A quick, feel-good project that Mom has decided to tackle first is pulling up the old contact paper and recovering the shelves in her pantry. Each unit of the Box House has a rather large pantry, which compensates for the rather smallish kitchen. There is a ton of storage space in each. Just looking at all that space makes me want to try my hand at canning and preserving summer fruits and vegetables!
The glue on the old paper is so dry it just took a putty knife to loosen an edge before peeling it all off. All she'll have to do is wipe the boards down and recover them with fresh paper.
I'm not sure what I'll do in my unit yet; I thought about peeling off the paper, stripping the paint, and leaving them as bare wood. Both our inspector and buyer's agent laughed at that idea, saying that new wood is cheaper to buy than the opportunity cost of going through all that effort. They're probably right, and Ted agrees. (He checked out wood prices at Home Depot today--our fifth trip there in the last week or so.) But I have a weird nostalgic streak, and like the idea of stacking my cans of food on the same shelves the original lady of the house would have used (if they are indeed original!)
In the vertical photo you can just catch a glimpse of the built-in ice box behind my mom. Yes, a real ice box! We were very excited to see these when we first looked at the Box House. My parents had one when I was growing up, and I would store all my crayons and art supplies in it. (Later, when it was temporarily stored in the garage, I accidentally tapped it with my car a couple of weeks after I received my driver's license. I have never been able to live down the fact that it fell over and more or less shattered. I swear I was just inching my way in.) At present, both ice boxes contain more junk to sort through--although I was grateful to find a large stash of light bulbs in the downstairs one. We've had two bulbs burn out since we've been here.
As these ice boxes are built directly into the wall, the back side opens onto the porch, and the ice man would deliver the ice without ever having to come into the house. The porch is now enclosed, and the boxes seem to be pretty well preserved. The backsides are coated in paint, but it looks like I'll be able to strip them and get them to open up again. I'm not sure what we'll use them for, but am open to suggestions.