How To Renovate A 1950s Kitchen

My wife and I recently completed the renovation of our first home and are in the process of decorating and learning how having a house is completely different from renting.  Aside for two poorly updated bathrooms, the entire house was original to the 1950s. The kitchen was a cramped, dark space that was cut off from the rest of the house and had a mudroom that took up way too much valuable square footage. Here’s what our kitchen looked like before:

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My wife and I knew exactly what we had in mind for our dream kitchen… all those hours on Pinterest pays off kids! We wanted something light, bright, and something that would stand the test of time. We decided to go with white cabinets that had a little more detail than your average shaker style cabinet but not too much so that they would look outdated a year after we finished.

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The rest of the house had original hardwood floor so we ripped out the brown linoleum that was there and carried the hardwoods into the kitchen. we took the wall out between the entry and the kitchen so that we could get this amazing breakfast bar and open up the space to the rest of the living area.

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We went with a bay-style window behind the sink which paid off big time. Not only do we get a ton of light streaming through it, but we gained a few extra feet of counter space which allows for some close-at-hand herbs. Those few extra feet behind the sink make the entire room feel larger–it’s crazy the tricks your mind falls for.

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We knew we wanted to go with white subway tiles–they are just so classic and bring a charming elegance to any space. Instead of doing a plain white grout or going dramatic with a black grout we opted for somewhere in the middle and it adds a little interest but doesn’t take away from the rest of the kitchen. It’s a decent size kitchen but we didn’t want any one element to overpower the others.

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We love the look of spaces that incorporate carrara marble but we wanted something that didn’t require as much maintenance so we opted for this harder, less porous white damasco marble that helped us achieve a similar look and we love the way it turned out. It actually has a lot more depth and variation of colors in it which creates a more interesting space. Theodora Kitchen 5 Theodora Kitchen 6

The thing that ties the entire kitchen together is the addition of these sleek black cabinet pulls. I love that we went with a more dramatic length and the black is a stark contrast to the rest of the kitchen and pulls out the darker veins in the countertops. Below is one of my favorite details in the kitchen–I love this pantry wall with its different size cabinets and small bank of drawers. And I think our decision to go with pulls on both cabinets and drawers paid off big time. I love the consistent look. Theodora Kitchen 7 Theodora Kitchen 8 Theodora Kitchen 9

After creating such a clean space we just had to inject a little of our own personality into the space. We added the West Elm glass pendant over the sink and love the warm glow it provides at night. Theodora Kitchen 10

Cabinets | Cabinet Hardware (c/o Hickory Hardware) | Marble Countertop | Appliances | Bar Stools | Pendant | Decorative Plates


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    3 Kitchens With Contemporary Bar Pulls | hickory hardware
    June 12, 2015 at 9:48 am

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    March 3, 2016 at 11:36 am

    The kitchen is stunning, I love every detail about it! What paint color are the walls? I would love to get the exact color for my kitchen renovation.

    • Reply
      April 26, 2016 at 9:34 am

      So sorry for not getting back to you sooner! I keep meaning to look up the exact color for you and keep forgetting! It’s a Benjamin Moore color… give me another day or two and I promise I’ll get it for you! 🙂

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    December 4, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    I am house hunting and just looked at a 1954 brick home (all original). The kitchen looks somewhat similar to your original. I absolutely love your new kitchen and it is very much what I have in mind if I move forward with this house. Do you have any other projects you have done? Or could you share other photos of the style of home? I am thinking I would also need to knock down a wall between living room and kitchen. I would love to see more photos of the house if you have them.
    thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      December 6, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      Hi Patti! Thanks for commenting! When we renovated our house we literally did almost everything in it (from pipes to paint). I don’t have any photos of our living room but we did remove a wall between the kitchen and living room to open it up and make it a little more modern. I’ve posted about another room in our home (a bathroom) and will eventually get to posting more rooms after the holidays. You can find them all here: http://brickandvine.com/category/home-tour-2/. Also, for more inspiration, follow along on my Pinterest account–I post tons of inspiration for home renovating and decorating. Hope that helps! Thank you so much for following along and for your comment!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Can you tell us how much did the renovation cost you? I am want to do the same thing to my home but I have no ideal of the cost?

    Beautiful renovation!

    • Reply
      March 27, 2017 at 9:30 am

      Hi! Thank you so much! It really will depend on the extent of your renovation. We had plumbing issues, electrical issues, structural issues, floor resurfaced, etc. so it made our renovation quite costly. I’d say the kitchen renovation was around $50-65K however we did quite a bit to it. The nice thing with a kitchen renovation is that you can do parts affordably and then splurge on other things to create a very nice looking kitchen. Hope that helps! 🙂

  • Reply
    J bearson
    April 14, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Can you tell me which Benjamin Moore paint color you chose? Did I miss that? Thank you! Love the design…

    • Reply
      April 19, 2017 at 11:26 am

      I want to say Beacon Gray… But I’ll double check tonight for you. 🙂

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