My husband and I have been fixing up old houses in Seattle for 8 years now and our most recent project, a 1905 Spanish-style fixer was in rough shape when we bought it last year. Every room needed updating, but none more than the kitchen. It had a horrendous layout, black mold, and no room for a dishwasher, which added up to one thing: a complete gut job. And that was a-okay with this renovation-loving gal. Kitchens are my favorite!
Here we go!
We started demoing the kitchen the minute we closed on the house. At first, we tried to save all of the original cabinets (because I like to make my husband’s life harder then it has to be ;) ), but it quickly became apparent that most of the cabinets had to go, with the exception of a floor-to-ceiling pie safe and one upper. Yes you read that right, this house came with a built-in pie safe!
As strange as this may seem, the floor plan I put together included removing square footage from the kitchen in order to improve the workflow of the space. I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but hear me out. As I mentioned, the layout was horrendous. There were four doorways into the kitchen, which left no wall space for cabinets or modern appliances. To remedy that, we walled off the doorway to the hallway, a small closet, and the 36sf attached breakfast nook (don’t worry, that breakfast nook was put to good work as a master bathroom…!). This gave us the wall space necessary to bring in more cabinets and create an efficient workflow. Oh, and did I mention that even while closing off doorways, we were able to expand the opening between the kitchen and dining room to create a more open floor plan. Pretty awesome for an old house!
After all that rearranging and dust filled demo, we began building the kitchen back step by step. The ‘after’ pictures are below but for those of you interested in the nitty gritty, here’s what our renovation process was like: first we framed-in the old entrances to the hallway and dining nook, enlarged the opening to the dining room, exposed the brick chimney, laid a new hardwood floor, roughed in electrical and plumbing, had the floors refinished, cut in skylights, drywalled and installed cabinets, vented the hood, tiled the backsplash, added butcher block countertops, installed the sink and faucets, painted everything, brought gas service to the house and then to the range, removed the door to the mudroom, added lights, brought the appliances in, built a dishwasher panel, hung the open shelves, and installed the cabinet hardware.
Phew! That was a lot of work. We finished the project at the end of September, which happened to be about a week before our second son was due. Good thing, because moving with a new born is no fun!
Here’s what our efficient 10′ x 11′ kitchen looks like today:
I usually take a white-is-better approach to kitchens (like at our previous remodels, the Bryant House and the Ravenna House), but this time around I wanted to do something different. After hours spent scouring Pinterest, I settled on a ‘tuxedo’ design plan that called for black lower cabinets, wood countertops, white upper cabinets, open shelves, and chrome hardware. I wanted the kitchen to feel welcoming and approachable without taking away from the 1905 architecture of the house.
I hope you guys enjoyed our kitchen renovation as much as I do. I’ll tell you what, renovating old houses is a dusty job, but I’m really glad we get to do it!
Here’s a recap of all the Dexter kitchen posts in case you’re interested… Cost and Resources | the Reveal | the Renovation Process Recap | Campaign hardware | Butcher Block Countertops | Tuxedo Kitchen Progress | Cement Tile Backsplash | Tuxedo kitchen plan | Drywall and Cabinets | Rough In | Dexter Kitchen Plan | Framing and Final Demo | and all about the Mudroom