Mar 17, 2010

The Kitchen: After - sort of...

Time to get back at ‘er. After a month of unpacking endless boxes, adjusting our lungs to prairie dust and radical 20 degree daily temperature ranges, I finally have some time to update. Since I last posted, we have not necessarily made any significant progress on the house, but have spent our time sourcing out local product and contractors that are willing to work within our heritage and environmental parameters and that don’t cost a fortune. Needless to say, we have yet to find a contractor...

We have focused initially on the kitchen. It is where we spend most of our time and is almost totally original: original faux marble formica counters, chrome oven fan, wooden cabinets with original hardware and the wallpaper. Oh yes, the wallpaper.

Esme showing off the lovely wallpaper in our kitchen. Note replaced linoleum flooring in 'Brown Flowers Splattered on a Boring Cream Checkerboard' (Courtesy 1972)

The floors were changed out to (bad) brown floral linoleum in the 1970s (see above). We changed the floor out immediately when we moved in.

I have dreamed (in a totally dorky way that one dreams of flooring) of having marmoleum since I first saw it in an abandoned 1930s rooming house at an old psychiatric care facility in Coquitlam, BC (true story). I loved the colours, the pattern and when I did some research, found out that it is as environmental as it gets! Yippee!

Primarily composed of linseed oil,wood flour and pine resins, Marmoleum is excellent if you are environmentally conscious, easy to clean and is asthma and allergy friendly (a prereq. for everything in my life these days)…

We found what we were looking for at Deerfoot Carpet & Flooring (We heart Corrine) on 12th Street SE in Calgary. We went with Armstrong Marmorette Commercial Flooring with NaturCote in Obsidian, a rich, luxurious dark gray. They installed it that week.

Love BUT shows every bit of food and dust. Noticed how little black food we eat when I'm sweeping 39 times a day. Worth the sweeping though...

This was our first rehabilitation project (replacing with a period appropriate product when original is not known). We didn’t know what the original kitchen flooring was so went with a product that was popular in the 1950s but selected a colour that is modern and suits our taste. And the results? Ooo La la (scroll down for results).

Next on the agenda was to replace the 'oh so lovely' grease-ridden appliances that didn’t work. Need a reminder?

For some reason, we selected all Samsung appliances in stainless steel. All from Sears. The stove is pretty cool and actually has a setting for Kosher cooking. A Jewish stove. Nifty!

While the girls and I were in Vancouver, we hired painters (the lovely guys at Harding’s Painting - highly recommended) to refinish our cupboards in white. We replaced the door hardware with more a more streamlined chrome design from Handles and More in the NE. A reminder of the original hardware. A tad ornate for my style.

Now what you’ve all been waiting for: Before

Will you look at the size of that fridge??? (Now our 'beer fridge' in the basement. Reduce, reuse, recycle!)

And for the sake of what has yet to be done in the kitchen, let’s call this a 'Demi-After':

Jason is smiling here because I finally chose some handles. We were 'cupboardless' for weeks and it drove him nuts.

Our cute little French Door fridge. The corner cupboards whirl around like a merry go round. Fun trick for parties...

On the to do list for the rest of the kitchen:

  • Removing the lovely clock wallpaper;

Art courtesy of Lily.

  • Painting walls (Benjamin Moore, Wickham Grey with Pratt & Lambert, Sea Crystal (a light sea glass aqua) on the ceiling);

Mason jar and bottle (from antique store in Cranbrook) inspiration for ceiling and glass tile colour. Vases from Crate & Barrel. Antique fruit stand. Real lemons.

  • Installing grey formica (Rock of Ages - see last picture) to replace original formica that is peeling up and covered in cigarette burns
Yes, that IS my hand going underneath the formica. Apparently this formica pattern was only made in Canada.

  • Installing sea glass aqua glass tiles for backsplash
  • New chrome sink and vintage inspired tap to replace one that just doesn’t seem to turn off
  • Roman shades which I will be sewing myself (read: we will never have a roman shade on our kitchen window because I am a massive procrastinator)

Fabric for roman shades and formica sample for counter

Lot's more to come. Stay tuned...



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