A little over a year ago my husband and I bought a 3 season house in Gloucester. It had belonged to a family friend of my mother, and when we learned she was selling, we were excited to restore this classic summer home and use it as a vacation rental.
We had a tight budget for the renovations and wanted to do as much of the work ourselves as possible. The beauty of the house is that it is all wood, with no insulation or sheetrock. All of the electrical and plumbing is exposed so we could see all of the structure as we got to work.
The kitchen was one of the first rooms we tackled. The only thing there worth preserving was an original soapstone farmers sink.
Demo was relatively quick, a crowbar, some safety glasses and a dumpster later everything but the sink was removed.
We scrubbed and painted every inch and then went to Ikea to pick out new cabinets and countertops to fit our budget. We decided to go with the Sektion system in the Bodarp (grey-green) color. Our plan was to assemble it ourselves, but then reality set in (and we had our contractor come help us!). Here is what we learned about the process.
- The cabinets and parts were shipped in probably 200 separate pieces, reconciling the order with the delivery slip took hours and we were of course missing a few parts.
- The Sektion drawers are full overlay (not inset into the cabinet frame). This became a problem for us when the trim of an unused side door interfered with the clearance of the drawers. We ended up removing the door and boarding it up to create a more sensible flow and gain the 1/2″ needed to open the drawers.
- These cabinets don’t sit on the ground, they are hung off of the wall. In our case, we didn’t have a flat “wall” with sheetrock. The wall studs were completely exposed. This meant we had to have a backer board mounted horizontally along the studs from which the cabinets would hang.
- We purchased toe kicks for the cabinets, but our floor was so out of level it just didn’t work. We ended up using a custom scribed pice of pine that I painted to match the cabinets (by the way the closest color match is Benjamin Moore Cinder)
- Now that we had this mounting board for the cabinets there was a gap between each wall stud. So we had a piece of pine scribed around the studs to create a small shelf above the “backsplash”.
- The butcher block countertop was great to work with and we ended up with a remnant large enough to refinish a desk into a kitchen table. The countertop had to be scribed around the wall studs as well.
Truth be told we ended up hiring our contractor to help us with much of the installation. We didn’t have enough time or patience for the problem solving needed. But, in the end, the kitchen is beautiful, functional, has an old farmhouse feel and was done at a fraction of the cost of a traditional kitchen.
You can check out more pictures of the house at https://www.cedarledgeannisquam.com
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