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  • Writer's pictureSusan Wilson

Before and After: A beautiful new kitchen in an historic farmhouse

We gave it all the modern conveniences the owners were craving, while honouring the age and style of their home.

Rustic kitchen vignette with butcher block counter
Antique oil painting the homeowners brought back from a recent trip to Europe

The owners of this designated historic farmhouse appreciate their home's beautiful and soulful details from the past: deep generous mouldings, beautifully aged floorboards, interesting nooks and crannies at every turn. They love the abundant charm and patina that comes with an older home. But that charm was sure harder to love when it came to the existing kitchen: downsized in an earlier remodel, it was cramped and ineffective, cut off from the living space beside it. It was especially frustrating because both of them love to cook and to entertain.

This before shot shows one side of the kitchen; the other side had only a small patch of counter, with no landing spot beside the range.

Before shot
Before: this was about it for counter space!

The main focus of this renovation was to give them a place where they could BOTH be preparing a meal together (there wasn't enough room for two in the old kitchen!) while chatting with their dinner guests. They wanted all the perks of a modern kitchen: stainless steel professional appliances, a large island, a designated breakfast bar, and plenty of easy-to-access storage.

When planning the layout behind their new island, I made sure to off-set the sink prep zone from the range cooking zone, so that the husband and wife could each work in that area without the dreaded 'bumping bums'. It also had the added advantage of making the custom plaster range hood an attractive focal point in the sight line through from the dining room. Always making sure every little detail enhances the space! ;)

Rustic kitchen with slate floor, butcher block counter, plaster vent hood
Plenty of room for two chefs here

The separate breakfast bar on the far side of the island means family members can tend to their caffeine needs without entering the work zone of the kitchen. So everyone's happy!

A prime focus for me on this project was to give these lovely clients a 'high-functioning' kitchen that works with (and enhances) their day-to-day lifestyle; however, it was also important to me that the new kitchen felt authentic within the context of this historic home. Every detail was filtered through the lens of 'historic farmhouse', while being careful to mix in pieces and materials from various time periods, in order for it to not feel 'theme-parky' as I call it. This is important in any space, to avoid it feeling one-note, and to create a timeless look that will look great years from now. If you want to read about how to create a timeless interior, you can visit this recent blog post (but finish this one first! some pretty pics still to come below!).

white kitchen with antique pine hutch
This antique hutch adds contrasting patina to the all-new kitchen cabinetry

As a nod to the time period this house was built in, details like stone flooring, painted wooden knobs, a free-standing antique hutch, and a vintage leaded window were incorporated into the newly remodelled space.

white kitchen, butcher block counters, farmhouse sink slate floors, leaded antique window
The leaded paned window adds character and lets light flow through from the window in the adjoining mudroom

kitchen renovation
One of the homeowners giving the window a test run!

kitchen with butcher block countertop, vintage vignette
The wooden countertops will age beautifully over the years, just like these old vases

So space and function, check. Authentic feel, check. One other thing to be addressed: LIGHT.

This kitchen had very little natural light, and we wanted the new space to feel light, airy and happiness-inducing. That meant blowing out the end wall in order to add a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows with a garden door exiting into, well, the garden. Now the room is light-filled and cheery, and there's a nice cozy spot to curl up and enjoy the sun's rays, or chat with the chef while dinner is being prepared. Heaven!

Kitchen reading chair with vintage slipcover, reading sconce
This comfy armchair with a vintage slipcover is perfect, and ties in with the colours in the rest of the home

Blowing out the end wall and incorporating the sunporch into the kitchen meant cranking up the sloped roof. Fun!

kitchen reno under construction new garden doors
The family dog claimed her favourite spot in the sun long before the reno was complete

And just to give you an idea of the authenticity of this historic farmhouse, here's a pic of something interesting found in the walls during the demo (If you're weak of stomach, just skim quickly past this!):

Hmmm, an animal hoof, stuck in the wall

Ugh! And now to counter that last image, I think I better finish this post by leaving you with a pretty shot of the kitchen as you enter from the dining room--imagine your feet stepping down onto the cozily heated stone floors here to get the full experience.

White rustic farmhouse kitchen with slate floors, butcher block counters, plaster hood vent
This view makes me smile!

I hoped you enjoyed walking through this project with me--I loved working on it, the homeowners are thrilled with their new kitchen, and are enjoying a flurry of entertaining every weekend now that they have a space where they can really cook up a storm!

If you're thinking of renovating your kitchen in the near future, please don't be shy to contact me me to see how I can help you get the kitchen of your dreams, too!

I have several posts that can help you with inspiration and direction, too:

Until next time,



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