DIY kitchen remodel uses Western themes to create a welcoming, casual space.
By Kenda Burgett
Tell me that my kitchen reminds you of a barn, and I’ll thank you—it’s exactly the spacious, casual feel I was going for with my Western-themed makeover.
My husband, Brad, built it, and though it isn’t fancy, it perfectly fits our life here in the foothills of the Kiamichi Mountains. We have a small ranch outside blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Cloudy. (That’s our Diamond B brand on the breakfast bar.) It’s not our main livelihood—we keep a few Quarter Horses and about 25 head of cattle— but from our dirt road, you see acres of open range.
Our log-sided home actually began as a humble mobile home that we’ve expanded and improved over the last 25 years. The kitchen I cooked in while raising our three kids was little bitty—I only had three drawers! Still, we made room for the friends the kids were always bringing home. Our kitchen is where everyone congregates. I want everyone to feel comfortable, and so a few years ago, I was ready to remodel.
Some folks plan a remodel for years. Not us! Fortunately, Brad’s a trim carpenter and cabinetmaker with plenty of kitchen experience. After gutting our kitchen, he turned to me and asked, “Now, what do you want in here?”
That afternoon, I hurriedly paged through magazines to pick out features like roll-out storage for my huge flour bin, a phone hutch, a pantry and lazy Susan cabinets. Brad eyed my list and said, “Woman, I just don’t know how I’m going to get all that in here!”
But he did all that and more. I’d been dead-set against losing floor space to an island. Brad was adamant that I’d love one as a baking center, even offering to take it out in a month if I didn’t like it. And now I’m really happy he talked me into it!
Our picture window was spur-of-the-moment, too. Light was pouring through a huge hole in the back wall the day Brad was replacing the two small windows; I asked if we could have a large one instead. It gives a wonderful view of our yard and flower beds, plus the mountains beyond.
Brad was less enthusiastic at first about an aged tin ceiling, which came from a 70-year-old barn nearby. But with the rough-cut rafters, it offers a rustic feel that contrasts with the modern knotty pine and cedar cabinetry he crafted. A tile mural behind the range adds to the cowboy feel.
My tile floor is dirt-brown for a reason. There’s so much dirt out here that I just took a few sample tiles outside, poured dirt over them, and picked the closest match.
When it came time to find breakfast bar stools, I was put off by the prices of the Western-themed ones. So I went hunting down at the huge flea market in Canton, Texas, and found some that spiffed right up.
That’s how we’ve done it all our lives. We see pictures of what we like, then make up a way to do it ourselves.
Brad even made our back bar from locally harvested cedar. This area gives us plenty of extra seating when friends and family drop in. Our dining table? He made it in high school shop class.
I wouldn’t change a single thing about my kitchen. It’s beautiful, it’s functional, and it’s ours, through and through.