Kitchen Makeover for Century-old Home

1960s-era kitchen modernized using recycled materials.

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old home, Before

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old home

BEFORE. Over 100 years of homeowners and change had left Laura Cameron-Behee’s turn-of-the-century home with space issues and inadequate wiring. Photography by Roger Turk.

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old home, After

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old home

AFTER. Laura’s updated kitchen has both character and convenience. When Laura rescued this circa 1920 kitchen sink, all it needed was a little scrubbing and some new fixtures. Photography by Roger Turk.

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old home, Before

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old home

BEFORE. Photography by Roger Turk.

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old home, After

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old home

AFTER. The combination dining area/sunroom is a far cry from the crowded eating space the family originally had. Photography by Roger Turk.

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old home, Before

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old Home

BEFORE. Photography by Roger Turk.

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old Home, After

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old Home

AFTER. The renovation included the laundry area and bathroom just beyond. Stacking the washer and dryer made room for a skirted sink. Photography by Roger Turk.

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old home, Before.

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old Home

BEFORE. Photography by Roger Turk.

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old home, After

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old Home

AFTER. The antique Wedgewood stove is perfect for canning, Laura says, and has even inspired her to learn to bake bread. Photography by Roger Turk.

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old home, After

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old Home

AFTER. Homage to the past. When Laura Cameron-Behee “modernized” her 1960s-era kitchen, she wanted to do it in a way that fit her century-old home and used recycled materials. The rooster collection recalls the organic farm where she grew up. Laura made her own shelf paper, using a big roll of newsprint and fruit-shaped stamps. Photography by Roger Turk.

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old home, After

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old Home

AFTER. Laura especially loves its retro-style phone nook. The black dial phone it holds belonged to her grandmother, and it still works great, she says. Photography by Roger Turk.

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old Home, After

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old Home

AFTER. The finished product! Photography by Roger Turk.

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old Home, Laura

Kitchen Makeover for Century-old Home

Laura relaxes in her new kitchen. Photography by Roger Turk.

 

By Laura Cameron-Behee
Everett, WA

Step into my newly renovated kitchen, and you may well feel like you’ve stepped back 100 years. When we bought this 1910 house back in 1999, my husband, Roland, and I knew it would need a lot of work. But the neighborhood was perfect for our growing family, and we felt up for the challenge of restoring the home’s original charm.

I learned during my research (I’m a historian) that the home had been through many owners and changes. I especially looked forward to remodeling the kitchen and laundry area, because a 1960s update had left it with poor traffic flow and inadequate wiring. The turning point in the project came when I got kitchen designer Chandra Sadro involved. We’d become friends during my time on the Everett Historical Commission, and with Chandra’s vision and skills, our vision became real.

Now We’re Cooking!

A wonderful 1950 Wedgewood gas stove I found in a local antique stove shop anchors the kitchen. Big enough to handle all my large pots and canning equipment, it’s even inspired me to learn to bake bread!

Beyond the stove, Roland and I had a long wish list—a breakfast nook, a pantry, sunroom, laundry and a bathroom with a shower. Chandra, working with our contractor, bumped out the footprint a few feet into the backyard, so our breakfast room could also serve as a sunroom.

I love the sunroom phone nook—it reminds me of one we had in our first apartment, in a 1920s building. And yes, that old black dial phone—my grandmother’s—still works! The millwork in our new bead board ceiling and backsplash matches the original. And a local company custom-made inset cabinet doors for us.

Our new countertops are made of Lyptus, a sustainable hardwood developed for fast harvest to avoid depleting old-growth forests. It takes little care. We rub it monthly with mineral oil, and any stains can be removed with light sanding. I considered hardwood floors, but opted instead for easy-care linoleum.

A Real Find

Maybe the most outstanding example of our “reuse and recycle” motto is that big, deep 1920s sink, a casualty of someone else’s kitchen update. It was just sitting in the alley, and I talked the homeowner into parting with it. All it needed was a little cleanser and new fixtures. The doors and hardware were also salvaged, as were the bathroom fixtures. We recycled some lighting fixtures as well.

Guests sometimes question how I can live without a microwave or dishwasher.

I don’t! Look closely—the microwave is hidden above my blue canisters, to the left of the stove. A cabinet front left of the sink conceals my dishwasher.

I’m just delighted at how well our back-to-the-future renovation turned out and at how much easier it’s become to host our big family get-togethers. I’m not sure Mrs. Isabella Waddingham, the original lady of the house, would recognize her kitchen today. But, I have to think she’d approve.

Click here for a better look at Laura’s kitchen layout.

Anita 1 January 30, 2014 at 1:49 pm

just beautiful….

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Debi Senior 2 January 31, 2014 at 5:23 pm

This us a wonderful remodel! It is thoroughly updated without losing all the charm of a beautiful old home. Deliciously done!!!blove it!!

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MARTHA STRAWDER 3 January 31, 2014 at 10:35 pm

I WISH THIS WAS MY HOME.IT WOULD BE AN ANSWER TO MY DREAMS.

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