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Before and After: A 1920s House Gets a New Kitchen Worthy of Its Vintage Charm

published Dec 15, 2020
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Before: Outdated kitchen with red walls
Credit: Laurah Booghaard

Sometimes old kitchens just scream for a major renovation, but the cost can feel daunting. The good news is that with a little planning and prioritizing your upgrades, you can still create your dream kitchen.

Take it from kitchen designer Laurah Boogaard, whose 1924 Tudor-meets-Craftsman home had a cook space that didn’t live up to its potential. “The space did not reflect the charm of this bungalow,” Laurah says. “The kitchen felt very claustrophobic and under-utilized.”

Credit: Laurah Booghaard

For starters, the walls were painted bright red, the oversized appliances weren’t proportional to the space, and the cabinet drawers weren’t even on sliding tracks. Making the kitchen fully functional was going to take a lot, but fortunately Laurah was able to pull it off with a mix of her own skills and calling in the pros when she needed it. 

She started by demoing her cabinets and ordering new ones. She had them installed by a carpenter, who also sourced crown molding to match the original crown molding in the rest of the home.

Credit: Laurah Booghaard

To minimize cost, Laurah designed around the existing layout and hired an electrician to update the outlets and add sconces by the window. An out-the-box solution that made a major impact on the functionality of the kitchen? Converting the dinette area into a walk-in pantry. “This has a ton of storage possibilities and also allows for additional prep space if multiple individuals are working in the kitchen,” Laurah says.

Credit: Laurah Booghaard

Porcelain hex tiles in a floral pattern—installed by pros—breathe new life into the previously underwhelming floors.

“I love how open and airy the space feels,” Laurah says. Her new kitchen is fresh and modern, but maintains the 1920s charm of the home thanks to a few vintage touches like the light fixture, which she says had been collecting dust in her parents’ basement for 20 years.

Credit: Laurah Booghaard

Her pro tip for remodeling your own kitchen: Make sacrifices that you can live with and won’t regret later on. “Invest in well-made cabinetry, solid countertop materials and appliances that fit the space,” Laurah says. “These are the crucial foundations for any long-lasting and functional kitchen.”

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