Sunday shout out: What tips and advice can you share with other readers who want to continue their projects during these economic times? Projects to prioritize… ways to economize… DIY or save for the pro’s?…(fill in the blank)…how are you keeping your projects moving along?

  1. beatrice jarrett says:

    Hi Brenny, I am also renovating my 1950’s kitchen on a shoestring budget. I had awesome original 50’s cabinets but sadly, the contractor said they were too far gone to save ( his words “You can give a 90 year old a face-lift but they’re still falling apart!”) Anyway, i’m a firm believer in “ask & ye shall recieve”, so I posted on craigslist that I needed kitchen cabinets in nice condition for FREE. A contractor gave me great cabinets, many more than my galley kitchen needed (he was doing an upgrade on a model home & the cabinets he gave me were only 6 months old!) and even loaded them all in my truck for me! Didn’t cost me a dime. You might give that a try. You can always add embellishments, etc. to make cabinets look more retro.

  2. beatrice jarrett says:

    Here’s how i’ve done a renovation of my 1950’s kitchen on an almost non-existent budget (i’m actually pretty proud of my “cheap” ways of getting what I wanted & yes, I brag about all my “finds” a lot!).Got kitchen cabinets free on craigslist ( they’re only 6 months old; new house owners were doing an upgrade); got my awesome 1952 Tappan range on craigslist for $100.00 & spent $215.00 to convert it from propane to gas. Got an amazing commercial size Vent-a-Hood (which, BTW, retails new for $1,968.00!) at Habitat for Humanity for $128.00; works perfectly! Got big, cast iron commercial pot rack ( It was new; all hooks etc. still in shrink-wrap) at Salvation Army for $60.00 ( retails for $400.00). Got a great light fixture from craigslist; it’s six mini-pendants with halogen flying-saucer shapes, for $50.00. Put down VC tiles ( at 79 cents for a 12 X 12 tile buffed & waxed it myself. Found an awesome art-deco 50’s dinette set at Salvation Army for $49.00 & put $150.00 into re-upholstering chairs & laminate sheet for table ( BTW, if you like the Formica “cracked ice” laminate but can’t afford the crazy expense of it, I found Wilsonart Maroochy Brush ( only comes in buttercup yellow, though), which is very similar to the cracked ice. I paid $77.40 at Lowes for a 36″ X 144″ sheet. Also comes in 60″ X 144″ sheet for $129.00. Found seven cases of buttercup yellow tiles at Habitat for Humanity for $10.00 a case, then splurged & ordered hand painted Talevera tiles from Mexico, for the border & accents. I’m on the home-stretch now & will post pics. when my kitchen is 100% DONE. It’s been fun & maddening & inconvenient but i’m so thrilled with the results.

  3. beatrice jarrett says:

    Hi Anita, Don’t apologize about IKEA! They have a lot of style for not a lot of bucks. I found a 1950’s style drainboard sink ( in stainless steel) for $200.00 at IKEA. I ultimately went with a used white porcelain sink I found at Habitat for Humanity, but had decided to use the IKEA sink until I just happened to run across the one at H for H.

  4. beatrice jarrett says:

    Hi, Your’e absolutely right about keeping a “renovation fund” on hand, so you can take advantage of “finds” at yard sales, thrift ships, craigslist etc. Over a period of about 1 and a half years, I literally filled my garage with all the components for my 1950’s retro kitchen make-over. It’s really, really paid off. My kitchen is about 1 week away from “done” & looks awesome! But yes, you have to keep bucks on hand because you never know when you’ll run across the perfect thing!

  5. beatrice jarrett says:

    The great thing about buying a usedkitchen component & then deciding later to use something else? You can always put the item you’re not using on craigslist & usually recover whatever you paid for it.

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