Renovating a 95-year-old kitchen in Richfield

Blending a respect for history with the beauty and efficiencies of today's surfaces.

When you tackle a 95-year-old home for a kitchen update, there are lots of things to look out for. Walls out of plumb, floor out of level, "pinch-point" doorways that open into each other, and an architectural style that, well, in this case, had the super small kitchen closed off from the dining room and literally divided in two!

The first order of business was to redesign the space without the wall separating the kitchen from the dining room. Once we were clear of that obstacle, the rest was a matter of blending the existing architecture, ceiling, trim, and flooring with new surfaces that enhanced the space without giving away its historic charm.

Design/Build Consultant — Courtney Cartee

Project Manager — Paul Brandt

Lead Carpenter — Ryan Whalen

Photography — Alyssa Lee

BEFORE: Dated vinyl flooring, deep space-robbing soffit and tiny countertop space made this divided kitchen a spacial nightmare.

AFTER: Kitchen wall removed (reduced substantially) to open sight-lines to dining room and provide efficient use of appliances and storage.

“The homeowner was very specific about getting rid of the popcorn ceiling texture," recalls Murphy Bros. lead designer Courtney Cartee.

"We replaced it with a flat look that would have been original to the homes of this age & doesn’t hold on to cobwebs or dust. The window on the back of the house was removed & two smaller windows were installed on the wall instead to make room for a proper range hood that was vented to the exterior. The radiator on this wall was also removed & a new hydronic kick-plate heater was put in its place below the new cooktop.”

BEFORE: Looking East from the dining room towards the kitchen wall that was removed. You can also see the hutch that was relocated & the kitchen radiator that was reworked to accommodate the new cabinet layout”.

AFTER: New arched doorway to the back hallway, new back door & opened kitchen floor plan.

All new appliances were specified, and, like so many remodels in the 2020-22 time frame, long wait times were to be expected. However, this one takes the cake. 49 weeks to get their Bosch double ovens was a bit much, especially when you consider the designer on the project, Courtney Cartee, conceived and had her first baby before those appliances arrived!

AFTER: New peninsula cabinets include a blind corner pull out & a double bin waste container pullout. Also, the built-in corner hutch was given a facelift & moved to the exterior front wall. It got a fresh coat of paint & patterned wallpaper added to the interior for a visual pop.

BEFORE: South east side of divided kitchen layout. Nothing like having your refrigerator stuffed in a corner!

AFTER: South east corner of kitchen, showing new stacked appliances location and new back door configuration.


                  • Countertops: Vicostone, (Misterio, BQ8815)
                  • Backsplash: Equ Country – 3x8 in Blanco tile
                  • Cabinets: Paint grade full overlay, Shaker door stye, hidden hinge w/ soft close
                  • Cabinet Interior: Maple Melamine
                  • Drawer Glides: full extension, soft close
                  • Drawer Box: Dovetail, solid hardwood
                  • Faucet: Delta Leland Pull-Down Faucet with Magnetic Docking Spray Head and ShieldSpray, 9178-SP-DST
                  • Sink: Kohler Vault 33" Double Basin Under-Mount Stainless Steel Sink w/ Smart Divide, K-3839


                  • Refrigerator: Bosch 36" Counter-Depth 3-Door Refrigerator, 800 Series -Stainless Steel
                  • Cooktop: Bosch 36" Induction Cooktop, Benchmark" Series-Black NITP669UC
                  • Hood: Vent-A-Hood Wall Mounted Liner Insert, BH134SLD
                  • Wall Ovens: Bosch 30" Microwave Combination Oven, 800 Series-Stainless Steel HBL87M53UC
                  • Dishwasher: Bosch 24" Bar Handle Dishwasher, 800 Series -Stainless Steel SHXM88Z75N


                  • Select White Oak toothed-in to match existing floor stain.


                  • 5 new LED recessed can lights
                  • New LED undercabinet lighting
                  • 2 new pendant lights above the sink


                  • Windows — Marvin Elevate casements


                  • Windows & window casing in the kitchen & dining room — Benjamin Moore White Dove -OC1

AFTER: Detailed craftsmanship showing baseboard finish work.

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