Transforming a 60’s Kitchen into a Timeless Space

This fourth flip was no different than the previous three in that the kitchen was a disaster! Why is it that kitchens and bathrooms ALWAYS require the most work!? They say these are the two rooms that sell houses, but we have not come across a decent one yet! I realize we buy ‘fixers’, but still!

Where the Kitchen began….

In Flip #4, we actually knew the son of the owner of the home so were able to get a lot of information on the history of the house, upgrades that were done and different quirks that we would encounter. The house was originally built about 15 minutes south of where it is currently located. Per the son, when they moved it in the late 60’s, the kitchen and back entry was added on. The original kitchen was turned into a bedroom. Strangely, from this bedroom, you could walk into the closet, through to the pantry, and into the kitchen!

Here is what the kitchen/eat in area looked like when we started:

Dark and ORANGE

Have you ever seen a kitchen more dark and orange than this one? From the dark beams and cabinets to the orange patterned wall paper and floor. The appliances were old and dingy as well. In the third picture above, you can see the passage from the kitchen into the pantry that led into the closet to the bedroom.

Our plan for this space:

  • Take down the dark, fake wood beams as the ceilings were not that high to begin with. I am 6′ tall and could reach up and grab them
  • Get rid of all existing appliances
  • New light fixture
  • Remove wall paper and paint
  • Paint chair rail and panels on bottom half of walls
  • Remove linoleum and hope for wood floors to refinish
  • Sand and paint cabinets
  • New cabinet hardware
  • New countertops
  • New faucet
  • Remove formica back splash and install tile backsplash
  • Paint ceiling
  • New window treatments
  •  Purchase new appliances

In Progress

Cabinets and Floors

This kitchen took some serious blood, sweat, and elbow grease. All of the wood that we sanded including trim, window casings, cabinets, and doors all required four coats of paint. SO TEDIOUS!! We took the drawer fronts and cupboard doors home and would paint those after the kids went to bed for the night. We had the hinges powder coated since we could not find similar ones to replace them and installed new hardware to complete the look.

Removing the linoleum was a back breaking task. In all of our houses, we have always found multiple layers of flooring! Again, this house was no exception! Each decade, I think a ‘new’ layer of floor was placed. The picture on the right is the ‘most recent’ linoleum and the picture on the left was one of the layers we found. You can also see how many layers of floor there was and how thick it was to get up. The reward: original wood floors! We had them refinished and they turned out amazing!

Ceiling and Walls

Turned out that when we took the beams down from the ceiling, it left tracks in the ceiling. New ceiling must have been put up around the beams at some point so we had to have those all patched before we painted. The walls took quite a bit of elbow grease to remove the wallpaper. Luckily in this room, there was only one layer of wallpaper (which as you will read in later posts was not the case in other rooms!), but any amount of wallpaper is time consuming to say the least! Nothing beats a crisp white ceiling and a fresh coat of paint on the walls!

Countertop & Backsplash

Fortunately, my dad did countertops for a living and was able and willing to help us install new ones at this house. My brother also chipped in some time and helped with the backsplash. We went with a timeless subway tile in a longer size and added a row of glass tile to tie in the wall color, cabinets and countertops. Somehow, we mis-measured how much tile we needed for the kitchen and had 15 (yes 15) extra cases! So…we made a large return. 🙂

The Finished Space

We love how this kitchen turned out! It is so much brighter and inviting. Here are the final touches that really finished off the space:

  • Installed a new faucet whose style was named ‘Emmett’ (the name of our 2 year old!) and installed it on the existing sink.
  • Dark gray grout for the tile backsplash that complimented the row of accent glass tile.
  • Hung new curtains in the eat in area
  • Put up a wall to close off the pantry from the bedroom closet
  • New stainless steal appliances
  • Staged the space with an antique table that was left in the basement and simply put a fresh coat of white paint on its top. The legs were very ornate and distressed which we loved so did not change. We hung new curtains in the eat in area as well.

Here is the finished space:

Another masterpiece that didn’t break the bank!


15 thoughts on “Transforming a 60’s Kitchen into a Timeless Space

  1. Your site is so interesting! Thanks for doing this lady…and guy! I love seeing a good foundation come alive once again. I do know the hard work involved and sure am proud of you two!

    View Comment
    1. It is a TON of work…especially since we do this on the side. My husband and I both have full time jobs and have 6 kids 6 years of age & under! It gets a bit chaotic at times! 😉

      View Comment
  2. Wow, you did a great job with that kitchen! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the before pictures. Looks straight out of a movie set. Although I will say I’ve been in some kitchens that looked pretty similar. I’m always impressed by people who do these renovations. It’s something I don’t know well at all. You made the new kitchen look really nice.

    View Comment
    1. Thank you, Sarah! We have never ran into plywood cabinets….sounds interesting. All of the houses we have had really old cabinets that were built to last! Let me know how it turns out!

      View Comment
  3. That is an amazing transformation!!! VERY COOL! I love seeing before and afters – lots of people don’t realize the incredibly hard work that goes into flipping. I hear ya on stuff needing FOUR coats of paint! I just painted the trim in our fixer upper which used to be BLACK and I’ve done four coats and it still needs touch up in places!! ::eye roll::

    View Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *