Today’s second Before & After comes from Lucy Heenan Ewins who lives in a beautiful Victorian home built in 1910. Lucy wanted to improve the flow of her original kitchen, while adding more countertop space and brightening it up to make the rest of the home. She was up against peach cabinets, sponge-painted walls (my least favorite painting style ever), gray laminate countertop and outdated tiles that just didn’t work in the space. Determined to make over the space on their own, Lucy and her husband re-designed the space on their own and her husband did the majority of of the work while on paternity leave and caring for their newborn (they stayed with family during the dusty phase)! The project started on Memorial Day of last year and was finished by Labor Day, leaving a brand new space that had everything they were hoping for- including more counter space and room to dry dishes. I love the creative storage they built into the room (see images after the jump with their adorable daughter) but the entire space deserves a hearty high five. Well done, you two! xo, grace
More images and details about the project continue after the jump…
Demo involved taking down an old closet/pantry to the wood lathe in order to change the layout of the kitchen. We wanted to open up the space and make it lighter. We also removed an old transom that separated the kitchen from the bedrooms and essentially created an unnecessary 2×2 hallway. The biggest part of the demo involved removing the old tile floor which involved hitting it with hammers and shoveling it out the window into a bagster. We did this in the hopes that we would find salvageable wood below. After days of shoveling tile, we found original heart pine wood floors below (with a million nails in it). We hired a floor refinisher who did a great job of stealing wood from the areas where our cabinets would go and patching areas that were not salvageable. The results are a farmhouse-esque floor which adds warmth and continuity.
Because we were on a tight budget we decided to reuse our existing cabinets. We found a retailer who stocked our existing cabinets and bought two wall cabinets, a pantry, deep drawers for pots & pans and a pull-out trash/recycling. The cabinets we couldn’t reuse we repurposed to our laundry room (and cut the old laminate countertop as a top down there) and we are using the remaining cabinets to build a toy kitchen for our daughter. We desperately wanted a farmhouse sink, but didn’t have the budget for one and a new sink base. At the last moment, we found the Kohler short apron sink (on sale at Home Depot) and were able to use our old sink base. We also raised up our fridge cabinet so we didn’t have to buy a new one.
After putting up new wallboard and skimcoating and then installing the cabinets, my husband began building the boxes and trim above the cabinets. Our cabinets had a floating look and we wanted them to go to the ceiling but did not have a budget for new cabinets or custom work. My husband taught himself carpentry with assistance from a friend who is a contractor, and built the boxes above the cabinets and trimmed them out. This proved much harder than it looks because our ceiling is not level! So we had to improvise to deal with the slope. My husband trimmed out the island to finish it off and added corbels from Home Depot to support the soapstone countertop. We worked with a soapstone fabricator in NY to select the stone and install it.
My husband did a number of other projects, including: building floating shelves above the sink and trimming them so they worked with the rest of the cabinet moulding, building a small bookcase to hold cookbooks which also fit a step stool under it; installing sheet metal on the side of the fridge cabinet and trimming it out and painting it with chalkboard paint. He also built the toddler latch board which we installed between our windows. I made the faux roman shade with remnant fabric. We designed the lighting, but hired an electrician. There is rope lighting in the boxes on a dimmer, canned ceiling lights, and we purchased our light fixture at the Brimfield Antique Fair.
We had a number of setbacks, especially during the demo and design phases. Our kitchen isn’t large, it’s about 12×14 and has 3 doors and 2 windows. We made our island smaller at the last minute after realizing we wouldn’t be able to open the oven door without hitting our back on the island. We were worried that we couldn’t devote 48″ (we have about 40″) between the island and fridge (and that’s a walkway). However, it worked out well and we reused our existing low-profile IKEA stools. We just sprayed the silver legs oil rubbed bronze and beat up the birch seats so they look like old school seats. Installing tile on a wavy wall also proved challenging.
The materials Lucy and her husband used:
-Existing cabinets/trim and wainscoting painted in BM White Dove
-Walls painted BM Owl Gray
-Light fixture from the Brimfield Antique Fair
-Appliances are JennAir and Miele from Yale Appliance (we replaced them one at a time as each old appliance died).
-Sink is Kohler Short Apron Whitehaven from Home Depot
-Faucet is the Kohler Parq Deck Bridge Faucet (the cheapest bridge faucet I could find)
-Hardware is Restoration Hardware: aubrey knobs and pulls and gilmore cup pull all in oil rubbed bronze
-Plates and bowls in boxes are existing collection from travels
-Artwork was made with remaining burlap and an old frame
-Faux roman shades (they don’t go down) were made with $2.49 remnant fabric and tension rods
-White basic subway tile from Lowes