We decided to break with local custom and have our woodstoves professionally installed and certified. (Our reasons are long and boring, being mostly to do with insurance, and this isn't the place to regale you with facts. However, local people might want to consider husband-wife team Top Hat and Tales for a really excellent, thorough installation, and such good company!) In the end, as I watched them standing on the peak of the roof, making a hole with a chainsaw, I was happy that it wasn't Will installing the chimneys.
We also decided to invest in new woodstoves, after searching the country high and low for the magical combination of "deal" and "quality".
The one part of the process we got to do ourselves was the ember pad. My brother Ben came to give a hand, and he and Will got good and muddy and artistic together. We found the bricks under one of the outbuildings. The boys carried them in and stacked them loosely to dry out. Ben did the pattern (he might not admit to it, but he's an incredible artist), and Will chipped the bricks for the edge of the curve.
The result is beautiful, durable, rustic, and cost us exactly 7 dollars for mortar. (Plus a case of beer...because a worker deserves his wages, no?)
..and below are two "before's" of the kitchen, where you just see a corner of the post and beams, and the charming 1970's cupboards. (The secret truth is that I bought this house for the dear little cabinet drawers beside the fridge.) The foor is beautiful, under it's layers of grime and grout: it has that shining, "depth" of grain that you sometimes see in really old hardwood. However, there are nearly 1" gaps between some of the boards! and it's wavy. (Friends of the Beresford family will understand the unique charm of wavy floors.) So there might be a bit of surgery and new grout, as well as sanding and oiling. IT'S ALL SO TERRIBLY EXCITING!
|Kitchen, and beyond that, a real, live mudroom. I am so proud to be a mudroom-owner.|
|kitchen + renovation bric-a-brac|