Country Charm Fills Remodeled Kitchen

Bonnie F., Russell, Kansas

Bonnie F., Russell, Kansas

I’m happiest when I have a project to work on, and my husband, Clair, and I always seem to have something in the works. We have restored several homes over the years, so when it came time to remodel the kitchen in our 1915 Craftsman bungalow, our do-it-yourself skills came in handy.

Clair acted as the general contractor, and we did all the designing, painting and wallpapering ourselves.

The original kitchen was a small 11-by 13-foot room with five doorways and just 4 feet of counter space. A tiny table for four fit in the center of the room, but if you had to open the refrigerator, someone at the table had to move. I had to store pots and pans in the laundry room and basement.

We had remodeled once, knocking out the wall between the kitchen and dining room. We used my antique seed cabinet, from a nearby general store, as a divider.

"Before" remodelingThe kitchen was still congested when I cooked for holidays and whenever more than two people were in the room. I wanted more space for storage, cooking and entertaining friends and family.
Clair and I share six grown children and 16 grandchildren. (This is the second marriage for both of us.) Clair was the city’s park superintendent for 30 years, and I owned an antiques shop. We also ran a bed-and-breakfast. Now, we’re retired, but still enjoy antiquing.

Country Charmer replaces Cooped-Up Kitchen

I thought adding 4 or 5 feet to the kitchen would help, but we kept expanding on our design until it became a new 17- by 18-foot addition on our home.

The new kitchen has a real country feel, inspired by my chicken collection. I have rooster lamps and chicken-motif pottery, wallpaper and tablecloths, and my mother’s chicken-shaped cutting board, to name a few. There’s even brass chicken wire on the display cabinets instead of glass!

Country Charmer replaces Cooped-Up KitchenThe collection also inspired the red- and-yellow color scheme. Most of the cabinets, made of natural alder wood, are stained yellow chiffon with a white glaze. A few are stained antique barn red. They provide ample storage space. Two deep pull-out drawers under the cooktop hold my pots and pans. There are pull-out shelves, four lazy Susans and a pantry next to the refrigerator.

The bead-board ceiling is reminiscent of a country porch. We chose laminate flooring—in the “Haystack” pattern—rather than wood for comfort. The foam layer underneath makes it easy on your legs when cooking and cleaning up.

Also for comfort, I had the dishwasher raised 18 inches off the floor to save on back strain.