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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Kitchen Renovation

Constance WVDecember 15, 2012
c.1800 in need of updated systems.. first the kitchen. Have any ideas?
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is this the before or the after? Can't tell what you are trying to do!
    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 10:36AM
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Constance WV
Before.. kitchen last remodeled 1960.
    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 10:37AM
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Constance WV
Need to update systems on a budget. Maybe change the Anderson windows & add cornice molding to the cabinets. Monochromatic paint scheme..white. Perhaps take off the upper cabinet doors for open shelving...
    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 10:41AM
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You have absolutly beautiful ceilings and floors. the cabinets are ok. I would paint them white. change the hinges and hardware. rip that orange countertop and backsplash and invest in black granite or caesarstone. paint the window frame in black or glossy white, and get an island in distressed wood.

Also PLEASE rip that scalloped thing on the top of the window and the light eating frilly curtain. This room can be breathtaking. you have good bones great wood and good light.

Kitchen with Indigo Subway Tile · More Info
Farmhouse kitchen · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 11:24AM
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Decorative Overlays
what is your budget? Kitchens are hard monsters to do unless you have a budget and try and stick to it
    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 11:29AM
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Constance WV
Great ideas...thanks. Here are a few more angles of the kitchen. The magic of paint will do wonders.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 11:33AM
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Interesting kitchen with lots of angles and features.

What is your budget- $200 for paint, $2000 to add new countertops and lighting? $5000 to include new appliances?
Do you need to replace all appliances?
Will you refinish the floors if they are wood?
Do you want a more modern (than 1800 or 1960) look? Your ideabook shows a lot of traditional white cabinetry with more elegance than whimsey.

If you post big photos of each wall, that would really help.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 12:04PM
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Constance WV
That budget sounds spot on. Need new dishwasher, stove/cooktop & frig. The floors are beautiful wide pine. They'll be screened & finished. The house has strong Federal Style bones.. I'm a working artist so this is my studio/home. Adding a few more photos
of the granite stairs leading into the mudroom, which enters into the kitchen. Thanks for all your suggestions.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 1:12PM
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Now I'm waiting to hear if the concrete overlay can be used in this situation! If you can reduce the things you need to store, it seems like the most bang for the buck will come from editing. Take away some of the upper cabinets, valences, curtains, everything that is extraneous, and just reveal that stunning ceiling, windows, floor. I'm envious.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 1:14PM
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Constance WV
I'd like to keep the original milk paint in the mud room by white wash the 1960's Sturbridge colors. The counters could be the color of the granite stairs..
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 1:15PM
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Decorative Overlays
Yes you would be surprised to see what an overlay could do. the picture below is our latest remember you choose your color and style
1 Like    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 1:17PM
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If you leave your art equipment on the kitchen counter and central table, you probably want a very easy care surface that will resist (or not show) spots. Some laminates have a stone pattern (someone else posted some links to granite patterns that are really impressive). You can photograph your granite stairs, print out a few copies and tape them to your backsplash to see if you like the way it looks in the house which is MUCH darker than outside.

I'd go with off white or ivory cabinets. A pale ice blue would be pretty, too. Spraypaint the hinges and door pulls in light copper or silvery colors for a much different look than the Colonial hammered black/dark copper finish from the 1960's. Or spray paint the hinges white/off white (so they blend in with the paint) and choose new pulls. Don't paint over the hinges along with the cabinets, it looks cheap and amateurish.

A small crown molding would probably be in scale. Try picking up some samples at the lumberyard and tacking them up with a couple finish nails. The crown molding will look just as dated in 20 years as the 1960's wood valance looked in 20 years, but do you care?

For the lighting, you can either scrub up the fixtures you have and put in brighter light bulbs, or you can buy some new "traditional" looking fixtures. Overstock.com has excellent deals. The metal tole light fixture is old: you can find additional vintage fixtures like it on eBay. They don't give a lot of ambient light because of the metal shade. A new fixture over the sink will improve lighting there: I bet it has those recessed cans that give off diffuse light, and not much of it. They can be refitted with new trim and broad floodlights instead of regular plain incandescents buried deep in the can. Fluorescents, LEDs and good old incandescents are all available as floodlights.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 1:38PM
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Crown molding would not go with the rustic timber beams IMO. Mixed metaphors.
    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 1:48PM
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Here are light fixtures that are stylish and transitional but not fussy or hard to clean.
    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 1:51PM
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What's wrong with the existing light fixture? Hard to tell from the picture, but it seems appropriate. Maybe Edison bulbs to add a little edge?
1 Like    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 1:58PM
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The current fixture adds neither character nor (probably) a lot of light to the kitchen. In the photo, the finish looks worn rather than antiqued. This style was supposed to look suitable for Colonial kitchens, but now it just looks worn out and dated, not classic. It could be rescued with some black, metallic or white spray paint, new plastic candle covers, and new bulbs but it is not going to look classic or fresh.

Updating the lighting in a style that fits well with the overall character is a great way to improve the overall look of the room. A hanging fixture is a good style because the light is cast over the full room; in contrast, a flush fixture's light would be blocked by the beams.
1 Like    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 3:49PM
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I've been looking at old kitchens a lot lately--they made do with few cabinets and huge sinks, mostly unfitted. I've also been looking at limebased, chalk and milk paints, and you can find a lot of doi-it-yourself recommendations online. Chalk paint can be used on old painted cabinets just like it is used on old furniture, and the great thing is that it requires not as much surface prep as latex or acrylic. The final surface is waxed, which sounds impractical, but it actually wears quite well and can be renewed easily, versus poly. It would have a nice matte finish (can polish to a higher gloss if you wish) so it would perhaps fit in better to an authentic old house.

You may qualify for tax credits for authorized repairs--mostly to exterior and structural, not for a new kitchen. However any interior changes would be reviewed to ensure that the integrety of the house is maintained (new kitchen, OK, all replacement windows or synthetic siding, not OK). Some states give as much as a 25% tax credit, so it is worth checking out, and can give referrals to specialists at maintaining old houses. For example, wood window specialists (check out John Leeke for some good DIY advice) and masonry repair. It is very important to match the old mortar, not just for aesthetics, but because old handmade bricks are quite soft and modern mortars will cause them to crumble.

Living in an old house is a long-term research project, but it sounds like you are up to the task. Kitchens and bathrooms are always a pickle in such homes. I can recommend the blog 1912 house for lots of information about historic kitchens and bathrooms to about 1890. IKEA has some unfitted kitchen lines, and is a great source for butcherblock and some great farmhouse and stainless steel sinks, and cabinets designed to accomodate small refridgerators. An old-fashioned salvage sink with integrated sideboards could be great under those big windows.

Older wood windows, even from the 1960s, are worth fixing rather than replacing for a whole lot less money than new.

You kitchen has a wonderful fireplace, floors, ceiling, and quite a lot of space and light. The window seat would be a wonderful place for a round table. the existing stove is great--lots of people love those old type of stoves and you can get it restored. If you don't want to do that, you can probably sell it to a restorer or enthusiast, esp. if it is gas. Nice big vent hood--if it doesn't work or is loud, can replace just the mechanism--high end ventillation fans are litke that anyway.

I actually like the orange color--old formica wears like iron, and that sort of color to red was very common in the 1940-60s. The square edge indicates it is 60s, about the time the kitchen was remolded. It would look so much better with a different color of cabinet--sort of a coral/salmon color, which is really "in" this year. The chartreuse is growing on me, but I would paint to a more neutral color so the focus is on the fireplace.

I have mixed feelings about the hardware--you have some of the real thing above the fireplace, and this is a poor imitation, but shiny chrome or stainless doesn't do it either. Perhaps heavier oil-rubbed bronze would be OK, maybe stainless if you get stainless appliances. It is a tough balancing act to mediate between the very old, the middle aged and the new. As an artist, perhaps you can find a happy balance, and work with the color and create something unique and wonderful.

Whatever you do, I would go more subdued and rustic than fancy Edwardian white and marble route. As you live in the house and get to know its quirks, it will speak to you, and staying true to its origin, but making way for modern conveniences, will help guide you. Perhaps there are others in the area who have gone down this path and they can help you, and refer you to sympathetic workmen.

Links on other recent discussions:

The Old House Guy--great info, excellent reference list http://www.oldhouseguy.com/services.php

Enon House is a wonderful blog about restoration of a historic house in just awful condition. Great for masonry and carpentry details It hasn't been updated since they added on a huge wing and moved there fulltime, which I think could have been done a bit differently to keep the old house front and center, but it was truely a labor of love. http://www.enonhall.com/


Historic kitchens:

Historic house links (near bottom--long post)
(Be sure to look at the National Park Service, Historic Preservation Technical Briefs link)

Chalk paint:
http://www.houzz.com/discussions/265490/Need-to-decide-how-much-taupe-and-cream-paint (scroll down to bottom)
(Mustard seed link also has other historic paint recipes)

Unfortunately where I live, there aren't any early 1800 Federali/Greek Revival houses, but there has been a lot of documentation on them because people have recognized their historic importance for a long time. The modern historic preservation movement got its start with an upswing of interest in the 1920s with the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, and an effort to preserve Mount Vernon and Paul Revere's house.
3 Likes    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 9:56AM
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Constance WV
So many great resources. Thank you!
    Bookmark   December 31, 2012 at 7:49PM
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Keep all lower cabs and most of the upper cabs. Remove wood valance, eliminate curtains. New counters, new hood, new backsplash. Replace sink with iron or fireclay. Leave or repair the stove. The kitchen is already something many people would kill for! If you need a larger island, get that. Choose LARGE, statement objects for above he cabs--don't make it cluttery.

Really, you have a kitchen that many people would kill for already and would spend a fortune to get. The pain color is excellent already. Don't turn it into a cheap-looking knock off of every midrange kitchen that's out there (by painting white, etc.). What you have now can look CRAZY high-end with a few tweaks. What you have is going in this direction: http://www.chalon.com/portfolio/kitchens/original-kitchen-concept/ The exposed hardware, almost severe style, rustic architecture, fireplace...it's something people are dropping $60k plus to achieve.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 9:29PM
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Constance WV
... one year
    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 7:06PM
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The artist's kitchen! Thanks for posting updates. Looks great. Love that blue. Any more photos showing the breakfast nook and the cabinets with sink?
    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 7:59PM
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Nancy Walton
It looks like your "house" might have been a schollhouse at one time...
    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 10:55PM
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