Bright, Charming Space: After
Tight quarters can really cramp your entertaining style. That’s why Tim and Wendy Hogan, who love hosting a crowd, were eager to open up—and brighten up—the dark kitchen in their Portland, Oregon, home. The DIYers gutted the room within days of getting the keys to the bite-size 1926 bungalow, salvaging only the stove. “The layout was awkward and the kitchen was closed off from the dining and living areas,” says Wendy. Busting out a dividing wall created airiness and elbow room without altering the footprint.
Once the shallow, worn-out cabinets had been scrapped, Tim got busy building new ones of his own design, giving the stacked uppers seeded-glass doors at the very top. Then he addressed the tricky task of spray-painting the cabinets in Wendy’s favorite sun-drenched shade, a built-in pick-me-up in their rainy Pacific Northwest locale. Pine floors and a cherry butcher-block-island top lend more warmth. Aluminum casters allow the island to go from prep surface to serving station to suit any bash the couple may host. “It’s not a big house,” says Tim, “but the new open concept makes it easy to get everyone together.”
Shown: Custom cabinetry, an apron-front sink, and clever details deliver a high-functioning space with farmhouse charm.
Cabinet paint: SW6695 Midday, Sherwin Williams
Dark and Outdated: Before
Drab stained-plywood cupboards closed in the kitchen.
Original Pine Floors
A Douglas fir beam takes the place of a load-bearing wall. The couple tore up three layers of linoleum to reveal the old-growth-pine floors underneath.
Perfect Fit Appliances
A custom cabinet gives the refrigerator a sleek, built-in look. Colorful paintings by Wendy Hogan add a bright, original touch.
Refrigerator: The Home Depot
Central Prep Station
Linseed oil, brushed over the island’s cherry edge-grain butcher-block top, brings out the wood’s natural color.
Island paint: 780F-7 Stealth Jet, Behr
Convenient Cookware Storage
Tim Hogan designed and built the plywood cabinet boxes with poplar face frames. The lower units are fitted with drawers, including extra-deep ones along the bottom to store pots and pans.
Bin pulls: The Home Depot
To keep fresh herbs on hand, Tim installed a 6-inch-deep windowsill supported by curved brackets on the sink wall—perfect for plants.
Pull-down faucet: Moen
Sink and shelf brackets: IKEA
Tile: U.S Ceramic available at The Home Depot
Four-inch aluminum casters make the handmade island portable, so the duo can shift it around as needed during dinner parties.
Floor Plan Before: Walled-In
A makeshift layout hampered the tight kitchen while a wall closed it off, isolating the cook.
Homeowner Tip: “When spray-painting cabinets, be sure the surface is very clean and dust-free, and use Flotrol, an additive that thins the paint and prevents drips.” —Tim Hogan, Portland, OR
Floor Plan After: Welcoming Space
Losing a wall and reconfiguring appliance placement turned the same footprint into an open-plan, party-ready space.
1. Moved the fridge—it had blocked the flow of traffic into the next room—alongside the range, which was shifted over.
2. Tore down a wall between the dining room and kitchen and added a beam for support.
3. Added a movable 2-by-4-foot island for extra prep and storage space.
4. Installed a new dishwasher next to the sink to replace the nonworking model that sat across the room.
5. Replaced an L-shaped cabinet run with one that extends into the seating area.