Kitchen Before & After: A Modern Makeover For a House On the Market

Reader Kitchen Remodel

When Ana and John decided to sell their 3-bedroom house, they knew they'd need to spruce up their tired, dated kitchen to attract potential buyers. The original 1927 kitchen was still intact for half of the space, but there were issues: modern sized plates didn't fit in the vintage cabinets over the sink, and the appliances and open shelving (which necessitated demolishing the original cabinets on one side of the space) made the kitchen look cluttered. Visitors, Ana said, always found the original farmhouse style sink charming, but it was much too shallow to be practical. And the linoleum floor? "An eyesore and hard to keep clean."

So with a return investment in mind, the couple worked with a kitchen designer to give their (partial) 1927 kitchen a fresh, new look and make it appealing to potential buyers. Read more about the renovation and see 'After' photos below:

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Such a transformation! "The proposition of getting one's place ready for sale and going to market is daunting," Ana wrote us, "especially if you feel that your home is at a disadvantage because of a tired and dated kitchen - fortunately, this story has a happy ending and the house sold in less than a week with a very positive outcome for all parties."

We're happy to hear it! Here's how they did it:

The use of cork flooring helped create a seamless look between the remodeled kitchen and the rest of the hardwood flooring in the house. The cork flooring is from Darmaga, and is very comfortable to stand on. IKEA Numerar Butcher Block counters kept the project within budget and also created a warm inviting feel in the kitchen. An existing radiator under the kitchen window was incorporated into the counter for better flow.

Instead of buying all new appliances in ubiquitous stainless steel, the couple retained the original black JennAir gas range, and purchased a black counter depth Samsung French-door Refrigerator and black IKEA DATID black chimney exhaust hood. Crisp new white melamine cabinets supplied by Square Footage, coordinate with the black appliances and lend a nice contrast.

The new kitchen faucet {RINGSKÄR} and sink {BREDSKÄR 62x46 cm} were purchased at IKEA. Shallow cabinets above the sink are original to 1927 and refinished by Ana and John themselves. The door was left off the middle cabinet to make it feel more open. Items for the display shelves were purchased at Pier 1. A drop down cabinet for the ironing board was also one of the period features retained, repurposed to house spices, oil and vinegar bottles. The new cabinetry mimics the design of the vintage cabinets, and thus is custom sized and fitted. Having new mixed with old, gives the kitchen more character.

To add a little glam to the country kitchen, a cb2 Firefly pendant light was installed for overhead lighting. Task lighting in the form of halogen fixtures were already in place under the vintage cabinets. A pretty door purchased from Home Again, with a "Pantry" glass etching was installed leading down to the basement.

The finishing touches were a Carrerra Marble Mosaic from Tile City used for the backsplash, and a huge blackboard made by hand with Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint and trim purchased at Home Depot.

The kitchen walls are painted Oxford White and the trim is painted Cloud White, both Benjamin Moore colours.

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Modern sized plates didn't fit in the vintage cabinets over the sink, and while the original farmhouse style sink was charming, it was too shallow to be practical.
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The total cost for the renovation came in under $20,000, a cost Ana said was "well worth it because it transformed the kitchen into the heart of the home. The new kitchen blends well with the other period details throughout the house, including leaded glass windows...The overall design was neutral enough to satisfy most people and special enough to attract the right couple."

So how did the new homeowners like the kitchen?

[They] confessed that they were entranced by the welcoming feel of the now bright and functional kitchen, exclaiming that the butcher block was refreshing after seeing so many kitchens with granite countertops, and they were excited that their toddler would have the forgiving feel of the cork floor as she took her first steps.

Thanks so much for sharing, Ana!

Related: Kitchen Before & After: A 1980s Kitchen Gets a Chef-Caliber Makeover

(Images: Before photos by Ana Inglis; After photos by Arash Rahnamoon)

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