CATEGORY: PORT TOWNSEND HOUSE
Kitchens and their related spaces have always been my favorite part of a house. I wanted my Port Townsend kitchen to look like it could have been built in 1888, but I wanted it to function for 1988. I also had nostalgia for my grandmother’s wonderful warm kitchen at our family ranch where I grew up. And I had a fondness for inglenooks which I had first seen in pictures of Scandinavian kitchens: cozy places to sit beside a fire. At last I was able to have the kitchen of my dreams.
But getting there took a long time. In the beginning, with the kitchen walls gutted and the floor leveled, there was still the ceiling to contend with. It had been lowered using a level after the corner of the kitchen had sunk, so it was now 3″ high on one corner. I had restored ceilings in the rest of the house to their original height, but in the kitchen I put in a new 9 ft. ceiling because it felt more homey.
The floor too was daunting. After taking up several layers of linoleum and plywood, I came to a very hard layer that looked like asphalt. Experienced house restorers, Hap and Linnea Hewitt, told me that it was very old linoleum mastic but water soluble. They said to bring in a hose, get the floor very wet, and scrape it up with a flat nosed shovel. It worked. The original floor under it emerged, all 1×6 vertical grain Douglas fir. Sanded and finished, it was that wonderful rusty, orange-pink color that only Douglas fir can be and that perfectly complemented the blue and white accents I wanted to use with it.