50s Diner to Breakfast Room – A Remodel

Today’s post is a little off the normal drool-worthy food that I’d usually be posting (stay tuned later this week for more on that).  Today is all about the transformation of our 50’s Diner turned Breakfast Room with Before, During and Afters.  

This is what our back porch room looked like when we bought our house.  Everyone who walked in to this room gasped and said “How Cool – You’re not going to change this are you?”  Yes, everyone.  The only 2 people who didn’t feel quite so attached to the black, white and red were the Hubs and I.  Yes, it was probably super cool when the past owners lived in this house.  They loved all things vintage 50’s including classic muscle cars.  I even heard through the neighbor grapevine that this room was covered in old vinyl records and even had a big popcorn machine in the corner.  Very cool!

With that said – it’s not my style.  If I had to pick one look and brand my taste with it – it would be “Pottery Barn”.  I know, you’re probably thinking “I’m on a ‘Farmgirl’ website, doesn’t she have a bunch of chickens and gingham everywhere”?  Yes, you can ease your mind, my kitchen is loaded with chickens & roosters, but I’m definitely not a gingham kinda girl.  

The railing to nowhere actually blocks a staircase down to the laundry room/basement

So when we set out to change this room, I knew I wanted it to be bright, cheery and sophisticated.  Did I mention that we started this project in October?  Yep, it’s true.  October.  That’s a long time to be living with dust, dirt, shop vacs, ladders.  You get the picture.

On floor demo day (or night as it was) we started peeling back the black and white tiles.  Under which we found sub floor that was nailed down.  It seemed odd, so we dug a little deeper and HAPPY BIRTHDAY – we found original fir hardwoods hiding underneath.  They were in decent shape as you can see.  That made the Hubs very happy as I was already picking out wood-esque floor to lay down thinking we’d just have plywood sub floor under the sea of 50’s.  That was a nice find and a very nice money savings.
Things started looking up around December.  The new windows were in, drywall hung and new wiring and lighting complete.  The 2×4 contraption in the left front is the makings of a large built in.  The stairs to the laundry room and basement go down right under it, so we needed a good head space.  
As you can see we did a little wall demo too.  The doorway leads to a small mud room area and then into the family room.  It all felt very disjointed, so the Master of the SawsAll opened it up.  There’s still a pony-wall on the right side, but that’s to keep anyone from falling down the stairs to the laundry room.  
Time to start bringing in the cabinetry.  Gary is amazing.  I give him my concept and he can build anything!  The majority of the time I hand him a Pottery Barn catalog and say “build that” and he does.  He made out Entertainment Center in the family room and it looks just like PB.  Gotta love a handy man!


Next up comes staining floors that have been sanded down to almost new condition and painting the walls.  I think painting is my all time favorite because it completely transforms the room within a couple of hours.  The color is Stone Walls by Behr and I just love it.  Because there are 7 windows in this tiny room, I decided to go with a little darker color.  It’s still so bright and cheerful in there.  
January has hit and we’re finally at the trimming out stage of the windows and walls, but still working on the built-ins.  We matched the trim and base boards to the rest of the house, which was built in 1912.  It always seems great to replicate the old trim.  Well at least until it’s time to break out the paintbrush – then you realize that its never-ending!  
One of the last things to get done was the Mud Room floor and built in coat closet.  There was a makeshift closet there when we bought the house, but it was in serious need of some updating so the G man ripped it out, including the floor and started over.  Of course the floor was not level.  This part of the house was added on in the early 1990’s and it seems to have settled a little funny, so the Hubs made it all level before adding the tile floor.
One last reminder of the Before…
Now that I’ve teased you enough.  Here are the Afters….. 

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