Sunday, July 10, 2011

Proud Mom Says "Hello Beautiful New Kitchen! "

Kids. You bring them into the world, feed them their spinach, teach them the things you know, worry about them constantly, and what do you get?

Well, this summer, I got a gorgeous new kitchen!

And all I asked Devin to do was to take off the old counter top and put down new cement board so that I could tile the counter.

Did he listen? Nooooooo. He said we needed new cabinets, nicer ones. I said we couldn't afford that. He said That's ok, he would build them. And he did.

Aren't they marvelous? They have a kind of Arts & Crafts character that fits well with the house, and help the tiny kitchen feel more substantial. I still need to paint the ceiling and do a few other things but couldn't wait any longer to share the pictures!

He raised the upper cabinet on the far left so that Paul's Kitchenaid mixer would fit under it. So finally, we don't have to store it elsewhere and haul it over to the counter to use it. As a result, I've used the stand mixer more in the past couple of months than I did in the past five years!

The glass doors were his idea too. That lets us show off some of the vintage dishes we've collected, and that we use daily.

The kitchen sink was the only splurge I made (it cost more than the dishwasher - which, BTW, I got from a small Sears Catalog Store for a very good price). Originally, I wanted an undivided deep sink, but no porcelain enamel ones were available locally, so I settled for this one, which has a low divider only a few inches high. It really gives us the best of both worlds! Our largest bowls and cookie sheets will fit under the faucet, yet we can still run a sink of dish water.

It's a good thing Devin is strong... he swears the sink weighs 300 pounds!  Can I help it if cast iron is heavy? ;-)

The tile work was a joint Son/Mom project and I did a lot of the work (Devin made the complex cuts and laid the straight lines). I still have to finish the trim tiles around the top of the back splash - couldn't install them until he'd completed trimming out the cabinets.

I used plain white 4"x 4" tiles. At 16 cents each, they are a great bargain. The glass mosaic accent tiles came in 12x12 sheets and we cut them apart to highlight the backsplash.We learned long ago to never never never use white grout! The grout used here is called "earth" color: it is exactly the same color as coffee stains. On purpose. I sealed it anyway but with that dark color, no matter how much coffee we manage to spill all over the counter the grout will always look good. :-)

Instead of using tile to edge the countertops, Devin used wood trim, stained and finished to match the cabinets themselves. As a result, the whole thing looks like a piece of furniture with the top integral to the base.

When I got ready to tile the divider that separates the kitchen from the living room (the only remaining original cabinet), the sheets were on clearance, so I was able to get enough to complete the entire top for about $30. It is dressier than the others, so makes for a nice transition.

I've shared Devin's handiwork on here before. He and Nicolas both enjoy woodworking. Their great-grandfather taught them the basics in his shop from the time they were small. Watching either of them work, I'm reminded of how Nandy worked: patient, methodical, thoughtful. Devin made an interesting observation while he was here. He commented that he's come to realize that Nandy was "a practical carpenter" - his work was always made with an eye to being useful, good for its purpose, rather than designed for appearance.

Devin's artistic talent joins his practical heritage in the things he builds, so the results reflect fine design and lasting beauty, as well as being perfectly formed for their function.

Devin and Sandy are moving in about a month to the Irving Texas area. Sandy has started a new job, and we thought for a while they would move far away. After he rushed to complete the kitchen before their move, they learned that instead she can work from Texas. So Irving it is. We are so delighted they will still be nearby.

And not just because he keeps remodeling the house for us! Heh!


  1. Nice! I am in the planning stages of updating my 1935 kitchen.

  2. Oh how fun for you! I am still really enjoying mine. It is amazing how a few details can make a small space so much more pleasant to work in. One other thing we did that isn't mentioned above is the island/work center (you can see the cutting board top of it in one of the photos) is on wheels, and that has been a real asset. I can move it out of the way! :-)

    Please do stop by and share pictures and stories when you finish - or as you go if you like! :-)



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