Eight months ago, my husband & I bought a new house. And by new, I really mean 250 years old and in need of restoration. While structurally sound, parts of the house needed to be rebuilt, others merely updated. The kitchen fit into the latter category. It was from the 1950s, the oven didn’t work well, but everything else was fine for the time being. We made the decision to postpone the kitchen until spring, when our tax refund could cover improvements. Last month it arrived. Our refund wasn’t huge, but it would be enough. And in true If You Give a Moose a Muffin fashion, one thing inevitably led to another, and…
Here are BEFORE shots of the galley kitchen & keeping room.
In combination, these two rooms provide efficient space for cooking as well as ample dining. But they seem disjointed. The 50s kitchen feels completely out of context tacked onto the colonial keeping room. And although the kitchen gets great light, the adjacent eating area remains dark. We wanted an open, unified space. We set to accomplish this goal -first, by removing the large wooden cabinet dividing the two rooms. We planned on keeping the structure intact, altering it slightly to fit in a corner. But once we began dismantling it, we realized the cabinet had been built, piece by piece, in place.
There was absolutely no way to move it, save for disassembling it completely. And so we did.
The former owner had built that cabinet himself from wood he’d found in the attic. We understandably wanted to preserve it, but the question was.. How?
Although the kitchen cabinets themselves are 50 years old, they are solid and sound. Much better, actually, than any of the cheap replacements we could afford to buy. So we decided to keep them in place, and simply clean and repaint them. Not only were we saving money, we were keeping all this stuff out of a landfill. Win-win! We removed all of the cabinet doors, along w/ hardware. I looked online & found a way to remove the old paint from the hinges, so we didn’t even need to replace them. Bright & shiny, like new!
I sanded all of the surfaces, cleaned and readied them for painting.
We tested a lot of paint colors on the cabinets before deciding which we liked best. I cannot stress how important this is. You’re going to be living w/ this decision for YEARS. Custom colors are non refundable, so you’re out the money if you change your mind. And there is waaaaaaay too much work involved, having to go back and re-paint everything. How do I know this? I just do. And we will never speak of that again.
Once everything was dry, the process of reassembly began. Beautiful brushed nickel handles and knobs for all the cabinets and drawers. Colonial in spirit, but also fresh and new.
The old countertops had been removed before painting; now it was time to cut & install the new ones. My husband & I had purchased solid oak butcher block. Functional, natural and incredibly strong. NOT TO MENTION UNBELIEVABLY HEAVY! Egads.. We custom cut each slab to fit.
Taking a little time, in between, to celebrate a birthday. (PS: Birthday girls make great helpers!)
My superhusband also spent time re-wiring. New grounded outlets for the back splash, appliances and island.
Speaking of island.. We’d decided to use the remaining cabinetry as a foundation for our kitchen island, 9 x 3 1/2 ft, complete with professional grade cooktop. Be still my heart…
Once the counters were cut, it was time to install the tile backsplash.
Next up, finishing the island. A perfect way to blend old and new.. wood, that is.
Then comes the floor.
Install the microwave and appliances.
And FINALLY! Our new kitchen is DONE~!!