A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Kitchen, Part Two

This is part two of our bungalow kitchen transformations. If you missed part one, start here.

Fall 2009, continued

Because we changed the kitchen layout so drastically, we needed new countertops. And since this isn’t my true “dream kitchen” nor could we afford a lot, it had to be relatively cheap. Enter IKEA. We decided to go partially with butcher block for the corner piece. A local millwork was able to cut it to our specs and we used the leftover pieces for a small counter to the right of the stove and as the faucet base. It’s not ideal, but it works and has held up well.

At IKEA we also found a discontinued piece of laminate with a “concrete look” and faux stainless edge. Luckily it was the perfect length for the longer run of base cabinets to the left of the sink, however the piece was island depth instead of counter depth. But that’s where their displays also spark ideas: they showed an island depth counter cut lengthwise with one portion covering base cabinets…

…and the other piece topping a group of shallow upper wall cabinets mounted at bar counter height. Perfect! Oh, and that hole in the wall? One day I went looking for the original ironing board built-in cabinet, hoping to turn it into a spice cabinet. In my defense, the PO had partially installed drywall over plaster and the wall wasn’t smooth so it needed to be redone anyway. The cabinet framing existed and we built a shallow cabinet for canned goods out of it.

Spring 2010

Spurred into action by Apartment Therapy’s Kitchen Cure, we demo’d the wall while I also worked on deep-cleaning the cabinets and re-organizing the pantry.

We properly sheet rocked the wall and installed a birch plywood door for the new built-in cabinet.

Finally, the kitchen was ready for a fresh coat of paint, Benjamin Moore’s Wasabi. I LOVE this color.

Summer 2011

Almost a year had gone by, and it was finally time to paint the cabinets. From my research along with a tutorial from This Old House, the wood grain was filled using Brushing Putty (seen in white here) from Fine Paints of Europe.

Everything was sanded smooth and oil-based (alkyd) primer brushed on (seen in black) before the final coat of alkyd paint was applied. A stainless-steel fridge had been added when a state-wide Energy Star appliance rebate program was offered.

An electrician/handyman friend helped build a shelf and add a receptacle to house the microwave under the counter, making these cabinets look like one cohesive unit.

As of August 2012

The finished cabinets. At first I thought I’d paint them white, but after a little Photoshopping it was clear that black would be much more striking. Brushed nickel cabinet pulls and drawer handles were added. I saved up for a John Boos butcher block cart which tucks away under the countertop overhang.

Two maple pot racks hang over the sink. It’s easy to wash the pots and hang them up to dry here.

The view from the back door. Love it — especially when it’s clean like this!

For more details about various Kitchen projects and changes, visit the Kitchen category page.

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