My husband and I love our 85-year-old farmhouse near Iowa City but we don't love the outdated kitchen. We believe the previous owners remodeled the space in the 1970s so it's due for an update. Any tips for planning a kitchen remodel that brings the character back to our home?
Jody F. ~ Iowa City, Iowa
I live in a farmhouse about the same age, so I completely understand the affection you have for your home. I'll suggest several avenues you might try.
Look in your local newspaper and real estate magazines for homes for sale which are similar in age and style to your home. If the realtor involved is going to have an open house for the property, stop by and take a look at the kitchen. You are not intruding if they are having an open house, and looking at several homes of about the same age can give you an idea of how kitchens were designed 85 years ago. You might also look on the Internet, and browse some books and magazines at your local library. Websites such as www.OldHouseWeb.com often have links in their blog sections to articles about old houses that have been renovated. Many of the articles have pictures of the renovated kitchens.
It is possible to design a kitchen with the character of an 85-year-old farmhouse, and have modern touches that blend in rather than stand out. Homes of that era often have built-in cabinets as part of their kitchen design. Kitchens in modern homes often look like the cabinets were added to the kitchen, while the cabinets in older homes blend in better and appear to be an original component of the kitchen.