Sneak Peak - 1924 Yellow Kitchen 85% Finished

equest17September 6, 2012

I've been waiting to post my reveal until the kitchen is finished; but I realize as a DIY, it may never be fully completed! It's been functional for over six months, so progress on the details has really slowed down. I have to turn my attention to our bathroom addition, so I'm posting my photos to date. Maybe in a few months I'll be able to debut a truly completed kitchen.

Instead of "all but backsplash", my major unfinished item is the cabinet doors. But it's so convenient to have open shelving everywhere, I'm really not in a big hurry. I found a local cabinet shop that will make all the doors in a paint-grade Shaker style for under $1000, so when I get the time to measure, paint, drill, and hang all those big doors, I've got my plan in place. Also, I have the matching Thermador venthood, but we have to run ductwork and electrical for it, so that will be done with the attic renovation.

For a little background, this 1924 brick bungalow farmhouse had been in the same family for three generations before we bought it about a year ago. The whole house had been badly neglected and abused by a relation of the heir, but it had lots of potential. The first room I saw was the kitchen, and it sold me on the house (well, second only to the charming exterior and country setting). But the 10 foot ceilings with cabinets all the way to the top finalized the infatuation. The kitchen as I saw it was done in the '50's, but no one in the family could remember what it looked like before that (I'm guessing it was truly an unfitted kitchen, as we saw no evidence of a cabinet footprint).

We wanted to work with the house's assets (from a preservation mode as well as a cost savings standpoint), so I aimed for a vintage look that had been updated through the decades. Everything was DIY with the exception of adding a gas line and some small electrical and plumbing changes to move the fridge location. We're living in and working on major restoration throughout the house, so I had to keep it simple and stick to my $2,500 budget ($5,500 total if you include the used appliances we bought on Craigslist before we closed on the house).

Here are the details:

- Cabinets: original cabs, painted BM Vellum with ADVANCE paint (new doors to be purchased later)

- Counters: Formica Basalt Slate

- Backsplash: beadboard panels from Home Depot painted BM Linen White

- Appliances: Thermador 30" dual fuel range and vent hood (not yet installed); SubZero 700 series fridge; Kitchenaid dishdrawers

- Sink: Ikea Domsjo double basin sink

- Faucet: Kraus 1602 Pre-Rinse Commercial faucet

- Pulls: Belwith Studio pulls (discontinued Venetian Bronze finish from eBay, spray painted in Rustoleum Carbon Mist)

- Island: clearance JCPenney foyer table, topped with butcherblock remnant

- Lighting: 4 light chandelier from Overstock; undercabinet waterproof LED strip lights (SMD5050) from HitLights

- Paint: BM Bennington Gray walls, BM Linen White trim and ceiling

- Floors: original quartersawn heart pine floors; sanded and finished with four coats of Original Waterlox

- Windowseat: original 1920's seed box found in the attic

- Breakfast bar: Ikea EKBY desk (added Craigslist brackets and painted everything BM Vellum), with JCPenney clearance saddle stools

Before purchase (the previous resident left it trashed):


Breakfast bar:

Seedbox windowseat:

Sink view before and after:

Range view before and after:

Dishwasher view before and after:

Fridge view before and after:

Floor (after stripping three layers of vinyl tile and lino; and after sanding and Waterlox); and yes, the color does seem to match our dog!

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Wow. I rarely post (there are just so many beautiful kitchens and as a lurker I feel embarassed to even contribute my praise). But this one just takes my breath away. What an amazing transformation/reclamation! Congratulations - it must be a wonderful place to cook.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 6:01PM
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Oh, I had hoped you were still working on that great kitchen!! It turned out great!

I am on the road, so I can't look very closely, but i LOVE it!!


    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 6:01PM
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Wow! It looks amazing, I love the way you did the refrigerator. It all just looks so great! The laundry room looks great too, love how you did the counter. It all looks beautiful. Your doggie looks very sweet and at home in the new kitchen : )

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 6:05PM
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This is so beautiful and creative and practical too. I love everything.It's so well planned and neat too. Congratulations.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Amazing! What a lovely room! The cabinet color is beautiful.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 7:03PM
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Absolutely beautiful. I love it when people reuse an "old" kitchen rather than gutting. There's something more difficult and more interesting about it to me. Congratulations, you have done that sweet kitchen proud!!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 7:03PM
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Very cool. And since you kept and reclaimed so much original fabric, it is very "green". From another old house owner, big kudos!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 7:05PM
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I have such a soft spot for older homes- I am in LOVE with your kitchen. What a beautiful charming space. The thought and care you put into it are so evident. Thank you for sharing. Your dog is a sweetie too, and looks very comfy in there :-)

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 7:27PM
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That is such a charming kithcen! I love it and cant wait to see it once you finish. Great job!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 7:57PM
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Wow, I would have also loved that kitchen ( like you, loved the potential it had). You have realized all that potential and more, well done!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 8:02PM
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Oh I just love it! Country kitchens are my favorite!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 8:29PM
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What I love about it is that it looks like you've just done a HUGE clean-up. I can obviously see new, but you maintained much of the foot print, and kept the gorgeous molding, used an excellent cabinet color, and OMG, found beautiful floors!

Really, really nice.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 8:37PM
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Oh my...I live in an 1890 home and I WISH I had had anything to work with as you had. You are WONDERFULLY inventive and creative and simply a stunning designer.

You wouldn't catch me putting doors on those looks so great w/o. Who needs doors...I have open shelves and they get wiped down 2x a year...has been over 6 yrs and I would never go back.

I sure hope you will post pics of the rest of your splendid

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 8:44PM
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Wow what a beautiful kitchen! You've really done a great job, I really love your cabinet color.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 8:46PM
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How cute! I love it. Looks like such a pleasant and cheerful space. Nice work. :)

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 8:51PM
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Oh. My. God. That is amazing. I could just look at that all day.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 9:03PM
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I was just checking a week or two ago if you posted your finished kitchen yet!

I love it! Everything looks just perfect! Fantastic job!

BTW, we chose Barley for our yellow which is VERY close to Vellum- hard to tell apart actually. I kept thinking of you writing to me how Vellum really is yellow and you're right : )

Thanks for your help & enjoy your kitchen!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 10:28PM
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What a special, and to echo others, charming, kitchen!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 12:46AM
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What a lovely job you hav one! I love that ou kept the cottage heart of the kitchen. Would love to hang out itch a cup of tea.. I love love your creative island.. Just brilliant.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 4:29AM
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Your creativity is amazing (seed box, foyer table esp) and I love your inspiration picture for the flooring! I was holding my breath when I saw the title of your post and was elated to see this wonderful recreation!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 6:17AM
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Beautiful! Absolutely love the window seat..what a great fit! You did a great job...enjoy!!!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:35AM
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Yes, yes, yes! I love it. My only complaint is that you are forsaken the old doors which I know I am the only person in the world to love without reservations. Please tuck them away in a safe place because I am convinced that in another decade they will return triumphant.

You have such a charming kitchen. I am coveting your range. What is it? I love the metal shelf thingy and I'm glad a hood is in the future.

What a magical house!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 9:25AM
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WOW!!!!! That is one gorgeous kitchen! It is so unique and has so many beautiful and interesting details. I bet you are in love with it.

AMAZING job and transformation!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 9:33AM
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Sorry. I'm reading more carefully now and see the range is a Thermador. I'll like it quietly now that we are boycotting Thermodor because of Julia Child. ; )

I wish my kitchen had those good bones to work from! $2500 budget. Amazing.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 9:35AM
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It looks like - hard to tell - you have a fancy edge on your laminate? If so, was that DIY? If you don't mind, how much of your budget was on the counter?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 9:41AM
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Thank you, thank you! Everyone's generous praise has just made my day!

I must give plenty of credit to my DH. This is our third house to renovate/restore, and it wouldn't be possible without my amazing man. We're in our thirties, and while I have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home wife and pursue my old house passion, my DH is a busy professor building his career and trying to earn tenure at the university. So the fact that he uses his weekends and semester breaks to do a lot of the heavy lifting makes him deserving of an A+ in my book! He gives me plenty of leeway to dream and design and only occasionally pricks my bubble with a practical reality or two. Plus, he always lovingly checks my hands when he gets home to make sure I haven't lost a digit to the miter saw or jigsaw or whatever power tool I'm using that day!

Springroz, some days I feel like we will always be working on this kitchen!

Smaloney, I'm glad you decided to pipe up! It is a good place to cook, though I do wish for drawer bases frequently. And I can't seem to find the best way to utilize the blind corners. But overall the work triangle and zones function well for us.

SaraKat, thanks! Most everyone who comes in can't find our fridge or dishwasher. I guess it's just a reminder that the majority of people aren't TKO and haven't seen paneled appliances.

Youngdeb, it was a bit of a challenge to reuse the original. We've done a complete gut of a kitchen before, and I almost think it was easier. We installed those cabinets plumb, level, and square last time, and here we had none of the above. Putting countertops and backsplash on was a real struggle!

Sombreuil, I've admired your old house kitchen myself, and I appreciate the nod. I love when "green" intersects with "frugal". I agree with the quote on The Old House forum (Old houses mended cost little less than new before they're ended), so if we can save money on cabinets, it's more I can spend on insulation, HVAC, storm windows, electrical upgrades, etc., etc.!

CEFreeman, that is a lovely compliment! I believe a lot of thought was put into this kitchen originally, and we wanted to honor that. The elderly son remembers his mother standing firm on cabinets to the ceiling when her husband and the cabinet maker thought she was crazy. I hope she would have liked what we did. BTW, how is your cabinet paint color saga coming along? I know you were encouraging when I was anxious about the yellow.

Trailrunner, thank you so much. I have admired your home, too. I believe you are in Alabama, as I am. I'm sorry your kitchen didn't have good bones to work with, but from what I've seen, you've certainly made the most of the rest of its assets!

I do love the open shelves, and if I thought I could get away with it, I might consider leaving them doorless. I just painted and hung the original base cabinet doors because it looked very disorganized down there, and I already miss the ease of just reaching right in! As it is, I have a deep suspicion I may get busy with the rest of the house and never revisit the cabinet doors. Perhaps a few dollars would be better spent buying some cute matching kitchen storage containers and accessories and calling it a day!

2LittleFishies, as a fellow yellow kitchen lover, I'm glad you like it! I think you'll be very happy with Barley. I started there and shifted over a chip or two based on the lighting in my house. Both are tried and true BM shades, so that has to account for something.

Gardenamy, thanks for noting the seedbox. It was covered in ragged and dirty fabric and almost got thrown away. But I thought it might be good storage in the shop building and decided to tear off the dusty fabric. Lo and behold, the seed label! It does fit really well, although it could be a few inches wider and I'm thinking of making little feet for it to raise the height just a bit.

Onedogedie, I did save the kitchen door. It has some terrible damage to one side (a big dog must have chewed and clawed it for hours or days). But we did leave the swinging door to the dining room installed. In the photo of the breakfast bar, you can see it open across the pantry. We almost always keep it open, either to the dining side or the kitchen side, but it's too unique to remove. The range is an older Thermador I bought on CL. It has the add-on tall backsplash. The shelf is a warming shelf, I believe. The matching hood has halogen heat lamps, like Bee's new kitchen.

Sixtyohno, Jentrex, Labbie, Rocketmomkd, EngineerChic, Sis2two, Geomeg, Mom23E's, MizLizzie, Cat_mom, Lalitha, Javachik, Aktillery, and any others I missed, thank you so much for your comments and compliments. It makes the work left to do feel less like a burden!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 9:46AM
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OOooohhh...I HOPE you get too busy !! Yes to the inventive/creative..which it is easy to see you already are ;) Get containers and organize and revel in the eye candy of a kitchen well used ! There is nothing that needs hiding. I think we all get carried away with that and you have just broken the barrier .

Where in AL are you ? I am in Opelika and my DH was a prof at AU for 31 years . I remember well the years seeking tenure and my being a SAHM. We have a lot in common, except we can't DIY LOL! Thank you for the kind words about my home. c

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 10:00AM
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Wow! What a beautiful and unique kitchen. I love the chunky pulls. They really set off the cabs well. That shade of yellow is just perfect too. And that window seat! So cool. Great job!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 10:30AM
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There's nothing I can say that others have not already posted. But I will add my own, "I love it".

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 10:33AM
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Onedogedie, sorry, I missed your last posts and questions. The total for the postform counters was $430. We measured (and remeasured) and took the dimensions to a big laminate fabricator about half an hour away. They cut them to our specs (with a flat deck, since I don't like the integrated short backsplash) and an edge they call Keystone (it looks similar to an ogee). Then we picked them up and installed them. I think the price was around $17 per linear foot. I know some people say the high definition laminates approach cheaper granites in cost, but we never found granite at even $17 a square foot, let alone linear foot. I did search for a good price, though, because the big box stores want a lot for the upgraded edges, flat deck, and new designs. The company I found (Cullman Cabinet and Supply Co, if you're in northern AL) actually does all the countertops for Lowes and HD in our area, so it was a blessing that they weren't too far from me.

Here's a closeup of the edge:

As for the Thermador, I read that Julia Child post. I can feel secure knowing none of my money went to the parent company! Buying secondhand frees me from the principle of the matter, I guess. And speaking of Julia Child, have you seen the YouTube video of her "autotuned"? It's great. Bring on the roasted potatoes!

Trailrunner, we are a little outside Huntsville. My dh is a prof in the mechanical and aerospace engineering dept at UAH. That Ph.D. gives his voice of reason a little bit of extra credence when he gently questions some of my less-than-thought-out ideas and plans!

Motodetroit and schoolhouse, thank you very much for your kind words.

Here is a link that might be useful: PBS autotunes Julia Child

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 11:51AM
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Just lovely, so true to the house, and to think you did it for so little money! Really impressive. The woman who had it done before - was it 40's or 50's? - did a good job, so the kitchen had great bones to start. Congratulations on an excellent and thoughtful remodel.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 11:57AM
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That is amazing, what a transformation! And I can't believe that those floors were underneath all that mess!

I can't wait to see it with the finishing touches!

Did you design the changes yourself?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 12:00PM
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Ginny, we think the kitchen was done in the 50's. The elderly man who grew up in the home remembers it was finished by the time he got out of the military, so he thinks that was late 40's or early 50's. I wish there were some photos or at least memories of what it looked like before, but no one knows. We can see some brick changes under the sink window on the exterior, so I think it was made shorter. And the plaster behind the backplash was removed in places, so they probably fished the electrical for the outlets and such.

My only regret is that the original cabinet doors are just slab plywood. I was going to route them out and add glass, but there are likely too many voids. I have the sink base doors to experiment with, so I may play with that.

Laura, we took a guess on the floors. The dining room had also been covered with vinyl and linoleum, under which a thin subfloor had been nailed down every FOUR inches! It was a bear to get up, but at least the heart pine was well preserved. The kitchen floor was a different finished height, so we took a chance. It too had a nailed-down subfloor under the vinyl tile, but it was on top of the old linoleum. I don't think the wood had ever been finished, so the backing was really stuck down. But you'd be amazed at what a powerful drum sander can do! There is some water damage and darkened boards near the sink, but it's mostly under the toekick.

We did design everything ourselves. I played with layout, but the sink was pretty permanent and there wasn't much option for the range. We considered opening up walls, but it would have really changed the character of the house and made us lose some great features like the built in pantry, swinging door, some cabinetry, and a window. We did move the fridge, and it was a blessing that the used SubZero I found opened the right way, as I don't believe the door swing can be swapped on these.

I forgot to post my original mood board. Here it is:

Most everything stayed as I envisioned it, except the fabrics. I just went through my stash and found some remnants that were suppose to be temporary. But I ended up loving them! I don't even know what some of them are and can't get more to match the sink skirt and window curtains, but thankfully I had just enough for the projects themselves.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 12:42PM
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It is a beautiful kitchen! You have done a wonderful job and it is now a charming space. Enjoy it!!

And I'm going to ask a question that will reveal my complete ignorance... how did you do the paneled DW and fridge if you kept the existing cabinets? I can see from your before pictures they weren't there before! Did you just buy the panels somewhere? They look so cool, I'd love to know how you did it!!

Altogether a lovely kitchen!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 12:55PM
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Gorgeous. Your 'new' kitchen is so true to your house and your vision of preserving its history and character. And it's DIY to boot?!?! GREAT job.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 1:04PM
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Lovely! The yellow is such a soft pretty color, and I love the paneled ref and dish drawers. How wonderful to let those floors see the light again! Congrats - it's terrific.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 1:06PM
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I truly love your kitchen! It looks like home, in the very best sense - what a beautiful job. My preference (in my house) would be to put doors on the uppers, but you sound like you're really enjoying the "open-shelf life" - and it's a great look. Your special elements are wonderful - seed box, wall clock, breakfast bar (genius!), sink skirt. Congratulations on a heart-warming kitchen at an amazing price tag!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 1:27PM
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Brava! C'est magnifique! Que maravillosa! Or, in other words, I like it! I mean, I really, really like it! Like many, I can drool like a fool over super gorgeous kitchens where no expense has been spared in design and execution, Yet, there's no kitchen makeover that can tug at my heartstrings quite like a really well-done, DIY kitchen that shows off all the character and personality of the home and its owners. And, especially as a lover of old houses, I gotta tell you: my heartstrings are in full motion with this one. Take a bow!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 1:38PM
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Love what you have done in this beautiful remodel...this was one of the pics I chose for my inspiration, only thing, I will go with pearl. You must be a very organized person..I could never do open shelves. Great job!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 2:03PM
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Love what you have done in this beautiful remodel...this was one of the pics I chose for my inspiration, only thing, I will go with pearl. You must be a very organized person..I could never do open shelves. Great job!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 2:17PM
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I love it! including the open shelves. 1920s vintage houses are the best, I think. Love the windowseat. the center work table is lovely, but it seems to me if you ever wanted a larger one you have plenty of room for it.
Great color choices. Sweet hound!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 4:44PM
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Munchladyland, not an ignorant question at all. We were fortunate enough to find used appliances that already had the panels. The fridge came from a gut job (they had torn out beaded inset cabinets in a very high end home!), so the seller didn't need the custom surround cabinet or panels. The dishdrawers were from a seller who replaced it with a stainless steel tall version after she decided she couldn't fit as many dishes in the drawers. In both cases, the existing panels don't match my cabinets. But I removed the panels and prepped and painted them to blend. If/when we do new doors, I'll probably have matching ones made for the appliances, also.

Zeebee, thanks. We're in the process of getting the house listed with the Alabama Historical Commission, and it was fun documenting all of the original features of the house (weighted sash windows, wavy glass, skeleton keys to all the doorknobs, etc., etc.).

Here's a quick before and after of the exterior, so you can see the house to which this kitchen belongs!

Chicagoans, isn't it amazing how trends change with the times! To think it was the height of fashion to put in linoleum versus wood. We also had to pull up 60's era blue and green shag carpet in other parts of the house, all covering the same heart pine wood floors!

JBGB, I'm glad you like the breakfast bar. We don't use it often (my husband prefers to stand and hold his cereal bowl near his chin!), but my nieces loved it when they visited for a few weeks. I went with backless stools because that area is most frequently used by dinner guests hanging out in the kitchen and they can prop on the bar or perch on a chair and face into the kitchen. Eventually, we'd like to open that doorway to the laundry/mud room up a bit and have a countertop bar sitting on a pony wall, so people could stand or sit on the other side.

Marthavila, vielen Dank! Your glowing words almost make me blush. I know what you mean about enjoying the remodels that spare no expense; at times, I wondered what could have been done with this kitchen (and house) if we had a bigger budget. And to my dh's credit, he never really set a limit. He asked me what I thought it would take to get a functional and aesthetic kitchen that would make me happy, and I'm most happy when I don't have to spend much cash!

Phoggie, I don't know about being organized. I do a lot of baking and buy bulk ingredients at the health food store, so I'm used to storing and labeling things in tidy containers. We're several hours from IKEA, but on my DH's next business trip to Atlanta, I plan to tag along and stock up on lots of matching food storage items. Then I can go to town with my label maker! If I could just find a pretty way to store all the Tupperware and Gladware type containers, I might be set. If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Farmgirlinky, the foyer table size has worked well. It, too, was suppose to be a temporary placeholder to determine the right size for a little island. But I haven't found anything else the same dimensions. I like its looks, but it is a little wobbly (only noticible if people try to lean on it). I just keep spices in it, and the overhang at the end is just right for my counter stool. I would like something wider and taller, but I don't think I can sacrifice any more space from my aisles.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 5:22PM
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Oh my goodness--I totally LOVE it! I am swooning over your yellow cabinets!

Your kitchen just oozes charm, and your clever breakfast bar is adorable! What creativity!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 5:36PM
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Your kitchen makes me smile!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 5:37PM
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I love your kitchen. When can I move in? Seriously. It is DREAMY. I love it more to know that you did it with a small budget and it was DIY. Love your kitchen. Love, love, LOVE!!!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 6:51PM
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Thank you shelayne, motherof3, and senator. I really appreciate your descriptive praise! Drop in for a cup of tea anytime ;-)

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 10:33AM
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Yes I'm back! I didn't mean the 5 paneled door. I meant the original cabinet doors. I just love those style doors, especially with the little magnet that makes them click shut.

Thank you for the information on the laminate counters. They look great.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 10:39AM
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That is the most BEAUTIFUL kitchen! I love it. I'm a great fan of open upper shelving. I wouldn't do open lower cabinets, we have pots/pans on open island shelving and the glass lids accumulate cat hair. I think she walks by them and has a secret button that SHOOTS cat hairs all over my cookware!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 12:08PM
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OMG! Can you come and re-do the kitchen in a house we bought. Looks a lot like your before pics. I especially like the counter top. Fabulous job! Fantastic!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 7:46PM
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Sorry onedogedie. I guess I didn't even think anyone would like the slab doors, so it never occurred to me you were referring to those. And I know Christine (CEFreeman) is busy collecting five panel doors for her house, so I assumed it was that style you liked. I will keep the originals around, and if I can find a decent way to route out the uppers for seeded glass, I may stick with them. They didn't have magnets, but instead use the double roller and a little pointy "tongue" on the door. It actually made them hard to pull open, so I've replaced that system with magnets on the lowers, at least for now. One big incentive for having new doors made would be for hidden, or at least self-closing, hinges.

MuleHouse, good point about the pet hair. Our dog isn't a terrible shedder, but I could see it getting messy down there. Plus, it was visual overload for me. I already had the sink skirted and the original flour (or maybe potato?) bin back in place, so it was just a matter of popping on four lower doors. I do love the tilt-out bins; I use one for baking sheets and cooling racks, and I may put the trash can in the other. Right now, the trash is on a pull out, but I can't find a door mount bracket, so unless I can make my own, I'll put the bin back in and just find a can to fit.

Numbersjunkie, if you're in the TN River valley, I'd be more than happy to help! If not, I hope you start a thread for ideas on your kitchen. You won't find a more helpful and knowledgeable group of people. Plus some hand-holding and encouragement to get you through the nervous moments, like right after I painted the cabs yellow and thought it was a terrible mistake!

I can say, I love my Formica countertops. I did laminate counters with the same edge in my last kitchen, but with a standard color pattern. The new FX line is absolutely amazing! I went to the laminate fabricator's warehouse and saw huge sheets of all the colors before I picked mine. I knew for the overall look of the kitchen, I needed something sedate and almost solid, like the Basalt Slate. But I almost changed the whole kitchen design to make something like Mascarello or Blue Storm work.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 10:56PM
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Love, love, love your kitchen. Marthavila said everything for me.

Are you sure the 50's cabinet doors are plywood? They look suspiciously like my original 1961 builder's birch slab doors, with exactly the same bevel around the edges.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 5:45PM
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I love that you kept the cabinets. Someone had pulled out my original kitchen long before I got into my house. Then we decided to move the kitchen to the new addition, so at least the prior owner removed any guilt I might have had for pulling stuff out.

Your kitchen looks fantastic!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 12:18AM
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I absolutely love your kitchen. I am a fan of modern, but, your kitchen has grabbed my heart. I, too, love, your open shelves-they just seem so right in your room. Wishing you and yours many happy and peaceful moments.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 12:52AM
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Looking at your pics I feel like if I walked into your kitchen I would just pour a coffee and stay! It is so charming and I love that you've kept so much of the original features. I would be in heaven if when we pulled up our vinyl flooring I found that floor! Congrats on a beautiful job!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 6:52AM
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alandscape ?: I can't tell what everything is out in your front area. I can see that it is Lantana along the walkway and some kind of grass nearer the house...can you go along the front and tell me what you have planted ? I am trying to redo our front and I think much of what works in your area would work here and our bungalow is very similar to yours :) Thank you ! c

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 8:18AM
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It was kinda cute before, but truly fantastic after! Nice job! You're doing that wonderful house proud.

We DIY'd our kitchen (and whole house), and it continues and continues... We've lived her 4 1/2 years (where does the time GO?), and the kitchen still has some finish work left. If you can do it in another few months, you'll be doing great. :-)

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:40AM
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Iroll, I don't know my wood species very well, but after sanding down the base cabinet doors, what I saw certainly looked like a plywood. You've got me curious now, so I'm going to see about borrowing a router and experimenting with the extra sink base doors. Someone did suggest that even plywood from the 50's would be pretty good quality and might not have the voids I expect.

1929Spanish, I'm sorry you didn't have the original kitchen with which to work, but I absolutely love what you created. I know what you mean about the guilt factor, though. Someone had hacked out the cabinet to the left of the sink for a dishwasher some years past. They didn't do a great job, but at least I didn't have to be the one to pull the trigger on removing vintage cabinets in favor of modern conveniences!

Westsider, thanks for the encouragement on the open shelves. I may still pursue doors down the road, but all the positive comments here make me feel good about loving my kitchen "as is"!

Mush, here's to hoping you have some beautiful wood of your own under that vinyl. We really did hold our breath when we got to the last layer. We restored a 1914 bungalow back in Arkansas that also had heart pine floors, although not quartersawn. The kitchen still had linoleum, and from looking from the crawlspace, I could tell there was wood under there. So I tugged and pulled and stripped and scrapped until we got to it, only to find it was a very low grade (at least for that era) pine, not nice enough to refinish. So we had one previous bad experience under our belts and no guarantee of what lay beneath. And then the papery backing was stuck so badly, we couldn't tell how much water damage there was until we sanded, so we still weren't sure if all the labor would pay off!

Trailrunner, the landscape is a little wild right now, so I'm surprised you can make out much of anything! Yes, that's New Gold lantana planted along the walkway (I love it in the afternoon when the butterflies flock to it, but it would have been better if we had wider beds for it, as I have to keep cutting it back). The foundation beds have Abelia (Canyon Creek, I believe, which stays a little more compact), Yaupon holly, Calisto Indian Hawthorne (absolutely my favorite hawthorne!), and some Purple Heart (aka, Purple Queen). The grass on each side of the steps is Miscanthus, but I don't think it's staying. I just planted it last fall, and it's already too big. It was intended to be a placeholder until I could find/afford a small topiary or tall, narrow evergreen focal point to highlight the brick columns.

The most unruly plants are the Cannas right up against the foundation. Our lattice brick porch has some badly patched mortar and a plain concrete foundation, and I wanted to disguise it until the Abelia could grow up a bit. Well, the Cannas certainly did that; they got so tall they were hiding my hanging baskets! So I'll probably plant a smaller variety next year, and eventually faze them out all together.

The beds flare back out down at the end (where we hope to put the circle drive back in one day), and there I have Nanho Blue butterfly bush, Stella D'oro day lilies, and one double Carolina Jessamine, climbing on the lamp post.

Our house faces south, so all this is pretty much full sun. On the west side, I also have Sunny Knock-Out roses, Drift roses, Threadleaf Coreopsis (a contender for replacing the too-large lantana on the walkway), and hyacinth bean vine (climbing on the porch to provide shade and privacy), which all do very well here. We rented a bed edger to form the beds and then I trucked in piles of compost from a local horse stable to amend and build up our clay soil. But we have good pH, and all these plants have been very happy and healthy.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:47AM
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THANK YOU !! I have almost all of those somewhere in the garden or have had in the past...all except the Hawthorne...glad to hear about it. I have bought/moved/tossed/killed more plants than a nursery sells in a year LOL ! I am their best customer :(.

I am planning on taking out the small leaf Azaleas out front, we really only like the old large flowered kind. I have a ton of CJ and love it on my arbors in back. Thanks again and I can't tell you enough how much I love your place. c

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 11:11AM
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what a lovely kitchen! I also have that type of cabinet in my current home with the partial inset door... there is a name for that style....hmmm...escapes me. But anyway, we also chose to redo them as they were so well built, we couldn't get anything comparable for less than too much (since this isn't our forever house).
You've done a great job, love the yellow and black. Love the window shelves.... congrats!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 5:48PM
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Your kitchen makes me smile. What a happy space to be in!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 8:17PM
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Wow - nice job and a unique kitchen! I kept seeing new hidden items as I scrolled down the posts!
Love that counter with your colors - and you have a happy puppy!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 8:27PM
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Wow, the kitchen and the rest of the exterior are amazing! Just love it all!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:24PM
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Trailrunner, you are quite welcome. I'm hoping to put in some azaleas, rhododendron, and/or hydrangeas along the east property line. How are the small leaf variety different? Do they not bloom as often or as much?

Deedles, did you do new doors on the original frames? If so, how did it work out, and any lessons learned? I'm a little nervous about making all the proper measurements. I can get them in partial overlay with hidden hinges, but my existing doors open parallel to each other, if that makes sense, instead of like double doors (you can see from the pull locations on the lowers what I mean). So I can't use the original doors for measuring.

Fouramblues, a2gemini, gsciencechick, thank you very much.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 1:26PM
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About the small leaf/bloom variety. They just seem to be more picky about the soil and the iron. The leaves tend to turn yellow quite easily. They are very prolific bloomers but they aren't fragrant..big blossoms are ...and they also aren't any good for cutting. Here is a pic of the big blooms in a vase. They are also easier to maintain as far as snipping off long branches and leaving a nice free shape whereas the small leaf variety looks messy if you don't prune much and looks boxy and artificial if you use a hedge trimmer. Just my .02.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 2:08PM
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Your original kitchen brings back so many memories. I think my mom had the same cabinets and definitely the same countertop color. Hers had a vinyl strip in a groove in the metal edge though.

I love what you did with it, and especially love that you reused so many of your own and found items. I never would have guessed that the countertop was laminate. I thought it was soapstone. If I didn't already have my undermount sink, I'd reconsider my countertop choices.

Your kitchen is beautiful.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 2:35PM
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Your home must be over-the-moon happy that you and DH bought it! You've done a lovely job reforming the exterior. And your kitchen--I'm in love!!! I'm so glad you kept the old cabs, especially the uppers. Those rounded shelves pull at my heartstrings and remind me of good times (many, many years ago) with my grandma. The yellow cabs and that beautiful floor makes it so happy, warm, and welcoming. I also love the seed box and think your idea of raising it up on some feet is great.

I'm in absolute awe of your and DH's DIY talent and budgeting skills. Keep up the good work--your home (and GW) says "thank you!!!" :)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 12:39AM
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Trailrunner, thanks for the beautiful pics. You can tell I don't know much about azaleas (yet); are the Encore azaleas the small leaf variety? I'm glad I'm getting an education now before my east beds go in!

Marti, thanks. I've seen that old original laminate with the metal band, so it must have been all the rage then! And you can actually do an undermount sink with laminate now. My fabricator has a display that looks great! It's almost flush with the counter, not recessed with a reveal, and I think you can only do stainless steel, but it's a good option for many.

Flwrs, what a lovely compliment! Thank you so much. We've had neighbors and passers-by make comments about the improvement in the house, so I'd like to think we're doing it proud!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 10:54PM
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What a beautiful, warm space. So inviting! Love the yellow cabs! And I'm so impressed with how neat your cupboards are! Wow! You've done an amazing job with your home. What a huge difference in the before and after photos!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 11:14PM
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