Old-House Journal June/July 2010
Restoring a kitchen is one of the biggest challenges we face in bringing new life to an old house. Not only must we decide what era is most appropriate (put an 1880s kitchen in your Shingle Victorian, or a ‘state-of-the-art’ 1920s kitchen?), but there are so many period products to choose from today that it can be hard to narrow them down. While some folks I know get a headache just thinking about all of the possibilities, I prefer to look at the bright side: We have so many options!
In this issue, we look at some wildly different approaches to tackling the kitchen challenge. First, we check in with an Ohio couple determined to remake their kitchen for next to nothing. Not only did they succeed, but they managed to create such a sweet vision of a 1920s kitchen—complete with breakfast nook and tiled countertops—that you just might want to try it at home. Next, we get a professional carpenter’s overview of the best approach on do-it-yourself cabinet installations. The many tricks he reveals will help you get the job done easily, and perfectly. Our last kitchen story just might be my favorite, because it mirrors so many couples I know who reach an impasse on how to approach or finish a project. (You probably know the type—many jobs started, few of them finished.) The Seattle couple in our Insider story sat with some unfinished projects in their bungalow for several years. But when they finally completed the work, the end results—including the kitchen—were worth waiting for. They give me hope for my own roster of unfinished jobs.
This spring, I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for the sun to peek out after one of the worst East Coast winters on record. Now that it’s warming up, my thoughts have turned to gardens. I long to have a beautiful, era-appropriate landscape to match my house. If you do, too, get inspired by two stories full of ideas. New Annuals for Historic Gardens lays out the newest breeds of traditional bedding plants, while in Creating Colorful Curb Appeal, author Brian Coleman reveals how he created a garden that not only complements his house, but plays off of its paint scheme to better accent the architecture. While I know my house and garden are a long way from resembling Brian’s work of art, I can continue to dream. Maybe I’ll start with some potted plants on the steps.
Demetra Aposporos, Editor-in-Chief of Old-House Journal