Kitchen Remodel Part 3: Our New Original Kitchen

I call this post “Our New Original Kitchen” because when we remodeled the kitchen in our 1927 bungalow, we were actually bringing it back to its original size, reversing an unfortunate mid-century remodel that sliced it in half and lowered the ceiling.

The Story of the Wall

This is the photo that best shows the mid-century “slicing,” with the small kitchen on the right, the wall added in the 1950s in the middle, and an interior room that we called “the Weird Room” on the left.  This whole funny chopped-up space had once been the kitchen.

Kitchen remodel: Before with two rooms and dividingwall
Wall with Weird Room on the left and kitchen on the right

The Planning

This post is Part 3 in a series about our kitchen remodel.  Part 1 covers the planning process and the ways we found to save money and stay within budget yet still get the kitchen we wanted.

The Demolition

Part 2 covers all the interesting things we learned about our old house during the demolition process – when we tore down that mid-century wall.

Ready to Start!

So now we had a big empty space and we were ready to get the remodel underway.

As one strategy to save money, my husband, Chris, decided to be his own general contractor and hire his own specialists, including, luckily for us, a crackerjack carpenter – our friend Bruce.  We first met Bruce when he was the project lead on our master bathroom remodel.

And not only would Chris be the general contractor, but he would also work with Bruce on the remodel.

Chaotic Progress

Needless to say, living with a kitchen remodel is chaotic.  But it’s also very exciting.  Almost every evening when I came home from work, something new had happened.  Which made up for the fact that I was washing our dishes in the laundry sink.

Here to show a little of the progress is our cat Lily on a stroll near the north wall, apparently oblivious to the fact that the kitchen is gutted down to the studs.

Kitchen remodel: Lily with Demo of North wall

Soon after, I came home to find that our drywall contractor was working his magic, and the north wall now looked like this.

Kitchen remodel: North wall after sheetrock

The space seemed huge until the cabinets started going in.  But it was wonderful to see the kitchen slowly take shape.

south wall mostly done

A Kitchen Tour

We wanted our kitchen to be updated, cheerful and inviting and to blend with the original style of our old house.

Here is a little tour of how it all turned out.

The Countertop

Choosing a granite countertop took us weeks.  We made several visits to a huge warehouse that probably stocked every type of granite known to man.

After taking home many samples, we chose a  granite that we loved called Verde Typhoon from India.

You can imagine my excitement on the day that the granite was installed.  I was at work and Chris emailed me this photo.

Beautiful Verde Typhoon Granite

The Gas Range

We kept the location of the gas range almost the same as in the old kitchen so that any re-plumbing of the gas lines would be minimal.

Here is the range before our remodel.

Kitchen remodel: oven and fridge before

And here is the new range after, with a lot more counter space around it, but in much the same location.

Lots of prep space

The Peninsula

Now there is a peninsula where the wall used to be and walking in the back door, instead of seeing this . . .

Kitchen remodel: Before with two rooms and dividingwall
Wall with Weird Room on the left and kitchen on the right

We now see this . . .

New rangehood & range

The Sink

We also kept the sink in the same location on the south wall under the window.

This is the south wall before.

Kitchen remodel_ Kitchen before
South wall of kitchen before remodel.

And this is after with the new farmhouse sink.

looking west now

Notice also how much higher the ceiling is after the remodel.

A Parrot Light

The light over the sink came out of my childhood home, which was built in 1901 – although the light itself is from the 1930s.  It had been in storage for years so I was happy to finally have the ideal place to hang it.

Vintage parrot light

The China Cabinet

Our dining room has a couple of original built-in hutches, but they are small and there is nowhere else in the dining room to have a china cabinet.

So I wanted something in our kitchen that functioned as a china cabinet.  We placed it on the north wall between the fridge and the pantry.

north wall now

To set it apart from the rest of the cabinets, we chose a wood countertop, which Chris stained and finished.  And it has a bead board backsplash instead of the subway tile that is on the south wall.

Leaded Glass Cabinet Doors

Since the built-ins in our dining room have leaded glass cabinet doors, we continued the look in the kitchen with leaded glass on the upper cabinets.

We ordered the cabinet doors with just frames, no glass, and had a glass artist create and inset the leaded glass.

Glass Cabinet Hardware

Everywhere in our 1920s house, we have glass cabinet hardware, so it was an easy decision to continue the look in the kitchen.

glass knobs

 The Planning Desk

The planning desk was unplanned.  During the demolition, the crew came across a small closet that had been walled off, adding a tiny bit of square footage to the kitchen that we hadn’t counted on.

Kitchen remodel: demolition of closet
The green paint shows the area where the little closet was found behind a wall.

The kitchen cabinets were already on order, so we ended up finding an after-market planning desk.   Chris had to cut a little trim off on one side to make it fit into the space.

planning desk

Flooring

We refinished the fir floors, not just in the kitchen but throughout the house.  One thing leads to another in a remodel.

Speaking of which . . .

Arches

Bruce converted the kitchen and the dining room doorways back into arched doorways.  They had been shared off in the mid-century remodel.

Doorway square off from 1950s remodel
Doorway squared off in 1950s remodel

So as you can see, this kitchen remodel had legs and kept walking.  In a future post, I will be talking more about the arches and the other projects that were triggered by our kitchen remodel.


For more on our kitchen remodel, check out:



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8 Replies to “Kitchen Remodel Part 3: Our New Original Kitchen”

  1. I really enjoyed your posts about this remodel. How eerie is it that you renovated your kitchen on the same date as the found 1952 newspaper?! I am sharing this morning on my Facebook page….I LOVE the results. Such a great article. Thanks for linking up at the Shabbilicious link party this week!

  2. Remodeling a kitchen is such a big job. You’ve done a beautiful job! The parrot light that came out of your childhood home is fabulous!

  3. Oh my gosh I am so enjoying this series – what an amazing transformation!! So strange that anyone at ANY time would want to cut a kitchen in half, bizarre!! What a gorgeous space it is now, you must love it so much!

    1. Yes we thought that was very weird. Why would anyone make their kitchen smaller, just to have a room with no windows? Maybe lots of kids and nowhere to do homework? I love the size of the kitchen now, and I always wonder what the original layout of it was.

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