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Kiss your cabin’s old kitchen “Good bye!”

Your whole family can be nostalgic about your old cabin in the wilds. You visualize Uncle Paul at the old kitchen range flipping pancakes made from Grandma’s “buttermilk skies” recipe, and recall the family mutt stealing the cooked chicken when you were outside calling everyone in to dinner. You dismiss the rusty sink and the stove’s two dead burners.  The appliances guzzle energy, the wood countertops are bacteria farms, and the tiny old ‘Fridge is supplemented with stacks of Coleman coolers. Yet thinking of a kitchen remodel makes you feel like Benedict Arnold.

Take heart. To your kid , it’s your kitchen, not your grandparents’.  Everyone would prefer fewer trips to the village grocery store and ice machine, more time playing horse shoes, less time doing dishes. Here are two approaches to retaining the nostalgic look while reaping the benefits of today’s kitchen technologies.

  1. The budget-wise re-do: List the cabin kitchen’s worst offenders. Cramped counter space. Inadequate food storage. Ancient ovens and burners. Shoebox-size refrigerator. Drooping cabinets. Turn these liabilities into assets. Replace the double sink with one generous sink that creates countertop space plus room for a dishwasher. Replace one section of upper and lower cabinets with a pantry unit that includes storage doors. Purchase a 30 inch wide, range with four burners and a shallow top oven over a tall bottom oven (turkey and pies cook simultaneously!) Splurge on Silestone’s beautiful, tough quartz countertops for a very sanitary granite-look surface with none of granite’s fussy upkeep. Get off-the-shelf cabinets from a building supply store or from Ikea. Or replace those rusty metal cabinets with new stainless cupboards. Sand the plank floors and protect them with a polyurethane coating. Get recommendations of reliable remodeling contractors.
  2. Do a retro restoration: You can do most of the above using appliances, sinks, faucets, and cabinets that have today’s bells, whistles, and energy efficiency, but look much like your existing kitchen looked when new. Companies like Big Chill, Elmira Stove Works, and Heartland have appliance with 1950’s or even 1920’s looks but with self-cleaning ovens, ice cube makers, solid colors, and retro styling. Choose gas, electric, or wood fire energy. For cabinets, buy colored metal kitchen cabinets from Cabimax, reface your old wood cabinets with wood, or reface with metal laminates from Wilsonart (TM) to complete the retro look.

Cabin kitchens are the hard-working heart of family fun. Other rooms are for rainy days or sleeping. A kitchen remodel can lessen the work of large gatherings and provide more time for creating cherished memories with your family and friends. It’s time to spruce it up!

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