The Kitchen Refresh

Submitted by matthew on Sat, 2012-12-22 17:40

Kitchen Refresh We live in a house built in the 50's. It is sturdily built as things were back then. We have made some improvements. It has a new roof. The gutters are the seamless kind with a leaf barrier. We've added central air. The outside windows and doors were replace and the living room, which had a picture window, has a giant bay window that lets in lots of bright light. Our open back patio was screened in to create a wonderful summer-time space to enjoy the warm weather but avoid the bugs. Our family room had nasty carpet, so we put in a lovely light laminate. We got a high efficiency stove to put in the fireplace to help heat during the winter.

ferrets and pupWhat we had never done was work on the kitchen. The original kitchen from the 50's. Well, the floor had been replaced, kind of. You can see *what* it had been replaced with along with our ferrets at the time enjoying a meal with our puppy at the time. The limit to the changes we made to the kitchen had been a little paint and a new vinyl floor. That was a decade ago - pretty much the lifetime of such a floor.

Ugly Tile Paula and I had discussed gutting the kitchen and starting over many times, but a good friend who is a realtor said that we would never get a return on that investment. We should just improve on what we had for resale. In comes really low interest rates. We decided we wanted to refi. Well our kitchen boasted fabulous crumbling, broken, and UGLY tile. Not good for valuation of your home. We concocted a plan to refresh our kitchen before the appraiser arrived. What we came up with was:

  • Replace the floor
  • Add two backsplashes - one behind the sink and one behind the range
  • The tile must go - we wanted to go with wainscoting
  • The counter tops were chipped, stained, ugly - we needed to fix that

All this needed to be done in two weeks or less. I learned quite a bit about carpentry between 1989 - 1992 when I studied Fine Arts and Theatre at Bishop's University. Now, I'm not a great carpenter, but I do know a thing or two about tool safety. Fine Arts also taught me a lot about how to plan a project and how to take pieces and put them together. I thought about the kitchen as a giant sculpture and Lowes was my art supply store.

I created templates for the complex cuts out of cardboard. The wainscoting went in first in conjunction with the new backsplash. I didn't affix the wainscoting until the floor was installed. Then I cut all the trim and moulding. The moulding up top went in first, then the baseboards, and finally the trim to hide the corners. While this was going on, we used Roller Rock on the countertops, making them look new and fresh.

Here are pictures of the process and the final result.

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