Reader Elizabeth and her husband have been hard at work fixing up their 1920s era farmhouse in Texas — most recently completing their retro red and white kitchen remodel. To find the finishing touch, it would take a trip all the way to Ireland — where the couple found Cath Kidston cowboy wallpaper — vintage western appeal perfect for the accent wall leading into the cheery new kitchen.
I thought I would send you some photos of how our summer facelift went on our 1920s era farm house, which is located on our ranch, thereby making it a ranch house?? (What are the rules for what constitutes a ranch-style house, anyway??)
Above: Here are some ancient “befores” from when we bought the place furnished in 2012…of the kitchen as we inherited it.
Next is a photo of when I got the red NorthStar for my wedding anniversary (July 2013), but with old cabinets, cabinet pulls, and counters.
We leveled the pier and beam foundation, which necessitated new floors, paint, kitchen cabinets, and ceilings. We took up the 1990s vinyl parquet floors and laid down wood laminate; and took off the popcorn ceilings and put wood beam ceilings — taking it back in time a bit.
Here is the most beautiful wallpaper in the world–strawberries with a Delft plate, discovered in the kitchen during remodeling…it had jute backing and was estimated to be from the 1920s. Boy, did I want some of that back in there. Pink flowered wallpaper was also estimated to be about that old, also found in kitchen.
The countertops are dark gray with red boomerang countertops from Wilsonart.
Your recent article on what one accent wall of wallpaper can do was so true–we tried it ourselves, and like the effect. Why, yes, that IS Cath Kidston “Cowboy” wallpaper [update: product now seems discontinued], what else?? The funny thing is that we were on vacation in July to Scotland and Ireland. While in Belfast, we walked down a street to a restaurant, and there in front of us was a real live Cath Kidston store! I begged my husband to take me in, as I had seen her on your website, and we walked out with Cowboy wallpaper designed and made in England, bought in Northern Ireland, and dragged home lovingly to Texas where it OBVIOUSLY belongs, haha!
Update: Cath Kidston’s cowboy wallpaper is now discontinued, but if you’re in the giddy up mood, check out the cowboy wallpapers — reproductions of originals — available from Bradbury & Bradbury.
Next room is the kitchen, with its red Northstar refrigerator that started my obsession with your website. And that room leads into the laundry room, where Hubby let me put my beloved red and white VCT tiles!
My husband made me go to the local hardware store today, so while there, I photographed our laundry room floor tile from the Azrock Collection of Houston. We love that it was made in USA! He chose the non-spotted/non-streaky solid colors, which unbeknownst to us cost “premium” prices. Surprise! It was very expensive for VCT tile!
- See our story 10 places to buy retro red refrigerators.
I hope these bright red photographs cheer up your broken arm, and that you continue to feel better and better.
The pink Big Chill is in my Ranchette, a knotty pine cabin in the backyard of the Ranch House. I wanted them put together with an attached garage. That’s what started all the trouble. To put the attached garage on to both houses, it required the old ranch house to be leveled…which necessitated the new walls, floors, ceilings, cabinets, etc.
And the most exciting news of all, I am closing on October 27th on a 1965 traditional brick home that has been a rent house — with ORIGINAL PINK BATHROOM and ORIGINAL MINT GREEN BATHROOM and ORIGINAL KITCHEN with ORIGINAL rather boring cream colored Formica, but HEY! It’s from 1965, so I’m happy! The only thing new in the house is the floors where they have laid cheap indestructible ceramic tile. EXCEPT the entry hall which is ORIGINAL TERRAZZO. Also, the house is FULL of ORIGINAL WOOD PANELING and BUILT-INS. I cannot wait to get in that house. I … will photograph it and submit for a Retro Design Dilemma!!
And finally is a photo of me…a selfie taken at our historic house in town built in 1873…which is another lovely story. But the only thing midmod about it is the fabulous closet we added on, and the mint green Northstar refrigerator. But I digress.
Wow, Elizabeth, you are one busy remodeling maven. Yes, we want to get regular updates of your many projects in three — soon to be four — houses and/or cabins. Woot! We want to have all those historic rooms to decorate, too! You need your own HGTV show, we’re not kidding!
We love the Cath Kidston cowboy wallpaper accent wall — it really helps tie the kitchen and the living area together,while adding visual interest and retro western appeal great for your real deal ranch house. Nicely done — thank you for sharing!
Pam adds: Elizabeth, I adore the wallpaper, and the kitchen is great. But it’s that photo of your husband that had me all crackers. I am reading in to it that he was … putting up with it all. And then you had to take a picture. Classic. Just classic. In the running for my favorite photo of 2014. The best. xoxo