Appetite for destruction: Downstairs edition

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Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.

Pablo Picasso

If what my friend Pablo said is true, Via Corona is on its way to being the next Dora Maar au Chat.  Except…you know…with all the parts in the right places.

It felt like it took forever for the “actual work” to start on Via Corona.  There were architectural plans to be drawn up and preliminary engineering stuff to be done (and we are still working on secondary and tertiary plans).  But finally, about a month after we hired our builder and and nearly an eon after we closed on the house (at least six weeks), demo was a go.

Today I bring you Via Corona “during”–the downstairs addition.  I’ve included what the original spaces looked like as reference.  I’ll let you be the judge on whether Via Corona in her state of current undress is an improvement over her original state.

Here we have the 6’8″ entryway ceiling.

Minus the floor tile.

We didn’t do much of the demo ourselves but TD and I did take on that ceiling.  Destroying it was deeply and viscerally satisfying.

Ceiling removed and support beams gone.  It’s an old house and eight feet of ceiling is all we could hope for–but man, it makes a huge difference.

Remember our lady of the wall?

She’s now our lady of the wall no more.

Downstairs powder room in her brown and pink prime.

Tile and fixtures: history.

And so is most of the wall and flooring.  We knew from the inspections that Via Corona had a termite problem.  Now that most of the house has been demoed, we know that much of the wood-eating party was in this bathroom.

This part of the house is so disgusting and scary that we’re afraid to go in it for fear of falling through the floor.  We just stand in the doorway and gawk.

Kitchen before.  We felt a little bad about this one.  The cabinets were custom and we could have easily lived with the whole setup for some time.  But blood was already in the water so…

So. Much. Tile.

Cabinets: gone.

Flooring: gone.  All that remains is the soffit and that comes down as well.  To gain a little space we’re going to borrow from the powder room on the left wall.

Yep.  Toilet in the middle of the kitchen…Via Corona working on chanelling her inner Picasso.

Now you see the dining room.

Now you see the subfloor.

You’ve seen this shot before.  Let’s just say that we have yet to walk around in this house with bare feet.

The mantel was actually the first thing TD and I destroyed.  The scale of the mantel was far too large for the room–and would have been even after the addition to the left.

“End of life” carpet removed.  You know it’s saying something when janky plywood subfloor is categorized as “an improvement.”

Prom stairs before.  The carpet was so old that it disintegrated as we pulled it up.

TD and I spent a surprisingly therapeutic afternoon pulling out nails and staples after discovering hardwood under the carpet.    Unfortunately the wood we’re using for flooring isn’t a close enough match to save what is on there.

We gave ourselves an A for effort as consolation.

Not satisfied with making the foyer regular ceiling height, we also decided to take the upstairs hallway 21st century standards.

We are still waiting for the permits for the downstairs addition and new deck…another day another post.

On Thursday, TD will put on his docent’s badge to give you a tour of the upstairs.  Bet you can’t guess which one of us produces film in real life.

Episode 7: Appetite for destruction, part deux

For all Via Corona posts (so far): Via Corona

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