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Liberty House: The Surprising Kitchen

February 29, 2012 | 28 Comments | Kitchen, The Liberty House
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There was a point in time where I thought I’d be jumping up and down in joy (having cleared the remaining red tape from this house without being jailed for assaulting someone with a cordless drill) and would take you all on a proper tour of the place. That day may come, but it’s still at least a week or two away. In the meantime, I can’t help but keep showing you parts of the house piecemeal, since it is the thing absorbing all of my usual building-stuff time these days.

The Liberty House kitchen takes up most of the addition that was put on in the early 90’s, and has the distinction of being the only room I saw (by pressing my nose to one of the windows) before buying this place at auction. You guys, I’m a house-buying daredevil. But then again, look at this place…

DSC_0693

Right? Did you just fall out of your chair in shock? Because I basically did once I got in the house. Well, that could just be my general lack of coordination while trying to do a happy dance, but still…

Here’s a view from the other direction:

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The double doors lead out onto a good sized blank slate patio on the side of the house, which I’ve got plans for. (Badass pergola, anyone?)

This part of the room is also big enough to fit my big dining room table, which was always a pain point for me in the Memorial kitchen.

Now, this isn’t a big open-to-the-living-space kitchen like you see in houses these days… in fact, you have to traverse the world’s biggest hallway to even get to the living space. But given what I expected to find in an old farmhouse (see this one for reference) I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Of course, it needs some updating. Paint for the walls and cabinets, new appliances, maybe some dark faux beams, new counter and backsplash, and the linoleum is definitely getting replaced with something like this:

 

Yes, I’ve still got my heart set on having that brick-like herringbone floor somewhere in my life.

But the kitchen is currently functional, and even has a dishwasher. I’m sorry, I need to properly punctuate that… It even has a dishwasher!!!!! I’ve been dreaming about this day since I traded my last awesomely refinished kitchen in for doing the dishes at the hose spigot while living in a garage for a year. (The hose spigot part only lasted for a few weeks, but it was enough.)

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There are definitely some awkward things going on in here with the cabinets, and I’m not sure how I feel about the wall oven and cooktop instead of a range, but it’s minor stuff considering I don’t need to knock any walls down in here.

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Depending on how things shake out with the decent sized list of must-do projects to get the place up to snuff (I’ll share that soon) and some of the things I’ll want to knock out during the summer (uh, learning to drive a tractor so I can mow six acres of grass comes to mind) this could end up being a fall project, or I might just wait until next spring. By which I mean I’ll probably be tearing flooring up in there in approximately six weeks.

You know me, I don’t feel right living in a place that isn’t showing a little subfloor.

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DIY diva

    Comments

  • Sarah


    O.M.G. I have been waiting so patiently for this!! So pumped to see what you do. Love the brick, so charming. Painting the cabinets is a great idea otherwise there may be too much rusticness going on in there with that amazing ceiling and a brick floor.

  • Leslie @ NE Portland Bungalow


    ohmygosh I … can’t … breathe! You are so lucky! What an awesome starting point. So much potential! Love your inspiration photo, and can’t wait to see what you do with it. Enjoy!

  • Robin @ 3 Acres & 3000 sf


    Wow what a score! I love the brick looking floor plan and the cabinets are really nice. I like the arch topped window over the patio door too. Are you going to paint some of that wood paneling white or leave it natural?

    • Kit


      Definitely painting the walls white. That color of knotty pine isn’t really my fave, but as far as I can tell it was never sealed, so I may either restain the ceiling and see how I like it OR paint it white and add in some dark beams a la the Turtle House bedroom (it looks really great in their place).

  • kc


    If you get a few more donkeys you won’t need to mow!!! You’ll still need a tractor, but just let the critters mow if for you. That’s why I HAVE donkeys!!

    Kitchen is awesome and I love the brick floor plan!

    • Kit


      I know, right! I definitely need more donkeys.

  • E


    Congratulations! Your kitchen-to-be is much larger, prettier, and more functional than my upcoming project. Good luck on the red tape! I’m still swimming in paperwork myself. Keep the pictures coming!

  • Kit's Mom


    I can’t wait to help tear up some things! I also can’t wait to hug a donkey again!
    :)

  • m @ random musings


    re: the double oven/cooktop setup – if you are into cooking (or ever take it up as a hobby), this is soooooooooo much better than the traditional range setup. First of all two ovens: cook different things at different temps, how awesome is that??! Second, the two appliances aren’t on top of each other: it’s actually feasible for more than one cook to function in the kitchen. Score for big family gatherings! so jealous right now :-)

    • Kit


      Well, the way this is set up it’s an oven and a microwave, but when I replace I could get double ovens. (Although I have a REALLY good convection toaster oven, so maybe it’s a toaster oven on top and oven below?)

      I’ve gotten so used to the whole “hotplate” cooking over the last couple of years, all of these choices are overwhelming!

  • Jimmy


    First, what a find. That kitchen is pretty cool as is, and yet still has a ton of potential going forward.

    I agree with m @ random musings above. The wall oven concept is wonderful. No more bending over holding hot heavy pots and pans. It’s just all right there. And having it separate from the stove top makes a big difference when you’ve got more than one person cooking.

    Looking at the first picture I really think you should start following some Scandinavian design blogs. They have this wood-everything style down to a serious art form. If you’re using chrome you can translate the pages if needed. Hytte Magasinet is a good start.

    • Kit


      Great recommendation! I don’t even need to translate, I’m good just looking at the pics. lol

  • J.D.


    We put down brick flooring in our master bath when we built our house and we still love it. We used the “reclaimed common brick flooring” with a low gloss sealer listed toward the bottom of the link. It installs like ceramic and is easy to keep up. There are a ton of colors, shapes and other options.

    Good luck with the new place. I’ll be eagerly following along.

    http://www.bricksalvage.com/thin_brick.htm

  • Nicole @ Post Grad


    BEST. KITCHEN. EVER. Kit, you scored big time! The built-in wall oven is def a little weird. Reminds me of my grandma’s kitchen, but you can easily knock that out and put in a standard one. Also that strange baby cabinet could be replaced by something like this by the window: http://bit.ly/zuzYCO. Then again, if you get rid of the wall oven, you’ll probable knock that baby cabinet down anyway. Also, I don’t care what people have been saying about maintenance, that brick floor is to die for!

  • hjc


    A white wood ceiling with dark beams – that would be so cool (or even white beams). How exciting all this must be in the midst of the frustration of actually making it yours. You will rock tractor driving!

  • Guerrina


    Oh my gosh! What a great kitchen space! Double ovens? Keep! Brick floor? Love! Definitely needs some paint to lighten up. Maybe install a venthood over cooktop and cover to match cabinetry and a portable island for workspace between sink side & cooktop side (hard to tell size of kitchen). The dining room is awesome! Look forward to seeing more!

  • Mamie


    Can I drive the tractor?

  • Sara @ Russet Street Reno


    Wow, that is a surprise!! NICE!

  • Karen Anne


    Those wall appliances, you want to get separate ones, not one unit, so that when 20 years from now one bellies up, you can replace just that one. I would have had to do that if the local repair guys hadn’t located a part for the ancient microwave portion of mine.

    How about turning most of those six acres into a meadow? I can’t see mowing that much. How much of your life is that going to take, plus the expense, gas fumes, etc. There are people who specialize in getting meadows established.

    • Kit's Mom


      With some milkweed for the monarchs!

  • Karen Anne


    p.s. Plus, the flora and fauna will like a meadow.

  • Joseph


    Well, to each his own, but if it were me, the kitchen would be at the absolute bottom of my list of things I “just gotta remodel.” If nothing else, that room could stay as is while you go crazy with the rest of your projects. But, also, I just think it’s in wonderful shape just as it is. Cooking on a stovetop and oven is no big deal, just something else to get used to. Just sayin’.

  • "Uncle F"


    “Dear Stanley:” Verily, thine cup runneth over! Checking in late, but have to chime in! Wall ovens – keep them. Been there, done that, they’re great! Cooktop – If it’s radiant, like my range, the dam thing is constantly cycling from full off to full on, trying to seek an “average” temperature and making it effing near impossible to do something like “simmer” for x number of minutes.
    Check it out, then decide. BTW – I’m a young 79, and have seen what’s around the block more than once. I know you’ll do well!!!!!

  • "Uncle F"


    BTW: I agree with Joseph! Other projects can be done quickly and effectively, leaving you time to really plan your kitchen. “Just sayin'” (Thanks, Joseph”

  • jasonalonzo


    Great kitchen renovations, love to cook on this kitchen same like the wood fence installation LA I saw.

  • Jess


    I can’t wait till you start attacking this space (and btw, I’m definitely in the double wall oven crew. I convinced my parents to get one and it is SO MUCH BETTER)

    For some reason I can see your kitchen taking inspiration from this one:

    http://www.houzz.com/photos/1993342/North-Framingham–MA-traditional-kitchen-boston

    Except adding those beautiful brick floors (LOVE brick floors!) I’m usually a white ceilings person, but I think it might actually look really neat if you stained the ceiling panels darker (maybe using the same dark walnut stain you’ve been using on the floors?) and went with all white cabinets/white trim and maybe white walls too. I think it might make it a lot warmer and cosier seeming at night and in the winter if you had the dark ceiling. Granted, those pot lights or whatever they are might stick out a bit more on a dark ceiling, but I suppose they could possibly be replaced? It also seems like the peninsula might need to be extended a bit, but maybe that’s just the picture talking. You could do it with just some sturdy legs, or maybe a bookshelf, instead of another cabinet.

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