Deciding to not sell my house right away has resulted in extreme laziness regarding the finishing touches to my kitchen. Everything is now functional; who needs toe-kicks, thresholds or shoe moulding, really? Plus, I’ve been busy with more pressing concerns: my dissertation, editing Roy Underhill’s delightful, funny and thought-provoking “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker! (A Novel with Measured Drawings)” and copy-editing Peter Galbert’s book on Windsor chairmaking (which is wicked good).
Also, I’ve been out of town a bit, and the cats don’t give two paw swipes about how the kitchen looks; to them, it is merely the room in which food is always available…and treats are in the offing therein if they meow at me in a pitiful enough manner (read: in any manner).
While in North Carolina two weeks ago, I stayed in the the cottage above. It’s on Roy and Jane Underhill’s mill property, so it will be no surprise to learn that being there feels much like stepping back 80 years in time (despite the Internet service, air-conditioning and plenty of hot water).
Roy has been renovating the cottage (which I believe is where the keeper lived when the mill was in operation) for several years now, and the kitchen is almost done. Last year, I recall there being a late 70s refrigerator and stove; now, it’s decked out with period-appropriate appliances. When I do get around to selling my house and tackling a new rehab (preferably before my knees give out completely), I’d like to match the look of the appliances to the house’s period. But I like Victorians; it’s hell getting blocks of ice delivered these days.
The “new” cottage refrigerator is adorable – but it hearkens back to a time when there weren’t as many readily available items that require cold storage…or maybe I need to cut down on the number of wine, Diet Coke and malt-liquor beverages I keep on hand.
The stove, however, is awesome – despite gas rings that are either fully on or off, and must be lit with a match. It did a fine job of heating water for morning coffee and evening tea – though past experience leads me to suspect the oven temps are a bit inconsistent (we had a similar stove when I was a kid).
The rest of the cottage is decorated in a similar vintage nature, with period furniture, overflowing bookshelves, a wood stove for heating (I’ve never been there during cold months…are there cold months?) and an old typewriter at a window overlooking the woods and stream behind the trees.
Plus, there is a bust of Shakespeare beneath a picture of a cat. I felt right at home.
But now that I am home, I suppose I should attach that last piece of base moulding and get started on the toe kicks, backsplash, etc. Or not. Another few months of ignoring the missing/unimportant bits, and I’ll forget about them. How do I know? I finally completed the bathroom trim two days before putting the house on the market last summer. That renovation was otherwise finished six years ago.