Kitchen Renovation

1st Place; Remodeling & Construction (2013)
Bea & Chris

Chris and I renovated most of our house last summer. We used salvaged materials wherever possible and are especially proud of the kitchen remodel. The house was originally built in 1920. Many items were purchased used from Community Forklift. We turned the hatch into a breakfast bar, extending the trim (with a match found at the ‘Lift!) across the top of the bar and using a matching rosette. We enlarged the opening, moving the thermostat (now an eco-friendly programmable model) to another hallway and hanging pendant lights with reused globes. We also painted over the mint green with more neutral colors.

The original kitchen was incredibly poorly designed – it had only two wall cabinets in the entire room, no base cabinets, and you couldn’t stand straight in front of the sink because the stove stuck out too far. Unfortunately, when we gutted the roach-infested kitchen, not too much was reusable.

Starting over designing the kitchen from scratch, we found a corner sink that worked perfectly to save space and designed the odd-shaped kitchen around it. Maple cabinets, stainless 24” gas stove, microwave, dishwasher, and a very large wall corner cabinet that we converted into a corner sink base all came from the ‘Lift. We bought a refurbished stainless fridge from another store. The ceiling fan and light fixture were also from the ‘Lift.

The previous owners used furnishings to make up for the lack of kitchen cabinet space. We built in storage space by installing the cabinets, a breakfast bar, and plenty of counter space. Since the kitchen was such a weird shape (a pentagon, with two passthrough doorways and a radiator in one corner), we needed some custom countertops. Our friend Joe built them from poured concrete, with some troweling help from his grandkids!

Another custom design was the radiator cover. We wanted it to be accessible so the temperature could be adjusted, but wanted a solid countertop above it. That required hinging the front. Luckily, the Forklift had a pile of maple one-bys donated from a cabinet maker, and some radiator screen, so we built a three-sided frame for this “door.” On the fourth side, the screen overhangs and slips right into a piece of maple that’s affixed to the cabinet, where we used a previously-owned table saw to cut a groove. So you can remove the entire door when you need to bleed the radiator or make any adjustments.

We are pretty pleased with how it all came out!