Before & After: A 1920s Kitchen Gets a Clean & Classic Upgrade

published Apr 24, 2016
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(Image credit: Submitted by Sarah)

My brother and I purchased a 1924 multi-family home just under a year ago. The house was in great shape but definitely needed some aesthetic updates and both kitchens needed a complete overhaul. It was important to me to keep the kitchen era-appropriate while incorporating a modern color palette and materials. We demoed the day after Thanksgiving and took the whole room down to the studs.

(Image credit: Submitted by Sarah)

My dad did all of the electrical work and plumbing and we hired a team to install the drywall. Since there is only one window in the kitchen, I painted the walls white to make the space as bright as possible. I purchased raw oak cabinets from Lowes; the team there was super helpful finding the right layout to maximize space and storage. I sanded and painted the cabinets myself – a far bigger project than I expected! I purchased the cabinet and drawer pulls online to match the original glass hardware on the built-in cabinets in the house. Hardwoods run throughout the entire home so I decided to continue them into the kitchen. I went with quartzite for the countertops as I like the bit of shimmer it has while still being a very durable material. Because the quartzite has a pattern and a bit of sea foam green veining, I chose to go with classic white subway tile for the backsplash. I really like the herringbone pattern as it adds a bit of interest and gives a modern flair to a classic material. I think my favorite piece in the kitchen is the pendant light above the sink. I found it from this adorable little shop on Etsy. It’s 1930s sea foam glass from France and I love how it adds a bit of elegance and femininity to the space.

Since we did all of the work and labor ourselves, the project took a while to complete. There were definitely some tough days and living without a kitchen for three and a half months was a real challenge but it was absolutely worth the time and effort. I’m beyond thrilled with the final product and can’t wait to reno the other unit’s kitchen!

Thank you, Sarah!