Friday, January 31, 2014

If you can't beat em', join em' decorating

Ahhhhh, the joys of renovating an old house…

I thought I'd share with you a bit about my old house.  We moved into our little old cape cod cottage 9 years ago.  I remember that I told my husband that as soon as we move in, I'm ripping up the worn fake brick sheet vinyl floor with my bare hands.  And that goes for the dark brown 70's paneling too!  Well, we discovered that ripping out these items would set off a domino effect of high $$$ projects that we weren't prepared for.

My old, and I mean old, kitchen floor

70's textured paneling and
earthy wallpaper
I was a kitchen designer at the time and I swore that every time I came home to that dreary kitchen, the angels wept for me.  So I took stock of what I did like in the kitchen.  It had a great old 1930's cast iron sink, 1930's cabinetry with an old wooden countertop and backsplash, and a vintage schoolhouse style light fixture.  These were my cues for a low cost face lift.

I replaced the 1970's brown appliances with a 1951 range and a 1939 GE refrigerator.   I was lucky to find them in NY at a reasonable price from a gentleman who bought them up and cleaned and serviced them.  Ok, truth be told, I do have a second little 24" wide LG refrigerator in my pantry.

Next, I covered over the old '70's heavily textured paneling with embossed, paintable, bead board wallpaper.  I still can't believe it covered so well!  I stripped the orange and brown wallpaper (apologies to those of you who love wallpaper) and painted everything Benjamin Moore's "Crisp Linen", except the ceiling which I painted Benjamin Moore's Woodlawn Blue.

Lastly, it was time to say goodbye to my arch nemesis, the very worn floor (Did I mention that it had dirt imprinted into the design of the floor!)  We purchased some plank vinyl self stick faux antique wood floor and covered over the old floor in a day.  I love the way it came out.  Not my dream floor, but its clean, neat and well, not the old brick floor.

Then the fun stuff!  I added some of my favorite things...

1940's Hull Little Red Riding Hood Cookie Jar

Hand woven 1920's table cloth
Cow salt and pepper shakers that my husband and
I bought shortly after we were married.
Burleigh ware (birthday gifts)

Cost to give my kitchen a face lift:

1951 Bengal range:  $1500
GE Refrigerator:       $ 800
Paint, bead board wallpaper and self stick flooring:  $800
New knobs/hardware for cabinets:  $150

Total:  $3250

Now, when I walk into my cheery, albeit itty bitty kitchen, I smile.  Are you living with an eyesore in your old home?  Are there any redeeming qualities to the space?  Share your solutions!

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