Is there a chimney in our kitchen?

For a long time we have suspected — and hoped! — there’s an old chimney hiding behind a wall in our kitchen. We know it extends down to the basement, where it is intact, though painted that grey basement color that all basements seem to be painted, and it extends up and outside, where it’s red and pretty. The coal-burning stove is actually still in the basement, as well — still full of coal!

I would love to have exposed brick in the kitchen when we do the remodel, and we’ve even been tentatively designing the new kitchen around it. But, honestly, we have no idea what’s behind the wall! So this weekend we decided, let’s just find out. What could go wrong, right??

Here’s a quick shot of our kitchen that I took the other day with my phone, so you can see where the chimney is in context.

chimney project | Burritos & Bubbly

Here’s a closeup. I’m not really sure why we decided to punch a hole in the most prominent spot on the wall, right when you walk in the back door, instead of underneath the cabinet where no one would see it… But that’s what we did, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

chimney project | Burritos & Bubbly

chimney project | Burritos & Bubbly

So we punched a hole in the wall, through all the drywall fluff, which isn’t really fluffy at all, even though it kinda looks like meringue in this picture.

chimney project | Burritos & Bubbly

And what was on the other side?


More drywall.

So we kept hammering away, hoping we’d soon find brick.

Instead, we found…

chimney project | Burritos & Bubbly

Well. I have no idea. Is that tile? Cement? Did someone tile over the brick? Ugghhhh!

Here’s a close up.

chimney project | Burritos & Bubbly

We chipped at it for a while, but we were afraid of causing some serious damage to whatever might be behind this, and we didn’t have the right tools. We’ll have to leave it up to the professionals and just continue to hope that there’s something worth salvaging in there somewhere. If not, we’re prepared to put the drywall back up… but that would be so sad!

Here’s some inspiration photos I’ve been saving for a long time. I love the way that the brick really warms up these kitchens and gives them so much more character and sense of history. One of the best things about older homes is all of their quirks, so it’s especially frustrating when you realize that someone wanted to hide that at one time. Hopefully it’s still in there somewhere!


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