I mentioned in this post that we’d made the rather delicious discovery that our short, stout, boxy kitchen had a false ceiling and as the kitchen was our next big project, we figured we might as well remove it to gain those extra precious inches in room height before we began tackling all the other work.

Well, while I was at work on Friday, W (who had taken the day off specifically for this purpose and it had nothing at all to do with horse racing on the television *cough*) took the false ceiling down.  The actual process of taking it down was a lot easier than we’d imagined which was a good thing.  The whole thing only took a few hours (the mess and dust it created, on the other hand, continues to be a constant battle).

As a reminder, here’s what it looked like before we began work.

Here’s the first hole.

And here’s what it looked like in process.  You’ll see there was a wood frame that held up the plaster board and fabulously groovy swirly artex – or else what we thought was artex – decorating the ceiling above the false one.

W realised it wasn’t artex at all.  It was actually plaster.  And it could be removed – whilst creating the most INCREDIBLE mess – very easily. So that came down as well.  In for a penny, in for a pound as they say.

This is what we are now left with.

I know it’s incredibly difficult to show in a tiny picture what a MASSIVE difference to the room these extra 22.5cm (9″) has made.  The room has gone from feeling quite clausterphobic to a rather nice airy space.  It’s added almost 3 square metres of space to the room and considering this is an English kitchen, where space is normally at a premium, we’re over the moon.  It also now seems to flow with the rest of the house where we enjoy healthy 9ft ceiling heights.

And just for a bit of side-by-side comparison, I cobbled this one together from a couple different images so that you could compare like-for-like.

The difference is quite noticeable above the clock and blind.

The other discovery was that there was still a working light in the centre of the room.  We won’t be keeping this but for now, it means there’s a light source until we can put up the new pendant lights.

There’s so much more to be done here obviously.  We will be putting new plaster board up and skimming the entire ceiling along with the area just below, blending the top 9″ of the wall with the rest of it.

Because the current ceiling isn’t in great condition and is a bit crumbly, we’ve had to use expanding foam along one of the walls to stop rubble from falling from the ceiling every time we walked around upstairs.  The dust is continuing to settle literally so it’s a constant battle to keep the counters free of dust and flaking paint.  Not the kind of thing you want in your breakfast cereal.

So, next weekend, we’ll get the plaster board up so that the kitchen will be usable again but in the meantime, we’ve been able to utilise the dining room for the items that would normally be on the counter top.  So far, so good and the disruption hasn’t been too bad.

In fact, to make myself feel considerably better about the mess, I bought some lovely roses for my dining table, just to give me something extra pretty to look at. It’s all about balance, people.

Ya know, I have to tell you while we’re looking now at pretty things, I’m so excited about what lay ahead.  About the changes we are looking forward to for the kitchen.  I said to W last night, “This is proper, grown up DIY now!!” and he agreed.  I mean, sure, we’ve done plenty of painting and decorating, we even tackled replacing and refinishing flooring by ourselves, but this?  This for us is more like the big leagues.  This is proper renovation, something to sink our teeth into!

So very much to come in this room and this is just the very first wee step we’ve taken.  We are not rich nor do we have a huge pot of money for this project.  It’s going to be done as absolutely as much as possible by ourselves to save money.  I’m in digital marketing, W is an automotive paint sprayer.  We don’t come from construction or architectural or interior design backgrounds.  We both work full time so any work will be done at the weekends and where possible, in the evenings after our work day.

Lovely as it would be, we don’t know any amazing plumbers or electricians or plasterers that are going to do us favours.  It’s a learning process and it’s an adventure.  I know lots of bloggers take on these kinds of jobs so it’s probably no big deal to anyone else.  But knowing that we’re tackling this completely by ourselves, that we’re willing to make mistakes and have successes and be able to stand back at the end of all this knowing that WE did it will be so pride-inducing and I can’t begin to describe how cool that is.

And I know this isn’t a sexy post and there’s no ‘before and after’ like we all love but this is real life.  And I’ll be blogging about this in ‘real time’. So yeah, I just want to say a big thank you for joining us in our little adventure.  It’s going to be very cool to share the process with you.

All images my own.

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