The kitchen!

I am the worst photo-taker, really, and my camera is having problems, but I did my best to take some photos of the kitchen. It looks much warmer and cozier in person!

Everything is freestanding, which is wonderful in an old house with seriously “wavy” walls. We originally chose these Udden units from IKEA thinking that they would be a temporary measure (we had to make a working kitchen before we could move into the house!), but we wound up loving them. The black VCT floor was another costsaving measure that came out looking pefect for this space. Everything was planned around the old hearth (where the Marimekko print is hanging), and under the range you can see the original green slate we unearthed. We tried to keep the kitchen simple, functional (it’s wonderful to cook in there!), unpretentious, and bright.

Oh, and here are some photos of what it looked like BEFORE. It was totally and completely revolting. The photos don’t do it justice, it was like a kitchen in an abandoned bus depot.

22 comments
  1. TaniaNov 8, 20078:28 pm

    Hi! I read your site daily and love what you’re doing with your house! I am also redoing my kitchen at the moment (it’s hideous!) and have a question – where did you guys get the wooden kitchen island in the top photo as well as the metal shelves above it? I’m thinking of doing the same thing and saw similar shelves at IKEA the other day.
    Thanks!!
    Tania

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  2. Anna at D16Nov 8, 20078:33 pm

    Tania, just about all of the fixtures are from IKEA, including the wood counter (Groland) and the stainless steel shelving (Grundtal) above it. IKEA is wonderful for kitchen stuff! Those Grundtal shelves have a lot of weight on them (especially the ones over the sink, where we keep all of our dishes), and after a year and a half there isn’t even the slightest sag in the shelves. They are very sturdy and look great.

    Good luck with your kitchen! :)

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  3. DiPNov 8, 20079:07 pm

    Black cabinets!!!
    I thought we were the only ones crazy enought to put in black cabinets! (they go with our black house, yes as you recall, ours is painted black). Arn’t they fun to keep CLEAN!!!
    Looking good!

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  4. CarolinaNov 8, 20079:12 pm

    I just found your blog. Your house is beautiful. I will definitely keep checking back.

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  5. sulu-designNov 8, 200710:00 pm

    You are amazing – I cannot believe the kitchen transformation. It’s fabulous.

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  6. BelindaNov 8, 200710:04 pm

    the kitchen looks so fabulous. i thought it looked fab when we were there but it’s superb now. it must be a pleasure to cook in.

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  7. loriNov 8, 200710:59 pm

    Thanks so much for posting these. I also have an older house with much waviness and I’ve been contemplating the various freestanding styles at Ikea, but I wasn’t sure they’d work. Seeing how great they look in a real house, I feel more confident that they’d be the right choice for me too. Your place looks great!

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  8. MarilynNov 8, 200711:59 pm

    Your kitchen looks wonderful – you love it and it shows!

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  9. LillianNov 9, 20075:05 am

    Oh my. Love.it.

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  10. nathalieNov 9, 20075:33 am

    What a tranformation, looking at the before and after really makes me believe that with good taste everything is possible, you ve done a great job, ilove the way you dispay the colorful mugs, way to go ! Ikea is great, we don’t have it yet in Ireland :(

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  11. zeeNov 9, 20079:39 am

    What an awesome kitchen you have! I love how all the elements and colours are so well balanced. I think when we update our kitchen, it’ll be freestanding units all the way; yours look so good.

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  12. JaimieNov 9, 20079:57 am

    I find it so interesting how you have black kitchen cabinets, which I would probably immediately dismiss as likely to look too dark, and the kitchen doesn’t read “dark and black” at all. The overall impression is so light and fresh.

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  13. AdamNov 9, 200710:31 am

    I love it! It really looks so inviting to cook in and clean and organized! All things that I love! I had never seen the before pics, boy, they are really scary! Not that my kitchen is any great shakes, but now I appreciate what I have a little more!

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  14. katieNov 9, 200712:13 pm

    It looks fantastic!!!!!

    I’ve never really considered a free-standing kitchen before, but, this is making me reconsider. It looks great!

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  15. katieNov 9, 200712:14 pm

    Oh and go IKEA!!!!

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  16. lesleyNov 9, 20073:23 pm

    WHAT a transformation!! It’s so cheery and sparkly now.

    I have black kitchen cabs, too! I couldn’t afford to replace either the built-in cabinets (which are of a very plain shape, fortunately; paintable) or the icky denim-blue laminate countertop (there is a HUGE amount of counter space and I was shocked! shocked! to find out how much it costs to replace a counter–even for another go at icky laminate I was getting estimates over $3k), so a friend who is better at color than I am suggested to play down the dark countertop by making the undercabinets even darker. Voila!

    **What is this VCT flooring you speak of?

    xoL

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  17. Anna at D16Nov 9, 20074:24 pm

    Lesley, have you looked at the countertop options at IKEA? They actually have some pretty nice, simple laminates. The prices are ridiculously low…practically free.

    VCT is vinyl composite tile. You know, like the stuff they use in cafeterias with the flecks of white/color in it? It’s thick and hard, and you have to spread the glue on the subfloor, it’s not self-stick. I’m lazy about polishing it, but when it’s shined up it looks amazing. Plus, it costs about $1 a square foot and comes in a billion colors.

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  18. NinaNov 12, 20079:26 am

    Your kitchen looks really good now, but ehm… I like the ‘before’-version too! I happen to love those simple little fifties kitchens, had one in my house too. But your new one is definitely gorgeous!

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  19. Anna at D16Nov 12, 20079:37 am

    Oh Nina, it wasn’t a 1950′s kitchen!! It was just cheap chipboard coated with plastic laminate, probably from the mid-90′s (and most likely taken from another house, as nothing was the right size and the cut edges of the chipboard were all exposed). Everything was rotted, swelling from water damage, and falling apart. There was absolutely nothing salvagable or charming at all about any part of it. Even the stove (a very cheap model, less than 10 years old but very poorly made) was leaking gas. It was absolutely horrible. The fridge was OK, but since we were replacing everything else, we got a new one to match. We donated the old one to a local landlord whose building had caught on fire and needed to be renovated for his tenants.

    I don’t want anyone to think I ripped out some great 50′s charmer, it really was totally disgusting and unusable. The only thing that wasn’t plastic/chipboard (and probably old) was the cabinet over the sink (very poorly built, homemade out of wood), but the back of it was rotted from water damage and it wasn’t structurally sound enough to even put anything into it.

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  20. NinaNov 12, 20079:48 am

    Oh, I see! ;) Sometimes things look better on photo than in real life…

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  21. christieDec 6, 200711:52 am

    I adore your kitchen remodel – you did such an amazing job!
    very lovely blog too!

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  22. anneNov 24, 200811:46 pm

    Amazing revamp! Looks great. Our kitchen is bad but we just haven’t been able to start the project — you are inspiring me though!

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