Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Creating a Kitchen with Old World Charm

Our goal from the beginning of this project was to celebrate the history of this 90+ year old house, while adding some modern amenities for today's lifestyle.  This was particularly challenging in the kitchen.  We don't want it to look modern.  But we want the modern conveniences everyone loves (aka dishwasher, microwave, storage, etc!) Our starting point was a 1980's kitchen that had zero vintage charm - it was just basic and blah.  So anything would be an improvement!

First Peek - new kitchen! 

I shared the design in a previous post, but it's so exciting to see that start to become a reality! 

Kitchen - 'Before'

First step was installing the new beech floor, so the cabinets can go on top of it (this is critical if anyone wants to change the design in the future, so they will have the same flooring throughout the room).  The original house had beech throughout - but it was hard to find in with COVID material shortages.  Thanks to the guys at Seacoast Flooring we found enough for the kitchen, but we had to use its cousin - birch flooring - for the second floor.  Otherwise we had to wait until November!!!

What I really found amazing was how similar the new beech wood looks compared to the 90+ year old beech.  Isn't that crazy? 

Next came the cabinets.  I went with a slightly detailed shaker style cabinet in a color Thomasville calls 'dover'.  

But I wanted the sink to reflect a little vintage charm, so it's made of cherry with an antique glaze.


The nail biting part of the whole process is installing the fireclay sink.  Fireclay isn't always uniform as it goes through the kiln, so Brian had to make a custom template and carefully cut it out on the front of the sink base.  One false move and the sink base would be ruined!  😅. Thankfully the install was perfect!

Microwave cabinet 
While it's not a huge kitchen, we've included all the amenities we were looking for.  There are lots of cabinets with pull out drawers, trash/recycling and a separate microwave cabinet.
The refrigerator is behind the backdoor

Remember the steel beam we added to enlarge the kitchen?  We wrapped it in reclaimed wood which really adds some charm to the room.

And since the kitchen door will be used by the homeowners the most, we needed a mud bench to make their lives easier. This custom unit includes a tower of shelves that will hold wicker baskets - much better for hiding hats and gloves.  The tower and bench will be painted to match the cabinetry.  But the back of the bench is made from fir bead board and some antique fir trim I found in the back of the closet.  I'll be giving that a natural finish so the wood will glow!

They came to template the quartz countertops.  Now we have a FOUR week wait for them to get installed!

Nothing about this renovation project has been fast, but it's nice to have some forward momentum.  I can't wait to share more photos when the counters have been installed. 


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  1. Those floors are going to be beautiful. I've never heard of beech floors, lol. The kitchen is coming along nicely, love the cabinets and especially the cherry cabinet for the sink. Can't wait for more progress! Jan in MA

  2. I love how you added the wood beam! It’s so light and airy now. All of your work totally mesmerize me that you come up with the changes that you do, it’s like you have special magic. 🥰 Jeanne Vook

    1. Jeanne - thanks so much for the kind words! This kitchen is a bit of a challenge, but I'm pretty happy with how it's coming together! Thanks for following along.


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