If our current kitchen is the dream kitchen, then our kitchen at Jackson Street was the prequel to the dream.

It all started with the floor.

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Seriously. This is the ugliest floor that EVER EXISTED. Blue flowers? Blech.

I hated this this floor, from the moment we moved in. Ideally, if we were rich, we wanted to do tile. But if we did tile, we needed to do in-floor heat. And we couldn’t afford it. Eventually, I said : “I hate this floor so much, peel-and-stick vinyl would be better. Can we just do that?”

The level of hatred was – truly – flames on the side of my face.

The room was the classic example of good bones, and horrible taste. It was big for a house built in 1875. It had GREAT windows, and great light. Lots of counters. Lots of cabinets. Just wonderful space. But, oh, the looks….

This is the day we looked at the house. The light is SO GREAT! But after walking through the beautiful downstairs filled with dark mahogany woodwork, walking into this room with country-light oak cabinets, with green laminate counters, and blue-flowered floors just…. well…. it didn’t fit.

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Am I clutching my pearls because I can’t deal? Probably.

It couldn’t be more boring, or more non-period. But, at least we had a gas stove, right?

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So not the style of the house. And that refrigerator…. oh my. The house was previously occupied by the Franklin College Baseball Team. The bars that hold food in the doors? Gone. The drawers? Gone. Hot mess.

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The breakfast nook had this light. And these curtains.

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I started with a mini-makeover that I like to call “Slightly Better Then College.”

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I hung some of my photography and a shelf. I had photography to hang on a wall, but this picture is blurry. Maybe one of the dogs took this picture. One can hope.
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I sewed some new curtains and hung some shelves.
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Pot racks are fun.

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When we bought a new light for the dining room, I refinished the OLD dining room light and switched out the boob light in the kitchen.

The before :

green 037

I started with spray paint…

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Then, silver-leafed it.

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The finished (and almost free) product. Not the greatest light, but it was ALMOST FREE.

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Also during the “Slightly Better Then College” phase, we refinished some doors and woodwork…. seriously, is there anything cooler than seeing all the colors that have been in your house when you strip the woodwork? I would KILL to know what the kitchen looked like with that teal on it.

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And I upholstered the kitchen chairs.

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But none of that fixed the real issue.

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Once we decided to do the short-term fix of vinyl, the worst (or best) words in all of renovation began to come out of both of our mouths:

“While we’re at it….”

While we’re at it, if we’re replacing the floor, let’s paint the walls.

While we’re at it, if we’re painting the walls, can I paint the cabinets?

While we’re at it, if the cabinets are coming down to be painted, when we hang them up, let’s move them to the ceiling and build some open shelving underneath.

Doug : “While we’re at it, can we get a new dishwasher? I hate ours.”

Amy : “While we’re at it, can we get a new fridge? Because FRANKLIN COLLEGE BASEBALL.”

Us : “While we’re at it, let’s get a new stove and microwave, because they will look dumb if everything else is new.”

While we’re at it, can we install this piece of stained glass I found?

Hey! We just won $1,000 from This Old House! While we’re at it, let’s use that to buy a new sink, faucet, and pot filler.

While we’re at it, can we get hardware for the cabinets? They need handles.

If you’re thinking, “Wait, didn’t she just say they had no money?” You are right. And we had even less of it when we were done. We DID do this over a pretty decent stretch of time, but still…. “While we’re at it” is the phrase of death.

But, over the next few Flashback Fridays, you’ll see how that phrase gave us this kitchen – our little jumpstart to what became the reality at Martin Place.

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4 comments

  1. Also, what paint stripper did you use? Since I chopped up all the new doors in my house and bought really beat up old ones and globs of painted over joint compound on 2 of my radiators, I have some of that to do.

  2. I use Soy Gel, primarily because I feel like my body doesn’t feel consumed by chemicals. I like it quite a bit! I’ve never had radiators (which, actually saddens me), but I would think you could use the same on it. When I’ve stripped metal before (doorknobs and hardware), I usually use a crock-pot and soapy water… but that would be one GIANT crockpot.

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