Kitchen of the Week: A Budget Makeover in Massachusetts
Elizabeth Miller didn’t have the typical suspects (granite, stainless steel and a open theory) on her kitchen wish list. The Massachusetts interior designer craved history instead. Miller’s background in historical preservation and her architect husband Rick’s love for elderly homes pushed them to purchase this faded 1937 colonial with the intent of bringing it back to life.
Even though the kitchen was shut off and covered floor to ceiling in wallpaper, plastic laminate and sheet vinyl, the couple used their specialist skills to work collectively and hold down the remodeling expenses. Repainting cabinetry, maintaining decorative information and retaining structural adjustments to a minimal helped them adhere to their budget when paying tribute to the kitchen’s original architecture in a fun, fresh way.
Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here: Elizabeth and Rick Miller, and their 2 kids
Location: Milton, Massachusetts
Size: 130 square feet
Cost: $2,700, not including professional or appliances fees
Pictures by John Gillooly/PEI
The Millers saved what they can to preserve the style of the kitchen and their funding. Most of the cabinetry is first; because it was in good shape, they simply cut it down and applied semigloss paint. The kitchen layout allows for limited cabinetry, however, the movable island shelves adds both counter and storage space.
“I had to convince my husband to go for the wallpaper,” says Elizabeth. Even though it’s surprising, the classic layout in a modern color palette brings life into the kitchen’s easy design.
Backsplash tile: The Home Depot; cabinet paint: Smooth Stone, Glidden; cabinet pulls: Duluth, Restoration Hardware; cabinet knobs: The Home Depot; wallpaper: Shadow Vine, F. Schumacher
The kitchen had two windows on this particular wall, which used to be among the home’s exterior walls. At some point in the home’s background, a screened-in porch has been enclosed and become a family room — but the windows stayed.
AFTER: Elizabeth and Rick wanted to connect this bright space with the kitchen so that she turned one of the windows into a door and shut off the other to create the space feel cozier. The adjoining room is presently a breakfast area, family room and playroom where Elizabeth can keep your eye on the kids while preparing dinner.
Isle: Stenstorp, Ikea; rug: Thyme Ticking woven cotton carpet, Dash & Albert
Metal wall shelves and a hanging mailbox keep letters, paperwork and knickknacks off the counter space.
Wall shelves: Limhamn, Ikea
“The kitchen was pretty scary when we first moved in,” says Elizabeth. The cooker and microwave setup were particularly unstable.
AFTER: The Millers added a new cabinet on the left side of this stove and hood for a built-in look. Each narrow cabinet is the perfect size to hold cookie sheets, serving trays and other awkward items. The Ikea butcher block countertop fit the funding and warms up the stainless steel appliances onto this side of the kitchen. The easy, sophisticated and reasonably priced subway tiles have been sourced from The Home Depot.
Hood: Gust, Zephyr; array: Bosch; butcher block counter: Värde, Ikea
The microwave appears built in also, thanks to a customized niche that the Millers added into the lower part of an present cabinet. The black appliance helps balance out all the stainless steel in the kitchen.
Elizabeth and Rick copied and extended the first crown molding over the cabinets, tying old and new together.
This aspect of the kitchen needed little structural work. Elizabeth and Rick adored the first stainless steel counters and sink, in addition to the profound molding detail overhead.
AFTER: New cabinets over the refrigerator give it a built-in look, similar to the stove and hood. The dry-goods shelf near the refrigerator held a built-in ironing board at the kitchen. Elizabeth loved the look but knew she wouldn’t be chained in her kitchen, so that she turned it in to open shelving for pantry items.
The couple crossed their fingers, hoping for hardwood floors under the old vinyl, but discovered asbestos instead. The new 18- by 18-inch ceramic tile required up a lot of their finances, but it’s superstrong and has a solid color that will not show chips or scratches.
Refrigerator: Jenn-Air; window treatment: DIY with fabric from Jo-Ann
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