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1915 Craftsman Kitchen Remodel

Our old mishmash of a kitchen desperately needed attention. No matter how hard I scrubbed, it never felt clean.

Partial room updates had been done over the years to include three, count them, three, kinds of paneling; avacado green, dark brown, and off-white. How lucky were we?

Another view of the dark and dingy old kitchen.

Yes, what you are seeing is real. The ceiling had sticky floor tiles with old painted-over water spots on it. What you cannot see is the trio of crown molding accompanying it; broken chair rail (unstained), base board (dark stain), and duct tape (silver).

And check out the only ceiling light, a whole 60-watts. The only other light source was an old pot light above the sink.

One of the best things we did was to upgrade to two semi-flush mount fixtures- each with three 60-watt bulbs.

I’d share where I purchased them but I cannot remember for the life of me. I want to say I paid around $80 a piece on sale. This fixture is almost identical to ours. I absolutely love them.

Demo day on the faux tile paneling. To say I was excited was a complete understatement!

In addition to being affixed to the plaster by metal framing, we swore it was stuck on with tar versus actual glue. We ended up sealing the kitchen off from the rest of the house and removing all the plaster because the walls were too far gone to save. We can now rest easy with fresh drywall. I not so secretly wished we could replace all the plaster on the main floor and was met with a not at all amused stare from Husband.

A double arched doorway had also been added, likely in the 1930’s, and felt cave like as you passed underneath it to get to the front entry. We removed one side to open up the kitchen.

Under the plaster we found a red brick chimney from a wood burning stove. The rest of it, upstairs and in the attic, have been completely removed so we assumed this would be gone, too. I fought to leave it exposed but lost the battle with Mr. Hubby. Why do I cave in??

Feel free to add comments about how I was right and we have kept the brick exposed. I’ll be sure to pass along the messages 🙂

Original plaster lath with knob-and-tube wiring. 1915 originals. We had en electrician update the electric.

And found linoleum sheet floors in a 1930’s geometric pattern under the yucky sticky tiles. They were probably laid when the archways were installed. We left them ‘as is’ (in case of asbestos) and covered them with our cabinets.

For new flooring, we chose Tarkett® Vibe FIBERFLOOR®. It’s a textured wood-grain, floating, and cushioned sheet vinyl. Very inexpensive and gorgeous. We’re talking under $1.50/ sq. ft.! We’ve received so many compliments, and people have actually asked how real wood can be so soft under their feet. (I kid you not!)

Other than the obvious cost savings, we went with this because of how well it flows with our heart pine floors in the adjacent rooms. The only comment/ suggestion I have is to glue it down. Despite being marketed as a “floating” floor, we’ve had some bubbling by the transition strips to our other rooms.

For paint we chose Thunder by Benjamin Moore. It’s a great neutral grey that we’ve used before.

I really wanted stone counter tops for our kitchen but after some thought we went with Wilsonart® HD® laminate in Spring Carnival instead (grey, white, and almond tones).

Why the change of heart? Two reasons:

1.) They look surprisingly realistic by having a slightly raised texture and varying in matte and gloss finishes throughout.

2.) We didn’t want to price ourselves out of the neighborhood.

So far we love them add have received numerous compliments.

What a difference it made removing the second archway. It feels so much more open.

As much as I wanted to keep the original doors, especially the back porch (left), we opted for new ones. We purchased an exterior steel door for added security to the porch.

I tried to find one with an arts and crafts vibe to tie into the rest of the house. This dark oak Venice door from Mastercraft® does the trick. Color matching was difficult/ limited since it’s a wood-grain steel door, but the floor’s color variation helps us get away with it.

I’d like to remove the hardware on our built-in to clean off the paint, however, despite scraping with a razor, chipping, and gouging with a flat head screwdriver, I haven’t been able to unscrew them. There’s so much nasty wood filler and paint, especially on the screw heads. It might be time for chemical intervention but I don’t want to mess with that with little kiddos around.

Do you have another idea or tip?!

I can just picture the dark plated brass pulls and hinges and how they will pop against the white paint.

3″ oil rubbed bronze pulls.

I’m not the best photographer, but doesn’t she look 100 times better? Nothing overly fancy but lighter and brighter for sure.

I’ve since hung a rubbed bronze towel bar and will install a new faucet and simple back splash (probably subway tile) in the near future. That’s another set of battles my hubby won…for the time being…

You can see the wood-grain and color variation of the flooring a little better in this photo.

Do you remember the ‘Before’ space?

Overall, we love the end result of our kitchen makeover. It’s so much cleaner and brighter. What do you think? Have you done a project recently? Share with us below.

Thanks for stopping! ~Ellie

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