A Historic Shepherdstown Kitchen Gets Remodeled for an Updated Look that Stays True to Home’s Roots
A young couple was looking for an updated kitchen space for their historic home in Sherpherdstown, WV. They wanted it to be stylish, comfortable and functional, but not “modern” looking.
This remodel had none of the big surprises, such as crooked floors, that often appear with historic homes. Of course, the biggest challenge with any historic home renovation is making the remodeled space feel like it has always been a part of the house. One small challenge was finding a good, available spot for the microwave, which the clients didn’t want on the countertop.
The young couple who own this historic Shepherdstown WV home hired us to take a cheaply-done previous remodel and come up with a design that would turn it into a stylish yet comfortable space that better reflected their lifestyle and did justice to the home’s heritage.
The previous owners had done a “big-box” remodel that included white low-end plastic-coated particle board cabinets and dingy Formica countertops. The flooring, however, was made of good pine and was in great shape. We took extra care to protect it from the start so it wouldn’t get scratched.
The Kitchen Remodel
One of the first changes we made was to remove the drywall that had been put around the old chimney, making it look like a clunky box along one of the walls. We stripped it down to the natural brick and made it a focal point of the room. It also tied it nicely with the brick wall that already existed to the right of the stove (pictured above). We finished the look of the kitchen remodel by covering the chimney’s stovepipe thimble with a copper pie plate.
Continuing the copper theme, we hung a pots and pan rack on the brick wall and the homeowners hung a nice selection of copper pans there. We also installed a copper farm sink with motif apron and centered it under the window.
The home has a separate dining room, so no separate area was designated for a table and chairs. The homeowners instead chose a center table that could be used for food prep. Two bar chairs were placed where the top of the prep table hung over the base.
The homeowners had requested we find a place off the counter for the microwave. We solved this by removing one of the built-in drawers in the center table and building a frame inside to house the microwave. Happily, there was already a floor outlet there!
Other design choices and features included:
- Relocating the stove to the opposite side of the sink, making it more functional. A copper range hood was also installed.
- The ceiling lights were changed to make prep work at the counter easier.
- All electric was upgraded but redid only the kitchen plumbing.
- Crown moulding was added to the top of the cabinets.
- A light-colored granite countertop with a lot of grain beautifully complements the brick and copper details.
- The backsplash is 4” square tiles of tumbled travertine marble with a center accent strip.
Finally, the originally bright yellow walls were painted a steel blue and bright white was used for the moulding.
DuPaul Construction Comments
This is a beautiful home located in the historic downtown district of Shepherdstown on a half-acre lot. Older homes have amazing character traits and historical features that make them fun, though sometimes challenging, projects.
One of the cool things we enjoyed when remodeling this kitchen involved the back porch that had been closed in. It houses the washer, dryer and other utility-type stuff and there was a full glass door between it and the kitchen. To the left of the door was a window so that looking out the homeowners saw the machines.
We decided to take out the windows sashes, but left the jamb and molding on the inside of the kitchen. We built a cabinet-grade box to go inside the window frame. An old door that matched others throughout the house was found in the attic. It perfectly fit the width of the window and we cut it down to the height of the window. We also also installed antique hardware on it. The result was a period-appropriate pantry with a contemporary update: a wine rack beneath it.
This is a great example of mixing old and new features in a historic home remodel, which can be very appealing. Just because a home is older, you don’t have to everything have the look of the original era. Design rules can be broken, especially when it comes to decorating. An older home does not need to be filled with antiques.