Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

1893 Victorian: The Kitchen

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Boy, have things been crazy this week!  In addition to my boss retiring (and my applying for his vacant position), one of my peers resigned and we've been scrambling to plan for management of his unit as well.  I'm hoping determined to make the most of these opportunities that have presented themselves.  Cross your fingers for me..
On the homefront, we got news that the appraisal had come in at exactly the sales price for the 1893 Victorian.  Gee, what a surprise!  According to J., the appraiser was there for about 30 minutes.  That's just enough time to take pictures and measure, if you're really fast.  Contrast that with the appraised we had done just before selling it, which lasted over 2 hours.  Folks, if you don't think this appraisal thing is a racket, I don't know what will convince you.
But with no major issues on the inspection, that was the last piece to fall into place before we close on February 6th.  We can't wait to have Dave, Christine, and Emily join us.  While we were digging around in the hallways closet when the inspector was there, Christine found what we think are the original curtain rods for the parlor.  We didn't even know they were there!  I think she is going to polish them and put them back up - I can't wait to see what she does with the place.
So, back to the house.  I believe we were going to look at the kitchen next...no?

The view from the dining room into the kitchen
Let me start by saying that the house didn't really have a kitchen.  No appliances other than a microwave and a shelving unit that Harold, the owner, used as his pantry.  To say he was the quintessential bachelor was an understatement.
As you walked through the door, you're facing a wall full of huge windows.  Turn to your left and you'll see a door that leads to a room that he was using as a kitchen.  It has a beautiful old farm sink that we'll see in a sec.

Just like the dining room, the wallpaper had already been stripped out of this room but the walls still needed quite a bit of patching. If you look closely at the wall on the left, you can see the lines of what looked to be a missing wall.  There may have been a closet her at one point - we never quite solved that mystery. 
If you turn to the right after coming through the door, you see more doors! Aye carumba!  Where are the cabinets going to go?

Looking at that wall a little closer in the next pic, you can see the doors a little better. On the left is the door to the bathroom that is tucked under the stairs (this house didn't have indoor plumbing when it was built!)  And the door on the right is a closet.
Who wants a door to their bathroom right off the kitchen?

So, to make some space, for cabinets, our only option was to wall off these two doors.  That also meant wiring for new appliances while we were at it.  At the top of the picture above, you can see the new drywall that goes up to the ceiling and it's freshly painted with a color named "Cream Puff".  The open space would later be covered with plywood, which makes mounting cabinets, appliances and backsplash much easier than drywall because it's sturdier.

Gotta have some tool porn for the guys reading this!  (Hi, J!)
You can see the plywood and the new cabinets going up in this next picture.

Cabinets are all installed and ready for their new granite countertop. I also taped a piece of tin backsplash up to see if we liked it or not.  These cabinets are stock cabinets carried by Home Depot, so the new owner can buy more if she wants.  There's enough space to put another set of 24" upper cabinets on top of these for more storage.

We actually installed the granite countertop ourselves and I can tell you that it's not a project for everyone.  We got a great deal on some beautiful green\black granite with a rounded countertop edge (sorry, I can't remember the exact name of the granite).  Before we could install it, we had to mount a 2"x4" to the wall on the right-hand side where the dishwasher would be.  That would support the weight of the granite and also provide a way to secure the dishwasher.  Then, across all the cabinets and all the way to the wall, we added a piece of plywood for more support. 
The hardwood floors in here were shot, so we opted to cover them over with tile.  You can see the concrete board all ready for new tile in that picture above.
The window wall all painted and pretty.
Luckyily, many of the ceilings in this house had already been drywalled.  All this one needed was a fresh coat of paint and a new chandelier and medallion.

Put it all together, and you have a finished, functional and modern kitchen with a somewhat old-timey feel! 

On the wall behind us, we have the frig with overhead cabinets between a pair of tall pantries for storage  I have some pictures, but they didn't turn out well enough to post here.  On the other wall,there's enough space for a really nice baker's rack, Hoosier cabinet or maybea luscious butcher block table.
I would have loved to turn this into a turn-of-the-century kitchen that looked something like this or this or this. *sigh*  But our budget was really tight. I think it came out really nice, though, and I really like that backsplash. What do you think?


  1. Tool pr0n is highly important! Those Milwaukee V18s are bad-ass.

    The granite is "Uba Tuba." And very heavy. I recommend having access to full-grown male relatives or friends if you plan to install granite. And a water-spritzer girl while cutting.

  2. So the covered over closet is part of that empty space you were talking about! Do you think there is more space behind it as well?


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