I need help... Just bought my father-in- laws house, it was built in 1926. I want to redo my kitchen.

I don't the have the cash flow for my dream kitchen right now, but i really want to make it my own and keep with the intergrity of the house. I love the shabby look. Any suggestions?
q i need help just bought my father in laws house it was built in 1926 i want to, doors, home decor, kitchen design, before
q i need help just bought my father in laws house it was built in 1926 i want to, doors, home decor, kitchen design, paint
q i need help just bought my father in laws house it was built in 1926 i want to, doors, home decor, kitchen design, wall heater will be coming out and back door will be replaced
wall heater will be coming out and back door will be replaced
q i need help just bought my father in laws house it was built in 1926 i want to, doors, home decor, kitchen design
q i need help just bought my father in laws house it was built in 1926 i want to, doors, home decor, kitchen design
q i need help just bought my father in laws house it was built in 1926 i want to, doors, home decor, kitchen design
  36 answers
  • 3po3 3po3 on Aug 30, 2012
    A shabby chic paint job and some new hardware on those cabinets will be pretty cheap and could make a surprising amount of difference to your kitchen if you are still planning a more serious revamp later.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Aug 31, 2012
    Keep in mind that shabby chic might lean more toward shabby than chic in an old house. One thing you want to do is get rid of as much clutter as possible (such as things hanging on the walls) and use light colors. I don't know what that shutter thing is in there, but it is not adding to this space. Go for light subtle colors and simpliciticy! Color can be added in accessories instead of jumping off the walls at you. It looks like this space has good bones.

  • Freckled Laundry (Jami) Freckled Laundry (Jami) on Aug 31, 2012
    I love shabby chic too. Your kitchen has great bones! Here are some inexpensive ideas. I agree with Jeanette, light and faded colors and simplicity will let your kitchen shine. • White cabinets, faded walls • White walls, white upper cabinets, time-worn faded color on the lowers • A pretty, crystal chandie for the room (check yard sales & craiglist) • If the dark window frames are painted, paint them white. • You could open up one or more of the upper cabinets, paint the insides or paper them. • I love your pantry door (in the shot with the water heater). If you go with white walls, I would total throw a pop of color on that little door! I might even modgepodge some shabby floral fabric inside those panels...if it were MY place. • I think the shutters used to hide the water heater is a nice idea. A fresh coat of paint to match the new plan would be just fine until you can build a more permanent solution. • I'd go with simple white voile curtains...something that let's the light filter through. • I've seen gorgeous painted linoleum but if everything else is done right and you put a pretty rug on the floor, you can work with what you have. • I would love to decorate that kitchen! Such potential. You want the focus to be on the character in that kitchen...the window moulding, the cabinets, those beautiful doors. I'd keep everything else relatively simple. I'd go with simple shabby chic like Rachel Ashwell's London flat instead of the heavy foof and floral. That's just me though. Have you seen Rachel Ashwell's Prairie? The kitchen in The Meadow Manor is what I'm talking about. (That whole manor & prairie is gorgeous!) http://theprairiebyrachelashwell.com/meadowmanorss.html Good luck with your space! I'd love to see pictures of your progress.

  • Natalia Corres Natalia Corres on Aug 31, 2012
    Not sure where you live, but sometimes there are stores like Habitat for Humanity's "Restore" where you can get old cabinets and fixtures for cheap... and chances are good they are circa the same age as the house you are in.

  • Tricia Allums Tricia Allums on Aug 31, 2012
    Yes, Natalia is right! I just went and purchased a light fixture from there and painted it oil rubbed bronze and it looks brand new! And I only spent $45 including the spray paint.

  • Z Z on Aug 31, 2012
    Wow you've already made some great improvements Lisa. Personally I like the color on the walls, but then green is my favorite color. If you're wanting shabby chic then lighter colors are the way to go traditionally, but who's to say you have to go that way. If you like color then mix it up, make it YOU. When it comes to decorating, rule breaking can be quite fun and give your home a personality that fits you and your family.

  • Sharron W Sharron W on Sep 01, 2012
    @Jeanette, the "shutter thing" is currently hiding the hot water heater I believe....Not the ideal place for a hot water heater....but for the time being I guess you have to work with what you have... @Lisa, you might be able to find one of those tall "pantry" cabinets at the habitat "restore' and if you took the back off of it you could use it to hide the hot water heater and paint it to match the other cabinets...and still maybe use the top shelf for laundry detergent or something.... The paint change already lightens the place up quite a bit and that is key, because older kitchens did not usually have an abundance of light fixtures,

  • Sharron W Sharron W on Sep 01, 2012
    Also, the washer and dryer CAN stack if you have the bracket to do so....that would free up floor space, and I see you have the drawer base for both so if you stacked them you could re-sell one of the bases (which are kind of expensive) and maybe pay for the bracket to stack the dryer that way...

  • Matina V Matina V on Oct 28, 2013
    My 2 cents...the shutter thing just needs white paint and maybe distress it a bit if you want that look but right now the color clashes, but it's a cute idea. And yes to what everyone else said about being simple. You could find a new light for over the stove, new hardware for the cabinets & drawers. Is there anywhere else you could put the washer/dryer? They seem too big for the space.

  • the first thing as Sharron W stated: stack the washer and dryer. You will have another 24-30 inches of space and it will look cleaner. If you have a handy friend or can do it yourself, move the washer and dryer to the right of the window facing toward the sink not toward you as it is now. It is not much if the outside wall is there to put in another vent (done it before a few times). for a cheap fix for your cabinets check out Lowe's or Home Depot or whatever home improvement store to find mistinted paints and markdowns. I just bought a gallon of tinted semi gloss with primer for $7 normally $30. I buy quarts for $2.50 and that size would be plenty for your cabinets. I would paint the knobs and hardware. the light fixture? check out clearance~ I just bought a sconce for $2.50 at Lowes the other day originally $39.99! I always shop the clearance and markdowns. Above the stove you could even find at a thrift store, garage sale, or even cheap at Lowe's, etc a bar lamp for the bathroom vanity and spray paint it black and put it up there for now. black walnut is a good Rustoleum spray paint color because it is almost black. did you paint the cabinets white? Would the refrigerator work next to the washer and dryer where the microwave is? then you could build, find some sort of shelving or cabinet to house your microwave and give you even more storage. If you cannot move the refrigerator, you most definitely need to change the door to open the other way. Where the microwave is now and the heater is going to go away? If so, then I would put the microwave on either a shelf that fits it or find another cabinet to put there. That black cabinet, if it is sturdy would make a great movable island for cooking or even folding laundry if you added a top to it and wheels. Just some thoughts.

  • Tanya Peterson Felsheim Tanya Peterson Felsheim on Nov 15, 2013
    I know eventually you want to redo the whole thing, but one thing my daughter did when she got a house with cabinets so high, she removed the doors of the very upper cabinets and painted the inside same as the walls so was able to put things off of her shelves and keep up there for time she needed them. She actually collects 50s stuff exp kitchen but hardly any cabinets so that worked so well for her to showcase. The stacking idea of the washer and dryer is a good idea except where they are they would block one of the few windows there. Can you possibly move the w/d to the left wall so they don't stand out so profoundly along that wall? That might not work with all you have to do if the drain of the washer won't move that far, was thinking would make the kitchen feel bigger if it didn't end with the w/d combo. Then you could put some found cabinets above that to store more than just the laundry stuff. just ideas.

  • Liz Thomas Liz Thomas on Nov 15, 2013
    I would literally embrace the old woodwork. Take a little time and don't rush until you have lived there a while, before you do anything major.

  • Khg320372 Khg320372 on Apr 06, 2014
    Has good bones! move the washer and dryer, onstall fridge onto the wall, allowing more floor space

  • Melissa Melissa on Apr 06, 2014
    Lisa, you are off to a great start!! KEEP those shutters over the water heater. I would repaint them white with a little distressing, not overly much. I think you love Cottage/Vintage/Shabby Chic. I would NOT stack the washer/dryer. Keep the view of that window cleared. UNclutter. Get the laundry soaps, etc out of sight, maybe under the microwave. Paint the Microwave table White. ANY thing that is utilitarian needs to hide out of sight or in a white cabinet where the laundry items now are. Think of using larger pieces of art and fewer pieces. OR all the same collectibles, like shabby vintage trays with flowers. The wall heater is Awesome! Use it as a magnetic display or word art. Vintage table cloth curtains would be so pretty in the bolder colors you love. Over the stove you need a larger single piece and maybe a pretty sconce in place of the light there now. Great job!

  • Donna Byram Donna Byram on Apr 06, 2014
    I too would see about moving the washer and dryer to the wall to the left and if there is room put the refrigerator next to them by the doorway. ~If you have to leave the washer/dryer on the outside wall, I would still place the refrigerator on the other side of the doorway where the space heater is at and put the microwave and stand at the end of the cabinets. It would help open up the entrance to the kitchen. ~Also get rid of the wire rack and put up 2 narrow wooden shelves in it's place No wider than the space between the corner and the window facing and make them as long as the length from corner to the front edge of your washer/dryer. One at the height as the wire shelf and the other about where the braces attach to the wall. This way you will be able to see and reach all the supplies without having to move what's in front of them. A Box shelf would be good too.

  • Janet Williams Aguirre Janet Williams Aguirre on Apr 06, 2014
    I like the shutters by the stove. The room is big enough that when you take out the space heater, maybe you could put up a shutter divider a little in front of the w/d and put a little skinny table and chair in front of the divider screen, facing into the kitchen area. It looks like there might not be enough room to leave it there when you use the appliances, but you could fold it back and use the table for folding when necessary. I love country kitchens. You have the kitchen counter looking very country. Love the lamp. Thrift stores might have some old embroidered pillow cases that you could turn into café curtains. Keep up the great work.

  • Amy Ogden-Paparone Amy Ogden-Paparone on Apr 21, 2014
    Don't replace the back door! It's gorgeous! Can you paint it instead?

  • Beth Beth on May 25, 2014
    You did an awesome job with what you had to work with!

  • Kelly S Kelly S on May 25, 2014
    I would add some under cabinet lights to the taller cabinets, paint your water heater shutters and check out the Re-use stores on your area. Your electrical may be knob and tube and it may have aluminum wiring. Get a professional electrician to inspect it. Yes it's spendy but an inspection costing a few hundred is far less expensive than replacing the entire structure due to fire damage.

  • Kelly S Kelly S on May 25, 2014
    Oh and replace the flooring with Peel and stick vinyl tiles. Its the least expensive route to go for flooring, unless you have good wood flooring under the exiting vinyl.

  • Penny Penny on May 25, 2014
    i like those shutters...very creative....as for the laundry appliances, i wouldn't stack them not unless you plan on taking the window out....you have a real diamond in the rough, but, i looks like you are on your way to making it sparkle!!! great job so far and good luck!

  • Louise Hockenson Louise Hockenson on Mar 10, 2015
    I think the touch you have added looks great! It's hard on a budget & takes time.

  • Lagree Wyndham Lagree Wyndham on Apr 22, 2015
    I wonder what under the sheetrock on ceiling, Planks, beadboard ??? the walls also curious...love the big wood trim...lots of character and potential.

  • P-k2076564 P-k2076564 on Aug 12, 2015
    I love love LOVE your back door, let's in much needed sunlight. And your use of shutters is great, maybe you could add to the window above the sink?

  • Grace Gleason Grace Gleason on Oct 12, 2015
    Lisa Trussell Has anyone thought about the electrical load on the - possibly very old - electrical system? Nice to fix up the kitchen, but not so nice to burn the house down. How old is it? BTW, the shutters are doing a fine job!

  • Teresa C Teresa C on Dec 20, 2015
    Love the green. Agree with Grace, make sure the electrical is up to standard as well as the fuse box. Might cost, however you have peace of mind. I always shop Repurppose stores, Craigs list, or the side of the road looking for future project materials that don't cost a lot. Ideas: Paint the tall vent on the wall next the door with chalk paint to use as a chalk board, if it doesn't get hot, and it will disguise the vent. You might want to think about creating a closet to go around the sides and find some shutters to create the doors to close off Washer and dryer. If you look at re-purpose stores or side of the road you could probably find cabinets to replace the black shelf your microwave is on and it will give you storage and privacy as well. I would build wooden open shelves above it the cabinet and place mason jars filled with coffee, spices etc with nick knacks to give it the shabby chic feel. you can also do open shelving above the stove to store cooking things. Shelves above your doors is a great place for storage as well. I have had a smaller kitchen than yours and space is needed. The ceiling would look great with bead board or wood flooring and painted in a shabby chic motif and it covers whatever you need to do to fix the vent coming down and if you decide to do lighting in the middle. As far as your floor, I have hear many people have painted the linoleum to the colors they want and style, just need enamel, tape, rollers and paint brush. But most of all stay within your budget and get items done with cash in hand. You'll be glad you did.

  • Debbie Debbie on Dec 20, 2015
    I would relocate the electrical and venting for washer and dryer to microwave wall. Moving the washer and dryer will help them look less obtrusive. Can a microwave be mounted over the stove? Can a smaller one go on a counter? Have you considered building an island with pallets or regular lumber? Many island ideas are on Pinterest. I might put wheels on it. Pinterest has millions of shabby chic decorating ideas. If a home inspection was not done, like some said, make sure electrical, plumbing, hvac, foundation are sound. Also, check for mold and termites, make sure windows and doors are energy efficient (caulked). Your home has a lot og character. Have fun with your decorating.

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Dec 21, 2015
    Guess you have no basement. I love the door, and it brings in light. Would check on codes and build in the water heater adding cupboards above. You could still keep the shutters for ventilation. You may have hardwood floors under current flooring. Nice washer and dryer but seem too high and block the window. Would definitely have the electrical checked. Don't get the light fixture over the stove. Woodwork is fab. Have fun.

  • Cheryl Leger Cheryl Leger on Dec 21, 2015
    I am not a seamstress, but I made a valance with iron on tape for my sliding doors and it really added to my room. You might try that on the door and windows with a print or check. Just a suggestion. I envy you the fun of redecorating. Enjoy!!

  • Allinthefamilysingers Allinthefamilysingers on Apr 10, 2016
    you can put some matching curtains on the back door and the window that would look pretty and add some style or even the imitation wood blinds are really cheap right now. Like someone else said move the washer and dryer on the flat wall and u could make some kind of divder out of several different options there next to where u remove the heater like shutters or an old door and u could put a fabric insert to match the window or use your imagination. Oh and I would not leave that shutter there at the stove build a wall or pantry around it. Make it high to the door facing and make shelf across top door alway to the other side Bring shelves back to the stove and move your microwave and get one of the ventless hoods and place under your microwave shelf...maybe you could move the light and get different fixture . well the hood has a light under it most of them do... Good luck Post some pics when u r thru dhall

  • Suellen Hintz Suellen Hintz on Jul 01, 2016
    I love this back door, my parents house had one like it. Great source of natural light. Can the door be rehabbed rather than replaced? Just get rid of the awkward things, do a thorough wash and scrub, use cheery yellow or your favorite color on the walls, perhaps paint cabinets or at least make the doors close well, add island with storage, add eat in area. Looks like a challenge and a great opportunity. Have fun!

  • Spiritual Mutt Spiritual Mutt on Nov 16, 2016
    Hey there! One great possible solution to your lack of cash flow (I hear ya!)...There are others who do have the cash flow to redo their kitchen and many of them post their old cabinetry for free on Craigslist! All you have to do is go get it. Especially if you wanted to try and keep the integrity of the house, this is a great option. People even give free old stoves and fridges away on CL! With a li'l heat tolerant paint you could refurbish an old 40's 50's cool stove : ) I hope this helps! And... I Hope All Is Well In Your World : ) Nyna

  • Banjojane66 Banjojane66 on Dec 05, 2016
    What a beautiful old house!! I'm not a designer and I agree with the others about the safety precautions. Then a butcher block cart on wheels will create a lot of space to a great little kitchen. Good luck and take your time!! Jane.

  • Ruby77 Ruby77 on Dec 09, 2016
    Love the deep set window above the sink!! All above are great ideas. One cure for the floor and not to expensive would be to go over your floor with a thin sub floor then top with the new DIY vinyl plank flooring. They have good quality for the price and you can buy it at a flooring store, HD or Lowes and it would take only a day to lay it down. We put it in an office space and its easy to cut and its very sturdy. It doesn't glue down just snap and fit so you can pull it up later when you have the cash for wood. Its easy!

  • Bernice H Bernice H on Dec 12, 2016
    Vinyl planking is the best!!! Now I have laminate....grrrrrrr. My eye immediately went to washer and dryer,so that would be one of my first priorities. have fun!

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Dec 13, 2016
    Holy mother of God, what can you possibly like it needs to be gutted. Why waste money know save it for remodeling. Sorry to be so blunt but sometimes someone has to say it. When you do remodel you can incorporate what you like about the house with up to date feel as well and with windows that are eco friendly saves some money throughout the year. New appliances new wiring to run these things and maybe new plumbing to bring it all up to code. Go price out what you want then check with ordinances get estimates and work from there so that nothing is a surprise and you go into debt. First, have electrician and plumber out, they can tell you about codes in your area and you can get idea of cost.