Kitchen for our 1909 Craftsman -- almost done pictures

gregincalAugust 4, 2012

OK, the project isn't done but it's pretty close. After a couple years of coming up with ideas, 9 months of intense planning and investigation and almost 5 months of construction (and living at my parents house), we've moved back in and are cooking. The main point of the remodel was to connect our house more with the back yard. Common to most old houses, the back rooms were work rooms and the house felt very cut off from the garden and patio. I wasn't really aiming for a period kitchen, which is difficult for a 1909 house, but rather more of a riff on the style of the other rooms in the house. The fact is that back then kitchens were working rooms and didn't have the charm that the architects put into the rest of the house anyway. Since the kitchen had been remodeled multiple times in the past I felt more free to change things (the current kitchen was 80's arched oak).

This project has been a bit of a gender reversal from most on GardenWeb. Although my wife and I made all the major decisions together, I was the one that did all the research, spent all my time on these forums and came up with the broad vision for the kitchen. Perhaps it shows, the kitchen is probably a bit more masculine than many here, but then I always think of craftsman design as being a fairly masculine in general. I do know that my wife asked whether I would consider white cabinets at one stage and I vetoed it (I don't know why there appears to be a clear gender difference there either). Not that I have anything against white cabinets. I did them in my last kitchen remodel when I was a bachelor in the '90s, but that was in a 1930 cottage revival house and our current house is all about the stained woodwork.

Some of my suggestions were adopted (inset stained cabinets with a somewhat more detailed design than shaker, backsplash design, banquette seating) and some weren't (soapstone countertops [too dark, not enough green, too easily damaged], copper sink [scratched too easily]). Some things were left entirely to me (range selection, trim design). Some things we agonized over together (stained glass design, flooring, paint colors, tile color, cabinet selection).

The usual thanks for the help and advice I've gotten from this forum. It really is invaluable in planning a kitchen. Our (hopefully) last decision was how to do the banquette cushions. I had just started doing some research last week and up pops a thread discussing that very topic.

I'll warn you about the pictures. These are pictures with the kitchen how we really use it, and we definitely aren't clean counter people. Our goal in the kitchen is to make cooking as convenient as possible, so things that help are out on the counter and things that get in the way are put away. When we get back from vacation the project will be done with a sun tunnel for better lighting, a breakfast table and cushions and the dining room finished. At that stage the kitchen designer is going to have professional pictures taken for her web site and I'll post the "pretty" pictures with stuff artfully staged around the kitchen.

So here goes. First some context pictures of our house to set the scene.

Outside of house:

Living room:


Dining room before (I don't yet have an after, because that part is still under construction):

Here is the yard we wanted to connect to (that was actually the first project we undertook after buying the house):

and here is how it looked looking back from the old kitchen:

and here is the before picture for the rest of the kitchen:

I've posted this before, but here is my SketchUp vision of how I wanted the kitchen to look. It evolved as the planning went on, but isn't too different from what I had a couple years ago, and this final version was completed 6 months before construction started:

and here is how it turned out:


Cabinets: Ovation cabinets in natural cherry, Slater inset door style

Countertop: "Tuscan Green" granite (for whatever good the name is, I believe it's from India)

Flooring: site finished select maple

Lights: Cherry Tree Design

Range: Wolf all gas

Sink: Rohl Allia

Faucet: Rohl country kitchen pull-out

Island top: eucalyptus plank from Green Mountain

Stained glass: Custom from local shop (Designs in Glass)

Doors and windows: Marvin

Refrigerator: Samsung

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I typed a whole response and forgot to submit. Ugh! What a gorgeous kitchen (and home!). I have soft spot for older homes as our first house was a 1905 American Foursquare. You did a wonderful job of updating while keeping true to the house period. What a warm, welcoming space. If I had to choose a favorite part it would have to be the stained glass and the backsplash. Enjoy your new kitchen, and the new view out to that wonderful yard.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:05PM
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So...would you like to come design my back yard? Front yard? I love your place!!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:07PM
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A couple more pictures. Here's the current state of the dining room (buffet needs to be finished, probably with a marble top, and trim stained to match).

And here's our new laundry alcove with a pocket door. Downsizing the laundry and eliminating the mudroom is what gave us the room for the breakfast area. The laundry alcove was carved out of the old kitchen area and is now behind the cabinet with the wine rack, but opening into the hallway.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:19PM
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Also, I'm pretty sure we're going to relocate the pendant closest to the dining room and replace it with a semi-flush ceiling fixture. It's one pendant too many and catches the eye from the dining room instead of the eye being drawn into the kitchen. The current light will go to our front porch area instead.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:23PM
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Everything is beautiful. Really like the backsplash.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:28PM
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Absolutely wonderful, Gregincal and DW! The kitchen, and what you've done for the whole property. Connecting the house to the garden would have been #1 on my list of priorities too.

Certainly, Craftsman is a masculine style needs a masculine kitchen. (Although as a woman drawn to more feminine looks I'm enthralled by the magical transformation that occurs when you paint all those exposed structural members white or a light color, it's a lot like...well, I can't think of a handy comparison. That it can be successful at all is truly amazing because it's just astonishingly different from what it was and was meant to be by its male designers.) In any case, I like what you guys have done here a lot. The kitchen I designed for myself had to have a door to my garden too. Happy cooking. And happy gardening.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:48PM
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Simply wonderful. Love the natural cherry (I used it in my new kitchen too).
I like how you opened up the dining room doorway and I love the new doors to your fabulous back yard. The finishes that you used in the kitchen add warmth and character to the room. Congratulations on a job well done.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:56PM
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Lovely job you did there. I have a 1915 Craftsman, so I'm always interested to see what others do with their kitchen renovations. You did a wonderful job of connecting the feel of the new space to the existing.

BTW it doesn't seem "masculine" to me. It's what is correct for your style of house. It makes me batty to see overly modern kitchens put into older homes and it breaks my heart when people paint woodwork white in these vintage homes. I don't mind all the bells and whistles of new appliances and such but when it comes to the cabinetry, flooring and tile I just feel one should try and give it the feel of what may have originally been there as best as you can on your budget. I guess I'm a bit of a purist that way.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 6:31PM
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Omgoodness...a work of art from top to bottom. The natural cherry accented with the green in the granite and wall color. And working countertops! And your garden...all of it is absolutely beautiful!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 7:26PM
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Just beautiful! Just for kicks, here is a pic of our entryway. I think our houses must have had the same architect!!

('scuse the mess, we're in the midst of the kitchen redo!)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 7:38PM
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Masculine/ feminine, it's beautiful! The wood is fantastic and the counters outrageously beautiful. And the yard is amazing.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 7:41PM
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Love it! Your home is wonderful, and I'm so jealous of your garden. The island top is gorgeous, as is the custom window. The natural cherry is perfect with the green granite. Good job. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 7:52PM
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schoolhouse_gw lovely. You did a great job.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 8:07PM
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Your kitchen is lovely and looks like it always belonged in your house. Your garden is amazing! I can see why you would want to be able to go out to it from your kitchen. Congrats!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 8:08PM
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I love your working kitchen (which also happens to be stunning), as well as the rest of your craftsman house. But I think my favorite is your garden. Amazing all around!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 10:54PM
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I'm equal parts cook and gardener, so I LOVE what you've done. That's an amazing low-water yard transformation! Is that pair of "Yellow Wave" phormiums? I have one and it is just a stunner, makes me smile every time I see it.

I'm not normally a granite countertop person (I admire it, but don't get especially excited about it). But yours is subtly gorgeous and greatly contributes to the overall design. I like the thicker edge; I always think stone should have the impression of substance and heft.

Wonderful job - you two did great!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 11:52PM
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Wow, it is great. Love the tile backsplash!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:01AM
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Gorgeous--we also have a 1915 Arts & Crafts house so I love looking at others, especially when they're far nicer than ours so I have things to aspire to! ;) If we ever have another house, it's going to have unpainted woodwork like your beautiful moulding and built-ins--your kitchen fits perfectly with them! Congrats on being almost done!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:37AM
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What a pretty house and amazing kitchen! Have to say- my favorite part are your cabs- beautiful!!!!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 12:48AM
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Lovely! You did a wonderful job - the kitchen fits so well with your home.

And I have to say that I'm completely in envy over how gorgeous your back yard is.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 7:31AM
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Those cabinets are stunning!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:46AM
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Circus Peanut

Gorgeous. I LOVE the access to garden from kitchen, that's splendidly thought out.

I wanted to let you know that I also have some Cherry Hill lights in my own Craftsman, and to my great dismay I discovered this spring that they have completely discontinued their entire lighting collection. Just a heads-up in case you need to quickly scrounge around for a closeout model.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:51AM
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Gorgeous! I think you have one of those high-dollar redo's that is subtle and tasteful and tricks me into thinking I too could do that. : )

-the green trim incorporated with wood trim. I love green trim. Love, love, love your green trim and think your island wants to be the same color (though in real life the island might be happy as is.)
-the tea shelves at the end of the island.
-okay, the whole shebang is to love.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:51AM
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Circus Peanut

Whups, I meant Cherry Tree Design lights. I'm bummed they are no longer made and virtually no longer on the market anywhere; was looking for that one final piece to match --

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:00AM
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I am in love with your house. The kitchen turned out spectacular, and I love all the wood trim throughout. Plus, you've got the solar panels.

I could just move right in.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:02AM
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Yvonne Albertyn_Brazil

Your kitchen, home and garden are just beautiful! I love the transition to the back yard. The natural cherry cabinets, tile backsplash and granite countertop work beautifully in your home.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:14AM
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I really like the wine cabinet. Is that also a bar/liquor cabinet?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:59AM
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As with the others, I love it.

The way you described it, I expected something so not Craftsman! I think you've actually restored some integrity and connection with the rest of the house, along with connection to the garden.

Isn't it odd that for a design era that was all about nature and natural materials, lines, etc., that they so often disconnected from nature with weird accesses, or those utility rooms at the back?

I also really love your back splash and the leaded glass you've got in your dining room hutch. I love that in general, but that's gorgeous.

I also love your solar panels. Got 32 of 'em myself, along with a solar water system. Don't know what I'd do without 'em! :)

Congrats on a beautiful space.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 10:55AM
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Great job. Another craftsman lover here!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 11:41AM
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Wow, where to start? This kitchen came out so beautifully. I love how it connects to your inspiration. The curved dry wall is great - and I love the line looking down through the kitchen into the nook terminating with the glass doors. That, in my opinion, is the best kind of galley kitchen - one that ends with something wonderful.

The craftsman details are great, and it really seems to flow with the rest of the house. The cabinetry seems very high quality, too.

And, then, the gardens... Yum! I'm with others, I could barely tear my eyes away from your landscaping to look inside! LOL I'm open for your consultation ANY time, you have a real talent for it.

Congratulations on the success of your effort! That's gotta feel great.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 1:58PM
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Oh wow ... I have such a case of kitchen envy!

I don't see craftsman houses as masculine, especially when you look at them in context with the clothing and fabrics of the day ... richly restrained and mature elegant women of taste perhaps, not girly or chorus-girly, but not masculine.

It's nailed the feeling of the era.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 3:44PM
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Oh my. I don't often feel envious but do now! That looks like my vision of perfection. Just amazing. well done.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 4:22PM
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Thanks for the feedback. The landscaping happened three years ago, but I still love it (my wife has a more love/hate relationship with the garden). We've never spent as much time in the back as we would like, but I think that's going to change now that it's more integrated with the house. Certainly our almost three year old is now able to go out back on his own and we can keep an eye on him. I was preparing his lunch today and he asked to go out. When I called him in for lunch he had tomato all over his face from picking the cherry tomatoes off the vine (it's either that or the berries. and in another month the figs). It doesn't get much better than that. Here's the view out the open french doors this afternoon from the prep area.

circuspeanut: Yeah, when we decided to switch the large pendant for a ceiling light I wanted to get a matching one from Cherry Tree Designs and was very bummed to find out they don't make them any more. I'm just glad we got our lights back in March rather than waiting until they were ready to be installed last month. We might get one now from Arroyo Craftsman, which has similar designs in metal.

As far as the green trim, early on we though that having stained trim in the kitchen might compete with the cabinets, so decided for painted trim (the trim is fir and the cabinets cherry). When the breakfast room trim was finished it was so lovely I really regretted that choice, but the kitchen trim was already primed. My wife and I got many paint samples and considered many different directions for the kitchen trim before picking the color, but in the end we're very happy with it.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 6:11PM
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Really lovely, historically appropriate, and functional. You're going to love it.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 7:25PM
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Wow...Wow...WOW!! Flawless...

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:11PM
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Ooh, what's the "hate" part of the "love/hate?" I LOVE it, myself.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:15PM
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Your kitchen and whole house is wonderful. Everything you have done is so well done, and your *gasp* garden is fantastic!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 8:42PM
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The hate part is feeling the pressure to keep it looking so beautiful, thinking about the plants with aphids. scale, diseases, etc, etc. Me, I just enjoy it ;-)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:20PM
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Stunningly gorgeous! I hope you enjoy your newly created space.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:53PM
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Oh THAT hate. My mom had that after a while in her half-acre woodland garden in the Chicagoland area. She's now in a high-rise condo and content with herbs in pots on the balcony.

Beautiful home, beautiful countertops in your beautiful kitchen leading to your beautiful yard! Hope you can enjoy it - we are trapped inside our AC-ed rooms here in Boston.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 1:44AM
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I love it! We are just finishing up our craftsman 1918 kitchen remodel.
Beautiful cabinets and great flow from DR to kitchen to outside. Congrats!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 2:15AM
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I think the green trim works so nicely - love the color you chose. We struggled with same issue and decided to go with stained trim and painted cabinets. Green - but we're not sure we chose the right green, waiting to finish to decide. (will be very expensive to change, ouch) I love your green, it looks very craftsman and works perfectly with the cabinet stain.
And oh, gorgeous garden.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 11:16AM
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