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Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

Posted by raee (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 30, 14 at 19:02

Well, I finally managed to take photos and have time to post a reveal!
I still have a few details to take care of; the carpenters need to come back to finish a bit of trim, I need to strip wallpaper from the basement stairwell and paint that area and the back door (who knows when I will get to that), a decision needs to be made about the phone jack. Oh, and something for the windows (suggestions welcome!)

Here are a few before shots:

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You can see that counter, storage and general layout were very awkward and inadequate. And the lighting! operated by a pullchain by the fridge!

When we tore out the cabinets and stripped the wallpaper, we were able to see the ghosts of the original layout:

a large window was here originally
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and I could see the traces of large tile on the walls once we removed the wallpaper. We found the stub of a gas line on the wall by the door to the dining room so assume the stove was originally there. I guess that some past owner moved everything to one wall to make room for a kitchen table.

When we removed the 3 layers of flooring (including the original linoleum) we found this:
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I was variously told it was red oak, white oak and pine: Pine it was. Believe it or not, all that glue residue cleaned off fairly easily with DIF (and cat urine-- what is it about a newly bare floor that makes some cats want to baptize it? My refinisher said it wasn't unusual!) and sanding.

After refinishing:
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Had some difficulties with the granite install. First of all, I had picked a stone that was a lovely soft green-gray: Verde Lavras. The installer asked me if I wanted an "enhancing sealer" applied to darken it and I told him NO. But he forgot, and applied it anyway. Plus the seam work wasn't too great either:

This first photo shows the difference between the color I selected and what the sealer did to it:
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And the seam:
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He did come back after some time and redid the seam, also tried to remove the enhancer to only modest effect. The counter is now lighter but still the green is lost.

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The seam is really only visible now if looked at straight on:
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Remember the view from the doorway? Some things, like the mess in the basement stairwell, haven't changed, but I think that overall this is much better!

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Pantry with rollout shelves, microwave, and a still-empty top shelf -- I am still organizing and reorganizing:

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Trash, recycling, compost and a few misc. items under the sink on pullouts:
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molding photo 001_zps91c18f8c.jpg

I need to decide what to do with the phone jack here. They didn't leave enough room for the phone to hang on the wall, but reused the old wall plate and didn't finish the wall under it. I can get a new phone (if I can find one) that will fit on the wall, or move the jack and fix the wall:
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It is still a small kitchen! but I have soooo much more storage, counter space, a larger sink, better lighting.... I am so happy with it, even with the things that weren't done as I wished.

The colors don't show up well in my pictures, I think. The rug was my inspiration:
The cabinets and window trim are Martha Stewart 'Gull'; the ceiling is Valspar 'Transparent';
the walls are Valspar 'Ante Meridian".
The baseboards and basement door are also 'Transparent' but I think that I will be repainting them to 'Gull'; I like transparent on the ceiling but it looks too cool on the trim.

The new appliances -- frig, dishwasher and stove -- were all floor models from the major department store scratch & dent outlet.

The sink is Blanco Stellar Super Single from Amazon Warehouse

Faucet is Price Pfister Sedgwick via eBay
Garbage disposal is Waste King (so quiet!)
Range hood is Air King

Ceiling lights: Sylvania retrofit downlights (had to use these on 4 inch boxes, as there was ductwork in the ceiling that didn't permit cans) from Lowes

Over sink light: Litex 7.25" in brushed nickle

Cabinets made by Harmon Hardwoods, Dover, Ohio

Because I decided to have the cabinets made instead of using Ikea, and went with the more expensive granite, and refinished the floor instead of using the clearance engineered hardwood, and replaced all the appliances, I exceeded my original target budget by at least $4k -- all told it came to just about $20K. The kitchen remodelers were quoting me about $25k, so I think that I did okay in the end.

PS. I don't know why some pictures are sideways, or different size -- they are all okay on Photobucket!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

So pretty, and so efficient, you really packed a lot of beauty and workability into your space! That sliver of space to the right of the range, I'll bet its usefulness far exceeds its size. It's all so pretty, and I'm lovin' the rug!! Happy cooking :)


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

Yes prettier and more functional - well done!


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

Thanks, bpathome! That little lower 9" cabinet has a spice pullout, and it is full! We love to cook with all kinds of spices. The upper 9" cabinet holds my tea, coffee and powdered drink mixes.

I am using the base corner cabinet for sodas, wine, larger appliances and large soup pots. So far, not finding it difficult to reach things in there.

The workability -- a lot of it came from ideas that I found here, as I've mentioned on other threads. I am so grateful for the suggestions and help that I received here (and also on Ikeafans).


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

What a vast improvement! You must be thrilled. Your choices really suit the house, and you've dramatically improved the function.

Now for the pictures that are confusing me. I can't tell where the pendant is in the picture about the one showing the phone jack. Also, I can't figure out where the fridge is.

And now I've gone back up and I can't see the faucet!!!

How do you expect us to profess our love for your choices when we cant see them!!!! :)


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

Magsnj, thanks for the compliments and sorry for the confusion! I will try just a single piccie to see if it posts better than the photobucket.

Here is that over sink light:


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

the sink and faucet

Funny how oddly the colors are photographing. The wall is reallya pale blue-green and the cabinets are not at all pinkish!


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

The view from the basement door


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

Thanks so much for your sharing your reveal! It looks fantastic, and as someone with a kitchen the size of some of the butler's pantries on this site, it's doubly inspiring to see something so great in a small package. Congratulations, and hope you're enjoying your new space.


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

And the view from the other corner, by the stove.
The lower cabinet by the frig is a pullout that holds the buckets of pet food. I didn't leave much room for feeding the animals, though; that is something that I would do differently -- make that cabinet with a little alcove for the pet dishes, and use narrower containers for the food. As it is now, the dishes sit in front of the open basement door.


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

It looks fantastic!!! I was thinking the fridge must be in a different area. The pendant looks great. Don't worry about not making room for the pet buffet. When you have limited space you can't plan for everything. I'm currently feeding mine in the dining room. :) I figure there's the same wood throughout the house (old pine as well) and that's were eatng is supposed to be done.

Now for the serious question. Did you realize you weren't truly living before you had the pull down faucet? I had mine installed in October and I couldn't believe I had ever lived without one.

My sister has your sink and she loves it! Great choice!


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

  • Posted by raee zone 5 OH (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 30, 14 at 21:59

Yes I love the faucet -- it really works well, feels solid and it is so convenient; Price Pfister isn't a brand mentioned often here, but the price was right and it has all the features I wanted. Hopefully it will hold up well. And the sink -- the sink is just the right size, not too big but really roomy enough! The setback drain allowed me to fit the pullouts under the sink. I am really pleased with the combo!

(edited to add:) I confess that I was nervous about the faucet just because it looked so HUGE at first, and still seems a bit out of proportion with the light above.

This post was edited by raee on Fri, Jan 31, 14 at 10:00


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

Wow, what a transformation! It looks so neat and cohesive. Great job!


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

Very nice job. You really made the most of your space, yet it still looks airy. I like the layout, how the cabinets are true to the style of the house, and that rug.


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

I am always so amazed by the befores/afters and yours does not disappoint. You did a great job creating a kitchen that looks like a joy to cook in-- great organization, efficient, and lovely. What a great find under the layers of flooring. The refinished pine is really pretty. Love your pendant too! Congratulations on a job well done!


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

Congratulations! I love how you maximized your space. And the pet food bin is great.


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

The cabinets and floor are beautiful! It really all ties in nicely with the counter. I love that light too. Considering that you had custom cabinets, refinished wood floor and new appliances, I dont think 4k over budget is bad at all. It looks great!


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I'm so glad you posted more pics. I think your granite is lovely - it looks like a good match with the rug. You put a lot of nice details in your kitchen. I love your pendant & the crown molding above your cabinets. I also forgot to include an eating area for the dogs. Have to add that one to the GW kitchen planning list.


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

Much, much better layout, wow what a difference! Everything looks smartly done and you chose really nice finishes. Look at that nice stretch of counter space now! Time for some KAWs.

What a score on the floor (? poet, don't know it), too.


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You did a great job! more counter space, more storage space - love all the added drawers and the slide outs. It surely makes it so much nicer for you to find things and to cook in it!

thx for posting it - we need more of the smaller kitchens revealed on here. There are sooo many badly designed small kitchens in this world! Old houses, small houses, condos etc and their owners need lots of inspiration / help to update them and make them as usable as possible.


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

Such a nice improvement!


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

Wonderful transformation! As I have a small kitchen also, I love seeing how ppl make the transformation to a 'working/functional' kitchen. Great job!


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

Thank you all! It is a real pleasure to be able to share a years worth of decisions and fussing with you all!

Thanks also to whoever fixed my whackadoodle pictures in the first post!

It is a smaller house, only 1000 sq ft in the 2 stories. Since I like to stock up on things I use a lot when on sale (canned soup, for example, which I take for lunch at work most days) it is nice to have room to keep it handy instead of in the basement, plus now I don't have plates, mugs and glasses stacked to the max in one cupboard.

I could actually have made the new window bigger and the cupboard between them narrower, though -- I really didn't realize how much storage I was adding and the upper shelves are fairly empty.

Romy thanks for the compliment on the molding. It was actually not what I asked for -- I wanted something simpler, but by the time it went up and I saw what I had, I just didn't want to go through the fuss and wait for a replacement (I was ill at the time). So it is nice to hear that it looks good!

I did change the trim around the windows; the carpenters just put in quarter round and it looked both cheap and unfinished. I replaced it with the cove molding which I think looks much better (did it myself, too!)

My favorite thing about it all would really be hard to say; of course just having enough counter to work on without balancing things on the stove should top the list!

But, every time I pull open the base drawer to get a pot I smile!


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What an awesome update! Absolutely beautiful.


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That looks great! I know you must be thrilled everyday when you walk into your new space. I too love a pulldown faucet and will never again be without one. Thanks for posting.


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

Looks awesome! Smaller budget kitchens are my favourite!! I particularly love your sink area. Something about it just looks so timeless and welcoming. The pendant and faucet are so charming.


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Great job! The prep space you created by changing where the stove/fridge are is just wonderful!


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

Raee, I love the style of your cabinets and the white chosen to paint them. I love the spice pullout 9" cabinet! What a great idea! I am going to see if I can have that instead of some of the fillers that will be in my kitchen when I am ready to do my kitchen. I love the pull-outs in the pantry and I think my KD that took the sample boards back today was wrong to tell me not to have them as I can never find anything in the back of the shelves. I need to add them back to my kitchen for the bottom shelves. I also really love your faucet and can't wait to get one that is tall to fill my humidifier with as it will not fit under my low faucet now so I use the water on the door that takes forever to fill it. You are so blessed with a window over the sink. I now wish I got an end unit that had a window over the sink but I was so in love with the location of this particular interior townhouse as the end unit available at the time I was ready to buy did not have the privacy that I do in my backyard.

What an amazing transformation for such a wonderful price! It truly is so functional now and pretty! I love your kitchen!


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Thank you for your kind words, Lynn. I really am enjoying it all. I hated the cabinet color at first, it just didn't seem to be what I had thought it would be, but once the counter was in and the walls painted just the right color I changed my mind and love it now!

The tall faucet was always a must on my list and this one has not disappointed me. So were pull out shelves in the pantry. I had him make them for only the bottom 3 shelves, but I am going to add them to the upper shelves eventually, also to the over-frig cabinet. I can't believe that your KD discouraged you from having them-- 24" deep pantry shelves would seem impossible to deal with, without them!

Pullouts for the narrow places must be one of the greatest kitchen inventions -- I can see my spices and it really holds a lot. There was no way to avoid having 9" cabinets, so going frameless allowed them to be practical even though narrow.

LOL, looking back at my post I see what a terrible photographer I am. I will put up some better-focused shots when I ask for help on a window treatment, hopefully the colors will show up correctly.


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RE: Almost all done, smaller budget, 1941 Colonial!

raee, thank you for letting me know that you did not like the cabinet color at first until the counter was in and the walls were painted. This is what I am thinking that when everything goes together, then it looks so nice and I have to stop being lost in the forest and look at the whole picture. I am so glad I vented yesterday since your reply and everyone else's really helped me. I will learn about more ideas so when tax season is over, I will be more ready to make decisions and complete my kitchen.

I definitely need pull out shelves in my pantry. I have short arms and it is difficult enough to find things. I want my kitchen to be more functional.

I love the spice pull-out so much! You did so great in designing your kitchen and making good use of space.

I am looking forward to trying to help when you are ready for your window treatments.


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