Small Kitchen Report

enduringJune 18, 2011

In response to plllog's "A message to lurkers and quiet people" posting I will report on my Small Kitchen.

I live in the midwest and work in a larger city. My husband farms. My goal was to redo the kitchen to make it nicer and a place that he can do farm business with seed dealers and other business related to farming. It will not be a feminine space (I fondly refer to the beautiful white kitchens as wedding dress kitchens). It will be warm looking with wood cupboards.

The house is a house that actually belongs to his mother but I recently did a total gutting of the kitchen and in the midst of a remodel. I did not make work area changes because 1) it's not my house, and 2) I came to this site late in the game and didn't put a lot of thought into other options. The house originally was located in the small town 2 miles away but was moved to this site in the 30's. DH father and aunt hand dug the basement when the were young. We are the 3rd generation to live in this tiny house that I think may be a Sears "kit house"

My project grew and grew after the idea came to me to put in new cupboards. First, another run of cupboards and then a range hood, then a new frig, then undercounter lighting, etc. It has been a blast and I would do it again. I really found this site helpful in thoughts and considerations that go into kitchens.

My kitchen is 7x12, and it has 4 doors, and it has a bathroom through one of those doors! The bathroom was useful when the kids were small, and it has stood in for many functions, caring for sick animals, using the tub to fill up calf bottles, etc. Currently it is were I am washing dishes while things are underway with the remodel. The kitchen is so small that the frig is actually on the porch with the microwave. I like this layout 'cause it gives space in the kitchen for a small table. My mother-in-law had it set up this way and I followed suit when we moved in 20 years ago. She proudly fed a family of 6 (she stood) at a 2x4 foot fold down countertop that covered a recessed cupboard into the wall when in the up position. But it was never up! She did all of her canning, baking, meal preps, and meat preps in this space. She had built in tall cupboards with sliding doors (like closets) in the porch in the 70s, a great idea. With the remodel, and information from this site, I have informed DH that it will now be referred to as "The Pantry". He laughed, he is a wonderful sport with this project, which is my project.

The old cabinets we replaced where put in after WWII when wood became available again. They were cute in their own right. My younger kids (college age) didn't want to lose them because of their charm. I looked for cabinets that were in keeping with the look. While I took the old drop down table out I had the "hole in the wall" refashioned into a built in shelf. It looks grand. I am nearing completion and will be posting final "reveal" pictures in a few weeks. I call myself the GC on this project.

Thanks for all the great ideas and critiques that I read.

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Looking forward to the pics! Sounds cool!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 4:36PM
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I agree it sounds intriguing. No charm but I have an 8x8 kitchen so I like to see other other small kitchen users represent on here.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 5:24PM
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Can't wait to see it~ Don't lag on those pics. We will be eagerly awaiting them!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 5:48PM
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I love old farm kitchens! Yours sounds special indeed.

Is your porch open to the elements? Screened in? Is it now enclosed? Many people, as I'm sure you know, have purposefully put in pantries for all the things you have there, just because they don't want to look at them. :) Sounds like your small space is right on trend. :)

Did you find what you were looking for for the new cabinets with charm? How did that go?

Thanks for posting. I'll look forward to hearing more.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 5:53PM
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Yes pictures pictures! Thanks for sharing with us.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 8:39PM
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I feel bad for your mother-in-law, because she had to eat standing up. I would like to see pictures as well.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:42PM
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Hi Fellow-Lurker!

My heart is warm from reading your post. Thanks for sharing. I grew up on a farm and have fond memories of my mom's (Grandma's too) farmhouse kitchen. I love how you're keeping the spirit of the kitchen alive. Can't wait to see it.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 12:06AM
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Here are some pictures of the kitchen in progress. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the old kitchen before I tore off the 1980's floral wallpaper. It was cute wallpaper in its day.

Ignore the man in this picture! Actually he was trying to help me out by holding some large glass shade up to the ceiling for me to judge size for a new fixture I had in mind:

Old sink base, had sweet pattern of holes for ventilation:

Tall cupboards where built after WWII when wood became available. Now recall, the walls had been papered, & now it is removed, exposing the plaster. It was never finished I don't think. A painter told me that in those days if one never planned on painting and only papering then a finish coat wasn't applied. Maybe it was expense. The top row of cupboards were added in the 50's I believe. The Salvation Army Summer Camp that was across the road years ago had a care taker who built the original tall cupboards. I don't know who put up the top row:

Another view of the base cupboards before demolition. This is the character I was wanting to keep in my new kitchen. Note the worn drawer bottom, every time I opened it, it shaved more wood onto the shelves below! The kids liked these old cupboards:

This is a view of the wall that used to accommodate the portable dishwasher and still houses the stove. Note the sharpie drawn cabinets where there previously were none; I had to get a feel for what it would look like! It was pure Sharpie Bliss. You also can see that there are plenty of paint samples on the wall, I think I may have ended up with 14 or so samples before I settled on a beautiful BM pale gray green called Titanium. Unfortunately the plaster didn't survive the electrician's activities so we took it all down and had it drywalled:

DH sitting next to the torn apart, drop down table/recessed cupboard, that was put in place in the 30's because his late aunt thought it was a neat idea. The two doors on either side are leading to the shed roofed addition that was added when the house made its 2 mile move to the farm from town. My frig and microwave are kept out there full time. I call it a porch but it is really a room and always has been. DH's dad and aunt hand dug the basement for this house. DH spent many years of his life sitting here with his family:

Paint sample not used and a sneak peak of wallpaper that was in place prior to the addition of the bathroom. That paper is probably from the 20s. There is newer paper that was behind the cupboards with dutch boys and girls:

Get aload of that paint color! Here is the paper with the dutch children and windmills, and a tiny patch of the most recent floral paper, that I lived with for 20 years, next to & under that blue paint sample:

Drywall underway. The chimney stayed because it would have meant tearing into the next room, and I had to draw the line somewhere. The new cabinet was modified with a shallow shelving to cover the chimney. I primed and painted before the cabinets went in as well:

The cabinet elves are here!

They moved like cats. Note the pale gray green color in the backsplash area:

Coming together. The cabinets are cherry, honey hand rubbed stain with coffee glaze. They come from Woodharbor Cabinets, an Iowa company (hey Iowa). The stiles and rails were double beveled, I think it is called a hip:

Two nice details:

My new hole in the wall. I will place a soapstone in there. Kitchen table set against the wall. I plan on using my existing table and chairs. But within the year will have a young man make me 2 walnut chairs out of native lumber from the area, and a cherry drop leaf table to match the cabinets. Can't wait:

I really labored over this purchase. Didn't know if the style would work. It is a Hubbardton Forge fixture. I love it:

Soapstone counters going in. I cut that sucker!

Well that is it for now. I have yet to finish the sink wall counter in soapstone. I have hired someone to cut the sink hole because this area of the stone was too hard for my tools. The plumber will be next to hook up my new drop in large SS single bowl sink and SS faucet. Dishwasher needs hooked up too. I have dimmable LED lighting under all cabinets and a separate dimmer for the one over the sink. My ceiling incandescent fixture is dimmable too. The carpenter will be here next week to put up my old refurbished trim around window, doors, & baseboard. All trim will be painted in a semi or satin sheen in same color as walls. I have to paint the new window too. Last will be the backsplash which will probably be a 2x3 subway style mosaic marble creamy color tile without any visual action going on.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 1:53AM
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I love your cabinets and the soapstone looks great with them! We also had plaster and lath to tear out,and it wasn't finished behind the cupboards either. We are living with stud walls at the moment. Your light fixture is great! Good luck with the rest of your project.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 2:22AM
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Great job on the cupboards. They really do have a lot of the same charm and feel as the old ones. I love how the glaze gives them something of a been in place look. Totally cool light fixture, and the niche is fab. It is so totally unlike the rest of the kitchen, and so totally perfect. I can just imagine the dropleaf table there. You've managed the perfect balance between new, modern and functional, and looks like it was always there.

Thanks for the progress pics, and the wallpaper timeline, as well as the glimpse into the new "pantry". :)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 3:28AM
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Love it. Reminded me of my grandma's old farmhouse, which is gone now. She also had built in bins for her flour and sugar, not sure if you had those.

Which soapstone is that--it looks great!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 4:07AM
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Looking good.

I love how you drew the cabinets on the wall. Neat idea.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 6:35AM
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Thanks for the pics! Such charm.I love the drawings on the wall too but not as much at the lighting fixture. Wow! It reminds me of my parent's farmhouse built in 1882. The stove and fridge was in the main kitchen and the sink in the adjoining pantry. No DW except for the two attached to the arms! Not very functional, but lots of happy memories. When we moved there in the the late 60's, everything (and I mean everything) was nailed to the floor, rugs and furniture!

Can't wait to see more - keep those pics coming!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 7:38AM
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How remarkable! Beautiful cabinets and I love the light you chose. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 9:26AM
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Hi, thanks so much for your comments. It feels good to get feedback on the progress.

plllog, I didn't think about the balance between modern, functional, and new. Thanks for the thoughts and helping me see this is what I did.

I'm pleased to hear cheers for the light fixture.

Several have commented on memories of their own old farm houses. I grew up in the city and married a farmer when in my mid 30's. Many people in Iowa grew up on the farm and have moved to the cities around the country. They always remember their childhood farms fondly.

On our farm, the house we live in replaced a very old small 2 story house that my DH Swedish emigrant grandparents moved down to the cattle lot. This old house is still there, a hundred feet from my back door. It became the back wall of a cattle shed. The front became storage by putting a huge sliding door across the front. You can still go upstairs and find old Swedish documents letters from the past; & lots of household junk. I don't know, nor have I thought about, the kitchen area in that old house. The house still provides the back wall to our cattle shed. It is now clad in metal siding, the vertical industrial type.

luv2laf, I hope I was able to keep the old farm kitchen spirit in the newly remodeled space. I am glad that my project and story has brought back fond memories of your life!

Again, thanks for expressing joy with these shared stories and pictures of my project.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 10:00AM
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Two responses:

1. We need a special category for small kitchens whose renovation has been lavished with care and taste. [I was originally going to suggest that you replicate the triangular configuration of ventilation holes in the your new cabinets, to honor the ancestors. Then I saw your new cabinets, which honor everyone who has ever used that kitchen with their simple elegance.]

2. You must have a really good marriage. Your husband is looking a bit wistful in front of the dissection of his late aunt's "neat idea," but he is clearly more than complicit in this reno. And you are showing great respect for the house and its history.

One request: When you next post photos, could we see the outside of your house, please?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 10:49AM
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You've done beautiful Enduring! I love your cabinets and you get a sense of craftsmanship by just looking at them.

I'm glad you posted. My husband and I have his family's home built in 1850. Our oldest boy is the "5th" and I love to think of 4 generations of little feet running up and down our stairs!

My GIL =) did a total MCM remodel during her time here complete with dropped ceilings, shag carpets, and masonite walls! My MIL out of respect for her and probably lack of desire, never changed a thing.

When we took the house over from them it became my mission to rip and restore...not authentic, just fitting to a 3 story 1850 house in a quiet village. At first my FIL made small comments like..."OH, you painted???" My MIL always would be very complementary and express how she wished she could have felt able to change things.

I think when I began painting the kitchen cabinets (the first time ;D)FIL asked what was wrong with the cabinets that I needed to paint them?!! I explained, and I really felt this, that his mother had lived here for many years with her own MIL and probably looked forward to the day she could re-do the house to her own liking; and when that day came- she did. I honestly thought his mother would be glad to see me change the house to my liking, and I had peace with that. He nodded thoughtfully and from that day on he has takes great interest and supports the constant changes going on!

I love the story of your house. Like you, I love to hear my FIL tell of what used to be "here" or what used to be "there". It is a reminder of sweeter simpler times and what houses really are~ a safe haven for families to love and live!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 11:08AM
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Thank you soooo much for this post and photos! In dittoing Honorbiltkit's and never_ending's comments, I'll add in that often we see "before" and "after" photos of a remodel on the KF. But, not often enough are we given the "before" story with this kind of context and detail. Here, you've not only shared about the footprint and bones of the house but also a bit about the people who have lived there, and how they have lived and worked with the space prior to the current remodel. Very real life and charming! And, speaking for myself, I am able to appreciate so much more the journey of a remodel when it is shared as you have done in this fashion. Having gotten a peek at your starting point, I am excited by the glimpses of where you are right now. Count me in as one who will now surely sit down and kick back with a big bowl of popcorn when you post the photos and story of your final reveal!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 1:34PM
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Never_ending, your house sounds fantastic! How has your kitchen come along. I know the dialogue you speak of. I think both parties play a roll in the hesitation and questions. I remember getting a new expensive dinning set several years ago using inheritance money from my mothers estate. I kept thinking she would disapprove of my spending on this. She worked hard for her money and always worried that I was not saving as she thought I should in my youth. I bought it and one day several months later as I sat there in the morning I thought, "Mom would really like this table".

Honorbiltkit, I went out today and took some pics of our farm. I call it "Funky Farm" to may friends. There is an old 6 sided brooder house that was converted to a play house in the early 60's by my MIL for her girls. I took a pic of the kitchen area! It is a wreck now but at one time was all painted up and with play stove etc inside. I didn't keep it for my kids because it contained lead paint. We moved it to its current location and there it sits and decays with the years (rather transforming into other elements with the years). I will post pics of the farm later.

Now, I have to go out and cut some more of my soapstone cause I need it ready to go for the last bit of fabrication tomorrow when the guys come to cut the sink and faucet holes!

Then, its on to prepping the old wood trim for the 4 doors and the one window. Oh, and the baseboards too.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 1:42PM
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Marthavila, Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. I love popcorn. You write beautifully about the process.

...One thought, I think if I deviate too much from the kitchen theme I should start another tread somewhere else. But so far I think I'm skirting by...

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 1:51PM
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Thank you SO much for your post! Kitchen is wonderful (light fixture is gorgeous). I appreciate this so much because my little kitchen - 10x10 - seems so inadequate compared to many of the posts on larger kitchen remodels that are more common. Your kitchen is beautiful and inspires me that my odd room (with only 1.5 real wallspace areas and 1 corner) can be made wonderful without having to make it bigger. Hopefully one day I will be posting a successful remodel just like you did. Yours is exceptional.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 2:01PM
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karenlk, I can't wait to see what you do. The expertice here is wonderful at helping problem solve layout designs. I came too late to the forum for that help. I kept my layout the same but added base & wall cabinets on a wall that didn't have them. I was using a pot rack & a 3 tiered cart instead. I don't know if I gained a whole lot of storage space because while I added cabinet space I'm not planning on cramming them full like the old ones where;) Now the space is more visually organized and less fussy which was a goal of mine.

Because it's not my kitchen, I didn't want to move walls, or spend more than I had planned. But, I went way over my original budget, spending twice as much on the cabinets than what I had originally planned. There were other higher than expected purchases such as 1) the LED lighting, 2) spending good money on poor carpenters, then deciding I'd rather be spending good money on good carpenters. Finally, I said "oh what the heck, I'll get a new frig...for my 'Pantry'".

It is slowly coming together, but I don't think I'll be able to get any panoramic shots of the space for the finial reveal, because I can't backup that far!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 2:35PM
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Wow! Those old cabinets had so much character despite being weathered and beat up. The new ones are just gorgeous though! I love the arched toekick area under the sink. And I just noticed that you placed the knobs similarly to where there were on the old cabinets. Nice touch and it looks good too! Looking forward to seeing the finished project.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 3:03PM
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This is one of the coolest threads I've ever read here. One of my favorite book series is The House at Old Vine by Norah Lofts, where she traces the history of the generations of family who live in a house that their ancestor built. This thread reminds me of that.

I love that you stayed true to the style of those beautiful old cupboards, and the new ones are really stunning. And I really enjoyed reading about the history of the house and the thought, love and care that you lavished on this sensitive and wonderful update. You should print it out and make it into a scrapbook for future generations to cherish.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 3:20PM
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oh my goodness. What a treasure. The house, the kitchen, the pics, the story. All of it.

do you mean to say that if plllg hadn't posted what she did you would have denied us the pleasure of this? Banish that thinking!

The cabinets are (as someone posted) simple elegance! Absolutely beautiful and fitting. Keeping it all simple and elegant with the soapstone, plain BS etc elevates it so much more than if a bunch of modern/trendy things had been put in.

Imagine what that kitchen has seen and heard over the years. Not just simple meal fixing but canning, meat processing, generations of little faces and chatter in different stages of growing up - all in that basic small space. Unthinkable to many today. Memories cherished by your dh. I think he'll be pleased and proud of the final kitchen. He will certainly appreciate the love, tenderness and preservation that went into it.

"I appreciate this so much because my little kitchen - 10x10 - seems so inadequate compared to many of the posts on larger kitchen remodels that are more common."

Please don't think like this - what's inadequate for one, isn't for another. Need, desire and finances all play into what updates and changes we make to our kitchens (our homes). Those are different for all of us. I wouldn't want a big fancy kitchen where I am now in life - I don't cook much and it'd just be more space for me to navigate. My about 9' each way L is plenty for me. I'd probably forget what is where and get tired of looking for something in any more space than I have. I doubt I'd even remember what it was I was looking for or why I wanted it in the first place.

If enduring hadn't posted this, what a treasure we would have missed out on!

If you or others don't post your small kitchen updates or remodels then we'll miss out on other treasures! Don't let that happen. And when you do post yours here you will encourage others to go forward with their smaller, non mega $ redo and post here also.

Do not be intimidated!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 8:09PM
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Thanks desertsteph! You're words are so touching to read. The quote you referred to was by karenlk10 and she just posted her kitchen 10x10! Take a look, it is very fun to see. She has the sweetest kitchen table eating area. I will comment on her's later, now, DH is taking us out for Mexican food for Father's Day.

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful support to small kitchens and living.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 8:20PM
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Hi enduring...

Thank you SO much for sharing your kitchen's history. It is fascinating and charming. I LOVE your beautiful new cherry cabinets. You've done a wonderful job bringing your kitchen into the present while acknowledging the past.

My kitchen is roughly 9'x9', btw. But it's c. 1990, so nothing as special as yours!

Looking forward to more updates (please!). :)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 11:02PM
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Ironcook you're sweet. As I reflect a lot has happened in 20 years. That's a generation. Kids are born, go off to school & start new families. And I was still young in 1990. Time is a funny thing, it's so subjective.

I got my last big piece of soapstone in place this afternoon and ready for the stone guys to cut my sink hole tomorrow. My DH and a nice nephew lifted the 2 pieces in place. There is a seam in the center of the sink. I used 5 min epoxy to join the pieces. It is still somewhat sticky hours later. Does humidity effect the setting time for epoxy, or alcohol fumes nearby?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 12:37AM
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--Something unexpected surprise--

Hello. My friend

=== ====

Dedi cated service, the new style, believing you will love it!!!



thank you!!!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 5:35AM
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Please, don't post spam.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 7:37AM
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Hello, I want to thank you too. You've done a beautiful job. I can't claim to know anyone who lives in such a family homestead, but it sounds amazing! I'm also so impressed that you cut that granite yourself!?
Awaiting more pictures!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 10:35AM
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It's beautiful! I love the soapstone with the cabinet colour. We wrestled with the constraints of approximately 8x11' space with an exterior door and hallway to work around, but are almost finished and will see how we did after a few months of use. I lived on a boat for years, so the concept of making use of small spaces is close to my heart, and I am inspired by the creativity of people who do it well. Bravo!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 10:57AM
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What else can I say that hasn't already been ditto to the wonderful comments.

I absolutely loved the story that went along with your kitchen remodel and can just vision you DHs mother doing all of the cooking, canning, and feeding of 6 in your little kitchen. How enlightening it was to get away from all of the fancy, mega-kitchens that we see so often on this forum...and return to reality. They are wonderful too, but the character of yours is amazing.

I too would like to see more of your house...I just can imagine it in Iowa with the corn growing all around the farm. (I too am from midwest farming appreciate the good old farm living.) This reminded me of my MIL cooking in her tiny kitchen for 6 children, but that little kitchen produced some of the best eatin' in the well as happy charished times with family.

Do keep posting on here and I am looking forward to seeing more. Your soapstone is beautiful...and I love your light fixture and cabinets also. You did good, girl~~

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 11:44AM
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I absolutely LOVE this thread! I love how you told the story of the kitchen and how you are so lovingly making the changes. You are creating a space that looks like it belongs there--so homey and charming, yet with sophisticated tweaks.

I look forward to, as Paul Harvey would say, "the rest of the story...."!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 12:20PM
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What a beautiful story - and a beautiful kitchen! I want to see more!! It is such a joy to see a really thoughtful project like yours - so well executed, down to every detail. You can really feel the love that went into your kitchen just from looking at the photos.

Thanks so much for sharing your story and photos!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 12:48PM
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Count me in among those who love your story. You write so descriptively and beautifully.

I, too love the charm and history of the old kitchen and the people who lived in it. I love the idea of the hand dug basement, by people who worked hard to attain what they wanted. I love the looks of the old kitchen, with the ventilation holes so that towels and sponges could dry out. All of the smart ideas that were in the before kitchen,--made life better for all.

It's great that your kids apreciate the charm and function of their kitchen-but it is funny to me to see how children, mine in particular, don't like change. My dd wants to keep our old, way broken-in sectional sofa, that she and her pals put their feet under the cushions-where they used to sprawl like puppies-all touching.

Your new kitchen is marvelous. Ditto. Bravo to your strong sense of confidence, heart, and smarts.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 1:41PM
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What a lovely kitchen and touching story behind it! Thank you so much for posting it. Your cabs, light fixture (love Hubbardton Forge!), and soapstone are beautiful! Your family is going to create wonderful new memories in your reno'd kitchen--enjoy!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 5:51PM
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I don't know how I missed this first time around.

Thanks so much for taking the time to post all the pictures of the background story of your kitchen. Loved reading about it and all the people involved.

I think that it is stories like this or the stories about the furniture that people have that help make a house a home.

And your Hubbardton Forge light is gorgeous. I could only afford one because it was a major sale.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 6:11PM
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What a beautiful kitchen in a loving home. What beautiful stories and beautiful comments. Family through and through. Testament to the truth that you don't need a large kitchen to raise a family or make a house home.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 9:24PM
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Wow, thanks to the spammer this morning that brought this tread back to the front page!

After I made the initial postings, several weeks ago, I had to ask my husband again about the basement digging story. Cause it sure sounded a bit like "yes, I walked to school 6 miles every day-uphill both ways!" What DH says is that his dad and aunt used a horse and a slip to dig that basement (whatever a slip looks like?). His dad would have been in his teens and aunt in her late teens or early 20's I believe.

The soapstone along the sink wall is now in. I cut the counter for this location too. DH gave me lots of suggestions, guidance, and man power. This part of the stone is not as consistent in character as the other pieces. The stone transitions into a harder stone at the sink and to the left. It will do. I had a lot of fearful thinking about tackling this project and I had grown men refuse my request for help. Though my brave dear BIL offered to help, we just couldn't coordinate a time. I had a local stone fabricator come in and cut the hole for my over-mount single bowl stainless steel sink. Here is the counter in place:

Dorado Soapstone in Colorado cut the lengths for me and made the center cut at the sink. I glued it with 5 minute epoxy with my DH help. It took way longer than 5 minutes to dry, try hours. I was concerned that I'd messed the ratios up when I mixed the epoxy:

Plumber hooked up DW, sink, & faucet. The plumbing was done while I was at work. When I got home and walked in, I exclaimed. . .

"Whoa, that's a big one!"

Later when DH came in and I repeated my shocked observation. He said he thought the same thing but wasn't going to say anything. Ain't he sweet? He then reassured me that he would claim he picked it out if anyone made a comment. I told him he could take the credit.

It is so nice to get back to near normal in the kitchen.

I have my friend/carpenter coming to put up new casing around the doors this week or next. Originally I was going to reuse the old fir trim with a plan to fill the nicks and dings, refreshing the surface for painting. Four sets of door casings are needed. One set was too worn out so we salvaged a set from an old house that sits on "Ruben's" farm. The house was a cute simple stucco bungalow that Ruben Oakleaf lived in. It's now decrepit and falling into the basement. Ruben was a bachelor farmer. I will have to remember to take a picture of the place. My late FIL bought the farm years ago to add to the family farm. Ruben had died. FIL kept the house, in case any of the kids wanted to live in the house. Well years passed, no one moved in, and the house decayed. I had always thought about salvaging the wood trim from that house. Now, 22 years later, DH & I took out 2 sets of door casings to use in the kitchen. I don't know why we even bothered. The raccoons moved in some time ago and made a big mess of everything and I'm sure there are other critters making Ruben's house their own. So, while contemplating my approach in refurbishing the trim pieces, I could only ignore the facts for so long. . . about 20 minutes. Other GW'rs are probably quicker studies. Anyway, while considering these casings I became disgusted, went up to the house, and proclaimed to DH "I'm getting Al to put up new woodwork!". The thought of raccoons having lived with this trim and doing whatever they do, was just too much for my sense of hygiene, style, and my new kitchen...what had I been thinking! DH lovingly agreed to this new plan.

So there you have it, an update. I would like to share another kitchen picture with you. It is a picture of the brooder house that my GMIL & then MIL used for baby chicks. MIL turned it into a play house for her girls in the later 50's or early 60's. Then of course there were remodeling efforts when the first grandkids came along in the 80's:

Inside is the kitchen:

and here are the cupboards behind that hog panel (thank God for spell check, I can't spell "panal"):

I will continue this thread when I get the fab new door trimmings up. Thanks so much for your interest and kind comments.

How'd she get in here?!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 11:19PM
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I think this kitchen is thoroughly charming! I love how you went with an overmount sink because that is a homey touch and fits with the unassuming style.
Your cabs are really fabulous yet understated. I love how each element has such quality without shouting about it. It is classic and welcoming. I bet if you were to pass this down to another generation in the future, they'd keep it like it is now ;).

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 11:51PM
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Oh, Enduring - you have carved a portal into our lives into a time and place so worthy of enduring forever. I can't quite begin to express how much I appreciate a glimpse into your life, dh's homestead and all the swirl of life and history surrounding it all. All this because of a "small kitchen" - that's one big, big story housing that small kitchen. And it's made my heart quite a few sizes bigger reading it.

Oh my. Kitchens really are the heart and soul of life, aren't they? Thank you thank you for recording yours.

And I like what you did, too, btw! :-) I like the curving finishes - I really love the curve of your ceiling molding and how it's repeated in openings too, above the sink and I think at least one other place. Very graceful. Not recapitulating what was there, but restating past grace.

Makes me homesick for an awful lot of wonderful weekends spent in Iowa. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 12:20AM
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I so appreciate all of your personal responses. How you all are touched by memory or love in your own lives. Isn't it great!

I really enjoy reading your observations, thanks for reading mine.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 12:27AM
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Enduring, thank you for posting your kitchen's story and photos. It's a joy to read, and to see. What a beautiful job you've done.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 1:24AM
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Good morning. As I read my last entry I want to describe in more clarity my soapstone. I bought the soapstone from Dorado Soapstone in Denver over the internet. I saw one of the slabs on line that I liked. They are cut to lengths for shipping at either 25 or 26" depth. The front edges are prefinished at Dorado. I had everything cut several inches longer than I needed so I could trim off chips at the ends that I was assuming would occur and did occur. While the sections were well crated there were several chips in the corners and scraps to the finished surfaces. I calculated where the sink center would be for the factory cut they were making to join the 2 sections at the sink. Dorado did a nice job, though there were several chips here too. I patched these with small stone chips and epoxy. I did not want to mess with this factory cut seam. It joined very nicely I believe. I fitted the stones to match the walls that left a 1.75" overhang in the fronts. At the side of my corner cabinet it overhangs 0.75" as it will butt up to the door casing. I will repeat this smaller overhang at the inset nook next to our table. At the side of the corner cabinet, I finished and rounded with files. It left a rougher finish and is very interesting to feel. The stone fabricator liked it too. He jokingly offered me a job. At the window I would really like to have a stone sill and will see if this can be worked out when the carpenter gets here. The other alternative is I could cut full lengths of .25" - .5" thick tiles from my left overs, and tile the sill.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 8:06AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

What a wonderful story and kitchen! I recognize so many similarities in my family and my kitchen, and I have pics of decrepit sheds to prove it! I love that you are handy and capable and strong--enjoy this beautiful space.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 9:14AM
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Thanks for the update. It is a beautiful story, "almost" as great as your new kitchen. Brings a tear of joy...Good luck with the rest.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 9:31AM
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