we recently got a copy of the new book The Unusual Kitchen: An Innovative Approach to the Most Popular Room in the House And I was blown away by one of the budget-friendly DIY ways to give an old Victorian kitchen in upstate New York a fresh, cheery look.I asked the owner who is a house designer Jessica Rose Tell us more about your project. This kitchen Sophie Dowthe former editor-in-chief of House Beautiful and a friend of SBEH!
It was July 2019 and my husband and I had just built a new house. But it wasn’t just a new home. Eight months ago we made a whimper visit to her famous abandoned 1700s mansion in a small town, but just as we need to buy it and restore it to its former glory. I naturally made up my mind.
Selling for just under $90,000, the house, named Danaskala Place, with two acres of beautiful tree-covered land, was a great bargain. However, it had some serious drawbacks. At the back is a huge L-shaped extension that burned eight years ago and was left as a rotting shell clinging to the historic brick main building. You’ll have to remove it, install the heating system from scratch, refinish the slate roof, and redo all the plumbing. The old wooden windows need to be replaced with new glass and glazing, the rotten front porch steps and floor need to be rebuilt, and many other “small” issues. But the bones were good, and I knew that if I could make it “livable,” I could live room by room while slowly transforming the rest.
The first two rooms on our list were upstairs with full bathrooms and of course kitchens. The kitchen was a nightmare. Paneled windows, smoke-stained walls, rusting appliances, water-stained floors, and 1990s golden oak builder-grade cabinetry. I dreamed of a full job, intricate hexagonal tile floors, floor-to-ceiling Victorian hardwood cabinets, and an island-style work table, but budgeting for an old home meant more than my dream kitchen. Structural and maintenance projects must be prioritized. So I started planning how to build my dream kitchen from scratch.
The word “unkitchen” spread by a design writer Sophie Donelson, has garnered attention as a micro-trend and was so closely intertwined with traditional old house kitchens that it was just what I was looking for in a Dana Skala kitchen. Think of the kitchen like any other room in your home: the tops and bottoms of the large boxes you need, where you use moveable furniture, art and textiles instead of cabinet fronts, and the practicality you need. I really liked it considering it was next to my tools. Appliances and built-in islands open up creative possibilities. It was caught on the lower and island of the big box, but the floating upper was quickly knocked down.
I wanted a countertop with the warmth and weight that you would find in an old house. I went back to the butcher block many times and never found the thickness I wanted. My mother-in-law, a fellow decorator, found an old bowling alley lane for sale on the Facebook Marketplace and convinced me it would be perfect. A contractor helped me install it, so I sanded it down and stained it with a natural black walnut stain that my dad made.
New paint coat – Canvas by Benjamin Moore, changed the walls and ceiling.We chose this one because we wanted the cabinet to be a fun color combination. hale navy outside and loneliness (Both Benjamin Moore) About the inside.
The list of projects we’ve worked on is long: replacing appliances, building sliding shelves for cupboards, building pantry frames in old closets, renovating vintage lighting, beading the backs of cupboards. Add boards, build antique-style kitchen shelves and peg rails, sew curtains and add painted wood knobs. But the game changer was the painted floor.
Most of the house used beautiful hardwood with chevron and border details. But the kitchen had seen better days and had hardwood work that could not be refinished. Again, the floor replacement wasn’t in my budget, but luckily I had years of train rides with painted wood floors, so I knew that was the solution. I knew I applied a fitted piece of artificial hardwood to the damaged area and got to work.
The octagon and dot pattern is the perfect twist on the classic checkered floor, something I was sure I could make myself, and it was the perfect opportunity to bring more color and pattern into the room.
I decided to reuse the blue behind the cupboard, a slightly darker (homemade) version of the canvas. sherwin williams downing sand for small squares. Here’s the basic process I used.
First, I primed the floor with a white adhesive primer to ensure that the paint adheres well to the topcoat that was originally applied to the floor.
As with wallpapering, it’s important to start the pattern with the most prominent space in the room. I chose the main passageway between the island and the hatch-style cabinets. To get the centerline, I measured multiple points between the two cupboards and connected them with a line of chalk that ran from wall to wall.
I made a cardboard template for a large 15″ x 15″ square (you can also use a piece of plastic or tile for a more durable template). Squares are drawn diagonally, so I had to figure out the diagonal dimensions of the square. Did you know that the diagonal of a square is greater than the side? High school math is back! You can easily find the diagonal with Google. A 15 inch square has a diagonal of 21.21 inches.
This means that the lines you draw on the floor should be 21.21 inches apart (see illustration). Once I had these lines drawn all over the room, I was able to line up the template along the lines so that the two corners touched the lines and then draw on the main squares.
For the octagons and the small squares that make up the “dots” of the dot pattern, I used 4″ x 4″ squares, lined up so that the four corners of the larger squares touched the lines (see picture). I painted them all over the room.
Then the fun part began: painting.
I worked in small sections and painted each color twice at a time so that the kitchen could still be used. Therefore, each section had 6 painting sessions with drying time in between. Let’s just say this was the perfect activity during the pandemic.
Once you’ve completed the entire room and countless podcasts and audiobooks, re-section it and apply a top coat. Benjamin Moore Stays Clear With Low Luster. This step was the most important. Even in the weeks between finishing the section and adding this top coat, the floor developed chips and stains. Section by section, I scrubbed it clean, touched up any damage with a craft brush, and brushed over the top coat. microfiber pad. I let it dry overnight and then applied a second coat and barricaded the area with all the chairs, empty boxes and baby gates I needed to protect it from dog paws. Thanks to that topcoat, these floors have held up incredibly well for the last three years and are very easy to vacuum and mop. There are still chips, but enough to add the character of the old house.
The most surprising part of the process of renovating the kitchen with virtually no budget was the complete lack of plans for a second phase renovation in the near future. We’ve managed to create a beautiful, full of character, flexible kitchen that will last for years and look beautiful. The kitchen was put to the ultimate test this fall when I hosted his 70-person wedding for my brother-in-law. A caterer took over the room and served us a beautiful meal in our backyard. They loved the function and flow we created in the room. It’s the best compliment.
EHD again! After seeing Jessica’s Kitchen, it’s clear that this is a special book that everyone should pick up. Here is the link to get it now. xx