Saturday, January 23, 2010

Nearly 100 years old.....Bungalow kitchen, over 10 years in the making!

I promised Frugal Scholar that I would post some pictures of my kitchen. The renovation took years as we did most of the work ourselves while living and cooking in said space. We actually entertained, hosted dinner parties and celebrations here amid dust, and lack of walls...think Thirty Something! We lived it too. I cannot believe it has been that long...thirty something  and now we are 50 something..where did the time go?
It has to be noted that we opted for granite countertops and they are not traditional and we have been severely chastised by Jane Powell of Bungalow Kitchen fame! We really are beyond critiscism in that area because we felt that the benefits of being able to put hot pots, pans and roasters directly on the counter would outweigh the negative comments. We are, after all, the ones who inhabit the space.
Mr. L made all the cabinets himself using just a table saw and hand tools. The glass panes were cut by a local sash and door company and the hardware is new but in the same style as the original would have been. The sink is a Shaw French Country model in porcelain, now in vintage looking condition with scratches and a few chips. The stainless appliances are new of course and yes Jane Powell sneered at them as well....tsk tsk! The floor has been patched and resanded and is soft fir so it is honestly "distressed."

The walls are dark stained fir in "board and batten" is the same as the rest of the house and in an original bungalow there would be "wainscotting" which would more than likely have been painted white. We dithered about for several years in the planning process and the "architect" in the family convinced me to stay with the dark fir. The architect has the professional eye and I bow to his expertise!

The room is smallish, with 3 door openings; the butler's door which is on hinges that swing from the kitchen to the dining room, the French door to the deck, the third has been removed and opened up  onto the family room/den and then there is the stairway to the basement. These were challenges that we had to work with because we did not want to add on and expand.

The granite we purchased from a dealer, had it professionally cut and we installed it ourselves....very hard, heavy work. I do not recommend doing it yourself...we were slightly crazy to attempt it but budgetary considerations played a huge part in that descision!

I did not keep receipts, but I do remember one Valentines Day I received a large piece of steel painted red...a reinforced brace designed by a local engineer...and it was about $250....more than a dozen red roses and dinner out. (It was in the late 1990's) We were frugal and resourceful because we had to be. We sold our Catalina sailboat and had purchased the Chris Craft Constellation, so our time, money and energy was split in several areas...not to mention being parents and holding down jobs.

Wood on the water...propelled by fossil fuel 2 X 350 CC conversions...not that green, but a lot of fun.
It is a quality ride...I am the admiral and the Galley Slave!
After taking the Power Squadron course I am aka as the "Nag-i-vator" has paid off, I am a second set of eyes and am aware of the rules on the ocean...


  1. What a charming story.

    I love your kitchen and that you guys did it yourselves. It is truly beautiful.

    Love the term nagivator!


  2. So impressive that your husband built the cabinets! Thanks for giving us a glimpse.

  3. That looks VERY attractive. What a splendid job on the glazed cabinet doors!!! I love the overall warmth of this room. It's very rich-looking.

    So...what would Jane Powell have used instead of granite?

    Our 1929 house in downtown Px had the original tile countertops, which were left in place as they were in perfect condition. Kitchen tile was very hard-fired in those days and did not scratch up the way some newer tiles do. There was never any problem with putting a hot pan on the tile counter--that, apparently, was what it was built for.

    We also had a large butcher-block countertop in that kitchen, but it was neither original nor, I suspect, very authentic. My great-grandmother's 1902 kitchen in Berkeley had tile countertops--we never heard of butcher-block counters.

    Since moving out of the historic house, I've tiled three kitchen countertops, and frankly, I'm not sure you can find tiles that are as scratch- and heat-resistant as those old ones.

  4. What a wonderful kitchen space - so warm and inviting! I am really enjoying your blog~

  5. Funny about money-Jane would have used tile like you have done. Thank you for your comments..I couldn't visit your blog as I had hoped, it was blocked to me.

    Mimi-Merci beaucoup!