Kitchen upgrade: From 1967 to 2014

I’m currently studying interior design in the evenings as it’s been an interest of mine for some time.  So when my dad asked for some decorating advice on re-modeling the kitchen in my childhood home, I jumped at the chance.  Of course, he didn’t ask until he had already demo-ed the kitchen, so I’m a little short on before pictures.

My dad no longer lives in my childhood home, but he rents it out, so many of my selections were largely based on this fact.  Thus high-end appliances and top-notch finishes were not on the menu.  In fact, my dad had recently seen a similar home in the neighbourhood where the owners had removed the wall between the kitchen and the living room and made the main floor largely open-concept with an extra-large island in the kitchen.  I agreed it looked good, but I really didn’t see the return on investment versus a straight re-do of the kitchen.  The added cost couldn’t really be re-couped in charging a higher rent.  The house was built in the ’60’s and it still lacked other amenities like an ensuite bathroom, walk-in closet and even a powder room and thus couldn’t warrant a higher rental price.  That said, it still didn’t mean we couldn’t maximize the kitchen space and make it look fabulous and more functional.

Floorplan 1960s
This is the builder’s floorplan from the 1960’s. It’s a split-level home so the rec-room area beneath the bedrooms is not shown here.

The original kitchen was a California-style kitchen with a penisula-shaped counter, with uppers and the fridge and another small counter on the opposite wall.  The eating area has patio doors and there is a nice window above the sink.  And if you can believe it, that dotted-line circle that is in the corner of the penisula, was a circular dishwasher that you had to load from the top!  Crazy!

My parents added a dining room addition onto the house when I was 8, the pantry that is shown in the floor plan is no longer there and that is now an opening to the living room.  The dining room addition is basically behind the garage.

Secord model update

The peninsula portion of the kitchen was the first thing we agreed had to go.  It really blocked the flow and view into the eating area.  We also decided to re-position the stove in the corner.  With this simple re-configuration, it would create a really large, open kitchen.  We also decided to extend the cabinets on the living room wall closer to the entrance of the kitchen.

Secord model update_new kitchen layout

From the new floorplan it may look like we actually lost cabinet space. However, the 196o’s cabinets didn’t go all the way to the ceiling, so by taking the new cabinets all the way up, I think we actually maintained the same amout of space and eliminated all the akward corners.

I’m proposing some simple white shaker-style cabinets,  a sleek and polish-looking extra-long beige floor tile and a countertop that will mimic granite (because the real thing is not in the budget.)  My dad is completely opposed to white subway tiles for the backsplash, but I think complemented with a stylish glass accent tile, I may be able to sway him.    I also think I’m going to have tough time convincing him to put something up other than those flush-mount ‘boob’ lights, so fingers crossed.

I’ll have some ‘reno-in-progress’ pictures soon.




Thrify Finds

July has been busy.  We travelled down to New England for 10 days and then headed to Washington DC,  through Virginia and back up via Pennsylvania and New York.  It was a great road trip and we miraculously got great weather throughout.  I always love going to New England because it seems there’s an antique store or flea market at every turn.  And they’re always packed with some pretty cool stuff.  But since our car was already pretty jammed with our beach stuff, luggage and what seemed like an ever expanding quantity of stuffed toys, I had to keep my thrift-ing to a minimum.

I found these cool canning jars and vintage bottle in an antique store just outside Wells,  Maine.  I really don’t know anything about them, if they’re really old, or only sorta old, but I love the vintage feel and the blue one is just so pretty.

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I also found these two little dishes for three bucks each.  I’m thinking of starting a little collection of pink and turquoise glass pieces.

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Speaking of collections, I was actually surprised at how little Pyrex I came across on my travels.  I was hoping to find it spilling out of every flea market and antique store I came across, but I actually found very little.  I did manage to find this nice butterprint-turquoise casserole dish at a very good price, but I was hesitant to buy it because I’ve never seen a lid like this one before. It just seems out of sync with the colour and pattern.  Does anyone know if this is actually a mis-matched lid from another pattern?

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And to close off this post, I had to include this picture of a little sign taped to one of the front doors of the an antique shop we visited.  May the ‘why did the chicken cross the road’ jokes begin!



Happy Thrift-ing!