We started the process for remodeling this kitchen with the owner listing their dislikes of current space and their dreams for the remodeled kitchen. Dislikes were centered around the dark crowded feeling and the homey site built, yet inefficient and ill fitting, cabinetry. Light, a bigger sink, a good stove vent, and more storage topped the list of desired items. The owners also wanted the style of the cabinets to reflect the age and style of the rest of their 1860’s farmhouse which they had lovingly restored.
Once we started tearing out, we discovered that there were 4 layers of walls and 3 ceiling layers This meant that we could not measure for the new cabinets until we torn out the layers of previously remodeled walls: we gained 7” to the width of the room and 8″ in height. Additionally things were terribly out of level and square. The walls that we rebuilt for cabinets were anywhere from ½” to 2” out of plumb. The floor also drops 1 ¼” in 8’ and the ceiling slopes in the opposite direction 1 ¾” in 5’. The result of this was that there was an eight week delay after the tear out and rebuilding to level walls until we got the cabinets to install. Nothing like a hundred and forty year old house!
The window over the sink was enlarged and punched out into a box bay which essentially adds 7 square feet to the room and gives a wonderfully deep counter to balance the 42” farm sink.
The soap stone slabs for the counter came from a company in New Jersey and we milled them (including the drain board) on site in the driveway . The sink we had the same company make to our specifications and weighs about 450lbs empty.
A commercial vent hood is hidden in the cabinet over the stove. I wanted to have a clean line here with out the modern appearance of a visible hood, this one could be hidden in the cabinet and didn’t need to use the tale tell vent hood. When it is on high, you can look out the window and see the tree eight feet away from the exhaust flap blowing like it was in a thunderstorm. Wonderful for steamy canning on hot August days.
The addition of a vegetable sink near the stove makes food prep a smooth route from fridge to sink to stovetop.
Though many historic renovations use refurbished or reproduction appliances, the decision was made to stay with the current integrity of the tools of the kitchen and acknowledge there present presence. I believe that a serious nod is given here to the spirit of the history yet with an acceptance of the present.