Birds and Ponies and Babies Oh My

Rummaged through some old photographs today at a sale.

I limited myself to 4 photos/ .25 ea -- circa 1920s to 1940s

Thought there was something sort of beautiful about these photos in particular:
subjects, lighting, composition...I'm not quite sure, just some lovely shots to inspire.

Looking through antique and vintage photographs is always bittersweet. I love the glimpse it allows into the lives of people before me but there is also something unsettling about it...voyeuristic maybe? --That I know the photographs weren't created with the intent to be on display for sale in a mixed and nameless heap. It's a strange idea that our things outlive us. -- I've recently thought about writing a series of bound journal entries in the form of a one-way correspondence to a future reader.

Kitschen Renovation

I'm in the process of updating my childhood home on a tight budget. The kitchen was our first major project. The house is a cape cod built in 1945, and since I am a huge fan of 1940's design, I decided to restore this kitchen to its original era. This was a big project... one month of hard labor, new floors, new appliances, new counters, new tile back splash, fresh cabinet paint, (new) vintage hardware, light fixture and table set....


Severely warped faux wood laminate counters, outdated appliances, vinyl yellow brick flooring, heavily wallpapered in country apple theme (including backsplash). Awful florescent overhead lighting.


.... AND.... voila!.... the big reveal. I'm pretty happy with the way this kitchen renovation went. You would be surprised at the budget I worked with. (Still have to paint those two faux drawers under the sink)

I did a lot of image searching for 1940's kitchens and these were a few of my inspiration photos for the project:

COSTS OF RENOVATION on a small budget:


Love wood flooring in a kitchen and butcher block counter tops. The only problem is these can be somewhat expensive and difficult to maintain. I found an excellent deal at IKEA on unfinished butcher block counter slabs. We spent about $300 total on the counters and treated them with 3 coats Waterlox sealer and 3 coats Waterlox Satin Finish so they are completely waterproof. It's a food grade tung oil. They still aren't resistant to cuts from knives, etc. but I've always been careful about that. If you don't have any woodworking knowledge/tools, you may not want to attempt to create an L-shaped counter with this material, considering the counter pieces are beveled on all edges, it can be difficult to remove a section of the bevel to join them.


I found a set of four reproduction yellow 1950's chairs on Craigslist for $60, which was an amazing deal since these cost up to $150 each. Plus the foam is new and they are more comfortable than the older chairs. Found a matching table at a local thrift store for $20 which cleaned up very nicely.


Loved the old painted face cabinets with the white base so we painted the cabinet faces "Lemon Slush" yellow. But the hardware in my kitchen was from the 1970's and looked too "primitive country," so I found a set of 32 1950's chrome handles on Ebay for $50 that someone took out of an older home during a renovation. This way I also had leftover for the bathroom cabinets.


This was a splurge, but not really considering that new kitchen lights started at over $100, even at places like Home Depot and Lowes. I found this on Ebay and paid $60 with shipping. It is a retractable light so it has a pulley in the top metal "bullet" and the height can be easily adjusted by pulling up or down on it. It also has a great "punch out" design on the top of the fixture that the light shines through.

5. SUBWAY TILE BACKSPLASH - $0.23 / tile

Installed the white subway tile backsplash after stripping all the wallpaper. $0.23 / tile at Home Depot. Easy installation, used wet saw to fit tiles.


This was the major spending point in the renovation. We went with Bruce hardwood in the color Gunstock Oak to match existing wood flooring in an adjoining room. Lowe's had the best pricing on this.

The biggest saving was that we did all the labor ourselves.