Though it isn't completely done yet, this is quickly becoming my favorite little corner of the house. I've mentioned before how tricky it was to configure the stairwell, the railings and all the carpentry involved. (That's why we saved it for one of the last big projects.) I can honestly say it was worth all the headaches and all the time spent staring at a whole bunch of ugliness.

Let's take a little journey, shall we? Here it was before, during the demo phase, five years ago: 

And a little more exposed... This was just before we poured the first of two batches of concrete for the kitchen foundation (previously nonexistent) and finally the floor. Hence all the wire mesh on the ground. 

And more demo... (Wasn't the fireplace adorable before? I still wish it could've stayed that way, but alas, it wasn't structurally sound and had to be rebuilt.)

A jumble of wires and some new stairs at the bottom... We had to add more stairs because we raised the very low ceiling. 

And here it is today. It looks like it was a pretty simple project, perhaps like it's always been this way, and that's a very good thing. It was almost a major disaster and another series of compromises. The permit inspector originally said the pantry wall would have to jut out at least another foot because the electrical box needed more clearance from the front. I was not thrilled. But because of the placement of the pantry door (directly in front of the electrical box) he said that could count as the clearance and we could put the wall where we wanted it -- directly in line with the fireplace. Phew. 

We'll be ringing in the New Year with more house projects, stopping to watch the ball drop tonight and then resuming tomorrow. Not that I mind. Things are looking so very good, it's been great motivation to keep going and checking things off the list.

My New Year's resolution is pretty simple: to finally settle in and enjoy living here. We're almost to the point where that will be possible!

Happy New Year!


  1. Happy New Year to you folks.

    I like where that window now falls. Really opens up an otherwise slim stair enclosure.
    What a grand improvement.

    1. After going up and down about 1 trillion times, the staircase isn't as slim and dangerous as it used to seem. :)

  2. I believe you are due to have a very Happy New Year!

  3. Old college friend creeping by to say this corner is so pretty! You guys have done some amazing work. Happy new year!

    1. Thanks, Tess! Happy new year to you and your adorable family.

  4. Oh my goodness! I'm glad I stumbled upon this blog because we purchased a Circa 1790 home that is part cabin- which we'll expose some of it in upcoming months.

    Your work looks just amazing! The steps are wonderful!

  5. This looks great! I do like the old fireplace, though. A shame it had to go. Be careful in the upcoming months. Storm season is comin'!
    Have a Happy New Year!

    Houston Water Damage

  6. Wow... what a huge change. My house is 1940s and I was lucky enough to have a chimney in the kitchen that stayed put! I do love the shape of your new one, though. Having the pantry under the stairs is SUCH a good use of space!


Thanks for reading! I love your thoughts, feedback and suggestions. Keep 'em coming!