It seems that the heart of any home is the kitchen...It is the place where we not only prepare food for ourselves and our families but where most of us pay bills, play games with our children, have family discussions and hang out..put our telephone....it is truly, to me, the one room in the house where everyone is welcome and should feel at "home". It is generally the central hub of where everyone congregates.
My kitchen is in the exact center of my house and my guests walk thru my living room or back porch to get there...although there is seating and comfort in both places, they never linger but head straight to the kitchen.
|looking into the kitchen from the living room|
|This table is solid oak with 4 bent wood chairs to match!|
|The wall leading into the pantry/now bathroom...and hoosier!|
|With such a beautiful window, I cannot imagine why someone would put this sink in the corner?|
|This room has always had a wood stove...|
My days of wishing for a cabin while I was driving truck led me to start looking for things that I would need...who knew that some day, I would end up in a house that no one has ever remodeled since 1919? They added things to the house in the 40's and 50's such as running water and gas service along with post and tube wiring...but noone had touched this house except for those things. All the doors are still here along with the skeleton key locks (and keys!) no walls have been removed or moved around...nothing...I do have to say, someone got happy with the wall paper! but only in the living room and upstairs.
|1930's Copper Clad Wood Cook Stove|
|MMMMMMM! I love my wood cook stove|
The Hoosier and the stove directed the kitchen decor...black and white vintage, it seems, makes one heck of a combination! Our first snow up here directed me into the house and to finish up cleaning the outside. It was time to rip, root and tear into the house!
In addition to the freezers, there were two metal cupboards in that room...I netted an entire set of 1970's Tupperware, the good kind, with all the lids, 3 antique platters, 2 porcelain vegetable bowls, an aqua blue beater with all attachments, an Osterizer blender, a set of jadite mixing bowls, a complete set of red and white enamel cookware, several antique salt and pepper shakers, cookie cutters, a complete set of knives...well, enough to outfit a kitchen to rival a Chef! The stuff was old but of top quality, whoever bought these things knew what the good stuff was! And I think the "Mister" who lived here before inherited all this equipment when he got the house.
The next step was to remove everything from the kitchen...The sink was taken down, and it seems that this is it's original placement in the house...not one spec of paint! but the floor underneath was completely rotted out from water damage... the cupboard was moved into the living room and the gas stove, well, that went out with the gagging and retching accompaniment...
|The "Mister" let the sink drain directly onto the floor, to seep into the basement, instead of fixing the plumbing...|
The process with the floors started all over again, there were rugs in the kitchen, taped down with duct tape and of course, all the garbage had to be thrown in the trailer...AND all of the treasures sorted and piled and then removed to another room for safekeeping. The wood floor was replaced with...wood flooring that the "Mister" had been throwing in his wood stove! It was an exact match and instead of fixing the floor, he was using it for heat...
I started removing the molding at this point so I could get the ceiling tiles down...they were covered in dirt, smoke and mildew...it had been raining in the kitchen for who knew how long? Underneath those tiles was the original bead board ceiling...I was so excited! Who would ever cover it up? After the removal of the tiles, it took me 3 days to remove the 3000 or so staples from the bead board. A set of pliers just didn't cut it, but if you hooked the nose of a set of channel locks onto the staple, it pulled them right out! I know it sounds ridiculous to be ecstatic about a pair of channel lock pliers but when you are on a chair, vertically challenged, with your arms above your head for hours? ANYTHING that makes life easier is exciting!
Then the process with the walls...I scrubbed for days with ammonia but nothing would get the grease and dirt off...My experience with grease? hmmmm....Couldn't hurt...so to Walmart I went...into the automotive section...and bought a gallon jug of Super Clean...engine degreaser! The walls were painted with oil base lead paint...it was winter...I didn't have a sander...and I really didn't want lead poisoning...It worked, too well! I had rivers of grease, smoke and dirt running down the wall...it was great! The walls were the most beautiful shade of Robins Egg Blue...it made me cry...
Super Clean is amazing stuff, it is basically lye...the good old fashioned, what Granny used to use...lye...I used it on the walls, on the molding, on the doors...and then on the floors...the trouble with Super Clean is...IT WILL take the paint off the wall and molding too! You really have to make sure you do NOT mix it too strong or it will burn you...and as I said...take the paint right off! You should also wear a mask...and gloves...but it does DEGLOSS shiny paint! YAAAAAY! and take wall paper off and clean tools and...the list is long..and it is cheap, cheap, cheap! 5 dollars for an entire gallon. That gallon cleaned every wall, floor, ceiling and fixture in this house...and did a couple loads of laundry too!
I was really confused about decor...what did I want my kitchen to look like? I decided that I wanted it to look like it was fresh out of 1919...when the house was built...but on a scale that I could have all the modern conveniences too...and light! Warmth, comfort, nostalgia...it was time to paint...pick something that would offer me all of these things...I decided on a creamy white...I am sure you have all read that post by now...hee hee...my experience in picking out white paint..
I picked it, painted and was instantly happy...don't know if it was just all the clean goodness or if it really was a good paint color choice! It seems to work though....I read on HGTV that the designers said you should pick three colors...One main, one trim and one accent...I broke the rules, somehow I ended up with 4...or 5....Cream, White, Black, Yellow and Red...
I think the most exciting part was going up to the "treasure room" digging out the "hardscape" for the kitchen and bringing it down to refurbish, paint or set it in place. The Hoosier had to be cut down 4 inches...it was too big for the room. My Honey cut four inches off the back, cut the top and made a backsplash out of the excess..the island was the prep table original to the house but had been sitting in a damp basement for years so the legs were rotten...My Honey, again, worked his magic and mounted it on a shelf complete with castors...I washed it but was thinking it was such a shame to cover up the shabbiness of it...so I whitewashed it with paint instead of sanding and painting again...You can still see where the paint has chipped off and worn down with use, but it is clean. The top had to be sanded and re-glued but is solid oak...just finished with a stain, two coats of tongue oil and 2 coats of paste wax...I have not had one problem with it and it gets a scrubbing everyday!
The Hoosier top...it was a fluke that we got it...a family member came by and told my Honey he had driven by a house downtown and saw a "cupboard looking thing" that maybe we could use since we didn't have any...he, of course, went to look and see if it was something we could use...he told me he had a surpise for me when he got home...HOLY MOLY! is what went thru my head, because the top to our hoosier cabinet was sitting in the back of our truck! Same hardware, same doors...and it had the original flour sifter in it! HULA HULA Dance all the way into the house and up to the treasure room...when it came down, it got super cleaned, sanded and painted and we cut windows in the upper doors with a jig saw so you could see the antique mason jars, baking goods and flour sifter. I went to the dollar store, bought two frames, with the glass, spray painted them black and screwed them onto the openings, then colored the screws with a black sharpie pen.
The sink skirt...what a way to dress up a sink! I saw some on HGTV...had to have one! Ours is just a 1x8 board with two old, found table legs screwed to the wall...but it looks, to me, like it has always accompanied this sink! I love it!
The same room, the same angle...a different time...
Tomorrow, I will show you all what I have been working on...
I am still working on the kitchen, it is almost done and after 7 very long months, I will have one complete room in my house!