Sunday, March 12, 2017

Kitchen: A Brief Before and After

Everything that we have restored and renovated in our old house has been planned to follow the original 1848 design as much as possible (with allowances made for modern life) and to use every scrap of original material that we can ... the exception to this is our kitchen renovation.  The kitchen is in the Manor's 1967 addition, and it was 1967 to the extreme (and in desperate need of repair).  I knew from first glance, during our initial real estate showing, that we would replace and modernize it.

In 2005, the plan came together, the old kitchen was removed, and the new kitchen was born.

First job was to remove most of the wall between the kitchen and dining room.  I would NEVER have done this if the wall was 1848 construction.  I owe the most respect possible to the original part of this house, and I renovate the 1967 part of the house to complement 1848 as much as I can.  ('After' photos are unstaged and were taken this morning, 3/12/17.  'Before' photos show the kitchen shortly before we dismantled it in 2005.)





The footprint of the kitchen itself remained the same.  Layout, for the most part, was good.  (Here is a floor plan to help you get your bearings.)



Only the range and microwave are out in plain sight.  Everything else is mostly hidden.

Trash and recycling are in a pull-out on the right of the range.




The old kitchen was cramped and dark.  Not anymore!

Do you see the dishwasher?




The only appliance that we moved was the refrigerator.  This gave us the opportunity to wrap the awkward outside-corner wall with cabinetry and to open up what had been a really cramped area ... with the sink, dishwasher, back door, and refrigerator all competing for space in a tiny triangle.

The white donut-looking thing on the floor is an a/c vent.




With the refrigerator out of the way, we now have this L-shaped run of cabinets and counters.





The whole kitchen was designed around this refrigerator ... 48" Subzero with custom faux-icebox panels and hardware.  Sometimes, newcomers ask, "Where's your refrigerator?"  It blends in THAT well!





This kitchen wasn't cheap, but it has turned out to be worth every $$$, because I love it even more now than I did when we built it 12 years ago.  I like to think that the house loves it, too.

24 comments:

  1. Stunning and I LOVE the cabinets. Who did your cabinets?

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    1. Thank you!! Cabinets are from Crown Point in NH. We worked via phone, fax, and email. I took the measurements and told them what I wanted to accomplish, we hashed out the plan and all the details, and everything fit together perfectly!

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    2. Holy moley you worked on the cabinets by communicating by phone, fax and e mail. I am more than impressed. That is amazing.

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    3. Be impressed with Crown Point. Their communication is that good! Everything measured to the 1/16th of an inch, with extra material where cabinets met walls to allow for scribing. I would recommend them to anyone.

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  2. WOW! Your kitchen is breathtakingly dreamy! Thank you for sharing.

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  3. Such beautiful raised panel cabinet doors! I made some out of pine for my previous house, was sad to leave them behind... a heck of a lot of work. What wood is that?

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    1. Our cabinets are cherry, natural clear finish. They have darkened and mellowed considerably since they were new, as cherry does. I love them!

      I'm sure you were scheming some sort of plan to bring your cabinets with you when you moved. :)

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    2. Cherry is wonderful wood. I can't believe some people actually paint over it!

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  4. I am certain your house breathed a sigh of relief when you brought that kitchen back to what it once was. It looks SO much more in line with the rest of the house now. There is nothing worse, to me, than when people remodel cheaply, not paying attention to the historic nature of the home. Those 1967 people did that, but you restored it all to harmony! Congrats.

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    1. Open traffic and views into and out of kitchens wasn't the 'thing' in the 60s, so it seemed 'historic' to have a large dining room and a closed off, eat-in kitchen. For me, not so much. With the assistance of a licensed, insured contractor, and a VERY large beam to support second floor where the load-bearing wall used to be, kitchen and dining room are still separate but they have flow.

      The family that built our home's addition must have spent a huge amount of money on it, doing what they could to replicate moldings, doors, and proportions so the addition matches the old part of the house almost perfectly. Bricks on the outside, and flooring inside, were historic salvage, according to a newspaper article published when the addition was new. Here's a link to the article on Google: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1298&dat=19670127&id=qfxNAAAAIBAJ&sjid=rosDAAAAIBAJ&pg=7412,2353823&hl=en

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    2. What an interesting article! Yes, now that I look closely, they did keep moldings and doors, which is fantastic. I don't mind closed off kitchens if they don't make you feel closed up while you're in them. But something about this kitchen looked dark and closed-off even though it was painted white. I like your floors better, too!

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    1. Kitchen has been this way since 2005, but I realized this morning that I haven't done a Before and After post of any sort about it ... the renovation was a huge job and I didn't relish the thought of a full feature post with tons of photos. I am thankful that it all happened before we actually lived here and would have had to live in the mess ... without a kitchen.

      I'm really glad that you like it!!

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  6. Your kitchen is lovely. The before photos intrigue me. I am sure the person who designed the 1967 version thought is was just lovely too. Time (and our sense of aesthetics) marches on.

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    1. The 1967 kitchen was designed and built very well, for its time, and I would have considered keeping it and reworking it if it had been in better condition. The entire space needed to be cleared out, stripped bare (FOUR layers of flooring??), water damage repaired, and space reconfigured. Construction of our addition was first rate. Finishes are superficial.

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  7. What a difference! It is so much richer looking and very lovely.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Thank you, Rainey! You have a great week, too!

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  8. The outside corner is very unusual in a kitchen. It is very eye catching and extremely attractive. Beautiful job, great cabinets.

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    1. Look at the floorplan and you'll see that the outside corner is formed by the first floor bathroom. I love having a full bath on the main level of the house ... dealing with the loss of kitchen square footage, and an outside corner in the plan, is a fair trade off.

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  9. I was a kitchen designer for many years prior to my retirement. Your kitchen is lovely. I'm very impressed with your cabinetry and the fact that you were able to order cabinets via your communication methods. Well done!

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    1. Thank you! Crown Point was a complete joy to work with. I was skeptical of ordering custom cabinets from a remote company ... shouldn't have been, because it was SO easy.

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  10. Connie, the new kitchen is marvelous! I agree with your comment, the previous owners spent their own small fortune and did a very nice job. Were it still in the 70's, I'm sure to have loved it then. Times change, tastes change and the new re-do is stunning.

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    1. The original cabinets were built in place, lumber and plywood, and worn and water damaged, so salvaging and rearranging them wasn't an option. I would love to have kept at least some of them, to pay tribute to that part of the house's history. Photos will have to suffice.

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