vintage kitchen-DIY redo

powermuffinJuly 24, 2014

In our 1908 home, the before kitchen was a 10'x11'+ kitchen with the range right next to the doorway to the breakfast room (originally the back porch). It lacked counter space and the main storage had to be located in the breakfast room area behind the door. I love to cook and love the original kitchen cabinets, so my goals were to get more counter space and to keep the vintage cabinets and the vintage feel. Bmorepanic solved the problem by suggesting a long skinny island.

This was accomplished by taking out the wall between the kitchen and the breakfast room (old back porch). We had a structural engineer come in to advise us as to how to handle this. This began our great DIY adventure. We took the wall out, put in a beam, patched and painted the walls, papered the ceiling, pulled up the crummy oak floor (not vintage) and laid down Marmoleum Click.

It took me almost two years to layout the kitchen, and design the island and I am glad I had this time to get exactly what I wanted. My husband built the island pieces, a table-like piece for storing my pots and pans, and a solid, high-backed piece for the range and dishwasher. He also did all the electrical and plumbing for the island. I did the painting and staining.

We removed the old countertop on the old cabinets (refinished by me) and put in porcelain tile. The whole redo cost about $16,000, appliances being half of that.

New pieces:
Electrolux slide in range (LOVE the range in the island!)
Hood: Broan
Electrolux CD, FD refrigerator
Advantium oven
Bosch dishwasher
Kohler cast iron 60/40 sink, Moen faucet
Marmoleum flooring in Whisper blue and Caribbean
Countertops: main is linen-like tile, island is refinished butcherblock from an old desk I had (free!)
Prep sink is Houser, faucet ??
Mocket and another outlet in the island
Pull out spice cabinet in the island

Paint for cabinets is Cabinet Coat in a custom color (amazing paint!)

I hit the flea market, Habitat Restore and our county recycle center for all freestanding cabinets, which I refinished, including the Advantium cabinet which was an old entertainment center that we cut down and topped with a black-stained piece of butcherblock. This became our beverage center. We paid almost nothing for these pieces.

Here are some pictures. IRL, the blue is really a gray blue (BM Oxford Gray) and the walls are more manila rather than so yellow.

I know this isn't a kitchen for everyone but is suits us just fine!

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I love your kitchen! I am especially jealous of your marmoleum floor. I would love that flooring in our kitchen, but we have original fir floors that I can't/won't rip out. But marmoleum is my favorite kitchen floor material if I were able to start from scratch.

I think your cabinets are great, and I really like the unfitted kitchen look. Congrats!!!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:23PM
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Wow, really, really nice: Functional, personal, and good-looking!!!
It may not be "a kitchen for everyone," but it also sure doesn't look like everyone's kitchen.

Love the floor, island, custom cabinets, counter tops, clock.

How much work was painting with cabinet coat?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:28PM
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How do you like the waist-high oven? This was done a lot if mid-century kitchens but seems to have disappeared.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:32PM
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That looks really nice. Really a creative use of budget and materials. Congrats!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:41PM
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robo (z6a)

I like your innovative solution and definitely seems reasonable for older kitchens littered with doorways on the long wall (as they all seem to be). Very smart to have the taller backing behind the stove.

From the first photo it seemed the stove was directly opposite the fridge but they seem to be staggered? How do you find the traffic flow? How do you like having the DW opposite the cleanup sink?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:42PM
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I am an everyday lurker, not so frequest poster.
But today I had to post. I just looove your kitchen, something about it speaks to me.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 4:07PM
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Absolutely love it! The clock is the ultimate perfect thing! You did a wonderful job and I love how it fits the house and is UNIQUE!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 4:17PM
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Thanks everyone.
Susie- the rest of the old part of the house has the original fir floors, which are beautiful. I won't get rid of those either!
Cabinet Coat goes on like a dream. I am an avid painter and it is the best paint that I have ever used. Very durable.
Range is offset from the fridge and the island is skinnier in front of the fridge too. The size of the walkways works really well for parties and even with my husband still walking by me while I am working there! (He can't be trained, but is too adorable to give up.)
Pal, the island is the normal height and so the range is too. My only complaint there is that the slide in range has the controls flat on the top of the range, which causes the burners to be sited further away from the front of the range. It takes some getting use to.
The dishwasher in the island works very well and was really the only option. I actually love this set up. The cabinets (kitchen was originally unfitted) were built in the 1920s or '30s, and are not as deep as today's cabinets and neither is the countertop. That gave us a bit more aisle room, but wouldn't allow a dishwasher to be installed by the sink even if I was willing to modify the cabinets for it. This kitchen is really fun to work in and the layout is perfect.
Those cabinets are wonderful and I refused to make changes to them. Here is a better picture of them.

The closed door way with the chalkboard is going to be opened up and we will build a vintage-looking booth in there. The space behind the door is now a big junk collector. This is next year's project.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 4:26PM
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I meant the wall oven next to the refrigerator. Is that conventional microwave or speed oven or convection ?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 5:32PM
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robo (z6a)

Love it. I love creative thinking and unconventional solutions. Thanks for sharing how it works for you.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 5:47PM
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Oh sorry Pal. It is an Advantium speed oven. It serves as a second oven and a microwave. We are impressed with it. It is high like that because my husband is 6'4" and we compromised with its placement. That height works well for both of us. We have the coffee maker, tea kettle and all the supplies stashed there too. That cabinet cost, I think, $12 and is really nice. I love the deep drawers.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 5:50PM
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That is adorable. I love how your creatively using what you had and making it even better!
It's so bright and cheery too!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 6:14PM
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Looks great! LOVE the clock!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 6:35PM
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This is well done. It looks functional. It looks like it totally fits the house. And it's cheery!

Are those old windows hanging from the ceiling over the tall cabinets perpendicular to the frig wall? I like this detail.

Is it a skylight giving the space so much light?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 6:41PM
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Love it! Finally a white kitchen with loads of personality. I would smile every morning walking into that fun space. I would just love to work in that kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 6:48PM
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Jennifer, I got the windows from the recycle center. I don't like open concepts and needed a break between the family room (1987 addition from PO) and the kitchen. And yes, there is a skylight there. I couldn't believe how much light that brought into the space - it was there when we moved in, but the breakfast room didn't benefit from it much. The ceiling in that part was opened up to the roof when the addition was done.
Thanks to you all for sharin'- I appreciate the comments!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 7:47PM
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I really love your kitchen, and I'm VERY impressed with your DIY skills!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 7:53PM
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What a beautiful space that oozes personality! It is obvious you put a lot of thought into the layout. You did a great job! I love it!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 7:58PM
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Imhappy&Iknowit IOWA zone 6b

Now that's MY kind of kitchen! I found out nothing sticks to Marmoleum. I have it in the breezeway. If I would have seen your design, I might have done mine differently. But I'm happy with what I have.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 9:26PM
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Such a good kitchen! Those floors and all the vintage every thing! I didn't think they made Cabinet Coat anymore. I've never used it but good to know you liked it. Everything looks GREAT!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 9:30PM
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Hooray for unique kitchens! Yours is lovely. It's fantastic that you were able to repurpose so many pieces. Thinking outside the standard box is a breath of fresh air. The function of the layout looks like it works like a dream. Well done! : )

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 9:42PM
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How fabulous!
I love the balance of color and light. Your fix-it solutions are right up my alley. It's amazing what you can find and make with a deep breath, a good piece and a saw. :)

I am a huge Cabinet Coat fan, too. Talk about incredible paint. It dries as had as a rock. All my trim (when I get it) and woodwork is going to be with that product.

A agree. A white kitchen with character. You have achieved a beautiful look.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 11:11PM
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Excellent job, congratulations! You worked hard and put a lot of thought into it, and it shows. So glad you did not change out the cabinets, those are AWEsome!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:36AM
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Thanks again everyone; I am so glad you "get" my vision. I am hoping that by upgrading this kitchen, that the next owners of this house will not rip out those old cabinets. They have butterfly hinges and lots of character! I so believe in recycling, and upcycling and would rather use our money for supporting programs we care about. Of course I love the hunt for items to recycle and we both enjoy working on the house. In our big family home, I started out by hiring trades people but quickly realized that I could really get exactly what I wanted by doing it myself. Thus, the start of a new adventure. CF Freeman knows what I am talking about. It is so gratifying learning new skills and putting them to use.

I would love to have had a vintage stove in there and in fact bought a deco Chambers stove. In the end, I just could not make it work in the space; they are so large and it had a high back piece which would not fit in.

We put all the appliances and anything else useable that was in the space pre-reno out on the curb and they were picked up by families in the area. That makes me happy.

My husband's favorite pieces in the kitchen are the popup Mocket outlet and the Rev-a-shelf pull-out spice rack. And he loves the beverage area. They are the things he shows off.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 9:45AM
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love that kitchen! it is awesome that you kept the original cabinets and incorporated new instead of gutting the whole thing! you did a fabulous job!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:27AM
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You really wowed me. This is such a well thought out and green kitchen. Absolutely love it.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:50AM
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I sucked up layout ideas from this forum for a couple of years and I don't think I could have come up with such a workable plan if I hadn't.

Thanks to you all.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 11:50AM
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