Saturday, February 24, 2018

Way-overdue post of kitchen remodel.

Back when I first bought this old house, I did some mostly minor fixing up (painting, changing ceiling fans, and so on) and posted before and after shots of each room as I went. But the kitchen took so long that posting about it got away from me. So here, just for my own records, is the remodel project.
The house had its post-war era original kitchen, circa 1945. The first two photos are from when the house was for sale. I liked it, but wasn't wild about the dark red walls, formica counters, and parquet flooring. Or that it lacked a dishwasher - a fact I somehow overlooked when I bought it. (Also - note the framed Audrey Hepburn picture. I like Audrey Hepburn as much as the next person, but it seemed like an odd choice for a kitchen decoration to me.) I went all out on my kitchen remodel in my last home and didn't come close to recouping the money when I sold it, so this go round I decided to take a much saner approach.
This is the original dining room. The chandelier is so not me. And I had no use for a bar with seats. One of the first things I did was tear that island out, leaving a gaping hole in the floor for months.
And paint the red walls a sunny yellow to cheer the place up. I like brighter kitchens.
I replaced the heavy red and gold valance that obscured much of the window with white wooden blinds, which now stay open most of the time so I can see outside when I'm at the sink.
I decided to keep the fridge and the oven, which both were in decent working order, and the upper cabinets because they went all the way to the ceiling. I especially liked the little semi-circle wood shelves attached to the upper cabinets. The lower cabinets, however, weren't sturdy enough to support granite countertops. And before everyone gives me grief about that, let me just say that I didn't want granite for its trendiness. It just suits the way I cook. You can cut things directly on it and set pots right off the stove or out of the oven on it without damaging it. Also, it is the perfect surface for working bread dough.
I'd ordered lower cabinets and also wood doors for the upper cabinets from a company in Washington, and painted them white.
In the midst of this project, I met my husband-to-be. He did most of the assembly and I did the painting.
Once they were all assembled and taking up space all over this little house, the contractor who put in my last kitchen came in and tore out the old cabinets and floor. I decided to keep the old porcelain sink, because it's a classic.
The parquet floor was replaced with oak, to match the rest of the house.
The old sink with new fixtures, including a space for the instant hot water spigot. I love being able to have water hot enough for tea or cocoa right out of its own little tap.
We picked out new brushed nickle cabinet pulls for the doors because the old ones were a) brass and b) grungy. I kept the basic arrangement of lower cabinets, except I added in a corner cabinet and another next to the stove. It was a more efficient use of floor space.
And replaced a cabinet between the sink and the refrigerator with a narrow dishwasher! We still sometimes hand-wash dishes, but it's really nice to have on busy days or when we have company.
The finished kitchen. I added a light over the sink, and three square shelves to hold spices.
And the dining room. That little granite-topped island is one I had made for my kitchen in the old house. When I put that house on the market, I stashed it in storage because I knew I wanted to keep it. We also added a tiny cabinet next to it with a piece of scrap granite and it holds the coffee maker, coffee bean grinder and sugar bowl. I replaced the utilitarian white light fixture over the old island with four amber glass lights.
I had already swapped out the chandelier with this glass globe and Edison bulb. It came from China and not only were there no English directions, they use different color wires than we do. Took me a little tinkering to figure out how to wire it in. I painted the top part of the dining room walls the same butter yellow as the kitchen and the part below the chair rail a darker honey gold. That hunt board along the wall was a family piece from my husband's family, and the table I've posted about before - it's made from reclaimed tobacco barn wood.
And that is likely to be the last remodeling we do here unless we change our minds and decide to stay forever.

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