vintage finds for a modern world: Bluebirdbaby’s kitchen makeover.
by victoria comment


the very adorable Erin Wallace, author of Bluebirdbaby and owner of freya photography, lives in a funky 1850 house on the coast of Maine with her partner and daughter. They purchased the very dated house in hopes of turning it into a mixture of modern and vintage. The first projects were stripping rooms of wallpaper and linoleum, although some wallpaper remains to retain the house’s vintage.The biggest challenge so far? The kitchen!

Erin says, “We walked into the kitchen and noticed one thing…the beautiful farm sink! It made the mustard yellow/brown everything melt away as our eyes fixed on the white beauty in the middle. The whole remodel took about a year, with a long break between stripping the layers and layers of wallpaper off the walls and the actual construction.”

“It was quite eye opening to see the entire kitchen gutted…it just seemed so big! We went with open shelving on the top to give the room a more spacious look while displaying our funky vintage kitchenware. The cupboards below were designed to be flat paneled with the overlay for a simple, clean look.”

“We’re waiting on glass knobs to make the kitchen totally complete. I picked the blue color out (Ice Blue by Benjamin Moore) months before the painter could even get in. I knew it was the color I wanted and it turned out to be perfect! Not too blue, but very happy. We tore out a wall, expanding the kitchen a tad to fit a washer/dryer and to move our fridge back to gain space.”

“We’ve added storage in every possible place, including the vintage Hoosier I found on Craigslist for all our canned goods and flours, and oodles of bookshelves for cookbooks and our water filter system. My partner’s father is a master with renovations. He made the open shelving, designed the wine rack, and also the bookshelves and storage shelving on the other side. Add that to his countless hours of painting and we are forever grateful for his amazing work.”

“The floor is my favorite part…it sat underneath 4 layers of linoleum and had plywood tacked on top of it. You can see it in the picture of the gutted kitchen (above ‘before’ shot) it wasn’t a pretty sight! But with some sanding and staining, it turned out beautifully!”

Everything you see filling our kitchen was thrifted or second hand, from the table and chairs down to the glasses and plates. Check your local flea market…you’ll find amazing things!” For more fabulous vintage finds from erin, follow her blog Bluebirdbaby, and visit her photography website, freya photography.

24 responses to “vintage finds for a modern world: Bluebirdbaby’s kitchen makeover.”

  1. I love seeing the before’s in a makeover. It really inspires me to work extra hard and believe that it IS possible to take something hideous and transform it into something lovely. This kitchen is so fresh now – and I love that little chicken! haha so cute

  2. what an amazing house! they did an excellent job. i would love to own a house one day but for now my rented cute little casa works just fine!

  3. Oh Erin, I totally get you. We need to have a store/cafe/workshop/something i love all your treasures.ox Melissa

  4. This is fabulous to behold, having done a few “down to the studs” remodels myself. I saw a large turquoise pyrex dish at an estate sale last week that would’ve been the perfect kitchen-warming gift! The red polka dot dish is so great!! Love it alllllll…..

  5. Great kitchen remodel. I was especially drawn to the wood counter tops! I love that idea, and think about it doing it in my own kitchen someday…but wonder. How do you disinfect them?!? I know you would avoid putting things like raw chicken on your countertops, but in a kitchen it could contact could happen… So how do you clean the wood?
    Silly question with probably a really simple answer.

  6. Melissa…we don’t eat meat (the occasional burger cooked outside) so disinfecting them isn’t an issue. We wipe them down with hot soapy water daily, but also beeswax them and oil them weekly. They take a LOT of work to maintain. It’s worth it, but we always need to be careful about water and marking them up!

  7. I love your kitchen. I live in an 1870’s home on the coast of Nova Scotia. We recently ripped everything out of our kitchen, including layers of wallpaper!! I am awaiting a new window and then we can begin. I love seeing the open shelving as that is what I have planned for our reno. thanks for the inspiration.

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