Reader Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen Before & After: A Bungalow Kitchen Gets a Turn-of-the-Century Look

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Debbie R. via The Kitchn’s submission form)

In 2009 Kitchn reader Debbie and her husband bought a classic 1920s Chicago bungalow in a short sale from someone who’d been unable to flip it due to the recent housing crash. When the owner couldn’t sell the place for what he was asking, “he ripped out everything in the kitchen and just slapped stuff on the walls, including cheap cabinets that were literally attached to the walls with a few screws,” Debbie tells us.

Now Debbie has renovated the kitchen, and added details to give it a turn-of-the-century vibe:

(Image credit: Debbie R. via The Kitchn’s submission form)

Pretty and classic! What an improvement. We love the period-appropriate details. Here’s what Debbie tells us about her new and improved kitchen:

When we bought the house in a short sale, we knew we would have to redo the kitchen, but it was important to restore it using period materials/designs. Our first thought for the countertops was soapstone, which was commonly used back in the ’20s. That decision led us to a local soapstone installer who also makes custom wood cabinets named Humming Bird Woodworks [in Glen Ellyn, Illinois].

We couldn’t save the original maple wood floor, so we had new maple put in. For the backsplash, we wanted white subway tile, then we decided to extend it out to all the walls, which gives it a turn-of-the-century institutional look, along with the schoolhouse light.

We are VERY happy with the way it turned out!

(Image credit: Debbie R. via The Kitchn’s submission form)
(Image credit: Debbie R. via The Kitchn’s submission form)

Thanks for sharing, Debbie!