Vote for our The Hard Way Award — Kitchen Remodel winner for 2014

retro kitchen remodels[ Update: Voting now closed]

It’s that time of year! We invite you to help us choose our “The Hard Way Award” winners for 2014. In our Kitchens category (Bathrooms, tomorrow) Pam and I chose four four finalists from among all the reader kitchen remodels we spotlighted last year. Take a look — and then vote now through Tuesday night for your favorite. Your vote will help inform our final selection, which we will announce in one week.

#1 — Molly’s cross-country kitchen cabinet crusade:

rental truckReader Molly got an 1,800-mile adventure along with her vintage steel kitchen cabinets. This intrepid retro remodeler commandeered a rental truck — and the help of a good friend — to pick up two different sets of vintage steel kitchen cabinets from Missouri, took them for powder coating in Illinois, and then drove them cross-country to her vacation home in Palm Springs before having them installed in her kitchen. One thing is for sure — there were no shortcuts on Molly’s renovation journey.


#2 — LuRu’s midcentury sci-fi dream kitchen with tiles she made by hand:

retro aqua tilesLuRu — a ceramic artist — knew she had to do something to make her home’s tiny kitchen more visually interesting. She had a limited budget for the remodel, but she got creative and used her talents to hand make 64 square feet of tile for her kitchen backsplash. Not only are the tiles LuRu made gorgeous, but she also made a special ‘stovescape’ depicting an atomic space theme. LuRu’s hard work and vision transformed her tiny kitchen a real work of art.


#3 — Luke and his family rebuild and restore a 1953 kitchen:

midcentury-retro-kitchen-wood-cabinetsReader Luke and his parents made restoring the flood damaged, poorly maintained kitchen in their new 1953 home a family affair. Instead of gutting the space, the family realized the value of the kitchen’s original features. They chose to instead repair, rebuild and refinish the kitchen cabinets and add new appliances, new flooring and laminate countertops. Even Luke’s grandmother got into the restoration by sewing curtains for the space based on a design she saw in our post on cafe curtains. This family labor of love helped to turn this once sad space into a sparkling midcentury kitchen once again.


#4 — Sara’s super economical retro kitchen with salvaged vintage wood cabinets:

midcentury kitchenReader Sarah — an avid cook and food blogger — needed to remodel her tired kitchen, making it more user friendly, cleaner and more inviting all at once. With only a limited budget, Sarah got creative — finding a whole boatload of wood cabinets taken from a local Air Force base for $200 at her local Re-Use store. To complete the budget-friendly renovation, Sarah used aluminum edged laminate countertops, inexpensive but reliable appliances, and VCT flooring. With ample storage and counter space, Sarah now has a fun, cheery and functional kitchen she loves.


Vote for your favorite — through Tuesday night:

Thanks for helping us choose a winner — we’ll announce the winner Thursday, Jan. 22.

  1. Amy says:

    Yes – this was tough. I voted for Sarah because of the “modest” scale (where many of us live!” and her incredible artistic sense! The turquoise & orange, dark vintage-look flooring – the two-tone wood cabinets with retro hardware – it all works so wonderfully together! I’m inspired!

  2. Kathy says:

    I agree it was a really tough choice because they are all really so beautiful. I chose the economical one, Sara’s number 4, because of the re-use of materials and she didn’t spend a lot of money. Also I like the radical before and after pictures.

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