A New Kitchen for an 1890 Queen Anne
When Rev. Hunter Farrell and his wife Ruth returned to Louisville, Kentucky, after nine years as missionaries in Peru, Ruth fell in love with an 1890s Queen Anne home. Their need for an updated kitchen for entertaining was critical but their busy schedule left no time for planning a renovation. Fortunately, Ruth’s sister Betty, a born project manager with design training, was happy to step in. And it was truly a daunting undertaking.
Moving the refrigerator and taking up tile revealed a hole rotted through to the basement. After the joists were reinforced, hardwood flooring was laid through the kitchen and dining room, blending perfectly with the floors in the living room.
Frugal shoppers, Ruth and Betty selected cabinets with care. After several weekends comparing price and quality they decided to try the Internet company they saw advertised on HGTV – CliqStudios. The website had the information they needed, and they were impressed that they received samples right away. Their request to CliqStudios designer Anne-Marie Klobe was for a kitchen that took advantage of vertical space. They knew there was a window hidden in one wall, which would be opened up facilitate passage to the tv room and deck for entertaining. And the space would include display of mementos and artwork from the couple’s time in Africa and South America.
They hoped to include two pull-out trash/recycling cabinets, a tray divider cabinet, mullion glass cabinets above the range and, on one wall, reduced-depth base cabinets and floating shelves to let the light flow through. Ruth never having had a dishwasher, would have gone without, but Betty insisted. Now Ruth repeatedly says of the appliance, “I just love it.”
Anne-Marie commented, “Removing the soffit opened up the space and made the whole room bigger, brighter and taller. Symmetrical glass-door cabinets flanking the bumped-out cabinet above the microwave created a visual centerpiece above the hearth. The carpenter did a beautiful job of in tying custom leaded glass, crown molding and a coffered ceiling.”
Renovating a historic home is always an adventure, a journey you want to make with a top-notch Sherpa. Carpenter and former engineer Rick, skilled and creative, fit the bill. Tear-out revealed a wall constructed of three layers of bricks and concrete with no studs to support cabinets. Adding two inches for a stud wall would have skewed the entire design. Instead, Rick cut slots in the brick to make space for studs and electrical conduit, drilling holes for dowel rods which, when studs were attached with a power nailer, served as anchor bolts. He used dimensions on the detailed cabinet layout to position the studs; when the cabinets went up, everything fit perfectly.
“We had so much fun working on this,” Betty said about the process, giving credit to many for the project’s success. Carpenter Rick has been working his way through the 1890s Queen Anne home one section at a time, starting with the carriage house. Other contributors include an interested neighbor who suggested unique detailing for the backsplash, a third sister, who spent a long weekend helping tear the kitchen down to the studs and floor joists, a delivery team that, long after their day should have been over, hand-carried boxed cabinets down a street blocked with parked cars, and son Will, who sorted and checked every box after delivery, working late into the night.
In preparation for hanging cabinets, Betty and Ruth painted the room gray – or so they thought. Hunter looked at their work and saw purple. The team stayed up all night repainting the space in a soft beige. Ruth wanted glass cabinet knobs but Betty felt the drawers needed sturdier pulls. They compromised – glass knobs above for bling, bar pulls below for strength. Betty feels the only fiasco was the Ikea apron sink. It took three roundtrips to Ikea in Cincinnati to find a replacement.
And they are so pleased with the result. Here’s what they said when sending pictures to Anne-Marie:
“Good morning Anne-Marie, we cleaned and staged the kitchen just for you. I filled out the page and did before and after pictures. Sending you all the pictures I took in two emails. If you recall, we had major reconstruction….moved door, made a pass through and had a ceiling that completely collapsed when we took the old soffit down! Our carpenter Rick did all the work himself and even created a beautiful tray ceiling with can lighting ( that originally was not in the plan). Also the wall with the main cabinets we discovered thee were no stubs, just three layers of bricks as outside wall. Rick did engineering and chiseled out the bricks to anchor the call. I am sending that picture also…an engineering feat. Ruth did get to have Thanksgiving dinner as her first cooking day, but the room really was not finished until April when the glass tiles were finally installed. It was a very long process, but totally thrilled with the kitchen. We love it!
Thank you! But, it is so important to have a quality carpenter to do the work.”