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It was obvious that Glenn spent little or no time in the kitchen of his lovely Victorian home. Like Old Mother Hubbard's story-book kitchen, this one was bare!
The small space was poorly designed, with boring and dated cabinetry and counters, harsh fluorescent lighting overhead, and an ugly floor.
Glenn had used up his energy and budget renovating other areas in the house, and because he ate dinner frequently at his ex-wife Pat's home--an unusual but amicable scenario, he was in no hurry to attack the kitchen.
But their 17-year old daughter, Kim, spends lots of time at her dad's house, and wanted to spruce things up a bit. Pat was also very keen to fix up Glenn's Kitchen. Maybe then he'd learn to cook.
Except for the new stove and refrigerator, there were NO redeeming features, so we ripped everything out and started fresh.
I love Facelifts that make me go WOW, and Glenn's renovated kitchen does just that. It's hard to believe this was a budget makeover, but most of the Facelift was accomplished with plywood, plaster and paint.
The plain kitchen cabinets were removed, refaced with strips of wood around the borders and painted in warm charcoal gray. Luxurious maple wood countertops were fitted into the new space, and a bar table with spindle legs and matching maple top makes a perfect place For Kim and her friends to congregate.
The floor, reminiscent of old English kitchens, is a bold custom pattern cut from three colors of linoleum. An old brass chandelier we found hiding among Glenn's antiquing treasures in the basement now sheds a kinder light over the new kitchen.
As the troops arrived to see the work in progress, everyone, from teens to grandparents, was knocked out by the Tuscany-style brick archway that frames the stove and microwave. It sets the mood for a kitchen that invites even the most reluctant novice to try a hand at cooking.
We hung a series of framed mirrors on one wall, which always makes a room feel larger. They reflect the traditional meets modern mood of this very cool and colorful new kitchen.
Click on the small photographs on the right to view each of the different angles of the room.
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Dual Purpose Bar Unit
We removed one of the lower cabinets to make room for this practical bar table so that Glenn and daughter Kim could eat breakfast together in their glorious new kitchen. Spindle legs were attached to a solid maple top that was treated with tung oil to match the countertops. The side supports and legs were painted the same creamy shade as the kitchen trim and ceiling.
Updated Cabinets and Countertops
The original cabinets were removed and redesigned to complement the brushed steel appliances. Strips of wood molding now border the doors to hide worn edges and give a modern clean line. Charcoal gray is one of today's hot paint colors. Box shelves replaced the upper cabinets in wood shades to match the maple counters for open storage and display.
Old-fashioned wood countertops are new again. We chose maple and treated it with tung oil to seal and protect. The bare wood was first sanded carefully with three grades of paper graduating from 100 grit to 250 grit to make a very smooth surface. Tung oil was brushed on, left for ten minutes to soak in and then the excess wiped off with a clean, soft lint-free rag. After 24 hours we sanded again with 600 grit (emery) paper and applied a second coat following the same procedure.
Colors and Reflections
There's lots of color in this kitchen, but the shades have a subdued vintage feel to them. Walls are painted sandy taupe, the ceiling and trim creamy white and cabinets charcoal. The bricks are a blend of earthy reds and yellows dry brushed over gray.
Linoleum has been a popular choice in kitchens for generations as it's warm and comfortable under foot and very durable. That institutional black and gray flecked look we tired of is back in vogue, but linoleum is now available in a wide range of fashionable colors and patterns. It's easy to cut, so we designed our own pattern from three different shades to make custom tiles for this old English floor look.
The inset brick archway adds the colors and flavors of Tuscany to this kitchen. It was first framed with drywall and plywood. Wiring was put in place and holes cut for three pot lights under the arch. The "bricks" were made with DuRock's Spacco, a plaster with a bit of sand in it. The brick border was taped off and a coat of plaster applied. While still wet, the brick shapes were taped off. (We ripped the edges of the tape so that the grouting would look uneven and realistic.) A second coat of plaster was applied over the tape and a stucco roller used to create texture. The tape was removed and plaster allowed to dry. A pale gray base coat the color of grout was applied over the plaster bricks, then shades of terra cotta and cream were dry brushed onto the bricks to build up authentic shading.