Conducting interior renovations on a historic home can come with its own set of challenges. Going overly modern with the design features can cause the home’s interior and exterior to conflict with each other. However, that doesn’t mean that the home’s current layout and finishes cannot be modified. It was a summer day when Tom and Michelle welcomed us into their home. The Cape Cod was built in 1914 and is located in the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul, MN.
In one word, space is the biggest issue with this kitchen. While Tom and Michelle have done their best to optimize every inch, there simply isn’t enough. The kitchen, much like others built in the early 1900’s had minimal cabinets and counter space. In fact, the only water source in the kitchen is a shallow, compact sink, with a countertop so small that only a tiny dish rack can fit. It was also located right next to a doorway, which feels unnatural. The lighting within the kitchen was not evenly distributed. These factors all present obstacles for Michelle who is an avid baker. In addition, the flooring, cabinets, and walls all showed significant signs of age. There was also an area in the ceiling that had caved in because of a water leak in the upstairs bathroom.
After having identifying the features that could be improved upon, Tom and Michelle agree that putting a 7’x7’ addition onto the home would give them the feeling of spaciousness they wish to achieve. Doing this required adding new back steps, a landing, and LP® SmartSide® painted to match the existing siding.
These days, Tom and Michelle’s kitchen has been completely transformed. The tiny sink has been moved and replaced with a Kohler undermount cast iron sink. Instead of overlooking an adjoining room, the sink now has a window behind it. With the new dishwasher that was installed, there’s no need to wash every dish by hand! What minimal counter space existed before has now been replaced with a plethora of Silestone countertops. Michelle’s been getting plenty of use out of the kitchen island we installed slightly lower, but at a perfect height for her to roll out her cookies and concoct her rum soaked chocolate covered cherries.
Having enough cabinet space is no longer an issue now that the semi-custom maple cabinets have been installed. Did we mention they are the perfect complement to the kitchen’s laminate vinyl tile? Another issue that the renovation remedied was the sparse lighting. This was addressed with the introduction of under cabinet ribbon lighting, recessed lighting, and pendant lighting. What these photos don’t show you is the spray foam insulation we added to the walls and ceiling which make the more energy efficient and comfortable. Issues with the plumbing were also addressed to prevent any future issues.