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Kitchen Before and After | Farm and Function

A father-daughter duo restores a 1920s kitchen’s down-home vintage charm

BEFORE | Mismatched and Dysfunctional

Do it yourself can be daunting, but doing it yourselves can transform even a tough project into a pleasure. That was the case for Taylor Mimnaugh of Cushing, WI, who wanted to re-create the homespun appeal of her 1929 farmhouse’s original kitchen and turned to her father for help. Lucky for her, dad Mark Anderson is a pro cabinetmaker who shared his daughter’s vision and had the skills to bring it to fruition. “The goal was for the kitchen to be as authentic as possible but with modern amenities,” Taylor says. Staying within the room’s footprint, the duo tore out the 1980s oak cabinets, including a peninsula that ate up floor space.

Shown: Oak cabinets, laminate countertops, and a stainless-steel sink weren’t period-appropriate for a farmhouse restoration.

AFTER | Farmhouse Appropriate

Photo by Chad Holder

They relocated the range to where the fridge had been, beside a double window, to give the cook a view of the pasture. Mark built new base cabinets and glass-front cupboards to hang above a vintage cast-iron sink Taylor got for $100. Maple flooring uncovered beneath layers of linoleum and vinyl was sanded and clear-coated, while creamy finishes lightened things up even more. “It makes me so happy to be in the kitchen, because it functions better now, and fits the era of the house,” says Taylor, who’s mom to four kids. “Not to mention knowing that I did it with my dad!”

Shown: The maple butcher-block counters were stained, then sealed with polyurethane. Maple countertops, a vintage apron sink with a high back, beadboard walls, and creamy-white cabinets with crown molding and bracket details lend an authentic period look. The farm table seats six and doubles as prep space.
Range: Whirlpool
Paint: Antique White (beadboard), Dutch Boy; Soft Landing (walls), Magnolia

Focal Point Faucet

Photo by Chad Holder

“I wanted the sink to be the focal point when you walk into the kitchen,” Taylor says of her Craigslist score. She had the basin professionally re-glazed, and found an old-school-style wall-mount bridge faucet for it.
Faucet: Kingston Brass

Farm to Table

Photo by Chad Holder

A farm table made of reclaimed yellow pine floorboards and repurposed table legs got a distressed white stained finish. The bench seats boast a scalloped edge that evokes the 1920s. Taylor designed the bench detail, and Mark helped her cut it out at his shop with a band saw.
Chandelier: Menards
Dishwasher: Maytag

Cabinetmaker and Daughter

Photo by Chad Holder

The best part of the project for Pop? “Spending time with my daughter and passing my knowledge down to her,” says cabinetmaker Mark Anderson. “My dad is my hero!” adds homeowner Taylor Mimnaugh.
Cabinets and countertops: Mark Anderson, North Metro Millwork

Plank Table

Photo by Chad Holder

Instead of an island, Taylor envisioned a plain plank table to use for food prep and casual dining. Constructed from found floorboards, it was painted white, then gently distressed for instant age.
Floor finish: Bona Traffic

Custom Cabinets

Photo by Chad Holder

The cabinets were crafted from cost-effective white melamine boxes, with face frames made of poplar, Mark’s “go-to wood for paint.” He sprayed the face frames and doors with a catalyzed lacquer for an easy-to-clean, nick- and chip-resistant finish.
Cabinet color: Sherwin-Williams Dover White
Fridge: Kenmore

Lazy Susan Storage

Photo by Chad Holder

A corner cabinet holds a lazy Susan to improve storage capacity and accessibility. Details like the curved cabinet feet add vintage charm.
Custom cabinets: North Metro Millwork
Hardware: Holdahl Company

Sink Restored

Photo by Chad Holder

The cost to re-glaze a vintage enameled sink—like this one, with a built-in drainboard—starts at around $250 and can run higher than $750, depending on size, condition, and your location. A new one is bound to cost at least $1,000.
Sink restoration: The Tub Guys

Maple Floors

Photo by Chad Holder

Maple floors, revealed after layers of linoleum and vinyl were pulled up, got a good sanding and were given a satin clear coat, skipping stain in favor of a light, natural look.
Floor finish: Bona Traffic

Floor Plans

Floor plan by Ian Worpole

Poor appliance placement and a peninsula made the 206-square-foot space feel cramped.

Swapping the fridge and range locations provided a view for the cook. A bit more floor space allowed for a long farm table that doubles as a prep island.

  1. Closed up an interior window above the sink and added custom cabinets and open shelves in its place.
  2. Took out a peninsula that constricted flow, reconfiguring cabinets around the relocated fridge.
  3. Put the range where the fridge had been, next to the double window.
  4. Crafted a table and benches from reclaimed pine floorboards and other salvaged scrap.
  5. Placed a 100-year-old Hoosier cabinet in a previously bare corner to boost storage.