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Historic Cottage Kitchen with New Hues

She kept simplicity of historic cottage kitchen but added new hues, more storage.

By Rina Larabie, Port Credit, Ontario

We acquired a piece of our village's history when my husband, Ray, and I bought our farmhouse cottage in 1997.

Built around 1908, the cottage once housed workers from the former brickyard across the street. It's the last original building in the village from that era, so we were thrilled to get it.

But our little treasure needed big improvements. We had to insulate, rewire, re-plaster and put in new plumbing. And then, we tackled the kitchen.

The narrow 10-foot by 12-foot room was short on counter space, and the cabinets were too high for me (I'm barely over 5 feet tall). When we moved the old refrigerator, which hid one of the three windows, we found that the entire corner of the kitchen sagged!

Our only option was to demolish the room and start over. As we tore down the old kitchen, we tried to be environmentally friendly. We gave away the old cabinets and appliances, recycling everything except the shingles, flooring, insulation and concrete.

Considering our home's heritage, Ray and I chose to keep the kitchen the same size while making it more economical. Our art backgrounds (Ray creates typefaces and video game animation, and I'm a costume designer/seamstress) came in handy when fashioning the new space.