In a remodel of any space you start with what is there. You can have all the dreams or images of what could be or what you want. However, you must always deal with what exists first. That is a fancy way of saying, while all of the TV remodeling shows love “demo day,” the reality of cleaning up all of the broken pieces and scraping away of layers of flooring, paint, dirt, and glues is no fun without the behind the scene TV demo minions. It is just long, tedious, dirty work.
Existing Kitchen January 2017. Gene Spalding remodel in mid 1990’s.
Part of the fun of remodeling for Elizabeth and I is the act of discovery as we uncover the layers of history in a bathroom or kitchen floor. We explore how each family that made the house a home decorated and used the space. What paint was on the walls, What flooring is possibly under the layers of linoleum, wood, press-and-peel tile, original 1933 premium linoleum, and original hardwood planks covered in 80 year old tar. Regardless of what we might think of the color, material, or style; someone took the time to pick out each wallpaper design, every floor covering type, and each cabinet feature.
We uncovered a brightly colored mid 1960’s kitchen wallpaper design and texted pictures to the man that grew up in the house at that time. He was so excited to once again see his “Mother’s Wallpaper.” Elizabeth and I know the appearance of our house in Atlanta is scrutinized in every detail by our grandaughters to see what has changed. The inevitable questions follow as to why we changed one of their favorite things. Making a kitchen the center of a home starts with design and decor, but is only complete by building memories with family.
We want to rebuild the platform of memory buidling at the Hardaway Cottage. Functional design is key to inviting people to hang around to bake cookies or nibble as dinner is being prepared. Simple things that we remember the rest of our life. I can still picture two little boys in pajamas helping their Mom press home-made granola into a baking pan and licking their sticky fingers. Then pouring milk for their “bed-night” snack. Those boys are grown now, but I won’t forget.