Here's one wall of the way-too-small vestibule. One thing they didn't give any thought to when they built this place in 1951 was boots. Hello! It's Montreal, and it snows. A lot! My first notion was to smash down the wall and extend the little hallway to incorporate an open closet, but that would have ruined the symmetry of the livingroom on the other side of the wall, so I opted for something much more diabolically clever.
I took full advantage of some unused space between the floor and the ceiling of the stairs going down to the basement, and cut an opening at knee-level for kicking off slushy boots and getting them out of the way. An added benefit that I hadn't even considered was that by leaving the back of the boot closet open, there's a convenient opening over the basement stairs which allows light to pass in both directions, as well as cartons of tuna from Costco:)
The floor was a dog's breakfast of different strata, a bit like an archaeological dig. In the end, what could better suit a house of this era than good old linoleum? Back to the future! Orange, of course.
The wall in the kitchen that divides the fireplace from the cooking area had an ugly sheet of drywall on it, replete with some hideous mdf moulding. That was quickly rectified with a new build capped off with some homemade oak trim and some lovely textured wallpaper...painted...orange?
The centerpiece of the kitchen is this old 1947 Kitchenaid-Hobart that I picked up for a song at a barn in Vermont. It needed a bit of repair to get it working again, but mostly the problem was that it was ugly. Decades of neglect along with dreadful paint jobs turned it into the ugly duckling of kitchen appliances.
I disassembled it, stripped it down, and gave it a whole new lease on life with a slick, shimmering coat of enamel. It should be good for another 60 years, easily.
Here's what it looked like before!
Next instalment: My handmade cherrywood kitchen!