Kitchen Upgrade: What’s old is new and what’s new is old.

Hutch Close up

We built this home in 1988.  Recently the owners came to me wanting to upgrade the kitchen “without spending a fortune.” She did not love the cabinets, but they looked okay and were in good working order, “could we save them?” she was tired of the Formica tops and back-splash and hated the closet that was taking up too much space in the kitchen. She added “Oh yeah, the closet is stacked to the gills so in the end we can’t have any less storage”


The solution:  A money-saving, partial kitchen remodel. Remove the closet and replace it with a Hutch.  Add a pantry to the run of original cabinets.  Replace the small island cabinet with a more substantial island.  Leave the existing cabinets and appliances, but install new beaded board back-splash and, replace the tired out Formica with Granite.

New Island and Hutch

Old Kitchen new counter

“What’s old is new.”  New counters and back-splash revived the look of the old cabinets.  Painting the backslash white helped tie the old to new and gave a lighter appearance to the kitchen.

Custom Hutch Cabinet

Custom Island

“What’s new is old.”  Both the new hutch and the new island have details from old furniture style cabinetry.  Wide rails and style on the cabinets and doors.  Old thumb latch hardware, old-fashioned wood knobs, furniture legs on island two panel doors on the hutch and a wood top on the hutch all add character to the kitchen.

Storage Pantry

The new pantry is stained to match the existing cabinets.

The Final Verdict:

From day one she was thrilled with the look of the kitchen.  Two or three weeks later we were talking and she said in an offhand way, “the kitchen works great, everything I do is easier, I am enjoying cooking much more.” That is the result I am looking for, the intersection of form and function, making the kitchen beautiful and a joy to cook in.

Bruce Gingrich is a designer and custom builder based in New Holland, PA.  His company, Glenn Gingrich, Inc. is a design, build, remodel firm that executes projects from conception to completion.  His functional insight, meticulous planning, building expertise, and customer collaboration can give you the living space of your dreams.

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