Thursday, July 3, 2008

Toad Hall showing its ribs


We’re getting the kitchen repainted in our 1916 Sears house. The flowered border and strip-y wallpaper are going far, far away. We need to keep the vintage formica countertops: they’re orangey-apricot with a little gray boomerang pattern. They’ve endured 27 years of Ajax scouring, dropped hammers, and visitors cutting bread, and it still looks pretty decent. The ancient metal cabinets have to stay, too. (why would previous owner opt for metal cabinets? Yuck.) Denis and I are going to prep and paint them the most painless way possible. (budget considerations).

We had to expose the wall behind the range (see pic) and found the chimney beside lathe and plaster wall. I was planning to have it dry-walled when a friend walked in and said, “o, that’s so beautiful, we have many friends who’ve renovated homes in Nashville and left it exposed” causing me to rethink. What if we shaped up the edges and left the house skeleton showing like that? I’m going with a single wall color “Mystical Shade,” (i.e. gray. who names these things anyway?) white trim, and “Teasing Peach” for the cabinets.

At first I thought, that’s ugly. But perhaps there’s a kind of beauty, the house showing what kind of heart it has? No one builds like this anymore. Would I be crazy to clean up the brick and slat and leave it as is on that one wall? Help! I have until Sunday night to decide.

12 comments:

Jake said...

I love the bricks, but I'm not a huge fan of the slats. However, I'm also a college-age male so my design opinion is not worth very much. I mean, I still have movie posters on my living room walls, so take this with a helping of salt. It's a really interesting idea though, would like to see what it looks like when you're done :).

Shawna said...

I'm totally for leaving it exposed! Especially the chiminy, its so charming! Exposed walls always make me think of the builders who raised the home and the families who eagerly awaited its completion. So much history; all the lives lived, wounds made, love shared and stories woven within those walls. Makes ya think.

Ransom Fellowship said...

Hey, jake, it totally depends on what movie. Denis agrees with you, he doesn't like the slats.
Thanks, Shawna, I'm leaning that direction, but the detail work is going to be more than I'd imagined.

annie said...

Like Jake, I like the bricks better than the slats (and I'm a 29-year-old female!) but even so, my vote is firmly on the side of leaving the wall exposed! I agree with Shawna that it adds character to the kitchen. I've seen a similar effect in very stylish houses in Sydney. I say, go for it!! (And then post pictures of the finished kitchen when you're done so we can all ooh and ahh over how funky-yet-chic it looks!)

Wendy J said...

Maybe you could stain the slats and use them for a backdrop for some interesting decor....

Jacquelyn said...

Let the bricks be shown!

Ed Eubanks said...

Why not split the difference? Leave the bricks exposed, but re-plaster (DON'T drywall) the lath. Then you'll have the charm of the original, as well as the look of it (with the plaster).

Shawna said...

"Chiminy"??? Wow, at least I spelled it correct phonetically, whoohoo!

For the record, Chiminy should be spelled Chimney.

Ahh, much better.

Ransom Fellowship said...

Shawna, it's okay, I thought you were being creative.
So far the vote is pretty unanimous. O, ma-annnn.

Ginger said...

... I second Ed - split the difference. The laths have a charm, but they can be difficult to keep clean.

Peggy said...

Henry's peering over my shoulder saying "tell them they have to keep the chimney!" He has lots of other suggestions (this shouldn't surprise you). Feel free to call for a consult.

jenni said...

I love the bricks!