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Blue Wren

@Brent Fulgham your kitchen is adorable and proof that elegance and function do not require a cavernous space to be achieved.


@Mark Feldhusen . I hear ya! I think part of the reason that so many people want to get rid of the natural wood finish is that the majority of wood kitchens made in America appear to be made from oak. That yellowish cast the wood has is, to my eye is pretty oppressive, it's a colour/brain reaction thing in me. Also, just because a kitchen is made with oak doesn't necessarily mean that it is well made and hence why people seek to replace.

I have seen many before and afters on Houzz where I think - that's nice, they did a great job, only to find that what I thought was the "after" was actually the "before". Not all old kitchens are all that functional, though. But rather than ripping them out people would do well to consider retrofitting slide outs or internal drawer in lower cabinets to make the space more usable without destroying the architecture and history of the home.

I once lived in a rental that really had no kitchen cabinets except for a shelf above the inset stove hearth and an enormous timber cabinet with heavy glass sliding doors, 2 drawers and 2 capacious cupboards underneath that was original to the house when it was built in the 1880s. When we moved in 3 walls and the ceiling had been painted orange, 1 wall was green and all were painted in a high gloss enamel. Someone had thoughtfully clad the cabinet in brown and orange floral contact paper and it had been once decades and decades ago been painted white. It was derelict destruction on a biblical scale.

I painted the walls with a low sheen white paint (I left the ceiling orange, mostly because the ceiling height was 4 and a half metres!). I removed the contact paper, sanded the cabinet and painted it inside and out and the shelf a gentle pastel turquoise. People said I was mad for "doing up a rental" - waste of time and money etc. Well in terms of money all it cost was a couple of hundred dollars in paint and a week or so of hard work. I couldn't have lived even for a couple of years with that kitchen as it was but as it turned out I lived 17 years in that rental and all the people who had advised against doing anything always commented on how lovely and homey the kitchen was and how they loved to visit and drink good coffee and eat lovely home made baked goods. That original cabinet was not only stunningly beautiful, but functional to boot! I loved that kitchen and when I see the crappy factory made things that people live with that need to be replaced every ten years or so I can't help but think that if they paid for good joinery once it would last a century, just like my old kitchen cabinet.


PS - the place I lived in was a dwelling behind and upstairs from a pair of retail shops. It has since been totally gutted and 2 apartments made inside. Gone the stunning timber stair case, the stained glass window that lit the landing and no doubt the cabinet was simply destroyed along with everything else. Very sad.


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degga

Blue Wren, I had a fabulous cupboard like that in an 1896 house I owned for 26 years. It was in a small butler's pantry between the kitchen and dining room. I intentionally stored my metal pots and pans, colander and other unbreakables in the bottom cupboards so that my three boys could access them when they were toddlers. Best "toys" ever!

Of course, someone with more money than taste, brains or sense of history later came along and ripped it out.

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AJD1221

"Turning on the lights will make a space appear brighter!" :)

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