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Twenty plus years without cabinet door knobs, cooking on an old stove and uncomfortable seating did little to inspire Margaret in her tired kitchen. The wood cabinets were serviceable but dated. The television sat on a trolley by the kitchen door. And there was no relief outside; the adjoining deck was weathered and forgotten. This hub of the home screamed out for a Facelift.
When you spend as much time as Margaret does in her kitchen, it's well worth the effort to make it both functional and fabulous. With the power of paint, some new trim and hardware, and tumbled stone tiles, we boosted this busy family centre into a whole new realm. We brought a sense of light-hearted Caribbean style to the cabinets by inserting lattice into the upper doors and applying a pretty aged finish over all the cabinetry.
Colours are fresh and light topped with an amber ceiling to radiate the warmth of the sun. Employing the age-old secrets of trompe l'oeil, a fake window pane and sea view were painted onto the flat cupboard doors that hide the laundry. This visual trick opens up the end of the narrow kitchen with visions of a sailboat floating by just a few feet from the kitchen. What an inspiration!
Margaret loves watching TV while she prepares meals for her grateful and loving family, but the awkward trolley in the doorway had to go. We mounted and framed a flat-screen TV on the wall, hiding all the wiring behind and inside a narrow storage unit. New seats painted white and a white wrought iron chandelier are in keeping with the Island theme.
The deck has been transformed into an inviting outdoor oasis. An innovative wood floor system covers the unsightly cement, the wrought iron railings are painted black and a wooden handrail adds a handsome decorative detail, stained to match the floor. A custom built high wall was built as a support for the lion-head fountain, and doubles as storage for garden equipment. This welcome space is a second seating area just steps from the kitchen, opening up Margaret's home to casual, summer style.
Click on the small photographs on the right to view each of the different angles of the room.
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You can reinvent cabinet doors to suit your taste, either by adding stock trim to plain doors or cutting out sections to re-style the doors. To install lattice, we used a jigsaw to cut a clean edge, and a router to make a 3/8" groove around the opening on the back of the door, then fitted the lattice in place.
All cabinet doors were sanded down to remove existing varnish. To imitate this aged patina start with a rough, uneven coat of creamy beige latex paint to cover the surface. Dab and rub the paint with lacquer thinner on a sea sponge or rag to reveal small patches of wood. Apply a second coat and soften again, making sure no brush strokes are showing. Mix a coloured glaze: 1 part leafy green latex paint, 1 part water, 3 parts glazing liquid. This should be runny. Apply the coloured glaze over the surface and wipe back with a rag to remove most of the glaze. You want to leave glaze behind in corners, and around raised details, and hints of colour over the surface. Finish with two coats of clear satin acrylic varnish to seal and protect your work.
Flat screen TVs are becoming less expensive and less awkward -- they can even be mounted on the wall as we have done here. All the wiring and plugs are hidden behind the wall, and the media components fit into the cabinet below. We then built a frame that would hide the sides of the TV using crown moulding. It is generally installed so that the curve is concave, but for the frame we turned it to the convex side. Once the frame was built, we hung it from hooks on the wall so that it would easily be removed for cleaning the TV. Always leave adequate space around the set to allow for air circulation and cleaning.
Window To The Sea
In the narrow kitchen the tall cupboard doors that lead to the laundry made an uninteresting and abrupt end to the room. The two doors are completely flat with only the handles to stand out as detail. Once the sailboat scene was painted behind a faux window frame, the kitchen felt larger and airier. The picture extends the room by pulling our focus through the false window.
The versatility of this click-in-place hardwood flooring system allows you to cover an existing deck completely or make a smaller accent mat or wood carpet. It's extremely hard-wearing and easily installed. (see resources) You can design a combination of patterns from simple blocks and parquet, to a herringbone design.
The Facelift team built a mutli-purpose privacy wall unit from plywood that extends from the ground to three feet above the railing on the far side of the deck. At ground level it opens up to store garden tools. The wall is plastered with tinted stucco in shades of pink and yellow terra cotta. The lion-head water feature is a focal point that emphasizes the mood of peace and tranquillity.
The wrought iron was given a fresh coat of black paint. A new wooden handrail was screwed onto the existing rail and stained to match the rich, natural wood tones and classic design of the Marryland deck floor.
Terra Cotta Garden
Simple terra cotta pots decorated with white paint line the raised deck with luscious greenery and flowers.