroo

I am passionate about writing, as well as design/DIY/decorating. I decided to combine these skills in a blog, that describes the joys and challenges of transforming a shaggy, baggy elephant of a mountian house into a stunning home.
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2 Responses to New Space

  1. I’m thinking of writing a blog post in response. Would you mind if I connect to your website from my article?


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