Monday, January 14, 2013

Remodeling a 1906 Kitchen ... and The Window of my Dreams

I knew what I wanted ... a window sill.  And French style panes.  And a window that opened out, all the way out.  But no one made it.  So I had to make it myself.

This is my kitchen window, and it is the window of my dreams.

It has lots of wide open time all summer.

And I love the window stay closures.  They're antique from England.

This is the window I replaced.  No sill for little vases of Lily of the Valley.
No panes. No big wide open.

And a note to anyone getting new cabinets that happens to be a ClutterBug,
just say no to the little shelves on the side of the cabinet.

They will make you crazy.

Bye Bye old window.

My personal motto is

"I don't know I can't do it until I try"
When I looked at this gaping hole, I had a moment of doubt.

But eh, I just went and got the sawz-all and made the gaping hole bigger.

This is how the window looked for a good part of that summer.
The hole was cut before I found what was going to go in it.

The original 1906 window came nearly down to the floor.  A wood cook stove
was where the gas stove is now, and a sink was on the left.  The cook stove
chimney was removed long ago, but a patch in the bead board ceiling remains where the chimney was.

Mine is the 2nd remodel of this kitchen ... the oak cabinets were
put in two owners ago as well as the window I replaced.
I was so happy to be visited by her one day.
She said the original sink was still in place when they moved in and it was set so low she had to sit on a stool to do the dishes.

The first mistress of this house was a very petite French woman, Sophie Bergeron.  Perhaps the sink was set at a custom height for her.

I finally found the window of my dreams at a salvage yard.
$25 if I remember right.

I didn't yet have anyway to keep it shut ... so a shoe lace, a wood spoon
and a screw worked just great for a few weeks.

I did take it on faith that during this big-hole-in-the-house process
that there would be no big rain storms.  Or people with bad intent. 

Of course the window of my dreams wasn't tall enough.
So I built in a transom light.

Almost done.  Transom in with the original window top casing board in place.

Getting this window done was part of getting new cabinets too.
The wall cabs are down, and the sink is temporarily back in use.

This is what started with whole remodel and the new window project ...
that GAP between the cabinets and the stove.

I wanted some counter top in that little eighteen inches next to the stove.

I call my kitchen the wide spot in the hall.  There isn't much room.

But what the kitchen lacks in space and counter tops is
made up for by a fabulous walk in pantry just off the kitchen.

My kitchen is lovely now.

That eighteen inches of counter top made all the difference in the world.

It may be a teeny tiny kitchen, but it's a well appointed teeny tiny kitchen.

There is a dishwasher to the left of the sink ... thought in such a small space it was worth the extra cost to hide it with a custom panel.

And I love the little pull out ... keeps flour and sugar handy ... and it's the only thing that would fit in that last bit of space.

The backsplash was the last detail to get done (by about a 1 year lapse).

It is two pieces of fancy trim molding from Home Depot ... an egg and dart piece sits on top of the carved piece of molding.

Both pieces were stained and then sealed with wipe-on polyurethane 

And for the quilting part of the window story, I made a little basket valance to keep the sun out of my eyes while doing dishes ... it's a south facing window.

The valance gets a little stained glass affect
when the sun comes through.
Very cheerful.
The before window ...

... with the magnificent Queen Elizabeth Rose that I planted in front of the window so I would always have roses in the window in the summer.

Queen Elizabeth will grow as tall
as you let her ... the rose is now all the way up to the soffits.

The window after ... I just love it!

... and roses in my window.


  1. This is so beautiful, I know you will enjoy it in the summer.

    1. Thank you Mary ... I'm very pleased the result, and looking forward again to summer breezes and big pink roses.

  2. Wow!! You did this yourself? It all is so nice! I'd love a window like this; my kitchen is now where the original living room was.

    1. I'm sort of an extreme do-it-yourselfer. Have never had a pocketbook to match my 'vision' so decided at some point that there was nothing to lose by trying ... and then found it was sorta fun to amaze myself by doing something I had no clue I could do.

      Gotta say this old house has wore me out tho, if you have an old house you know what I mean ... but happily I am done with major projects.

  3. Very nice indeed, how your house came out. And the valance is beautiful.
    I´m a beginner in quilting since last year. Living in Sweden in a house from 1909
    which my Grandfather built.

    1. You are so blessed Anna-Karin to live in the house your grandfather built ... it is wonderful to have that thread that ties you to your heritage. Happy quilting journey to you!

  4. The window of your dreams will not always fit the big gaping hole. Sometimes you need to learn how to build transoms and make it work. See what I did there? :)

    You are right, your kitchen is very lovely now. The new cabinets (or are those the old ones minus the little shelves?) look great in that corner, and the design on the backsplash really looks classy.

    Camille Edington

  5. Impressive job! Your new window is so adorable. I also do love French style panes because of its transparency. Also, the new structure of your window will help improve the ventilation in your home.

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