8 steps to a timeless kitchen

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8 steps to a timeless kitchen

Postby heartwood » Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:56 am


found some good ideas here for my upcoming kitchen work...

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Al F. Furnituremaker
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Re: 8 steps to a timeless kitchen

Postby Al F. Furnituremaker » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:33 pm

Hope you kitchen rework goes well Heartwood. Please post pictures of the progress.

I agree with everything in the article. The kitchen remodel craze is entirely created by the kitchen products suppliers, real estate agents, interior designers, contractors, home centers (which I avoid at all cost), and anyone else making money off remodels.

I'm currently going through a decision process as to either sell my mom's late 50s house or keep it, restore it, and live in or rent it. It was built in the late 50s, well maintained over the years, but never remodeled to keep-up-with-the-Jones'. The kitchen is like the third picture in the article only with natural wood cabinets. They are carpenter built-ins. I refinished them a long time ago since all the original painter did was to slop on one coat of finish, they felt like sandpaper.

It's a perfect house for a mid-century-modern restoration.

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Re: 8 steps to a timeless kitchen

Postby phil » Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:07 pm

I think the 50's houses are often a good buy. You usually get grounded outlets although the wiring might be getting a bit old. they usually had insulation although it is often just 3/1/2" of fiberglass. they usually had a decent overhang which makes the whole house last longer. the roofs have enough slope but aren't so steep they are scary. Most have wood floors although usually that narrow strip oak. if they are well cared for they can probably be sanded although they did a lot of face nailing. They were built to building standards with wide hallways and such. they usually had fireplaces albeit they were often just straight brick chimeys on the outside of the house. they used drywall which simplifies repairs. since they dont; have much unique style a lot of them seemed to go on untouched and not modified structurally. usually the basements are full height and with the larger overall sizes often they can have decent basement suites and garages. they might have fir studs. often people here rebuild them and maybe put new windows and a bit more insulation and new siding. they usually didnt' have a lot of woodwork or nice baseboards or robust looks of a craftsman but i thin kthey are often not such a bad buy especially for families who are not into doing a lot of wall opening and insulating and restoring of painted trim and stuff like that. the attics are usually unusable spaces but overall I think it's hard to go wrong with them from an economic point of view.
I dontl think I'd try to take one back to the 50's with the plywood door cabinetry and such but maybe using a bit more wood and plywood boxes with shaker style doors is a happy trade off. I guess some like to do the 50's soda shop type decor. things like the chrome tables did quite well for longevity and easy cleaning.

I guess mine had a 50's style kitchen with plywood boxes and doors that were plywood with mahogany veneer. They weren;t really all made from boxes like the MDF ones but made onsite to size. they looked like a carpenter built them in a hurry. I was happy to tear them out just to clean out all the old paint and crap and start new but some may have better kitchens that weren't painted too much. with those you might get away with new doors and new laminate and sink. at least they weren't stapled together MDF crap like the new ones. Often I think these are perfect if you want to clean them up and flip them.

older houses need a bit more labor of love so they arent' quite so nice to flip. the flippers tend to do dumb things like move walls and divide them into suites vertically and paint over all the woodwork. so a lot of the older ones are nicer but a LOT more work to restore. the payback is in the charm not the square footage usually. at least here, most of the 20's and 30's ones were quite small by comparison. That might vary by area.

I think the 40's ones are often a bit more touchy. they built a lot right after the war and at that point they wanted houses to make kids and priorities were more about family that keeping with the Jones's they let a lot of underbuilt stuff go , not that there were no nice 1940's houses. It was a busy era for families. I remember my dad - a carpenter then , saying he'd never seen houses built where they didn't' use ship lap or plywood on the outside, they would just nail the siding to the studs.. I think sometimes they got away with a lot and probably most of those are gone by now. That probably promoted building standards and in the old ones the builders had a name to adhere to and they stayed with the project right through.

one thing to check for might be asbestos. Its hard to get rid of old drywall here that has asbestos in the mud. cost is 1 dollar a pound to dump drywall that is infected with it. Never mind maybe needing the guys in white suits. I'd do some tests to see what you are into if you plan to open walls.

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Lily left the valley
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Re: 8 steps to a timeless kitchen

Postby Lily left the valley » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:47 pm

I love his site. That's where I originally got the idea of trying to do the side by side old refrigerator style back when we were still hoping for '42.
--Proud member of the Industrious Cheapskate Club
--Currently pondering ways to encourage thoughtful restovation and discourage mindless renovation.

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