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Bungalow kitchen reveal

September 24, 2017

Hey folks, finally ready to do a kitchen reveal for my 1915 craftsman bungalow.

When I bought the house, I thought the kitchen was old but charming. Then I started trying to work in it and realized how bad the layout was, that the shelves and drawers were falling apart, and new appliances wouldn't fit to replace the old ones.

Project was down to the studs remodel, including removing the walls for the old breakfast area/laundry porch and shortening the breakfast room window. There were actually gas lines above the ceiling! probably for old gas lighting!

Old layout (left) vs new layout (right):

Looking in from the dining room (window over sink is same)

Towards the fridge:

Laundry (used to be on the porch blocking the back door, now under the window):


  • Conestoga RTA cabinets assembled by my GC; Antique White paint and cherry stained Nutmeg
  • Honed black mist granite
  • Pulls are House of Antique Hardware; Latches are Rejuvenation
  • Kohler Riverby sink
  • Delta Cassidy faucet
  • White oak flooring stained to match my living and dining room
  • Overhead lights are Sea Gull Lighting
  • Sconces and pendants are Rejuvenation
  • Paint is BM Edgecomb Gray

My original layout thread was in 2014! I started getting quotes and decided to put the project on hold once I realized how expensive everything would be. After a few years, I decided that I was going to be in the house for a while and it was worth it to me to remodel even if it wouldn't pay off in resale. The kitchen ended up costing $82K, including re-piping, re-wiring, sheer walls due to the window change, and lead-based paint disposal. 3-years-ago-me never would have dreamed of spending so much, so thought it would be useful to others to know, especially since my kitchen isn't especially big or fancy.

Comments (57)

  • barncatz

    Such a huge improvement in the layout and a lovely result. I was reading your post on the two color cabinet thread and realized we decided on upper light cabinets in our small kitchens for the same reasons. Sometimes I read that two color cabinets are too busy in a small kitchen but yours, and I hope mine, show how pretty the effect can be. Your inset drawers are gorgeous (but I persist in also liking the first set you had.)

    I also want to say that I love all the lights you chose. . Really nice job, all the way around.

    caligirl5 thanked barncatz
  • J G

    Thanks for sharing! I looks great...I like the little shelf for the microwave and how you made a small seating area and still fit the laundry in.

    And I really appreciate your willingness to share your cost...we are about to start a similar renovation of a 1920 house and by the time we tear out the ceiling to put some lights in the kitchen and take care of the knob and tube wiring etc we are running the budget up while still being very mindful of budget! It is great to see someone who was in a similar spot and is happy with having a better layout.

    caligirl5 thanked J G
  • kimihh

    Caligirl, I love your kitchen! It's open and bright and warm. I love that you were careful to stay authentic to the style of your home and achieved a highly functionable, beautiful, updated kitchen. Congratulations.

    In my remodel currently underway, I'm doing the same combination of wood lowers and white tall cabinets. I hope that my kitchen turns out as beautiful as yours.

    caligirl5 thanked kimihh
  • Martha Scott

    Beautiful kitchen!

    caligirl5 thanked Martha Scott
  • bpath Oh Sophie


    I'm impressed by the creativity in handling the laundry and including a perch on the other side. You don't really see the machines from there making it a nice place to hang out.

    Thanks for sharing :)

    caligirl5 thanked bpath Oh Sophie
  • pipdog

    Beautiful! Such an improvement in the layout. I really like the two toned cabinetry and your lighting choices. Congrats on being finished and enjoy your new space!

    caligirl5 thanked pipdog
  • caligirl5

    Thanks everyone!

    The laundry/bar area was designed by my KD, which I think was a smart way to hide the W/D while keeping the window. There is SO much more light with the kitchen opened up. I'm in a downtown area, where I keep the front windows covered and closed up for privacy and security. The laundry window and glass door are in the back yard, where I can really let in the light.

    @barncatz, the corner cabinet is still overlay. The cabinet company warned that the piano hinges tend to drag with inset cabinets.

    I'm glad you guys think it looks authentic! With the kitchen (more so the bathroom), I felt like I made a bunch of compromises for budget and functionality.

  • PRO

    HUGE improvement and it looks great! I like how you kept it in keeping with the age and style of the house without going "retro". Just classic and timeless and I think it WILL add significantly to the value of the house.

    caligirl5 thanked Anglophilia
  • aprilneverends

    wow. great decisions and choices. as a result dramatically improved, functional, very authentic, very warm and heartwarming space. Love two toned cabinets, honed granite, moldings, lights, hardware..just everything. It's a very inviting kitchen..wish you and family many happy hours there

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  • Anne

    lovely lovely lovely]

    caligirl5 thanked Anne
  • Sue Mcgrath

    Beautiful, what a great transformation!

    caligirl5 thanked Sue Mcgrath
  • Cookie8

    I like the colours. I especially like the upper cabinet style - very simple and I am going to keep the style in mind when I re-do my kitchen. Are the lowers the same? I can't tell. I really like the two-tone look though.

    caligirl5 thanked Cookie8
  • salex

    Caligirl, what subway tile and grout color did you use? Lovely and understated, they go perfectly with your overall look (similar to what we're going for).

    caligirl5 thanked salex
  • mama goose_gw zn6OH

    As much as I hate to see a vintage kitchen bite the dust, you have done a great job making the new kitchen match the style of the period, while being modern and functional. The cabinets above the laundry, especially, look as if they've always been there. Wonderful choices in colors and finishes!

    caligirl5 thanked mama goose_gw zn6OH
  • ssharris03

    Great use of your space! Everything looks wonderful.

    caligirl5 thanked ssharris03
  • bpath Oh Sophie

    Can you share the insides of your cabinets if there's anything we'd drool over? I'm especially interested in what's around the corner from the refrigerator; is that a shallow pantry? Broom closet?

    caligirl5 thanked bpath Oh Sophie
  • townlakecakes

    I don't think I can add anything new, so I'll just second everything that has already been said. Beautiful choices, and it doesn't look at all like you've had to compromise anything!

    caligirl5 thanked townlakecakes
  • Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real

    Your kitchen is perfect! You managed to make the space respect the original and yet be up to date without looking precious- what a tough balancing act- and you executed it perfectly. I love everything about it.

    caligirl5 thanked Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real
  • Cheryl Hewitt

    I love your kitchen so much! I love the inset cabinets you chose and the combination of stained and painted. You did a lovely job of marrying style and function while remaining true to the period of the house. And so much more light! I bet it feels absolutely wonderful to be in your kitchen now. That laundry area really works well! Love it!

    caligirl5 thanked Cheryl Hewitt
  • 2ManyDiversions

    Beautiful, and clearly an enormous amount of work went into this, from beginning to end! Whew! What a huge difference, though! I love your honed granite, it's stunning!

    Bathroom reveal - again, what a huge difference - so beautiful, and so much more usable! Fantastic all around!

    caligirl5 thanked 2ManyDiversions
  • beachem

    Such a huge improvement for the laundry. Everything looks great.

    What about spraying frosted paint on your front windows so that they're not covered up for more light while you still have privacy?

    caligirl5 thanked beachem
  • caligirl5

    All the doors and drawers are the Stockbridge door, which is Conestoga's least expensive shaker with the veneered center panel.

    The backsplash is Daltile in white gloss with oyster gray grout. Same tile in the shower with natural gray grout (darker). The shower was done first, and I liked the contrast but wanted it more muted in the kitchen. The "white" color is creamier than Daltile's "arctic white" or "kohler white"--it's more apparent in the bathroom next to the white tub.

    Nothing too fancy inside the cabinets, and I'm still working on getting things organized. Next to the fridge and the dining room, there's actually a chimney and flue inside the wall (you can see the little jog in the drawing but not to scale). The pantry sits in front of the chimney and is just 16" deep (while fridge cab is 24" deep). Not very organized :(

    Then facing the bathroom is a little broom closet with a plug and mount for my cordless dyson (life saver since both me and the dog have long hair and I'm bad at cleaning).

    Trash is under the sink. There were some complications with the plumbing, so had to modify the rev-a-shelf pull-out a bit and replace one of the bins with a smaller one. I use the big one for recycling and small one for trash. Also had some doubts about how the pull placement would work on the side, but it is very smooth and easy to use.

    Here's the appliance garage. I keep my cuisinart griddler and blender plus a bunch of coffee stuff. I like it, but the MW shelf was unexpectedly expensive, since that entire large cabinet needed a finished interior. I put the cookbooks on the shelf there, but I don't really use them much so am trying to think of other things to store there that would look nice.

    Except for the 2 new ones in the remodel, the rest of the windows in the house are original, so wouldn't frost those. I do think I could do better than the existing blinds once I've been able to save some more.

  • knickema

    The layout changes look great. I personally am not a fan of the different color cabinet choices. They don’t look like they go together at all. Add in the flooring and it looks even worse. If I was doing two different color cabinets, I would have chosen something much darker for the base. That mid-level color just looks.... off.

  • chicagoans

    It's wonderful! I love seeing the side by side before and after plans and pictures, and like the others I think your laundry solution is really clever. Congrats!

    caligirl5 thanked chicagoans
  • Sammy

    It looks like it's been that way for 100 years. Great job!!

    caligirl5 thanked Sammy
  • nosoccermom

    It's not just beautiful but also with so many well thought out details. You must be thrilled by your new kitchen.

    Love the combination of white, wood, black, and gray: bright, clean lines, and warm!

    @knickema: Really?

    caligirl5 thanked nosoccermom
  • YMM

    Your kitchen looks so inviting! Unpretentious, warm, easy-to-use. Great job.

    caligirl5 thanked YMM
  • cluelessincolorado

    This turned out beautifully!

    caligirl5 thanked cluelessincolorado
  • bpath Oh Sophie

    Your little broom closet is perfect, just the right size and with an outlet.

    Cookbooks by the microwave look fine and they fit, I wouldn't change a thing. Unless you put a cookie jar there, or honey to add to your tea. Or Kahlua to add to your coffee...

    caligirl5 thanked bpath Oh Sophie
  • CurryUp

    What everyone said ....

    caligirl5 thanked CurryUp
  • Laura

    Wow! Love it all. Great job. You did a great job of respecting the old bones of your house and making a beautiful, functional kitchen. I can only hope mine turns out so well.

    caligirl5 thanked Laura
  • schoolhouse_gw

    I like it a lot.

    caligirl5 thanked schoolhouse_gw
  • jhmarie

    Very pretty! I particularly like the wood base cabinets and the warmth they bring to the kitchen in combination with the lighter surfaces.

    caligirl5 thanked jhmarie
  • Amy J

    I've been waiting to see your finished product and the results do not disappoint! Looks amazing. Perfect update to a older house.

    caligirl5 thanked Amy J
  • cpartist

    Wonderful renovation of a bungalow kitchen. This is how they should be done.

    caligirl5 thanked cpartist
  • baileyjune

    I found your kitchen by way of your bathroom thread, and I just love both rooms. They are perfect....pretty, comfortable and so usable. Thanks for sharing!

    caligirl5 thanked baileyjune
  • CEFreeman_GW DC/MD Burbs 7b/8a

    caligirl, Just beautiful.
    A question about your lowers. You stained them pecan. As cherry darkens pretty quickly, how do you find the color developing? I have some cherry I'm thinking of toning. I'd like a grayed color, but I think that would end up pink on cherry. LOL. Not my cup of tea. I also don't want the traditional dark-to-black look of cherry stain.

    Now that they've been installed for a bit, how are they oxidizing?

    I think you got more than your money's worth. Beautiful investment!

    caligirl5 thanked CEFreeman_GW DC/MD Burbs 7b/8a
  • lisa_a

    Gorgeous! As with your bathroom remodel, it's a clever re-use of the space you have, from the breakfast bar hiding the W/D but letting in light to the shallow pantry hiding the chimney. I'm redesigning a niece and nephew-in-law's kitchen and am recommending a corner MW cab similar to what you installed. IMO, it's a great use of a corner.

    I have Kohler's Riverby sink, too. Love it! I know porcelain sinks aren't as popular on this site but I love the classic appeal of them. Plus I fell in love with the Sea Salt finish.

    I also put my trash under the sink - I recommend this all the time to people with small to modestly sized kitchens - but I didn't have any clearance issues. I wonder if it's because I did full overlay instead of inset. It's something to keep in mind, thanks for posting your experience.

    I *love* the two-tone look. Beautiful stain and wood choice for the lower cabinets. I think your cab choices suit your bungalow to a tee. I'd do the two-tone look in a heartbeat if I lived in a bungalow too.

    Cute bar stools! They look like an inviting and comfy place to drink coffee and eat breakfast.

    Whatever compromises you made for functionality and budget aren't apparent to me. Your kitchen is very well done! I hope you enjoy your kitchen for many years to come!

    (knickema, to echo nosoccermom: really? The kitchen is done, the money is spent, what's the point of making negative comments?)

    caligirl5 thanked lisa_a
  • caligirl5

    @CEFreeman...I'm sure the cabinets are darkening, but I'm not noticing much change. I took a pic today--they do look darker compared to the pics above, though I think it's partly the winter lighting. The nutmeg stain is really subtle, just mutes the grain a bit. I could hardly see the difference in the samples between the nutmeg and the natural cherry. I see that Conestoga does a driftwood stain on cherry; it doesn't look pink or black to me, but it is dark. You're familiar with Conestoga, right? :) LOL, I know you are; I read many of your posts about them before I went with the Cabinet Joint.

    ETA, sorry the photo doesn't seem to be loading!

    @lisa_a, I really can't thank you enough for all the layouts you drew for me several years ago (not sure if you remember, you've posted so many layouts for different people!). The final layout borrowed heavily from those ideas, and it really opened my eyes to some great options that were hard to imagine in the small "before" kitchen. I am loving my new kitchen SO much!

  • CEFreeman_GW DC/MD Burbs 7b/8a

    :) I look forward to the picture someday! LOL!
    Yes, I love the stuff I save to get from them and my favorite cabinet guy Brian.

    caligirl5 thanked CEFreeman_GW DC/MD Burbs 7b/8a
  • lisa_a

    You're welcome! Would you believe that I still have those files on my computer? I had forgotten I'd drawn up ideas for you (more than 3 years ago, no wonder I forgot!) so I'm glad you reminded me. How fun to see the end result of that collaborative effort!

    This community was so helpful to me when I planned my kitchen and I'm more than happy to repay that kindness by helping others.

    caligirl5 thanked lisa_a
  • caligirl5
    there it is! Not a lot darker.

  • emoree

    Your kitchen is so lovely! I adore the lower cabinets especially. That is a really classy (and classic) subtle stain. Love it! Love the rug, too :)

    caligirl5 thanked emoree
  • CEFreeman_GW DC/MD Burbs 7b/8a

    No, not a lot. Nice and rich, though!

    caligirl5 thanked CEFreeman_GW DC/MD Burbs 7b/8a
  • Katie

    It was lucky for me that this thread got bumped, as I was just looking for pictures of real kitchens that have tile backsplash all the way to the counter along with freestanding ranges with controls in the back. I typically see the freestanding ranges paired with the more traditional 4" backsplash, and I was wondering if there is a reason for that. caligirl5, did you have the whole wall behind the range tiled like those with slide-in ranges?

  • caligirl5

    Yep, the wall is tiled from countertop to the cabinets/range hood. My guess is that free-standing ranges and 4" backsplash go together in older remodels before tile backsplash was so ubiquitous.

    With the free-standing range, I went for cheap (er, "value") for my appliances, because all the brands seem to have poor reliability, so I didn't want to invest very much. I don't love the crack between range and countertop, though it's not a huge deal, and I might try to find if there is an attractive product that will block crumbs from falling in there. Still I'm happy with it and saving $1000.

    With the backsplash, I don't mind the look of a low backsplash and painted walls to add color (that can be easily changed). If I knew I was staying here forever, I might have gone that direction. But I like the tile too, and tile backsplash is very expected in a remodeled kitchen. I didn't want a hypothetical future buyer to diss my pricey kitchen for lack of tile backsplash.

  • enduring

    I have a small space between my range and the counter tops. I used the rubber ribbed ropes that are used to imbed screening into window screens. They come in different sizes and work for me to keep crumbs out of the cracks.

    They come in different diameters. I don't know if it will work for you, but it has worked for me.


    caligirl5 thanked enduring
  • MD4square

    I am undecided between natural or light stained cherry and an antique white, so I love seeing yours together! That is what our KD recommended, to do both.

  • caligirl5

    I'm very happy with how the nutmeg stain looks...but it's really so subtle I'm not sure it was worth the little extra $$ over natural...probably either would look good!

  • mabeldingeldine

    Wow, caligirl5, you knocked it out of the park! Really smart changes to the floorplan, and those cabinets are gorgeous! Excellent, excellent job of putting a functional modern kitchen in a charming older home.

    caligirl5 thanked mabeldingeldine

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