I have had kitchens on my mind lately! This may be partly because I’ve been home a lot lately and I have had design on the brain. When we moved into our house, we knew the kitchen was the room in need of the most updating. Our plan has always been to do this on a pretty low budget. We love the original details than come with the vintage of the house, but also want to stay up to date with a look that will last us for a long time to come. We tend to lean toward a craftsman or farmhouse style, but with modern elements to keep it looking fresh and new. So I have been keeping my eyes open for inspiration, and I thought I’d share my thoughts with you!
I tend to be drawn toward a very whitewashed look. It feels fresh and clean, and something about it just inspires baking homemade bread and making jam.
We were certain about painting the dated original wood cabinets and the wood siding in the eat-in area of the kitchen white, which we did before the holidays (and that was no small feat!). We also found a wonderful gray color for the walls, not too blue and not to cold. Originally thought we’d like to have butcher-block countertops. But while that may look beautiful, in practicality I became worried about water damage to the wood around the sink over the long term.
Then I came across the idea of concrete countertops. We got pretty excited about this idea! I even found these instructions on how to do it yourself.
Too much work, you say? Yes, I agree. And again, in practicality, I started hearing about how easily it stains. Plus, concrete is very porous so the germaphobe in me started getting a little squeamish about what that means!
Enter quartz. I found a quartz option (called Pewter at the local family run kitchen and tile shop in the neighborhood) that looks a heck of a lot like a dark concrete. But the great thing is that quartz is not porous at all, is completely stain resistant, and does not have the marbling seen in granite. Quartz is even more durable than granite, so I will happily lean in this direction for our new countertops. Plus, when you see a beautiful remodeled craftsman style kitchen like the one above, it seems like the perfect combination of traditional vintage style and modern elements like the countertops and stainless appliances. This is very much like what we hope to accomplish in our own kitchen, including the white subway tile backsplash.
A look like this is still clean and modern, with a vintage feel fitting for our 1925 house.
We also plan to put in a single basin farmhouse style apron front sink, like one of these. I love the way these look! For our kitchen, we’ll choose an undermount sink, so that the countertops overlap the sink basin making it super easy to wipe food particles or the throw-away bits of chopped vegetables right into the sink and garbage disposal.
As for the floors, I’m thinking maybe something like this, so that it almost resembles slate. We have a bit of a challenge with the flooring since the house is so old. Currently the floor is layer upon layer of linoleum, mostly to do with the fact that the bottom layers were put in when asbestos glue was the standard. We’ve been told the best thing to do in this case is to tile over the existing linoleum. They essentially lay wood over the existing floor to create a new subfloor and then tile over that. The unfortunate thing is that it will add about an inch to the floor, causing a little step-up into the kitchen. What we’re hoping to do is to remove some of the existing linoleum (the newer stuff, of course) to minimize the additional rise as much as possible. (Ahh, the joys of owning an old home!)
I’ll be sure to keep you all posted as we finish our kitchen over the coming months (including before and after pictures!). I’m super anxious to get it all done! This is where I get to learn patience… it always pays off to take your time with these sort of things, to be absolutely sure it’s done right and that you’re getting what you want in the end.
What types of kitchens inspire you?