Name: Christine & PierreType of Project:
Looking back towards the kitchen. Door to backyard on the left.
Montreal, QuebecType of building:
Ground floor apartment of a triplex, 1,100 square feet
The Renovation Diaries are a new collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.
For our next Renovation Diary, we're taking you north to Montreal, where Christine and Pierre have a charming apartment with a kitchen that leaves a little to be desired. Right now, the kitchen and a neighboring sunroom are awkwardly split into two rooms by a huge pantry that divides the space. Christine and Pierre will be combining the two rooms (while making the kitchen a little more comfortable for those Canadian winters).
In our ongoing improvements to our 100-year-old apartment, the kitchen is the biggest challenge. Despite being large and bright, the space is incredibly inefficient and freezing in winter. The space has been retrofitted in various ways over the years – a dishwasher and range hood were added, the windows and the cabinet doors were replaced, and what was once an uninsulated storage area had a foundation poured and insulation added. But it's never been truly gutted and reorganized to create an efficient space.
The current plan of the kitchen.
Our main goal for this renovation is efficiency. We love to cook and entertain, and we live just a few blocks from the largest open-air farmers market in North America! So our primary goals are to have more counter space and smarter storage, plus ideally a place to sit while people are cooking.
Proposed changes to the kitchen floor plan.
We have a secondary goal of accommodating a desk in the space too. We're expecting our first child at the end of August, so our current office and guest bedroom will be converted to a nursery over the summer, and we'll need a place to move our computers. We'll be trying to downsize our computer situation too, to share a single desk.
The current walk-in pantry. Not going to lie - I love it. But it's a terrible use of space, and hovers around 10 degrees celsius in winter.
The scope of this project is big. We're making structural changes, removing a load-bearing pantry and installing some major load-bearing beams, and changing gas, plumbing and electrical. We'll also be tearing out a stone floor and laying radiant heating and new hardwood. Basically a gut job.
The stone tile we will be removing. I could see this working in some situations, but it's freezing cold in winter and impossible to clean.
We tried to find smaller scale solutions to the space, but while we could have easily improved on the aesthetics, making the room really function well requires some pretty big changes. We'd like to stay in this apartment for as long as we can, so we think the extra investment will be worth it.
There are some aesthetic touches we will be happy to say goodbye to.
This is our first major remodel project. We're nervous and quite honestly we'll probably make some rookie mistakes (but hopefully not). We'll be trying to contribute some DIY where possible while balancing our sanity, our workload (at home and at work) and our chequebook.
Also, there are a few details of the floor plan that still have to be 100% firmed up. We are proceeding with the structural work, and then we'll remeasure and adjust our floor plan as necessary. This means things won't be as efficient as they could be, but we'll hopefully sleep better at night.
Thanks, Christine and Pierre!
Join us next week for #2 of Christine and Pierre's Diary.
(Images & Diary Text: Christine Zoltok)