1930s kitchen remodel
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1930s Kitchen Design: Before and After

File this one under B for better late than never — but since I’m on a remodeling-post roll, I’m inspired to share a couple of before-and-after photos from our 1930s kitchen remodel… which we completed two years ago.

I can’t overstate how much I loved this house when we first saw it. It felt so right. It was like that magical Say Yes to the Dress moment. Is this the one? Oh yes, gurrrl, this is the one. But I’ve said a hundred times before on this blog, the only thing not ideal about this house is its size, at about 1,350 square feet. (Fine for a couple, but not so much for growing into as a family.) The kitchen was among the rooms in particular that did not feel large, but part of the problem wasn’t actually the size itself, but rather the dearth of storage. There seemed to be just a few cabinets willy nilly, but nothing that maximized the space.

Further, what we call the kitchen is actually a series of three adjoining spaces: breakfast nook, kitchen proper, and service porch. We considered busting through some walls to make one connected space, but decided against it for the reason that we thought those special little spaces kind of held the vintage charm we love about our house overall.

So, working with my mother-in-law decorator Linda Rosen of Linda Rosen Interiors, what we did is added custom cabinets to high heaven, maximizing storage in every way possible. In the breakfast room, we added floor-to-ceiling corner cabinets against one wall, and a banquette with bench-storage seating against the opposite side that is pretty much now my favorite little place to sit in the house.

We replaced the sad linoleum and tiled the floor in those hexagonal black-and-white tiles that to me scream “bistro,” and used a black Caesarstone counter- and bar-top (that would foreshadow the same material in our new bathroom!), as well as used it to create an enclosure for the existing stove so it looks (and is) more built in — and even that decision yielded more cabinet space around it.

So do we have a massive kitchen in the end? No. (We just travel when we want islands.) But we have something sweet and special and in keeping with the vintage spirit of our 1930s home — and it works for us.

Ready for a little tour?

1930s kitchen remodel: before

1930s kitchen remodel

Sweet jalousy windows (not)!

1930s kitchen remodel

Very inspiring two-tone minty cabinet color and linoleum flooring (not)! Can’t understand the ’60s/’70s decisions here.

1930s kitchen remodel

This light fixture reminded me of an interrogation room. And why the heavy wooden blinds? There’s so much light to be had.

1930s kitchen remodel: …during…

1930s kitchen remodel

Oven enclosure: totally key!

1930s kitchen remodel

Tile going in…

1930s kitchen remodel

Ooh, ahh! There’s storage space in them thar bench seats! Also, see the open doors to the corner cabinets on the opposite wall…

1930s kitchen remodel: after!

1930s kitchen remodel

Et voila! Note the built-in feel for the existing oven/range, and the way we managed to grab extra cabinetry next to and above it. The refaced cabinets have reeded glass fronts, and the new bay window literally adds volume to the room. Carrara marble subway tiles serve as the back splashes. To the back, the service porch has floor-to-ceiling cabinets and pantries out of view.

1930s kitchen remodel

The breakfast room is now probably my favorite little place in the house. The new built-in bench seating is full of useful storage, as are the corner cabinets that face it (out of view). The light fixture is vintage repro from our very fave American-made Rejuvenation (and there’s a smaller, matching one hanging in the service porch). The marble-topped table is from Crate&Barrel. The cushion was custom upholstery and not cheap, but the only option for such an irregularly-shaped seat. The cat is from the South Central Los Angeles shelter. (Rescue a pet today!)

So that’s it! What do you think?


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1 Comment

  • Reply Anonymous March 22, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    Hi. I love the remodel.

    We have a 1931 Craftsman and I’m looking to paint my kitchen green. What is the name of the darker green paint color in the breakfast nook?

    We are thinking soapstone countertops, a white farmsink and white cabinets.

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