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markinbda

Finally! Here is our new olde kitchen...

MarkInBda
12 years ago

Good evening everybody!

I've been a long time lurker but finally decided to join and post something today for the first time. We recently renovated our kitchen (some people say we un-renovated it!) and I though I would take the opportunity to post a few pictures and would love to hear any feedback and suggestions.

We live in a 350-year old house here in Bermuda, which we do our best to fill with varied and interesting antiques and vintage items. When we bought the house the kitchen had been recently renovated (Kraftmaid cabinets, Corian countertops, etc). But our tastes run more toward the unfitted look and we resolved (almost 10 years ago) that we would eventually take everything out and go for an older look.

We started in August ripping out the cabinets, which we gave to my sister and brother-in-law for their upcoming reno. Initially I was just going to scrape the walls, patch and repaint. To make a long story short, we ended up chipping and replastering the entire room and took the opportunity to re-do the floor with half sliced Old Chicago brick. As all the pieces were shipped in we ended up having to move things around a couple times (remind me to have a plan next time!) but this is where we ended up.

Here is a picture of the before:

Here is the after from a similar angle:

A different angle:

Reverse shot:

Close-up of sink:

Close-up of bakers cabinet and plate rack:

So that's where we are right now. The 1930 Frigidaire is in restoration and should be finished by the end of January and we have to come up with some lighting options.

I want to thank the many people who post here and give their time so freely. We used this site regularly in researching various options.

Would love to hear your feedback! And feel free to ask any questions you might have.

All the best,

Mark

Comments (50)

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I need to go back and look but wanted to be the first to say it is absolutely beautiful

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I love the colors and textures .... and so impressed that you could source this stuff in Bermuda! That is not easy or economical (especially for those of us not lucky to be native!)

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  • sochi
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Mark - holy cow, that is hard core unfitted and hardcore historic! I like it and commend your determination. But, tell me - do you use your kitchen regularly? It doesn't look practical for heavy day to day use - is it? And what happened to the matrioshkas from the first kitchen??? Where did you source everything from? What kind of lighting do you have? So many questions...

    Thanks for sharing, your kitchen is fascinating.

  • marcolo
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I don't think I have ever seen a more successful reproduction of kitchen that perhaps never was, but should have been. So much to see and touch.

    BTW how do you like cooking on your 1920s range? Is that a Magic Chef? Glenwood?

  • rosie
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Terrific. Your collection looks so fitting in that old room. So nice to see what you're doing--and to be reminded we don't all have the same dreams.

    I'm just a little mystified about what advice you've taken away from here, though. Are you hiding a stainless steel dishwasher drawer or wall of easy-glide pull-out pantry cabinets somewhere? :)

  • mpagmom (SW Ohio)
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I love how your unfitted kitchen didn't fit at first. Fantastic job!!!

  • MarkInBda
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    @mtnrdredux: thanks for the feedback. The brick was sourced locally through a firm that specializes in brick, flooring and architectural salvage. Apart from 2 pie safes (not pictured), which were purchased locally, everything else was shipped in:

    the haberdashery cabinet (not pictured) came from elemental at the Old Spitalfields market in London

    the sink was purchased on eBay

    the bakers cabinet and french locker (above the sink) were purchased online from Painted Porch Antiques in Sheffield, MA

    the plate rack came from a small dealer in MI

    the 1929 Glenwood stove was purchased from Good Time Stove in Goshen, MA

    the large butcher block (36 x 50) we found in Blowing Rock, NC last month at Claude's Antiques

    @sochi: thanks for the feedback. We aren't huge cooks and certainly haven't been cooking very regularly since we've been without a full fridge and any stove for quite some time until recently. I think it will be fine for our usagee. The matrioshkas, which came from my great-Aunt's estate several years ago, are all stacked up and waiting to come out again!

    Right now for lighting we have a garish looking green Hunter ceiling fan above the butcher block island and 2 sconces which are partially blocked.

    We are looking to bring in some lighting from Radio Guy on 1stdibs, something along these lines:

    Option 1

    Option 2

  • EATREALFOOD
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    BEAUTIFUL, SIMPLE, INVITING good for you for getting rid of the cabinets. LOVE THAT LOOK and plan on doing something similar in the future in a cottage. I love kitchen furniture not fitted cabs with crowns. Nice John Boos table too.

  • sochi
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Such a cool kitchen. You've got a huge fan in me. Can't wait to see the fridge.

    I thought those were vintage Matrioshkas, every home needs one. Or three. I quite like both your lighting options, particularly option 1. Enjoy your new olde kitchen, it is a real inspiration.

  • doggonegardener
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hardcore! I want to see the rest of the house and the outside. I want to step inside in person. Sink ENVY!!!!!!!!!

    Lovely job.

    Enjoy it.

    Ne

  • MarkInBda
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks marcolo! I appreciate those kind words. Yes, we thought about a Magic Chef but ended up going with the Glenwood "Our Way". It's amazing how much heat the stovetop puts out!

    @rosie: it's interesting, because many of the postings in this forum have a different style and sensibility than we were going for but they are interesting and informative nonetheless.

    We weren't sure what flooring we were going with (cork, wood, brick, etc) and some of the posts here helped. At one point we weren't sure if we were going to have some countertops and so we were able to review different options. We found a couple great posts about pantries that convinced us that we could turn a pokey little bathroom off the dining room into a pantry and we could put the dishwasher, some additional storage and a small freezer in there. And finally, just scouring around the forum looking for different photos of older kitchens, sinks, etc was really useful.

    So although I did have to search around quite a bit, I did find a lot of useful info here. It's one of the reasons I posted my pics and comments in case anyone down the road finds them useful.

  • User
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Very cool - love the sink and all the rough wood. Please post more photos of your house - not very often you get to see pics of a 350 year old house in Bermuda!

  • katieob
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow- You did a super job! I love the brick! We're planning similar brick for our mudroom/foyer.

    I had the best bar night of my life at Henry the VIII, about 10 years ago.

  • dianalo
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    OMG! I just love it all! It looks like the food tastes excellent, if that makes any sense...... I imagine the food all made from scratch and no artificial ingredients.
    What it lacks in endless counters, it makes up for in serious elbow room and real work surfaces.
    One GW touch I can see is you have definite zones ;)
    If you feel so inclined, I'd love to see some of the rest of your house. 350 years old and in Bermuda sounds lovely, esp if you are putting the kind of care into it that I see in the kitchen!

  • suzanne_sl
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I just figured it out! I kept looking at your kitchen and wondering what it was reminding me of. I got it - I'm looking for the orphans in "Annie" to come singing and dancing through there.

    Do you have any idea who lived in that house, or had it built, in the mid-1600s? Do you see evidence that there was once a large fireplace in the kitchen area, or did they do outdoor fireplaces in Bermuda? Thanks for sharing something really different from what we usually see.

  • doggonegardener
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    where's the fridge going to go?

    can't quit looking at this. it's awesome.

  • formerlyflorantha
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Very interesting un-do. I'm very interested in the late 18th and early 19th century and have done some cooking in a few extant buildings from that period here in Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Canada so bear with me, please. I've also visited a historic property in Curacao that had a functional kitchen and such. I keep looking and looking at your posting and thinking about those 350 years.

    Was yours always a small property or is it part of an original high-end large estate?

    Was there originally an open hearth? Was there a summer kitchen?

    Do you also cook and/or eat outdoors? Is there a patio?

    How many people use this kitchen now? Do you cook regularly? Do you entertain very much?

    Are other people also working on un-doing places like yours? If so, is yours unique or like theirs?

    How do your legs and feet fare on the brick floor?

    Tell us about the lighting and about how much natural light you have in daytime?

    When it comes to special antique vs. functionality, which wins out in your world? Was your old kitchen dysfunctional or just an oxymoron?

  • MarkInBda
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    A few people have requested that I post some additional photos so I just went up and snapped some shots of areas that were pretty tidy.

    One of the bricks - I love that these random bricks appear throughout the kitchen:

    Closer shot of the stove:

    One of the pie safes:

    The other pie safe and haberdashery cabinet:

    Artist's interpretation (William Chadwick) of what our house looked like in the 1920s. He apparently stayed in our house for a summer while painting in Bermuda:

    Dining Room 1:

    Dining Room false gable end:

    Dining Room 2:

    Living Room backing on kitchen:

    Guest Bedroom 1:

    Guest Bedroom 2:

    Guest bedroom 3:

    Feel free to ask questions (if you have any) about the house. When things are a bit more tidy around here I'll post some pictures of the downstairs master suite if people are interested.

    Good night!

  • steff_1
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow, great job and great choices. Those light options are both excellent too.

    I would definitely need a few more landing spots for the oven and sink though.

  • Frankie_in_zone_7
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I like the natural materials color scheme and rustic elements, but I am not getting the functionality and clean-ability of it all. I guess for my cooking, I would need something not quite so historical.

  • MarkInBda
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks for your questions florantha, I'll do my best to answer.

    The house is probably closer to 400 years old. We're lucky enough to live in one of only 100 Grade 1 listed properties in Bermuda. Although only a cottage, our house was the main house on a 21 acre share (one of the original Bermuda lots owned by the original shareholders in The Bermuda Company). The house to our west used to be the carriage house for the property and the house to the east of us was an outbuilding for animals.

    What is now the kitchen is thought to have been the original entrance hall with two doors into the main gable of the house with one of the rooms being for guests, the other for family. The roof would have originally been thatched with palm. The rafters (and most of the collar ties) are original. Four years ago we did a major restoration/renovation. All collar ties were taken down and cleaned up and bolted on to the rafters (instead of the iron nails and copper screws that were falling apart). Beams were added across three of the rooms to tie the walls together. Bermuda cedar "knees: were added to the corners where possible for lateral stability and some of the collar ties that were too degraded were replaced. We also did a major renovation to the lower level which, up until that point, we hadn't been using. We knocked down some walls, moved a bathroom, dug under the dining room to add a walk in closet.

    The downstairs (where our master suite is now) was originally the slave quarters and there was a huge cooking fireplace down here that was turned into a closet in the 70s and now serves as a bar area. Most of the cooking was probably done down here. There are three other fireplaces in the house (one we believe to be a 2-story double-flued fireplace).

    There's no outdoor stove but we do barbecue and eat out by the pool in the backyard.

    There is only my wife and I in the house (plus 3 indoor and 3 outdoor cats). We don't cook too much but I do love cooking and want to do more of it. We don't entertain that often but the house does have great flow for entertaining in a mingly sort of way. Lots of little seating areas inside and out.

    I don't know of anyone else doing what we've done to our kitchen. Quite frankly a lot of people think we're weird but that's OK! I'd say our house is pretty unique outside of some of the properties run by the National Trust and historical societies.

    For both my wife and I the brick floors are surprisingly comfortable on the feet, even bare feet.

    Haven't got the lighting sorted out yet, hopefully in the next couple months. Even with push out shutters on the windows we get tons of natural light in daytime with the five windows.

    We love the antiques but ultimately there needs to be functionality. DW talked about having just a hand pump for water and that was a little too rustic for me! Wood burning stove would have been too much as well. There won't be any stainless or plastic appliances in the kitchen. I really think we've achieved the right blend of form and function.

  • sochi
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm swooning. Thanks so much for the additional pictures, what a house. Please forgive the gushing. We get awfully excited when something unique and creative comes along. And your pictures will inspire many, I have no doubt.

    If your home is ever in some kind of Bermuda open house tour please let me now. I think the flight from Toronto to Hamilton is only a couple or three hours...

  • MarkInBda
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I definitely hear what some of you are saying about the functionality and I know it wouldn't work for everyone.

    There will likely be some sort of surface under at least one of the windows (to the right of the sink and to the right of the stove) but we haven't found those pieces yet. We want to live with it for a while to figure out what we need to fill those spots.

    The center butcher block is 36" x 50" which provides a huge (for us who aren't chefs) amount of space and the 30" x 61" bakers cabinet is also a great prep area.

    Knowing really nothing about proper kitchen design may end up being a blessing and a curse, who knows? We went with what "felt right" and it remains to be seen if, six months or a year down the road, we'll be kicking ourselves because it's not as useable as we hoped.

    The great thing is that everything is unfitted and can be moved around (within reason).

  • LottieS
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I love the feeling of history in your home. Thanks so much for posting the pictures of your other rooms and giving us a bit of your home's background. I agree with Sochi and would love to tour it. The picture of your home is beautiful. Someday if you have the time I would like to hear more about it's history.

  • mudhouse_gw
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    What a treat to have a look inside such a remarkable home. Completely fascinating, and quite beautiful (this rare home has obviously landed in the right hands.) Thank you so much for posting.

  • enduring
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your kitchen and house with us. I can't comprehend 350+ years!

  • littlealexa
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    There is so much simple beauty to it, its hard to believe that it never was there before. Its completely fitting to you house. I love all your elements in the kitchen but that plate rack is amazing! Oh, it's all breathtaking!!!

  • tinker_2006
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Love it, just love it!!

  • User
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Mark played his own "design around this" thread and is a tour de force.

    I saw mention of 3 GUEST (underscore, bold-face, large font) rooms...

  • eandhl
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow, Beautiful, just beautiful. This is the greatest restoration kit I have ever seen. Wonder home. Thank you for sharing!

  • beachpea3
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Mark,
    Wow!! Love your restoration of your lovely home and the repurposing/unfitting of your "new" olde kitchen. Every touch is a kiss of perfection. Your wonderful finds and bits and pieces make the kitchen! Hard to pick favorites - but the brick floor, the stove and the baker's table start the list. Thank you for sharing your kitchen and your home with us. You and your DW have done a fabulous job! It is a real labor of love...and it shows everywhere! Please keep posting pictures so that we can feast on the rest!
    Wish you lived closer - I would love your input for my slightly younger home (c. 1680).

  • macybaby
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I'm in love too - the whole house looks wonderful.

  • herbflavor
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    love the beams..original, I assume...Is the treatment[color, surface] of the walls completed...I would have thought color to walls would have been introduced along a point somewhere in time....perhaps this is just your choice? Will there be a place to sit in the kitchen[small chair or stools?]or is it more "complete the task" and migrate up to the dining area? Very nice, heartfelt work. I like the bedrooms, as one who's stayed in many listed B and B's.

  • dejongdreamhouse
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow! It's like our own version of House Hunters International. Very cool!

    I love your haberdashery cabinet. I'd love a modern version of that for my Corning ware!

  • MarkInBda
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    @herbflavor: when scraping the walls we did come across some color (light blues and light greens) but we decided to go with what, for Bermuda, is a more classic and simple look. Being essentially a farmhouse, for most of the room's history it was simply whitewashed.

    So we went with that look rather than adding color that might clash with the brick or take away from the simpler elements of the room. There are some white spaces in the room that need filling.

    I think the gable end above the beam (over the sink area) is screaming for something like an antique wind vane or other piece of rustic metal folk art, if we can get one at a reasonable price.

    I'm not sure I'm 100% sold on the collection of glassware, mixers, etc on top of the stove. I feel like we could put an L shaped shelf (from some sort of reclaimed lumber or antique floor or barn siding) in the corner there above the stove, which would help to fill that space a little and provide some additional room for display of our yelloware, treen, etc
    Would welcome any feedback on how to fill some of the white spaces.

  • honorbiltkit
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Compliments on establishing a "back kitchen," where the useful but wrong-vibe mod cons can be nearby but out of sight. Is the fridge being restored a monitor top or some other model?

    Anyway, the spaces of your house are sublime and very worthy of the attention you have given them. Your house is fortunate to have your and your wife, and you two are equally fortunate to have it, as both a dwelling and a project.

    Here's to your ushering in a major trend in un-tarting up wonderful old houses.

    Please keep us apprised.

  • chicagoans
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Your house is just wonderful! Like others, I'm swooning too.

    I love the brick floor -- I grew up in a house with Chicago bricks like those and there are many still visible on the older buildings in our business district, so it feels 'like home' to me. (Except for the awesomeness of living on an island in a 350 year old home!)

    I also think it's really cool that you know and appreciate some of the history of your home, and that you have an old painting of it!

    Congrats on a wonderful job.

  • steff_1
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Your house is gorgeous and the work you've done is fantastic.

    With the addition of a couple flexible and appropriate work tables as mentioned, you shouldn't kick yourself at all.

    A shelf above the stove is a good idea, you'll want to avoid wood antiques there since it might get too hot. An old metal unit or shelf could look like something that might have been added along the way.

  • clubcracker
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ooh I love it! I am saving this thread for inspiration as I work on our kitchen and decorating all of our 1750's cottage in New England - your home is so charming and your decor welcoming.

    Did you re-hab the stove yourself? Did you have to upgrade its inner workings (?) to bring it up to code?

  • beachpea3
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh and as to your lighting options. I lean towards Option #1

  • CEFreeman
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I found I'm sitting here with my mouth hanging open, saying, "Oh, My, God." "Wooooowwwwwww" again and again.

    What a fabulous home.
    Thank you for sharing these. I can't believe how beautiful it is!

  • dianalo
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Just amazing how the rooms flow and the furniture is perfect in them. I would love a house like that. If that makes you weird, then I am weird too....

    BTW - option 1 for the lights if I forgot to mention it above.

  • lisa_a
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh, my goodness! I don't think I've ever seen a home remodeled to museum quality unless it was a museum! Seriously, I feel like I've stepped through time in your home. It's obviously a labor of love. We don't have homes of the age of your home in my neck of the woods. It's a treat to see yours. Thank you for sharing.

    I love your brick floors.

  • prill
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    WOW, I commend you! Not many people would do a renovation like yours. It's really wonderful. And the rest of your house is perfect. It also doesn't hurt that I love antiques too and collect pie safes and yellow ware. So, it's all right up my alley.

    Bermuda is my favorite place in the world. We come over every year from Mass. I'd say we've been there at least 20 times. It's like a little slice of heaven. Congratulations on a wonderful job.

    I also like lighting option 1.

  • lala girl
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    The kitchen and the house are stunning. The texture and character are amazing and just full of neat details - what an amazing space!

  • misntroya
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This is a fantastic kitchen, right up my alley. As soon as I read your second sentence I knew I would love it.
    Our kitchen reno will include vintage appliances, the 1920s Magic Chef stove and monitor top GE fridge, but DH said no to the sink. (He previously tore one out, said it splashed too much, darn it.) Anyway, this is so right for your home and I wish you all the luck with it.

  • chris11895
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    BEAUTIFUL!

  • twodogs_sd
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Beautiful choices, Mark.

    There is a local place near me comprised of historic, restored buildings (1900-ish rather than 1700-ish), and I am drawn every time we visit to the kitchens recreated in these houses. They are very similar to what you've put together (cruder, however, as these are simple prairie homes). Storage requirements were much less: they had no fancy implements, and food storage was limited to few basic ingredients. As for counter space - they didn't know they needed it :).

    I would lean more towards this direction, but DH thinks I'm cracked.

    The one thing that would drive me crazy is the lack of landing for dirty dishes/clean dishes around the sink. I have that problem now, except that I do have some space.

  • colorfast
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    This is seriously fascinating. I truly love your sink--it reminds of me of the American style farmhouse sink in my grandma's farmhouse, although hers had a built-in drainboard. It appears to me you have one side in use for your drying rack and the other for washing. Might be nice for somewhere to set your dirty dishes until you're ready to wash, (especially when you're still prepping there) so I agree that you need a bit more counter/flat space.

    The other things I think you are lacking are a garbage can and compost bin that fit with the spirit of your kitchen. If it were my kitchen, I would also like a way to have a couple of my favorite knives close to where the chopping takes place, presumably the butcher block.

  • sis2two
    12 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Can I come live there?