Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Vintage Colonial Kitchen: Time for an Update!

The house is coming together so quickly, I haven't had a chance to do a kitchen update.  And so much has happened to this 1938 kitchen!  You may remember that this was a challenge to design – it’s a long skinny room with lots of doors and windows (click here to see the design plan).  But our final design really maximizes the space and gives a great workable kitchen.

It was a lot of work to get to this point.  After gutting the room, we installed new, larger windows.  We closed up the old back door and removed the wall to the living room.  We removed the wall to the dining room as well.  And of course we installed new insulation, drywall, electrical and plumbing.  After all that, the guys got to work installing all of the cabinets.  It was a bit tricky, as some dimensions had shifted with all the work we did.  But it quickly took shape and started to look like a functional room.

Kitchen 'Before

Kitchen - 'Almost After'
With the living room wall opened up, now you can see all the way across the back of the house - from the garage entrance to the home office.  What a change in sight lines from our starting point!

I love the simplicity of the white shaker cabinets.  They’re light and bright and with the addition of a pantry cabinet, this kitchen has plenty of storage.  And we included a large farm sink, which provides style and function.

And with the removal of the wall to the dining room, we added a peninsula with cabinets and large worktop (plus seating on the other side!)

But while white countertops are very popular right now, I didn’t want them for this kitchen.  With all of the white woodwork in the dining room, the white cabinets and the abundant sunshine in the room – I was afraid you’d need sunglasses on a bright day.  So instead, I chose this marble veined quartz from Silestone called Calypso.  I love how it grounds the space and ties it all together.
Dining room looking towards kitchen - 'Before'
Dining room looking towards kitchen - 'Now' 
The kitchen backsplash is primarily a basic white subway.  But to provide a focal point, I installed this glass penny round tile behind the stove.  It was a challenge to install, but I do love how it looks.  Now I just need to get it grouted!
Glass tile is 'paper faced' - so you can't see it until after it's installed.  Tricky!!!

But my favorite feature?  The glass cabinet doors.  
The original kitchen had glass upper cabinets and I wanted to retain that sense of history - but with a bit of an update.  I turned to the talented Jim Nutting from Maine Art Glass to make them for me.  They have such a great blend of antique style and the highlight they circular pattern we’ve used throughout the house.
Kitchen - Before - Dark with only limited light from windows
Kitchen - Now - very bright with walls opened up and larger windows
First peek of original fir floors
And the floors?  We started with a dated, stick on tile, that had seen better days.  When we removed it, we discovered original fir flooring underneath.  It took a lot of work to get them sanded down, but look at the result!!!  Kitchen floors are often riddled with water stains and holes from old plumbing.  But these floors are gorgeous!

Of course we still need to install lighting, appliances and knobs (and one missing piece of crown molding).  But for now, I’m pretty pleased with the progress! 

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  1. Oh you have vision! Gorgeous!!

  2. I’d love to know which brand of cabinets you used. Thanks!

    1. Yes, what brand of cabinets do you tend to use in your projects? We need to renovate the kitchen in our new home and I'd love to know if you have been loyal to one particular brand.

  3. Love everything about it ... but that penny tile stole my heart!! It is so unique.

  4. Oh, it looks so much better opened up to the back office. I do like some walls but to be able to see out the furthest window, is wonderful.

    1. I love how that room always 'glows', thanks to the 7 windows in there! It's so nice to be able to see all the way across the back of the house!

  5. Do you do private consultations? If so, how do I sign up?

    1. Oh sorry Linda - I'm so busy with my own projects, I don't have time to work on anything else!!

  6. What fun to see this beautiful new kitchen come to life. The dark countertops the perfect complement to all of the white...a wise decision, and the glasswork on the upper cabinets is stunning. Also, I just got my Old House Journal, and was pleased to see your Dutch colonial featured there.

    1. You saw the article!!! I'm so excited it's out in print. They had sent me an advance copy, but asked me to keep it quiet until it was out. I guess I can share now! Thanks for the heads up :-)


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