A daily design journal about new england life, home decorating resources, and renovating a 257-year-old house in Marblehead, MA.

House Renovation: Removing Cabinet

Posted on | March 1, 2010 | 19 Comments

cabinet and door in side room House Renovation: Removing Cabinet

We been away majority of February and haven’t gotten anything significant done in the house. Greg removed the ceiling in the side room off the den and continued scraping the paint off the woodwork. We started talking about removing the cabinet seen on the left to look more like a door (on right). The cabinet doesn’t fit in with the ornate woodwork seen in the two rooms. It looks like it was added sometime in the 1900′s using ugly beadboard? We have enough room to build a closet that would allow it to be flush to the wall. We both think it would look better and have a cleaner line. Now I just need to find a home for all the stuff I shoved into the cabinet.

After being away I came back feeling a bit frustrated by the renovation. I’ve been bratty all week annoyed at the crap laying all over the house. Will it ever get done? I feel like we are working at a snails pace, which is partly my fault. At the end of the day I don’t feel like putting on my work clothes and remove dirty ceilings. I would rather knit, bake bread, or go to the gym. (That’s a lie, I hate the gym too.) How do you have a life and renovate an entire house yourself?

Above and below photos of the small room off the den we are working on. We found a few new objects in the ceiling including plates, scissors, bones (not in photo), and a bottle of sappy liquid.

DSC 1884 House Renovation: Removing Cabinet

DSC 19111 House Renovation: Removing Cabinet

DSC 1912 House Renovation: Removing Cabinet

side room House Renovation: Removing Cabinet

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pixel House Renovation: Removing Cabinet


19 Responses to “House Renovation: Removing Cabinet”

  1. erin / atlantic treefox
    March 1st, 2010 @ 12:09 pm

    i love reading about your renovations. finding those things must be such an amazing feeling!

    i hope you find some kind of schedule so you can keep moving forward. it must be so hard!


  2. Shayna
    March 1st, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

    Wow, this is amazing. I totally know what you mean about feeling annoyed and exasperated. I just had (another) one of those moments last night while making a list of everything that we need to do.

    We gave up our life for nearly 2 years just to make our place livable and that’s not even addressing everything that I’d like to do.

    I think the beauty and the pain of renovating your own home is that it’s never really done. You see things with a different eye when it’s your own.

    Wishing you luck!


  3. Anja
    March 1st, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

    We hardly did any of the renovating ourself. We decided to have everything done before we moved in because we have small kids. We are not millionaires so we didn’t use any expensive materials. We don’t have anything major left do so we can focus on the garden. I think it is important to get help and even more cost efficient in the long run.

    Good luck! Chose one day a week to work.


  4. Gregory
    March 1st, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

    I want to restore a centuries old home just for the treasures you find in the walls and ceilings.

    If for any reason you don’t want those scissors, you let me know!


  5. Virginia
    March 1st, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

    I know what you mean about coming home after being away for a while and still seeing all of the work to be done. We’ve been at it since March 04 and we’re still not done. We’ve had to take breaks and attack it with fresh vigor when we start up again. Nothing moves as fast as you’d like it and decisions take so much longer because of wanting to do what is right/sensitive to the house’s age. My bedroom is no longer bare, patched, horsehair plaster with tacks in it, which it was for three years. I felt like I was living in an abandoned crack house at times. Baby steps for big results.


  6. Brittany Noel
    March 1st, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

    I can’t even imagine how frustrating this must be. It’s one thing to “just” renovate a house. It’s another to renovate your home and keep a job and a life. You’re making progress, though! Even if it’s slow, you’re still getting stuff done and it will be totally worth it.


  7. Patsy
    March 2nd, 2010 @ 10:53 am

    You’re also taking the time to renovate with attention paid to the past. You could bang out a brandy new interior in no time.

    Hang in there, and if you need help, M-head is crawling with excellent tradespeople.


  8. Hillary
    March 2nd, 2010 @ 11:37 am

    That rose print wallpaper you uncovered is so sweet and pretty.


  9. Jane
    March 2nd, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

    Maybe if you get one room done the way you want it, it will be less frustrating. Create your own small oasis in a grand scale reno. The clocks are going to be moving forward soon and the weather will be getting warmer. Hopefully that will inject some new energy into the project.


  10. Barbara Merritt
    March 2nd, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

    Your words sound so familiar to me. I actually left my house behind and moved just to escape the overwhelming sense that our house would always be “in process” and never finished. I started blaming my spouse for not working faster. Felt guilty if we did anything else besides work on the house. Now I miss it. I think that the idea of creating an oasis in the midst of greater chaos is a wise suggestion. I also think that adopting a bit of Mark and Sally Bailey’s aesthetic (just leave that scraped woodwork as it is!) might save my sanity. It’s hard. As is ignoring all those “helpful” souls who keep asking if you’re finished yet. Bon Courage!


  11. Emma
    March 3rd, 2010 @ 1:36 pm

    I think you are so gutsy for taking on a project like this. They don’t call it a “labour of love” for nothing – it’s hard work! But you will be so happy once you are done. Not only will you have preserved the character and soul of a beautiful old house but you will know that you did it yourself. Soon you will be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour – a house many people will envy!


  12. Jenn
    March 3rd, 2010 @ 9:08 pm

    god, I love those relics you discover when renovation an old house. Those are particularly gorgeous and interesting. It sends a bit of a chill down my spine! So fascinating!!


  13. Sam
    March 4th, 2010 @ 1:56 am

    Yikes! More power to you and your troop.

    But your treasures are so wonderful! I hope you consider saving a framable chunk of that aged wall paper with the peeling paint and old wood, it is really gorgeous; such layers of time!


  14. lisa :: the red thread
    March 4th, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

    Oh wow, I LOVE that old wallpaper showing through underneath the crumbly plaster. I guess it’s a bit impractical to leave it like that?! Beautiful!


  15. Alison
    March 5th, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

    Just came across your wonderful blog–what an amazing renovation! And I thought it was tough work renovating our 1927 home! Best of luck to you both, can’t wait to see more progress….


  16. sara
    March 9th, 2010 @ 9:40 am

    wow i love this blog. your place is beautiful.


  17. Lisa
    March 9th, 2010 @ 10:00 am

    It looks fantastic!


  18. Stefanie
    March 16th, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

    Oh I LOVE the treasures that you have discovered!
    That wall paper is amazing. If you can spare I piece i would love some!
    I have just discovered you and am really enjoying your blog.
    Lot’s of pretty pictures and a great sense of style.
    I too am a big fan of Elizabeth Cummings!
    Xx Stef


  19. Richard
    March 31st, 2012 @ 3:09 pm


    Hadn’t seen these. The pottery sherds are great. We have a great box full we’ve saved. Look at the remnants of the Leeds plate! Well that gets you to 1815 – 20 anyway!!

    This blog is a blast. Thanks.

    Best, Richard


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