April – Fort Bragg Remodel – Demolition

April – Fort Bragg Remodel – Demolition

We just got back from checking on our remodel. There isn’t much “there” any more. The great room (combination kitchen, dining, living room) has been gutted. The bathroom window has been removed and they are repairing the the deck and siding because of dry rot.

Front door and bathroom window with part of the deck.

Front door and bathroom window with part of the deck.

We will need to replace the front door as well.

Here is some background on the house.

When (as a complete lark) we started looking at houses on the northern California coast, the house on Nameless Lane was the first house we saw. We were “kicking tires” and didn’t plan to fall in love with Fort Bragg much less a cabin build in the 70’s (and it looked as if it still lived in that era). For years the idea of finding a “weekend get-away”, “vacation home” and “retirement nest” had been floating around but we couldn’t seem to agree on the big question of where.

But…

My husband, Steve, is a sailor. Plus we lived on a trawler in a San Francisco marina for the first year of our marriage. Those are very happy memories. Do you see the the boat-like angle to the windows on the side of the house? It’s the first thing you notice driving up the driveway. It looks like the bow of a ship and caught his imagination. He was hooked!

Fort Bragg front meadow deck

Fort Bragg front meadow deck

For me, it was the sunny back meadow surrounded by trees but open to the sky. And, the mature rhododendrons surrounding the house. I saw the possibilities immediately…garden. Oh my!

Fort Bragg back meadow

Fort Bragg back meadow

And for both of us it was the quiet. We heard only the wind in the trees and the distant pounding of the surf about half a mile away.

Fort Bragg house - front

Fort Bragg house – front

Our first home is in Oakland, and we are not far from the freeway. It is not quiet. We hear sirens. And motorcycles. And, although it is a lovely neighborhood, it is definitely an urban setting. I garden on the only sunny spot not shaded by big trees, which belongs to the neighbor behind us. They have been kind enough to grant permission for me to squat. But it could be taken away at any point if they decide to use that area to the side of their driveway. I might be asked to remove the raised beds and all the plants at the drop of a hat.

I wanted my own garden. And Fort Bragg is a town of passionate gardeners.

In Fort Bragg we practice “forest bathing” (the house sits on 7 acres of second growth redwood trees) and saturate ourselves in the negative ions of the coast. Do you know about “forest bathing” or Shinrin Yoku? From Wikipedia:

Studies support claims of the benefits of Shinrin Yoku. These have demonstrated that exposure to nature positively creates calming neuro-psychological effects through changes in the nervous system. In addition, the level of the hormone serum adiponectin is also increased. When this hormone is present in low concentrations it is linked with obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome, among other bodily disorders.

Every study conducted so far has demonstrated reductions in stress, anger, anxiety, depression and sleeplessness amongst the subjects who have participated. In Japan there are now 44 accredited Shinrin Yoku forests.

Our little forest would definitely be accredited.

But, when we purchased the house four years ago we knew the inside would eventually need renovation. We loved the open room, the stone fireplace, and the big windows. The rest, not so much. It was just a matter of time.

kitchen post demoliton

kitchen post demolition

Living/Dining Room

Living/Dining Room

Bathroom

Bathroom

The time has come.

March – Fort Bragg remodel – Ready for Demolition

March – Fort Bragg remodel – Ready for Demolition

We have been busy getting the house in Fort Bragg ready for demolition. The house looks sad. I know it’s ridiculous but it feels like the house senses a change is coming. Things are breaking, light bulbs are burning out, and the kitchen sink stopped up. Is it in protest? I hope not as this remodel is being lovingly done. Once complete we will be spending even more time on the coast, we want the house to be inviting to family and friends.

This view shows the sliding door from the kitchen onto the back deck. We will replace it with a French door.

View into kitchen from the front door

View into kitchen from the front door

kitchen with door into pantry

kitchen with door into pantry

Kitchen Island

Kitchen Island

kitchen Island, view from the dining area

kitchen Island, view from the dining area

Looking from living room area to the front door

Looking from living room area to the front door

Are you leaving me behind?

Are you leaving me behind?

Casey laid claim to her favorite resting spot, observing the packing with concern.

We spent Easter weekend packing everything up and discussing paint colors. Who knew choosing paint would be so difficult?! We could repaint the house on the samples we have purchased and rejected.

Look for a post on pain (that was a slip! I meant paint) colors later this week. Thank goodness for Pinterest as it has been very helpful during this process.

March – Fort Bragg Remodel Before

March – Fort Bragg Remodel Before

“We can start the demolition a week from Monday”, he said. My heart jumped into my throat! A week! Oh my gosh I thought, I’m not ready! Not ready even though we have spent several months preparing and gathering supplies, choosing new kitchen cabinets, tile, flooring, paint colors, and appliances. But, I cannot really believe it is actually going to happen after all that planning! And now! Calm down, I told myself. We will be ready. We’ve been through this before and have two full weekends to pack up the kitchen, pantry, and bath. Plenty of time, don’t you think?

This is our cabin near the coast, about 2 miles north of Fort Bragg, CA. What’s going to happen? We are upgrading the kitchen, bath, and flooring. At least that is the part you will see. We’ve already replaced the insulation in the attic, upgraded the heating system, installed propane lines for the new gas cooktop, and purchased a backup generator. It gets messy up here on the coast when winters are stormy, power outages are common.

Stage two will be a new addition with another  bedroom and bath, but we won’t start that project until we are recovered from this one, possibly later this summer or even next year. We want the cabin to be welcoming to family and friends who visit and want to stay longer than a couple of days.

I know after living with previous remodels that I soon forget what the house “used to” look like. There are many wonderful and happy memories tied up with the old look. So, to ensure I remember (and because I enjoy all of your posts with the before-during-after remodel pictures), here are a few of the “old” kitchen.

This is the before.

 

Fridge and stove wall

Fridge and stove wall

Island sink and dishwasher

Island sink and dishwasher

Pantry with pocket door entrance

Pantry with pocket door entrance

And the bath:

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That sunken tub is a danger to us all, especially anyone recovering from an injury or who is disabled in any way. And the window is just to the right of the front door, giving any casual visitor a birds eye view directly into the bath! To hide the view there is a wooden screen outside the window, but it blocks the light. We will replace it with something less transparent and tear down the screen.

Front entry of the cabin:

Fort Bragg front entry

Fort Bragg front entry

It is always filled with a messy mix of boots and shoes from the garden and beach.

We plan to keep the fireplace.

Fireplace

Fireplace

And the dogs.

But not the carpet or the tile.

Casey, Quinn and awful green carpet, magnet for dog hair

Casey, Quinn and awful green carpet, magnet for dog hair

Stay tuned.