Before & After: A 1950s Kitchen Finally Gets New Cabinets & A New Modern Look

published Apr 26, 2016
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(Image credit: MLS Listing)

When Elise and Ben bought their Mount Washington house, the kitchen looked like this. They used this sad kitchen for five years until they finally updated it. The end result is modernized, but still captures the spirit and integrity of the storied older house.

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(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Using IKEA cabinets to keep the costs down, they were able to upgrade and personalize the look with Calcutta marble and Schoolhouse Electric hardware for all the cabinets.

(Image credit: MLS Listing)

And what an amazing transformation after:

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

More details to drool over:

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

In Elise’s words:

I probably made about 12 different floor plans and elevations trying to fit everything in, yet achieve a light, open, airy feeling. The biggest issues were the appliances. How do you fit these huge things, plus a ton of storage space, into a 10×10 room? Really, the only solution was to downsize as much as possible and get a a little creative with the old “kitchen triangle.” Breaking up the cooktop and oven, forgoing a good looking oven hood and for a sensible micro hood, and getting the narrowest refrigerator we could find/afford (even if that meant it wasn’t counter depth) ended up making the most sense.

What we ended up doing:

  • Removed a wall between our tiny kitchen and mud room to make one larger kitchen and create a peninsula for the kids to sit and eat.
  • Removed and replace acoustic ceiling tiles with skim coated drywall
  • Replaced two louvered windows with one awning window
  • IKEA cabinets and fronts in the high gloss white. I looked into both Semi Handmade and Kokeena but because of budget and timing we stuck with IKEA
  • DIY Brass toe kicks
  • Solid Brass hardware
  • Calacutta Marble countertops/backsplash/waterfall
  • White Oak wood floors
  • IKEA refrigerator, microwave and cooktop
  • Smeg oven
(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Elise also has a more DIY tips and details on their kitchen remodel on her blog Burke Decor Blog. She was also gracious enough to share a few valuable lessons she learned during the process of renovating their kitchen using IKEA → Stress-Saving IKEA Kitchen Reno Lessons from a Real Homeowner

The surprise that Elise found during renovation was unreal. The house she bought had tenants who lived there for 50 years. It turns out that the previous resident Ruby also wanted new cabinets just as bad as Elise!

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Thank you Ben and Elise!