Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kitchen Redo.

Well, we survived our yard sale. 

Thanks to all of you for stopping by...y'all are so sweet.  

FinnigantheCurious made a bunch of money and despite it burning a whole in his pocket (like mother, like son) he's desperately trying to save it for something big

He's not sure what that something big is, but he says he'll know it when he sees it. 

I tried to convince him to buy a pumpkin orange lamp at Target.com, but for some reason he wouldn't bite.  

I also offered an owl candle snuffer up for purchase, but that didn't work either. 

Things are back to normal and I'm trying hard not to replace the junk treasures I just sold with new junk treasures. 

I have to admit I found an excellent yard sale the day after mine and I felt compelled to spend just a tad at it ... solidarity, you know. 

I'll show you what I got on Thursday, OK?

Back to the blog thing though...a neighbor wrote and asked me about my stainless steel counters in my kitchen. She's thinking of redoing her kitchen and is considering them. 

 I LOVE mine and am always trying to convince people to get them. 

If you're the kind of cook/housekeeper who likes to cut right on the counter, doesn't like to worry about setting a hot pot right down, likes a surface that won't break things and who really likes cleanliness without working too hard, then stainless is the way to go! 

I also really love the juxtaposition of the modern stainless with the old 50's kitchen cabinets and pine floor. 

Anyway, it got me to thinking that since I haven't done anything in the yard for weeks now, maybe I could show you our little kitchen redo. 

We didn't have enough money to completely start over, and I'm actually kind of glad about that now. 

I really love how our kitchen looks old and authentic, but it got a sweet face lift and update.  

Lordy, lordy was that a J.O. B. for Jackdaddy

It was not the first time I felt verrrrry grateful that "all" I was doing was taking care of a little one. 

Honestly, I think remodeling a kitchen that had never been touched since the 50's is almost as challenging as full-time parenting.  


This is looking from the back of the kitchen into the living room:

Oh, where to begin? 
The laminate counters? 
The laminate floors? 
The pale pink wall color? 
The butterfly wallpaper trim? 
The Cocoa Puffs on the back of the stove? 

It was just so, so, so "little old lady" sweet. 

We knocked that opening between the kitchen and the living out and made it really big so that the two rooms flow into each other quite nicely.

 Here's the view from the living room into the kitchen:

The kitchen has a door in it that leads out onto the patio and garage. 

I just love that. 

It feels so old-fashioned to me. 

The wall on the left was the first thing to go. 

You can just see into the next room in this picture. Originally it was a third bedroom, but was being used as a kind of second kitchen thingee. (I think they just needed another refrigerator to put butterfly magnets on.) 

A bedroom attached to the kitchen was never gonna work for us. 

Would it work for anyone, really? 

Anyway, we ripped that puppy out and, oh, it just made all the difference in the world. 

Here's a wide shot from that weird third bedroom into the kitchen before the wall came down:

Pink dishrack.

Sure will miss that.

Here goes the demo:

Ahhhh, that's better. 

We ripped up the layers (there was a redo at some point after all!) of linoleum to expose the sub floor which is made of old pine. 

We stained it with a dark, almost espresso stain for a really rustic look.


Major floor rot issue. 

This is a job for professionals. The hardwood floor dudes handled this one.

Manly Man vs Kitchen. 

Manly Man vs Kitchen and ...



Jackdaddy called me one day in a TIZZY after finding this lovely surprise. 

We had not intended to rip all the cabinets out until this fright show was discovered. 

Jack had the mobile phone propped up on one shoulder, was crowbarring with the other all the while describing to me every. single. detail. of the years and years of dead bugs that were adhered to the underneath of our counters. 

He wanted me to come over and look. 

Fortunately he took pictures for me because I wasn't able to get over there just then. (Ahem.)

This is the result of that crowbar action.

Bugs removed. 

Basically, entire kitchen removed. 

He was really, really grossed out. 

Non-existent budget is escalating.

On to the fun stuff. 

Stainless counters installed. 

We measured, they cut, we installed. 

(I say we, I mean he. He being Jackdaddy.) 

Discount stainless fridge and dishwasher installed. 

We scoured town for cheapo deals on stainless appliances

That's the part of a remodel I like - Shopping! 

I found this beautiful glass tile at The Tile Guy here in Austin. 

The blend is called Loft

I think. It's been 3 years. 

It might have been called Butt for all I can remember these days. 

We bought a sink from a guy on Craigslist who told us about a Lowes way down south that was moving and had everything deeply discounted. 

We ran in about 10 minutes before closing and found the fridge. 

The guys there were so sick of the sale and the insanity of the move and people like us acting like crazed monkeys that they gave it to us for just nothing just to get us out of there.  

We were giddy. 

They were giddier.



No more Cocoa Puffs.  Now there's wine on the counter.

We no longer have those light fixtures even though I know think they look cute.  (I wonder what I did with those?)

I found a vintage one from '51 that looks much better. 

Oh, and the new stove. 

You've seen that, right? 

I did a whole post on it. Here's the link to it.

We've still got to finish tiling behind the stove. 

Hell, we've never even grouted the tile that we did put in. 

No, really, I swear. 

It's just up there looking good and ungrouted.  

Jackdaddy's got some wabi-sabi in him after all, dammit. 


I found that in a magazine and my dear friends, Morgan and Lynell, made a replica of it for me. 

I just love, love, love it, being the salty girl that I am. 

Makes you wonder if the sailors bringing street girls into the hotel have to pay in advance. 

So, there ya go.

Little kitchen porn wabi-sabi style.


  1. Is Jackdaddy the BOMB, or what?! Can we borrow him?

  2. Looks great! Very inspirational. Love the tile. So did you redo the buggy cabinets or get new ones?

  3. Danielle - YES, he is and YES, you can!

    Caroline - we redid them. Took them outside and removed that part between the counter and the underneath and replaced that. Then the new counters, of course. UGH. Course, I'm sure there are more in there right now reclaiming the area.

  4. Wow! I loved your kitchen before but now I love it more knowing its story. These pictures take me back to remodeling Stephen's Nana's house...we didn't even have a kitchen sink when Maya was born, much less the mayhem we were living in! The joy of it being (mostly) completed was indescribable!

  5. Love the back-splash...by the way, YOU'VE BEEN HAMMERED.

    see my blog for details :)

  6. Little Old Lady kitchen transforms right in front of my eyes. I love seeing the befores and afters.
    Mz Muddy

  7. Ooo, ooo! It's beautiful, and I'm such a sucker for before and after pics. Where did you get the stainless for the counters? We're beginning to plan our kitchen remodel and have been considering zinc countertops: have any idea how it compares to stainless? (BTW: Lynell's a friend of mine,too--she's great!)

  8. Oh Erica - you HAVE to show me pictures of that redo! I've heard so much about it. yes, we had no sink when we moved in. sighhhhhhhh.

    Mz. Muddy Hands - Im so glad you are not THAT kind of old lady. hee hee

    Iris! Oh HI! I know who you are now. How did you find my blog? I have no idea about zinc, but it sounds awesome! I'll have to go dig around and find out about it.

    CHERYL!!!! YOU HAMMERED ME!!! You are the BEST! I'm gonna make my hammer post right now. Oh, you sweet, sweet thing. I've got a cold one waiting for ya!

  9. I'm having flashback nightmares... aaack! Actually it's nice to see the transition we somehow pulled off. And what's this about being loaned out? A trip to Big Bend to see our buddies sounds good, though. -jackdaddy

  10. Great project. You lost some storage when you took out that wall. Did you add an island or some other cabinets? That reminds me, I need to get an additional husband. The one I have now is a great cook but not so handy. He jokes he needs instructions to use a hammer. ;-) kat

  11. Honey - Oh EVERYBODY wants me to loan you out. I just tell them sure to pacify them.

    KC - you know, we do have a cool ass pie table thing we got at auction that goes where that wall was. The wall had some kind of minor cabinet there...can't really remember. This kitchen has lots of storage actually. Well, I dont have lots of stuff either, that helps.

  12. We left Justin for a week while he remodeled our kitchen with the help of a contractor who soon became our friend. We had only intended to replace the cabinets, and we ended up tearing down walls because of those same nasty bugs.The bugs had been converted into 3 inches of soil lining the bottom of our cabinets. Our non-existent budget went through the roof, and it took us almost a year to finish. I can't believe I was cooking in that kitchen before the remodel. Justin ended up cleaning the inside of the walls, sealing holes along the bottom, insulated, and replaced our plaster walls with new sheet rock. He spared me the pictures. Ignorance is bliss.

    I LOVE your kitchen. I never even noticed the tile wasn't grouted. That just shows you how observant I am. I am easily distracted by pretty, shiny things.:)

  13. We had exactly those cabinets once in a time long long ago. I saved the handles because they were interesting.

  14. Ahhh, I had completely blotted out the memory of your old kitchen from my brain! HOLY! Such an amazing transformation.

  15. Mss @ WIB...you did? Those handles...I spent weeks and weeks looking for the perfect handles. I was gonna splurge on some really fancy ones. I looked and looked and looked and ended up leaving the originals on. And LOOK how they match the stove handles and the sink faucet...it was meant to be. I had fun looking though.

    Maureen - I KNOW. It's like your house b4 the master bedroom update thingee. Hard to even remember.

  16. Hi, your kitchen remodel looks very similar to the one we just went through! We also saved all of the original 1952 cabinets, but our handles were shot so we ended up actually liking some of the cheapest ones at Home Depot. Our vintage stove is a Chambers also found on Craigslist as was our kitchen sink.

    We (my husband) scraped tirelessly on the kitchen floor to remove the black mastic so exposing the lovely longleaf pine subfloor.

    We will in the future also knock out the wall between the living room and kitchen.

    Here is a link to our remodel: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blazink/sets/72157615070449400/

  17. Brandi - I went to your Flickr site and, WOW! Gorgeous kitchen. It does look so much like ours. What year is your...oh wait, I see...ours is 1951, so close.

  18. Thank you! The kitchen color is called "Holiday Turquoise" from Sherwin Williams Suburban Modern historical pallet. We still have some work to do on the kitchen, but eventually want to totally renovate it and knock out the wall between the living room and the kitchen. Big plans...

  19. Goodness...what kind of bugs were those that the cabinets had to be ripped out? Since our floor is missing, we've seen more bugs than I've ever seen in my life - and varieties that I've never seen in my house before. Totally yucky.


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