Combining old and new, a kitchen in the spirit of the 50s
A family kitchen was made over to become functional, while respecting the age of the building
The new family home needed updating in the kitchen and on other surfaces of the house. The original kitchen was cute, but very impractical, and the lower cabinets were already partly in poor condition. In addition, the mother, Petra, wished for an unobstructed view from the kitchen to the living room, to make it easier keeping an eye on an active child while cooking or doing other kitchen chores.
100 hours of planning
The planning of the renovation started as soon as the new house was bought. It was still a couple of months before the actual move, but evenings were spent efficiently, reading blogs and browsing Pinterest. The new house was located in the Kallio suburb of Helsinki, in a house from the 1960s, and style choices were made with the age of the building in mind.
“I joked to my friends that I spent 100 hours of my own time on the project, but that time is actually probably very close to the truth! Planning a kitchen is actually a combination of many different elements. And sometimes it did feel as I needed to do things the hard way, if I got a certain idea stuck to my head”, Petra laughs.
The plans changed and a few kitchen suppliers made offers on the new kitchen. As the new home was vacated, the plans eventually finalized: the upper cabinets of the old kitchen were decided to be kept, and only the lower cabinets were renewed entirely.
Stainless steel worktop for the entire kitchen
The basis for the kitchen plan was a full length stainless steel worktop, into which the sink and cooktop would be integrated.
“I have always liked traditional stainless steel worktops with sinks, and they are usually without exception found in 50s and 60s kitchens. When designing the kitchen, I had an idea that I wanted the whole kitchen worktop to be made of stainless steel. I asked about it from a Finnish stainless steel worktop manufacturer Stala, and luckily they were just adding a fully tailor-made worktop into their assortment, called Stala Tailor-made. I was very excited about this!” exclaims Petra while recalling the process.
The new stainless steel worktop was nearly 4 meters long and it didn't fit into the apartment through the common stairway. In the end the worktop was brought in through the window. Lifting the worktop looked tricky, but very quickly it was inside the apartment and one of the most exciting phases of the renovation was completed.
In addition to its beautiful appearance, the stainless steel is hygienic and easy to keep clean - so a perfect choice for a family with kids.
Using traditional pulls and the white frame on the lower cabinets, the age and spirit of the house were attempted to be kept in the new cabinets as well. For the backsplash, traditional white 15x15 cm tiles were chosen and installed in a brick pattern.
A beautiful and functional kitchen for a reasonable price
The budget and the needs of the family directed the choice of materials. The family was however not ready to compromise on functionality or aesthetics, and decided that they could get a beautiful yet functional kitchen at a reasonable price. It only meant deciding which element to invest in, and what could be bargained without effecting the outcome drastically.
They decided to keep the refrigerator and freezer combination and the dishwasher, both of which the previous home owners had bought only two years before, saving money from buying new appliances. In addition, the old upper cabinets were painted and the other one was also moved.
“I was a bit nervous whether they would be able to move the cabinet in one piece. There was also a bit of miscommunication between myself and the handyman, and the cabinet was once installed in a wrong place on the wall. Thankfully the skilled workers were able to fix the situation and the cabinet found its right place.”
Investments were made not only on the stainless steel worktop and some new appliances, but also on opening up the room by knocking a wall between the kitchen and the living room. To ease the everyday life of the family, they added another small freezer integrated under the worktop, a spacious recirculating oven with pyrolytic cleaning and a quick and easy care induction cooktop.
The grey cook top blends in well with the stainless steel, and it adds something to the kitchen.
“I always cook large amounts at a time, so portions can then be frozen and eaten when you don't have the time or the will to cook. By doing this I can ease our everyday life, without having to often use convenience foods. It also helps that my child likes all sorts of food, and food in general, just like me!”