Sunday, June 6, 2010

"Mr. Kinley, Tear Down that Wall!" - Part One

Once upon a time, Hillcrest Cottage had three rooms (well, there were more rooms but only of these three are we now speaking): Kitchen, Butler's Pantry, and Dining Room. The Kitchen was very small with access to both a servant's secret stairway leading to the upstairs and a servant's exterior back entrance. The Butler's Pantry was equally small, but well- equipped with a small, modern gas heater for chilly weather (the white porcelain type that I had previously only seen in 1950's bathrooms) and a window.

The Dining Room was high-tech with a servant buzzer placed strategically on the floor at the man's end of the dining room table. Such was the life of a 1920's-era bank president and his family. In the age before TV, I have trouble imagining how the cook and waiters in white coats would spend the time in the small Butler's Pantry in between foot-buzzer summonings.

With the passing of the servant-era, the first wall came down, and the Kitchen and Butler's Pantry were united as one room. An educated guess is that this happened in the 1960's with floor evidence indicating a free-standing stove with no built-ins.

The cabinets, cook top stove and built-in oven were a 1970's update. At this time, the Butler's Pantry window was made into a french door leading onto the hip and new 70's 'deck'. Everyone was building a deck in the 70's! I can hear Lynard Skynard amidst the sounds of hammering and saws right now.

Hillcrest Cottage became the Kinleystead in 2000. By this time the hipster deck had seen its better days. Icy oak limbs during the fierce 2001 ice storm brought the deck crashing down, and, since that time, the Kinleys have had the infamous 'Door to Nowhere'. One of my favorite stupid comments by visitors is, "Why do you have a door that goes nowhere? You should build a deck!"

A typical response is, "We don't want a deck. That's the door through which we invite visitors- who- ask- stupid- questions to exit." This comment usually brings a chilling silence to those who don't understand our quirky sense of humor.

One day...I dream of a door which leads to a screened-in porch. One day.

Hillcrest Cottage has had major traffic flow problems. Whenever we entertain...which is sometimes 2,3,4 times a week, guests entering the cottage flow straight into the Kitchen straight to the food prep area causing the cook much frustration. I have tried everything to entice guests out of the Kitchen and into the Dining Room which included moving the Dining Room table into the Living Room. But... no one would flow!!!

Year 2010: "Mr. Kinley, tear down that wall!!!"

Come back tomorrow... the story is only beginning. I'll explain what caused Mr. Kinley to say, "Oh my gosh... look at this!" and "So, this what they were trying to hide?"


  1. Loved reading the house story. I got captured into the world of the Hillcrest Cottage! Renovating is quite a task but very rewarding and exciting! Can't wait for the next chapter and updated pictures.

  2. Ok. I'm hooked. I will definitely be back for the next installment. However, I must say that I am a little bit envious of the fact that you have a "Door That Goes Nowhere"....right your very own house!

    I have been traveling down the "Road That Leads Nowhere" for such a long time....the concept of actually being settled & not having to travel any farther than across the room to reach "Nowehere" is mind-boggling to me!

  3. Bev, you're so great at telling stories - even better that yours are TRUE! :D