As I’ve been writing posts lately on the renovation projects we did to our 100 year old house a couple years ago, I’m reminded how much work it was… (even though a fair amount of this was done by contractors, still a lot of work!) But what a huge change the kitchen renovation did to the overall feel of the house! So many people in our small community have told me after they found out that we bought this house, that they had considered it, BUT…
But the kitchen was horrible! But the bathroom was horrible! (and so on…)
Shopping links for this project are at the end of this post.
Yes, the kitchen really was horrible. It was dated, (and not in a good way) so dark and so ’70’s that it seriously took away from the overall charm of the whole house. (well the kitchen and the bathrooms did… both were really bad… and both the most expensive rooms to renovate… I’m sure between crunching the numbers and lacking the vision of what it could be, those two things repelled buyer after buyer… I almost was dissuaded, at least for a day, then I had a vision of what it could be)
This is one wall of the kitchen when we bought the house. Where they placed the sink and dishwasher is actually where the original back stairway was… They removed the bottom flight of those stairs and stuck in the sink and dishwasher.
On the opposite side of the room…
was this long run of cabinets. Sounds good, except that left the room as a very closed off and dark room.
I re-designed the space, and the first thing was to get everything out. Pretty much everything except the original bird’s eye maple floors was going.
Our carpenters removed the cabinets and ReStore was thrilled to come pick them up.
As the carpenters started to remove the plaster walls and ceiling. They found this grey insulation (cellulose?) in there… It added an extra element of mess to the mess!
Finally getting down to the bare bones.
In my re-design plan I had drawn up, I had a door at each end of this kitchen wall to go into the breakfast room, as well as a window opening to go over the new sink placement.
To our surprise, when the plaster was removed, the wall showed that this wall, which originally was an exterior wall, had the door and window exactly where I had unknowingly designed them to be. The only difference was that there were 2 windows originally and I had only designed for one, the other place of the original window would fall behind the new fridge placement.
That was such a fun surprise! And to see in the floor the holes of where the original plumbing had come up (probably a hand pump over the old cistern in the basement) right where I had re-designed for the new sink placement.
It was meant to be!
Back to the previous wall…
After the cabinets and plaster were removed, you can start to see where the steps were just cut off in the 1970’s remodel.
Here’s that same wall, now with that stairway replaced.
And here is the whole kitchen sheetrocked. Except for the ceiling… That got a completely different treatment. Faux tin ceiling tiles in a drop ceiling. (all the plumbing for the 2nd level is behind those ceiling tiles, I think it’s a great benefit to be able to have easy access to plumbing… plus the ceiling tiles are gorgeous, and totally in keeping with the age of the house! You can see more about this ceiling here)
Of course, before that could happen the electric was completely replaced, and the plumbing completely redone…
Once the sheetrock was up, I felt comfortable ordering the cabinets. (until that point things out of your control can cause changes which can lead to costly mistakes in the cabinet order… better to wait and get it right) I am thrilled with them! In fact, since this kitchen, I’ve helped design a couple other kitchens, and in both, we used the same cabinets! They are solid wood, no MDF and very good quality at a reasonable price.
Along with the cabinet order, I placed the sink orders.
Another major item we did in the kitchen was the wall mounted pot rack. You can read more about the pot rack here.
After all the finishing touches this is now the kitchen, (from the stairway towards the prep sink and the pantry on the left)…
We now have the large farmhouse sink, (that I love, love, love… I’ll put that sink in my next kitchen too!) We also added the 2nd smaller prep sink. So handy to have that extra sink!
Here you can see the wall wherein the before pic was the stove, sink, and dishwasher, is now:
the brick pot-rack, the stove and the back stairway re-opened. By having only the stove on this wall, I could flank two cabinets on each side of it, leaving great prep space on both sides… unlike how it was before with the stove against the wall and the other side having to share the space with the sink. (The LED under cabinet lighting is fantastic!
Now the main sink, a large farmhouse sink with a built-in drainboard is on the opposite side of where it was in the before. The window opening above the sink is where we discovered the original window was many years ago… so fun to re-open that!
You can’t see it in this pic, but just beyond the fridge is the 2nd doorway to the breakfast room.
The kitchen is now a charming feature of this 100 year old house. It is so user-friendly, and instead of a major let-down when you rounded the corner from the dining room into the kitchen, it feels like it fits right into the age and classic style of the house.
Here are more kitchen renovations:
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