Before we moved into this house, the kitchen already had a lot of charm. She was a retro-meets-the-farm kind of kitchen, and who wouldn’t love such an adorable blend? The problem with retro is that when a kitchen is authentically vintage there is a lot of wear and tear that goes along with the “vibe” because kitchens are hard working ladies. In order to afford a complete overhaul, we took it slow and over five years made the kitchen into what she is today.
We kept the layout of the kitchen the same in order to not have to mess with re-plumbing gas and water lines. However, the wall between the kitchen and living room pictured above was the first thing to go so we could maximize our living space. The fridge swung over to where the garage door was on the right, next to the stove.
After we took the wall out, we saved our pennies and put travertine in the kitchen, living room, hallway, and front bedroom. Our main plan was to salvage the original floors, but the wood floors under the carpet were not repairable and the kitchen had a sub-floor that didn’t match the rest of the house. We also scraped and painted the kitchen cabinets, took off the upper doors, and added new hardware. For a while we were finished with the kitchen and happy with it too. We even hatched a little bakery in the space.
As you can tell from the picture above, some serious pie baking happened in this space. And wedding cakes, and Christmas cookies, and mini pies, and cute little bundt cakes, and on and on. But time marches on, and the ceilings were saggy and the cabinets were chippy, and so we took the plunge to work with a great contractor and have our ceilings and kitchen refinished.
If you ever think your house needs airing out, this is the way to go. Spring was in the air and our house smelled like dew covered meadows. Our outdoor cat, George, found that he could hop the rafters from the garage into the house, and he liked it. I was in my third trimester with baby Ian at the time and didn’t appreciate the outdoorsy feel along with the sixty-year-old dust, so we moved out for a while. We ordered and assembled the cabinets and our contractor installed them. He also did the ceilings, but we called Roger and my parents for help with the finishing touches including the tile back splash and open shelving.
Our kitchen was packed away for a total of six months for the renovation. There were tons of breaks. Wedding cakes were made, pregnant ladies were stuck in Ikea cabinet bases, parties were hosted, babies were born (just one, really cute babe), seasons of House of Cards were conquered. I’m really embarrassed by the sheer number of visitors we had in our home after Ian was born who saw the kitchen “in-progress.” I’m making a public vow not to undergo remodeling-while-pregnant again. We’ll see if I can keep my own promise. So here is our final five-years-in-the-making kitchen with lovely photos by Kim Hawkins (thanks Kim!).
Hardware and lighting Schoolhouse Electric. Cabinets, farmhouse sink, faucet, and range hood Ikea. Shelf brackets West Elm.