This project was a challenge to partially replace an original mid-century kitchen's lower cabinetry and plumbing with drawer boxes, while keeping the vintage look of the original upper cabinets with their scroll work.
This home is located in the heart of old Chula Vista on the famous "Christmas circle" route. It was built in 1949 and features all redwood studs, lath and plaster walls, and cast iron plumbing.
In addition to needing a visual makeover, the plumbing was in dire need of an upgrade, with constant clogged drains needing regular attention.
Being a hub of activity for friends and family alike during the busy holiday season, this little kitchen really gets put to the test every winter!
Blending Old and New Kitchen Cabinetry and Fixtures
In order to successfully blend the old with the new I installed a modern apron front sink, granite countertops, and a new range hood with built in exhaust fan, all pulled together by natural marble 3"X 6" subway tile on the backsplash.
Because the new lower cabinets were much deeper than the originals, the owner was very pleased with the extra storage space down below and the larger surface area of the countertops. The original tile countertops also had raised tile borders around their outer perimeter, further limiting the amount of flat working space available.
But the new deeper counters with their flush working surface all the way out to the edge (plus a little extra overhang) have added nearly 50% more working area for food preparation. This has been a huge benefit that only adds to the upgraded aesthetic details of the job.
How To Maximize Food Prepping Space? Bob's Butcher Block to the Rescue!
The owner already had enough storage space available, and wanted to retain a type of retractable breadboard like the old kitchen had.
I had already installed a large butcher block counter on the other side of the kitchen, and I utilized a cutoff from that and turned that piece into a retractable breadboard which is really quite sturdy and makes a great cutting block.
It slides in and out on the same rail system that the drawers use, with slow close retractable features and smooth ball bearing action.
The owner says that it is quite handy to be able to temporarily slide what you're working on out of your way if you need to get into the lower cabinets. As long as what you're sliding under there isn't too tall that is - there is about 3" of space above the working surface when it's slid into place.
Now that this kitchen is finished, the overall looks and efficiency are greatly improved, and the owner is thrilled!
Photos of the finished project, along with some taken in progress:
(click to see full screen images)