Best Retro Renovation kitchen remodel of 2014: Luke and his family win The Hard Way Award

best kitchen remodelHard-way-award-Frankly, I think that grandma’s cafe curtains nailed it for Luke and his family: Yes, the people have spoken, and Team Luke’s family-affair restoration of the flood damaged, poorly maintained kitchen in their new 1953 home has earned them our The Hard Way Award – Kitchen Remodel for 2014.  Instead of gutting the weary space, this family embraced its vintage heritage and repaired, rebuilt and refinished the kitchen cabinets — a grueling DIY job that turned out great and demonstrates the incredible beauty to be found in prosaic birch wood cabinetry.

Finishing off with new appliances, flooring, countertops and yup, two windows full of utterly charming homemade curtains — and wow — a warm, inviting, architecturally suitable kitchen, once again.

Congratulations, Luke, to you and your family — and a big Retro Renovation group hug to your grandmother, stat! Thanks to our other kitchen finalists — Molly, LuRu and Sarah — all of your efforts were amazing! xoxo to all the readers who voted!

  1. Retroski says:

    Love, love this cozy renovation and their choice to renew! What are some natural/renewable retro kit counter materials you recc? I’d like to replace the blegh 80s off white laminate with butcher block, but what about the sink area? I like stainless steel but wonder if it’s pricey. Tile is cheap but my guy isn’t into the feel of it. Retro laminate is cool, but you can’t recycle it unfortunately! (I will take said laminate and hudee ring glass counter to the ReStore though! Suggestions?

    1. pam kueber says:

      The greenest thing you could do is to… keep the functional countertop you have.

      Recyclable as the key environmental concern? I don’t agree: If you are after sustainability, I believe our biggest concern — a life-threatening one — is climate disruption — which is being exacerbated by carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide equivalents emissions. Money is a pretty darn good proxy for carbon dioxide and its equivalents. That is, the more you have to earn to spend –> the more economic activity is necessary, and the more economic activity you cause –> the more CO2 emissions you are responsible for. So, to be green – spend as little as you can. Keep functional countertops. Wear them into the ground. For a spiff, paint them (there are special products). The least expensive replacement options: Laminate, tile, or finding something used at the Re-Store.

      Lots of folks like lineoleum because its ingredients include cork and linseed oil. But, it’s expensive, which in my view means there is a lot of economic activity required to create is, which equates to more carbon.

      1. Retroski says:

        Thanks Pam!
        Plans are to keep most of what we can… One of the countertops by the sink is bubbling where water has gotten into the base. Love the ReStore, anything I take out, I donate. Looked but it’s mostly odd sized granite…see what you’re saying about green/sustainable things. There are so many factors to weigh, like CO2 emission vs the VOC off-gassing of materials in the home. The latter is a big concern for me. If and when we do remove them we will do our darnedest to remove them intact so somebody else can use them.

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