A Bungalow Kitchen in Columbus Gets a New (Old) Look

A Bungalow kitchen BEFORE

When Chelsea and Kiel moved into their 1918 Craftsman bungalow in Ohio, the kitchen didn’t have much personality. It was hard to tell it belonged to a nearly 100-year old house. But with some hard work and creativity, they turned it into this…

Farm Fresh Therapy bungalow kitchen AFTER

Chelsea says, “We finished this renovation for under $3,500 (not including new appliances) but spent nearly 9 months DIYing. We did a complete gut and remodel including handmade custom cabinets, beadboarded ceiling, replaced electrical & lighting, refinished floors (under layers of laminate & glue), tiled backsplash, handmade kitchen island, and updated trim work.” Wow.

Farm Fresh Therapy bungalow kitchen AFTER 5

They created the new kitchen island with metal piping and leftover butcher block after the counters were installed. They fitted the island with old wire baskets for more storage.

Farm Fresh Therapy bungalow kitchen AFTER 6

The “EAT” letters were scrap yard salvage finds, believe it or not.

Farm Fresh Therapy bungalow kitchen AFTER 2

Kiel is an industrial designer by day and a furniture maker by night at Midwest Woods Furniture where he creates home goods from wood sourced around Ohio.

open kitchen shelving

I’m really digging that turquoise tile. So fun.

Farm Fresh Therapy bungalow kitchen AFTER 3

The cast iron sink was a $25 Craigslist score, and the faucet is from IKEA.

Farm Fresh Therapy bungalow kitchen AFTER 4

Another look back at how it looked before…

bungalow kitchen corner BEFORE

It’s come a long way since then! Thanks to Chelsea for sharing it with us. Visit her beautiful blog Farm Fresh Therapy for more photos and details. (Photos by Coley & Co. Photography.)

Chelsea's Sears Kit Bungalow Farm Fresh Therapy (9)

P.S. Visit Before & After to see more, including…

Jennifer's Cottage Kitchen BeforeJennifer’s Cottage Kitchen Makeover

Traci's bathroom BEFORE
Traci wrote me about her Guest Bath Makeover and says she started with "classic 1980’s yuck." But now? "I'm so happy with this room remodel…
Kitchen in Atlanta before remodel 1
This house in the Ansley Park neighborhood of Atlanta was built in 1900, but you'd never know it by the way the kitchen had been…

See More


  1. says

    That is an adorable and fun kitchen – quite appropriate for that age home. Much better than the “apartment-style-from-the-80’s” Before photo!

  2. Pamela says

    I think they did a very nice job and the craftsmanship of your cupboards is beautiful. The only thing that keeps me from loving it is to my eye there are too many things exposed. When I first looked at the kitchen I couldn’t focus on any one thing my eyes were confused. When I zeroed in on each individual element I liked them all just not seen all together at once. I would cover some of the open cupboards with the beautiful doors the husband made for the bottom. Even if they had glass in them to keep an open feeling it would calm the room. Don’t be discouraged about my comment. Ii just think that addition (or subtraction depending how you look at it) would make it perfect. At some point you might also consider taking the cupboards up to the ceiling to give the room a greater feeling of height. Any of these can be added over time.

    • Kimberly says

      Pamela, I agree with you 100%. It’s a really wonderful kitchen update, which in fact takes it back to a more “vintage” look in keeping with the age of the house, but my eyes went wild trying to focus on things! Too much exposed “stuff,” especially smaller items in all the various colors (even though there is a cohesive color palette) make a room look cluttered, even though that kitchen is incredibly well organized.

      I was thinking the same thing – put cabinet doors on the uppers and use reeded clear, or etched, glass to “quiet” the items in the upper cabinets. A pair of adjoining uppers left exposed with all their color-coordinated ceramic bowls and plates would look lovely. All that said, I’m in earthquake-prone California and exposed shelves are not the best idea for storing anything other than a few pieces because that stuff flies across the room and could cause injury during a quake, so I do envy these people being able to have exposed shelves!

      • says

        It’s always interesting to me how everyone sees things differently. I wouldn’t change a thing about this kitchen. I love how much personality and color it has! :)

        • Kimberly says

          Hi Julia! Don’t get me wrong, I adore their kitchen update, I love the color and personality of it, too; it really is keeping with what I love in a kitchen! They really did an amazing job with it, and I adore all the attention to detail. I guess my problem is that my eyesight is on the bad side, and I really do have trouble “focusing” in a room with a lot of things to look at. I think I have processing issues, too, meaning that a room with a lot to look at doesn’t excite me and make me want to explore, rather it reads as a “riot” in my mind and it makes me want to get away from it. I love the kitchen, but I think for me I would add white upper doors to all the cupboards, and perhaps use clear glass in white frames for one set of uppers so all the colorful plates and bowls could be seen.

          Also, did you know your website was mentioned in the most recent issues of HGTV Magazine as one of their favorite sites for viewing houses, especially ones from movies and TV?! Congratulations on the mention, I was very excited to see you listed!

  3. says

    The sink. The sink! I had a similar porcelain sink in a college apartment and though I broke many a glass in it (accidentally), I think it may have been worth the charm.

  4. Jennah says

    Aaaaah! How awesome is that gorgeous turquoise tile? Beautiful job! So inspiring to see homeowners incorporate salvaged and repurposed items to create such a great living space. Love all the details right down to the fun, coloured dishes! Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. threadbndr says

    That sink is AMAZING. And I love the island. I also am digging the hardware on the cabinets.

  6. says

    Okay, I just had a moment, here.
    That ‘before’ kitchen was just sad, wasn’t it?
    I’m beyond glad I spied these highly inspirational photos before we complete our (completely gutted) kitchen re-do!
    I, too, dig the turquoise tiles + am wondering how to do something equally awesome!
    Personality! Personality! Personality!
    I love it!

  7. Laura says

    Personality is right. I love what they did with this kitchen. This looks like a place where people actually cook, and use the things on the shelves enough that they don’t have to worry about dusting all the time. Love the colors and the vintage chairs, signs, etc. We have that same sink, but it still has the original metal cabinet, which we painted turquoise! Great job!

  8. KC says

    I love that sink and the tile is so pretty. I just don’t get why you see so many kitchens where EVERYTHING is on display. I think a few cabinets with glass fronts or just open shelves are great for displaying some of your more special items. It just looks so cluttered when so much is open and on display. Plus, cabinet doors protect things you don’t use as often from dust! Just my opinion for what it’s worth.

    • says

      I was just thinking about how it’s all about open shelves and displays in kitchens now. Here’s my take on it. In the ’90s we displayed bowls and pretty things over our cabinets. Remember that? Then it was declared that cabinets have to go up to the ceiling. Shorter ones were “out.” Even if you had shorter cabinets, it was declared “a dated look” to put anything on them. We were told to leave them bare.

      But then we had nowhere to add color or accessories. Kitchens looked boxy and sterile. So people started incorporating open shelves to display their pretty things and bring some more openness and color into their kitchens. I think we’ve gone from bare-looking minimal kitchens to ones that are full of color and displays again. That’s my theory of how the trends evolved, anyway! :)

    • says

      This kitchen looks real to me and not staged like a catalogue shoot or a model home. You can hear the voices, the clink of wine glasses, laughter, smell the yummy food being prepared. I want to hang out here.

        • says

          Gotta say, although I’m a huge fan of turquoise, and I like color and some open cabinets/display, for me this is too much–the after felt busy. But putting doors back on is probably an easy change if the owner ever changed their minds. Also, I really dug that pantry door (both ways, really).

      • Culpepper says

        My thoughts exactly, Jane. This kitchen reminds me of my grandmother’s kitchen in her craftsman home. This kitchen, though busy, makes me happy and makes me want to take a seat and stay a while.

    • MaryRC says

      “Dust” is the first word that came to my mind when I saw the canisters and E A T letters on display on the top of the cabinets. I always cringe when I see this because I immediately wonder when they were last cleaned. Exposed items in kitchens collect dust and grease over time and these items are high enough that it’s a chore to clean them.

  9. Neesha says

    I really love this. It looks lived in, like people actually cook and hang out here and have fun. The colors are fun and lovely together.

  10. says

    A job well done! Original wood floors are always a favorite with me, it’s great that they decided to restore them even though it’s a lot of hard work.
    I spent five years working on a 1930’s bungalow, some days it was so difficult I thought I was crazy for even considering the project. Always worth it in the end though.
    The island they handmade is an exceptionally nice touch, and is giving me ideas as to a kitchen table I have been wanting to make.
    Great before and after, thanks for showing it!

  11. maddie may says

    Terrific reno….Love the homespun personality throughout but especially the homeowners colorful dishware. So nice to see it displayed on the open shelving. It adds so much character & charm to the feel of this kitchen. The sink is a true treasure & the tiles add just the right touch of color to tie everything together. This is such a sweet kitchen.

  12. MissFifi says

    I am thrilled because they are thrilled and even though I loathe open shelving, it is a helluva a renovation. And that sink! Oh my goodness that sink is fabulous!!!

  13. Gaynell says

    Love it, you can tell a lot of hard work went into this remodel.
    AHHHH that sink, that sink. $25??? what a score!! I am in love…..They did a great job with this room, they should be very proud.

  14. Lily says

    I would love to know more about the little cabinet/closet in the corner. Is it built in? A free standing piece? Did they buy it or make it? So cute!!

    • says

      They give more details on their blog. Can’t remember if they mention that specifically, though. Isn’t that cool, though?

    • Midwest woods furniture says

      Lily, the cabinet was one we found at an antique show (scott show). It is an older cabinet probably 1920’s or 30’s. We were about to walk out and my wife saw it and after some haggling I found my self loading it in to the truck. When we got it home it fit perfectly in to that spot!! and I didn’t even have to paint it!!

  15. Lorrie says

    A great improvement. However, I sincerely hope they have no young children because of where they have chosen to store their knife block. It should be high up on a counter, not on the bottom shelf of the kitchen island.

  16. Billy says

    Not what expected, but I’ll arm wrestle them for the sink

  17. Kim says

    What a nice sink! I love that it has drainboards to cut vegetables on so that they save counter space.

  18. Gayle says

    Love your blog!!!

    Unfortunately, this kitchen is not for me and not a place I would enjoy spending time. I had to look twice to realize I do like the backsplash, sink, the installed finishes (floors, cabs, lighting, etc). There is too much stuff jammed in that place. Visually, the only places my eye has to land/rest are the refrigerator and the chalkboard door. I like open cabinetry, but this is the perfect example of how overfilling with “stuff” and having no order with accessories/accent colors will make the job go bad.

  19. says

    WOW I am blown away! It’s amazing to see a space completely transformed like this. I’d like to think that if I had open cabinetry like this, I would be a lot more diligent about organizing! I see it as a positive!

  20. Juju (Julie) says

    The kitchen certainly is bright and very cute, and the turquoise tile is a really bold choice. I am impressed by the skill that went into making the cuboards. The husband did a beautiful job. I like the island as well, but to me, the kitchen is way too busy. It also seems to lack real workspace beyond the island. I know I’m in the minority in regard to the sink, and porcelain one bowl sinks in general, but I am not a fan of the sink. I prefer a deeper sink, without the excess around the sides. It seems it would be a bit of a chore to clean. To me, it doesn’t look like a working kitchen, but more of a decorated kitchen, and I admit I am a bit of a hard ass about that. I’ve never thought a kitchen should be a place for knickknacks, they just get in the way when one cooks.

    Overall it’s eye catching. I applaud their vision.

  21. Gaynell says

    I have been following this post and am amazed at the negative comments. People seem to be stuck on a couple items like too much dust, busy décor. Obviously the owners knew that they were going to have to dust the items left out for display. It is a small kitchen and will not take that long folks. I had a lot of open shelving in my last kitchen and just like the rest of my house I cleaned it. It did not take that long and I bet they have a stool they use too. As for the décor, it is happy and fun. Keep in mind these owners did the work themselves and did so very inexpensively. So if they change it up, tear it up and go a whole new direction they can. That’s the luxury about being talented like these folks, they can do and re-do whenever they want. They can take risk. I like risk takers! Whether you or they realize it or not, this is their art, collectively they have created a room of art that is probably ever changing, Think of it as live art, It is not for everyone, That is why they make beige paint.

  22. Kelly says

    I loved loved loved the new sink. But looking at the “After” photos, all I saw was clutter. I’m just not a fan of the “everything exposed” look.

  23. Sandy says

    This is a gorgeous remodel! I love everything but it is a bit busy for my personal taste.