I grew up in New York City but I’ve lived a large part of my adult life in suburbs, and ended up raising my boys in a beautiful Pacific Northwest suburb.
All that changed in 2015—I outbid 12 others for the honor of paying way over asking price for a house in the city. Seattle is experiencing growth, and the housing market is low on inventory, making for a challenging real estate market for buyers.
My new home is a 1928 stucco colonial, with a Mediterranian feel. Most of it’s original charm is untouched, including cove ceilings, lath and plaster walls, vintage crystal and brass doorknobs, picture rail molding, and other vintage artifacts. And of course the other stuff that comes with older homes, like knob and tube wiring and many layers of paint.
The one room that was a mishmash of past renovations and fittings was the kitchen. It was small, awkwardly laid out, and suffered from various period add-ons. It was converted at some point from wood to electric and gas.
I saw the renovation as an opportunity and a challenge, and it has been both. In between selling a house, renting an apartment, and finding a new house, I lost momentum, time, and space to test and write recipes. I relied on the tried and true, salads, and greek yogurt to get me through the days. I also started eating more chocolate to charge me through the work week. So I’m now in the process of reversing this course, slowly.
I thought you might find it interesting to see some before and after photos. The kitchen is more long than wide, and has two entry ways, with one leading to a stairway that leads to the backyard and then around the bend to the basement.
To make the space feel wider, the entry between the dining and kitchen was widened and the appliances and cabinets were placed along the outer walls, leaving the inner space open. I opted to have the white oak floors go across the room as opposed to the length of the house, in contrast to the vertical white oak floors in the others rooms in the house.
The only appliance I saved was the dishwasher, a Miele slimline model. I’m in awe of this European high-effciency, space-saving appliance. It fits 10 place settings plus additional bowls and extras in almost half the size of a regularly-sized dishwasher.
It’s frigid today and has been for the past two weeks, but as soon as it warms up I’m looking forward to planting a garden.
Happy New Year!
PS Here’s my Pinterest board I used for inspiration in designing the kitchen.